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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Tarek Nail Care Center: Impeccable Nails in Maadi
It may not look like much from the outside, but Tarek Nail Care Center is a discreet shop below street level next to Costa Coffee on Maadi's Road Nine that delivers the best manicures and pedicures in Cairo, hands down.
Although its basic decor may suggest otherwise, Tarek Nails is a highly professional enterprise that stocks the latest Dr. Scholls and Goody products along with makeup, jewellery and nail polish in all colours of the rainbow for your casual shopping enjoyment.
The shop, which also has locations in Dokki and the North Coast, is staffed by expert, if nonchalant male and female technicians who deliver quality, long-lasting nail treatments. Full manicures cost 50LE, pedicures 60LE, and colour-only 20LE. The shop also offers waxing (starting at 20LE) and threading (starting at 15LE). For those looking for longer-lasting nail solutions Tarek Nails also offers acrylic nails starting at 250LE. While the ladies who do threading are expert, the cramped treatment area makes waxing a bit uncomfortable.
Visitors should always call ahead for an appointment to avoid being turned away. Although male employees are on hand to execute pedicures, ladies who'd rather stick to an all-female team need only to ask to have this request granted. For those who opt for a new experience, the male pedicurists are both skilled and very respectful of their clients.
Iman is a particularly expert manicurist, applying paint jobs that last the entire week without a trace of chipping. French manicures (at no extra charge) are a flawlessly executed specialty here.
Treatments are delivered in comfortable massage chairs, and all tools come in sterilised plastic wrapping. The foot baths are cleaned with Dettol before each use, so you can rest assured that your treatments will be executed in a hygienic fashion.
The nail polish selection at Tarek Nails is both diverse and on-trend. Choose anything from a classic pink or red, to a trendy grey or blue hue from overflowing baskets sorted by colour. If you colour of choice is running low or its consistency gluey from age, the staff will happily oblige you by opening a new bottle. Similarly, if you accidentally smudge your paint job while it's drying, they are nice about fixing it.
If you’re looking for a clean and professional shop to get a quality manicure or pedicure that will withstand the tests of time and Cairo grime, look no further than Tarek Nail Care Center.
In a city where pampering has become a necessity, there’s no end to the list of beauty salons in Cairo – some more luxurious than others, of course. Located on a quiet side street in the Ard El Golf district in Heliopolis, Royal Nails' external appearance is that of swanky nail salon. But upon entry to the warmly-lit venue, an uncomfortably strong smell of acetone and perfume momentarily stunned our senses.
The salon offers services including henna and hair removal, acrylic and gel nails, nail art, manicures and pedicures. A full manicure is 40LE, however, that was as much information as we were able to draw from them regarding the prices of their treatments, which were imprudently guarded with almost pious devotion. The shop floor is laid out with four large nail bars, three pedicure chairs and a private area at the back where they perform the hair removal and henna tattoo services.
Despite previously not answering their phones, we were turned away and told to book an appointment 24 hours in advance; this is apparently the protocol for ‘new’ customers. Once tended to by one of the lesser-in-demand therapists, we opted for round-tip filing and uni-colour polish – typical to the basic manicure package. The chairs at the bar were surprisingly comfortable and each station was well-equipped with expensive looking appliances and baskets filled with various nail tools and polishes. Our therapist took no time in getting to work, though we noticed that the equipment wasn’t sterilised before use, but this seemed to be policy rather than error.
Unfortunately, the manicure wasn’t performed with the precision we’d hoped for and several of our cuticles were cut deep enough to draw blood. However, the beautician did apologise and assured us that it was entirely our fault for having such delicate skin.
When it came to selecting a colour we were given the choice between personal preference and her own professional opinion. For research purposes we decided to trust her expertise and were rewarded with a sparkly, flesh-coloured lacquer. It was applied in the typical order of base coat, second coat, and top coat, though the corners of both thumbnails were left unpainted.
After being quickly shooed away to make room for a regular customer, we waited for our nails to dry in the corner before settling the bill.
With all the airs and pretensions of a high-end nail salon, we expected the actual service at Royal Nails to make up for the severe lack of professionalism on the part of the staff. We were, however, disappointed on all fronts and left with the impression that we would have been better off sticking to salons we can rely on.