Mani-pedis may be one of life’s simple pleasures, but keeping them looking great is far from easy. For advice on how to keep our hands and feet looking better longer, we looked to two San Jose nail salons for advice. Read on for tips from Elizabeth Nguyen, a manicurist at Vanity SpaSalon, and Katie Grays, owner of Bella Donna Day Spa, on what to do before, during, and after your mani-pedi appointment. Before your appointment Prep your feet. Both Elizabeth and Katie praised the benefits of the pumice stone. Elizabeth suggests using it to smooth dry or callused skin every other day. You should soak your feet briefly before pumicing, but if you don’t have time for that then just do it after a shower. Brainstorm potential polish colors. Nothing induces more indecision than the polish wall, especially if you’ve given no thought to a hue beforehand. Don’t waste precious pedicure time dawdling over color choice! Scan a magazine or a Pinterest board for inspiration. During your appointment Ask about popular colors. Still have no idea which polish to choose? Find out what the salon’s most requested colors are. Elizabeth’s clients adore Creekside and Fragrant Freesia by CND, as well as Ibiza by Zoya. At Katie’s salon, the top three colors are Magna Wine and In the Spotlight Pink by OPI and Butler Please by Essie. For pete’s sake, get a Shellac manicure, already. If you’re one of the four people on Earth who have yet to do so, you’re really missing out. Elizabeth swears by them. Besides, if you’re gonna spend all that time deciding on a color, you might as well be able to rock it for awhile. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Elizabeth’s noticed that a lot of her clients are tiring of french manicures. So, you could either try a twist on the classic french, or hit Pinterest for some nail-art inspo. Katie loves recreating nail art found on Pinterest—flowers are a go-to for her and her clients, and she’s really inspired by the new water-marbling trend. After your appointment Pre-book your next visit. Katie recommends scheduling a manicure every two weeks and a pedicure every three to four weeks. “This helps us keep a good pulse on the health of our clients’ nail beds,” Katie said. “If we see something that needs addressing, [regular visits] give us the opportunity to make a suggestion.” Don’t forget to tip. How much exactly? Well, that’s up to you. “I always get this question,” Katie said. “The best answer would be two parts: what the client feels is appropriate, and/or what [percentage a restaurant server] would receive. Also, if more than one person works on you, don’t feel you must double your tip … it will be divided accordingly.” Protect your polish. Obviously, gel polish is your best bet if staying power is a priority. But if you prefer regular polish, there are a few things you can do to help it stick. Elizabeth suggests keeping typing to a minimum. Katie recommends avoiding tight shoes and moisturizing your cuticles. “Remember that your nails are jewels, not tools!”Read More
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As members of a desert community, Tucson residents are all too familiar with conserving water, whether that means taking shorter showers, frequently checking for leaks, or insulating their pipes. It’s not just Arizona residents who are cutting down on their water usage, though. Many a Tucson car wash is expected to implement eco-friendly measures as well, chief among them systems for retaining water. Of course, water conservation is just part of the picture. If you want to find a green car wash in Tucson, there are several things to look for. Water Recycling and Waterless WashesIn drought-prone regions such as Tucson, eliminating or minimizing the use of water is a no-brainer. One program that does just that is WaterSavers, an arm of the International Carwash Association that has enrolled nearly 1,500 locations globally (including 13 in Tucson). The program’s criteria include recycling all water used or routing it to a treatment facility or septic field. According to Carwash.com, these measures may result in a water-recovery rate of more than 90%, allowing enrolled businesses to remain open during times of drought. In recent years, waterless washes have also trickled into the industry. The washes use cleaning products from brands such as Eco Touch that don’t need to be rinsed with water. Instead, the cleansers are simply sprayed on, then wiped off. Biodegradable and Naturally Derived ProductsEco Touch’s products aren’t just waterless. They’re also derived from natural ingredients—soybeans and palm-kernel oils—and made without solvents, additives, and VOCs, making them more eco-friendly than their synthetic counterparts. Other brands use similar formulas for their exterior and interior cleaning products, too. And car washes that do use water needn’t feel left out, as there are plenty of biodegradable soaps available for them. Hand-DryingIt’s not just the washing process you should consider when evaluating the carbon footprint of car washes in Tucson. You should also examine the facilities. Were they constructed with recycled materials? Is there a lot of natural light? Is there a water-collection system? Green Car Washes in TucsonMister Car Wash is a member of WaterSavers, and each of its car washes uses nearly three times less water than an at-home wash.Fellow WaterSavers member Surf Thru Express filters 99% of impurities out of its water and uses biodegradable cleansers whenever possible.Octopus Car Wash recycles or treats the 30 gallons of water it uses for each car wash. For context, a home car wash can use upwards of 160 gallons and a load of laundry uses about 45.The cleansers used at Metro Car Wash employ Qual Chem products, which are certified by the EPA.The Magic Touch brings Eco Touch’s waterless products directly to cars in Tucson for a host of mobile detailing services.Read More
Being smack-dab in the California coast, San Jose is close enough to Mexico to reap some of its tasty cuisine. Gourmet and street-food dishes central to Mexican culture can be found at countless San Jose Mexican restaurants, though it’s the following eateries that elevate the classics to another echelon. 1. Mezcal’s Mole NegroIf you’re looking for some of the best Mexican food in San Jose, consider the authentic Oaxacan dishes at Mezcal, which packs its menu with regional street foods like memelitas and—for the culinarily curious—sautéed grasshoppers. But Mezcal’s true speciality is mole, a rich Mexican sauce that combines chilis, nuts, seeds, veggies, and chocolate. Served over chicken with rice and handmade corn tortillas, the complex mole is not only the star of this dish but also of Mezcal’s entire menu. 2. Mariscos La Costa’s Shrimp and Octopus CevicheMariscos La Costa’s humble beginnings hark back to a catering truck in a parking lot, but the East San Jose restaurant has blossomed into a go-to spot for fresh Mexican cuisine. And fresh is key when we’re talking about ceviche, a South American dish with marinated raw seafood. La Costa’s focus is on shrimp and octopus, served over fresh vegetables and a flat tortilla shell. 3. The Tamale Factory’s TamalesWell, it wouldn’t be called The Tamale Factory if it wasn’t the speciality, right? Simple and traditional, these tamales are handmade from scratch by owner Claudia Lopez, who’s been in the tamale game since age 19. 4. Taqueria Tlaquepaque’s ChimichangaTaqueria Tlaquepaque offers a variety of Mexican standards, but the chimichanga leads the pack. A golden-brown shell, perfectly cooked, sheathes the restaurant’s chimichangas, which are served with rich sour cream, rice, and beans. Chase it with refreshing chavelas—Mexican beer with lemon and a salted rim—served in frosted mugs.5. Mexico Bakery’s Milanesa TortaTortas are ideal for those reticent to leave the bun, as they’re Mexico’s spin on the traditional sandwich. The milanesa can be found at this charming local bakery, where cooks layer breaded steak, jalapeños, tomatoes, sliced avocado, and cheese between two fresh-baked buns.Read More