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Keeping tabs on Lucky Mag's editor-in-chief Eva Chen via Instagram never fails to make me feel like a slacker when it comes to nails (among other things). Her weekly routine appears to revolve around one chic salon after the next (with one chic nail color after another). Sure, weekly manis are possible here in SF. We do have a wide selection of $12 manicure shops—but they often reek with chemicals and offer up the standard Essie fare. Instead, I've been on the hunt for a salon that uses "three-free" polishes with an option for weekly color changes that won't break the bank and won't require a ton of time.
Thank the manicure heavens for Lux SF, a boutique nail salon that only carries "five-free," vegan polishes. The bright, airy space smells lovely and actually provides pregnant women a safe way to have their hands and feet pampered. The in-house line of polishes is developed by owner Tracy Brown. And he names the colors after SF landmarks or events. For example, the steely blue-gray I chose was named in honor of the former Bay Bridge.
With a chic, new color in hand, I sat down for the "Express Manicure" ($15). My nail technician MJ worked quickly, efficiently, and gently. She tipped me off to the Deborah Lippman Gel Lab basecoat and topcoat for longer lasting nail color and shine without the harsh chemicals. The topcoat may not feel as thick and luscious as the toxic ones but it wears very lightweight (and I think it helped my polish set in near record time).
The mani lasted about 25 minutes—a little more than the 10 minutes that's listed with the service's description. But it was partly my own fault for peppering MJ with questions about nail art and polish colors. The resulting clean polish job on my nails made me feel as though I'd taken the first step toward living la vida Eva. I'm already looking forward to next week's polish change (there's a "Lacquer and Leave" option) when I fully plan to try "Escape from Alcatraz," an inky midnight blue. And the week after, it'll be the olive green named after the olive trees on Bernal Hill. Now I see how weekly mani addictions begin.
· Lux SF [Official Site]
· Get Speedy, Toxin-Free Nails at This New Spot in Hayes Valley [Racked SF]
· All Esther Tested posts [Racked SF]