"I literally lie awake in bed at night dreaming up my next theme service, or solving a skin care problem for a client. I know I am nuts, but I really love my job," Painted Red Nails owner Jessica Mahler says on her online bio. Mahler has been taking nail care very seriously since the age of 10, when she set up an informal manicure shop in her family home. She soon began competing in advanced nail-care competitions, taking home a national championship six years later. After graduating high school, she became a licensed instructor of cosmetology, and even went on to train under German podiatrist Katherine Vongavel. The certified master pedicurist also opened two Painted Red Nails locations to further fuel her all-consuming passion for nails and beauty. Her intensity has paid off—the flagship Osterville site was the winner of Cape Cod Life's 2010 Best Day Spa award.
One service that may have been a product of Mahler's late-night musings is the waterless manicure. Since she believes that warm, soapy water is not beneficial for the skin around the nail, she opts instead for a blend of moisturizing, natural oils that allow for longer-lasting polish applications. During pedicures, she makes sure to use non-greasy moisturizers that are absorbed into the skin, instead of sticking around to block sweat glands and sabotage attempts to pirouette barefoot across polished wood floors.
Mahler and her team also offer waxing, massages, makeup, and facials at the Mashpee location. Many of them are certified to perform Dr. Hauschka skincare treatments, which use lymph stimulation to create radiant, refreshed skin.
Like a psychic, Nicole Godfrey can take one look at a person's face and determine their entire lifestyle. That's because, according to the licensed aesthetician and owner of Bel Viso Skin Care, a person's habits affect every aspect of their skin: an even, clear complexion with a subtle glow reflects a hydrated, well-protected face, whereas too much sun exposure, smoking, and shaving with a rusty axe leads to telltale signs damage such as wrinkles and broken capillaries.
Ms. Godfrey demonstrates her tailored technique through the use of three different finishing masks, depending on the situation: aloe and azulene to calm sensitive skin, clay to firm and tighten pores, and collagen to stimulate the production of new skin without the brain having to hire a new intern. Bel Viso's services extend beyond facials and microdermabrasions to include brow, lip, and chin waxing, as well as makeup applications and brow designs.
Though the stylists at Creative Cuts Plus are respectful of their clients' time, they don't rush people in and out either. Every time the salon takes on new client, a stylist conducts a 15-minute consultation to learn about the client's style and record service information in the computer. Once the stylist understands what the client wants, she sets to work. She might tint tresses with a triangle-foil service or lowlights or smooth out frizz with Keratin Complex by Coppola or Japanese straightening treatments. When the stylists aren't busy arranging locks into casual looks, they're crafting delicate updos and applying makeup for weddings and proms.
The salon particularly benefits from the expertise of its staff. Waxing expert Marly Cordoso uses Gigi products to perform the Brazilian waxes she first encountered in her native Brazil, and stylist Michele Tuckwood practices the hair-color techniques she mastered in the Paul Mitchell stylist-training program. Their work is backed by the salon's guarantee, which the staff members ratify by twisting a single strand of their own hair into a promise ring.