Dec. 14, 2018: On the recommendation of my friend, I went to check out Nail One Spa for a manicure since I needed one ASAP. I would have gone to the one I usually go to, but upon looking at the map of her new location, I wasn’t going to give up an hour of my day for the round-trip commute no matter how good her nail art was. I had wanted to visit a new nail salon to try out anyway, so this worked out.
I called ahead of arriving to see if they had availability for me and they did! I was glad. Nail One Spa is located on Birchmount Road near Highway 7 in Markham (across from the plaza with Whole Foods, Panera Bread, Sansotei Ramen, Five Guys, etc.). It’s on the side of where Moksha Yoga is and thus you can either park on the street or obtain a parking pass to park behind the store.
When I walked in, I was surprised that it was a bigger store than I anticipated. I was taken by Annie who sat me down at one of the many tables. There were surprisingly so many other ladies here at 12 p.m. -ish on a Friday — at least five others. Everyone must have been preparing their nails for the upcoming holiday season, like me :D.
I had searched up some nail designs on my phone and showed them to Annie who gave me a quote for them. The prices were quite reasonable for gel nails and the same design I wanted was $32 cheaper here than my original nail salon (!!).
I sat down and Annie carefully prepped my nails by removing my previous Shellac coats with acetone-soaked cotton pads on each of my nails and then wrapped with small pieces of tin foil. She left it to soak while gathering the colours for my new nails. After a few minutes, she took each foil off separately and scraped off the remaining Shellac from my nails. This was a different method of removing Shellac than the original place I went to that simply buzzed it off with a rotating tool (easier and no need to use acetone or any tin foil — not environmentally friendly). Annie made sure my nails were buffed and scrubbed down before applying the new coats of colour. She was very careful to trim the skin around my nails.
I liked how since there were other nail techs and customers sitting beside me, I could sneak peeks to see what nail designs they got too. It was more interesting than sitting alone in a private nail salon.
The nail techs there spoke English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
Annie’s attention to detail was meticulous and she really made sure my design was copied from end to end. I appreciated it a lot. Between each coat of paint, I also stuck my hand under an UV light just like at the other place. It lit up automatically upon detection of my hand. I noticed that a few of my nails stung for a few seconds while under the light (which didn’t happen at the other place).
When we were all done, Annie put cuticle oil all over my hands and rubbed it in gently (I appreciated that she advised me to remove my ring first). After that, she retrieved a hot towel and wrapped my hands in it to allow the oil to soak into my hands. This was something new and felt so comforting.
In all, the manicure took about an hour’s time. The price was so reasonable here and the service was pretty good and efficient. One thing I did notice is that my cuticles weren’t fully removed (the other place does it better) and within an hour or so, I already noticed a small dent in the middle of my painted nail. I believe the reason for this is that their nail lacquer either isn’t very good quality or that the coats simply didn’t dry thoroughly between each one. Also, the nail lacquer smell on these nails is so much stronger than the other place (not a fan of that). Either way, I got what I paid for since this place was definitely cheaper than the original place I go to. I would still recommend Annie as she was so detail-oriented and careful during the entire manicure. Perhaps I’ll return again to see how my next experience goes for a more well-rounded review of this nail salon..
(Wanna see my finished nails? Visit my Instagram page for the photo. This blog post won’t be amended with the photos for a while.)