In a pleasant studio with a sunny foyer and wooden floors, Finger's N Toe's Nail Studio's aestheticians groom and pamper patrons. They buff, shape, and polish fingernails and toenails, wax away unwanted hair, purify skin with facials, and massage muscles into total relaxation. In between appointments, they sterilize tools and equipment with hospital-grade disinfectants rather than burning away bacteria with a blowtorch. During treatments, patrons can sip complimentary drinks and watch television.
Take a look at Naila's Spa's menu, and you won't find anything too out of the ordinary. All of the usual suspects—manicures, massages, facials, and waxing—are there, along with a few specialty services such as Shellac mani-pedis and intricate nail art.
The spa itself, however, is anything but ordinary. Streaked in white and cerulean, the interior whisks clients away to a cloud-like landscape—an impression that's only strengthened by the pillowy pedicure chairs. It's a welcome relief from the bustle of downtown London, which is located only a few streets away.
Housed within an Aveda Concept Salon, Ritual Esthetics stands apart from its peers thanks to owner Melyssa Shoemaker and her years of rigorous training, which began at the Pebec School of Esthetics and continued during her apprenticeship as a nail technician at Gallery 295. Melyssa’s extensive experience culminated in 2001, when she earned master nail technician status at Creative Nail Design Academy and soon afterward embarked on her own business in London’s ultra-modern, multi-level Wabi Sabi Hair Artistry salon.
Today, Melyssa continues to perform waxing services and mani-pedis with the care and precision one might expect from a master. Tucked away in private pedicure rooms replete with black stone floors and colourful art, she whittles away at calluses as warm water swirls around toes, evoking nostalgia for childhood baths in tubs of chicken soup. Among shelves stocked with Aveda products sit bottles of OPI’s gel nail polish, which cures faster than OPI’s Axxium soak-off gel and can stay chip-free for weeks.