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Trying out the Nail-a-holics Nail Salon & Spa

January 21, 2015

So today, I had a real itch to get out of the house (I don't know why).  Since I had to get out anyway and pay some bills, I thought I'd make the most out of the day and do everything I need to do at once.  So, Dylan and I made our way to SM City San Lazaro.

Our plan was to pay the bills first so I am sure that I won't be spending that part of the budget on frivolous things but when we got to the Bills Payment counter at the SM Department Store, we were only able to pay for the PLDT Bill because Maynilad was offline which meant we had time to kill and we went directly to the Nail-a-holics salon at the LGF of SM City San Lazaro.  The only reason why we headed there was because I was aware of it from previous trips in the area.  Also, the times when I passed by the salon I usually saw that it was full so I thought the next time I needed to go to a nail salon I would definitely try going there.

It was perfect timing that when Dylan and I went there, there were no other customers but us.  Three foreigner guys were just paying their bill when we arrived so I felt good that the attendants wouldn't be in a hurry to finish their work since there's no line of customers.    I asked how much the foot spa with pedicure was and the receptionist immediately replied P420 which when you look at their menu of services was for the "Water Drift Spa Pedicure".  Quoting from them, the Water Drift Spa Pedicure was described like so:

"Fall in love with our indulgent all-natural treatment that helps bring life to sore, tired feet.  Reveal beautiful skin with hard skin removal and thorough exfoliation using sea salt and virgin coconut oil.  Finish off with a nail shape, cuticle tidy and nail color of your choice."

With this description in mind, let me tell you why I was disappointed with the service that I got.

* It wasn't as indulgent as I thought - Yes, the couch was comfortable.  Yes, the decor in the salon was appealing.  But I was surprised by the "palanggana" (huge plastic basin) that they brought out to soak my feet in.  Now, in some salons they have built-in sinks or foot tubs but I wasn't prepared for the "palanggana".  That was a turn off especially for a pricey salon.

Liked the Lighting
* It wasn't as thorough as I expected - I have had my share of foot spa pedicures in other salons, from high-end ones to your friendly neighborhood salon.  I got better treatment from them than at Nail-a-holics.  The thorough exfoliation didn't happen.  The attendant merely applied the sea salt on my feet and legs then rinsed it off.  It wasn't used for scrubbing or exfoliation unless it wasn't meant to then that was my misinterpretation.  I was also expecting a longer massage.  In my previous experiences, massages usually took between 15-30 minutes.  The massage I had was closer to 10.  The whole service for me took between 30-40 minutes, including the waiting time.  At the other salons, treatment time was usually an hour.

*minimal choice for nail polish - For P420 , you would expect to see Orly products like in other salons instead, they were offering regular nail polish, the brands I wasn't even familiar with.  To get Orly or some other special nail polish you have to add P40.  All the available regular nail polish was bright and neon, which I wasn't into.  But I didn't want to spend any additional for special polish so I just picked out a "Rose" colored polish.  Both my kids didn't like it (which I agree too because it made my feet and toes look darker)


Looks better in the light ;) 

On the PLUS side, I appreciated that the staff wasn't noisy.  At one point, the receptionist/head attendant even had to call out one manicurist for reclining on the couch with customers present which to me meant they wanted to project a better and professional image.

Looking back at my experience, I can't say that the service applies to all other branches since I've only tried this one. I may have just been unlucky this time.  But if you want value for your hard-earned money, it may be more worthwhile to find another salon, like Hot Nails in Hemady or California Nails and Day Spa.  Even our neighborhood salon that charges P160 for Foot Spa Pedicure had better services in my honest opinion.

Oh well, that's how you learn from and distinguish among salons.  You just have to try and experience them.  

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