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Cairo-Alex Desert Rd, Cairo, Egypt.
The Nail Spa: Moderately Expensive Nail Treatments in Dandy Mall
Manicures and pedicures are luxuries that are thankfully affordable in Egypt due to the wide price range offered by salons around the country. We say thankfully because they’re quite necessary in the dust and grime of the city, and especially during the summer when the flip-flops are out in full force.
The Nail Spa is one of the few dedicated nail salons in Cairo. The ladies-only spa has three branches in Cairo: Mohandiseen, Heliopolis and Dandy Mall, and offers relaxing and luxurious treatments in a very pink setting.
The spa’s Dandy Mall branch is located on the basement level; just take the escalators next to Chilli’s to the lower level and you’ll find it on your left-hand side. The Nail Spa is decked out in bright fuchsia: fuchsia walls, fuchsia chairs and fuchsia table counters. Even the spa technicians are dressed in fuchsia polo shirts. Otherwise, the space is very white, with comfortable leather cushioned armchairs in front of foot basins that you can sink into for your pedicure. A few stations are available for your manicure or face treatments, while several back rooms are offered for more sensitive treatments like waxing and threading.
The Nail Spa offers hand and foot treatments, facials and eyebrow tweezing as well as threading for the face and waxing/halawa for the body. Prices here are slightly above average: 70LE for a classic pedicure and 50LE for a manicure. More elaborate treatments are offered, such as the anti-aging paraffin treatment for 110LE and the anti-oxidant citrus manicure for 175LE, which this reviewer hopes is more complicated than squeezing a lemon on your fingernails.
If you really want to go all out and pamper yourself ridiculously, the luxury caviar pedicure treatment lasts one hour and fifteen minutes at a shocking price of 715LE. Clearly, the caviar involved must be to blame for this price, but as tempting as it sounds, 715LE is point-blank ridiculous for a pedicure.
Instead, this reviewer opted for the classic pedicure, which was thorough and efficient despite the technician keeping this reviewer waiting for twenty minutes. The pedicure was completed carefully and finished off with a leg scrub and rub with a moisturiser. However, it’s unclear if the tools had been used before or if they had been sterilised; so if you’re fickle about hygiene, bring along your own kit just in case. Although this reviewer asked for a pedicure without nail polish colour, the price was the same, which isn’t necessarily the case in other salons. If you want to come back and touch up on your pedicure or manicure with a shape and polish, it will set you back 30LE.
The 45-minute herbal helper sounds like an attractive option: for 100LE you’ll get a pedicure with a luxurious foot mask using cooling aloe vera gel. Equally attractive is the Pevnoia mini-facial for only 85LE. Other offered treatments include a peppermint foot scrub, nail whitening and permanent makeup. Acrylic nails are offered at 330LE for the natural manicure and 350LE for the French manicure.
Their waxing, threading and halawa treatments are surprisingly affordable: half-leg waxing will set you back 55LE with arms in the same range, while a bikini wax costs 70LE. Waxing three different body parts will cost close to 150LE, which is very reasonable compared to other chic salons. Be sure to ask for Doaa; she’s thorough, swift and careful, making it an almost painless experience.
Make a reservation at the Nail Spa or stop by next time you’re in Dandy Mall and desperate for some foot pampering. Be prepared to wait quite a while if you haven’t made a reservation.
Beauty salons in Cairo are more used as a necessity than a luxury, and can be seen lining the streets of the busy city. For those living a little further out in New Cairo, however, salons are few and far between. With a decent reputation for nail care, Nail Fashion has set up shop in the Downtown Katameya Mall.
Situated on the first floor of building S2, the frosted-glass fronted salon is adorned with sprawling purple illustrations, just like their Citystars branch. Beyond the double doors, an extra frosted glass pane shields the salon’s floor space from the sight of passersby, for extra privacy. Brightly lit, the salon is spacious and airy, with full-length windows stretched across the back wall.
A white and purple colour-scheme is reflected throughout, with a garish, purple leather couch for waiting customers, and white manicure and pedicure stations. On first glance the salon appears clean and sterile, but when looking closer, there are obvious signs of un-cleanliness, and wear and tear in the furniture.
Placed next to the receptionist, the varied nail polish displays are well-kept and orderly, organised into brand and shade. Alongside the popular Orly, OPI and Essie brands, there was also a wide range of longer-lasting gel polishes.
Despite the name, Nail Fashion don’t limit themselves to just nails, but also offer a range of beauty services, including manicures and pedicures, waxing and hair removal, make-up, facials (300LE+) and massages (400LE+). We opted for a full arm (60LE) and underarm wax (40LE), as well as a manicure (70LE) and pedicure (80LE), all of which seemed a little overpriced compared to other established salons.
Beginning with the waxing, we were lead through another frosted glass door to a small private room which appeared clean but a little untidy. Whilst the beautician was quick, a few hairs remained, even after rigorous re-attempts of pulling in the wrong direction. Afterwards, a generous layer of baby oil was spread over our skin, before we were handed a fragranced, scolding hot towel which burnt our fingertips.
Next, we were seated in a comfy armchair in front of a pedicure basin and relaxed as our feet were scrubbed and massaged, before our nails were perfectly shaped and painted. During the filing, we unfortunately suffered a broken nail which was dutifully glued back together so as not to upset their appearance. The same, thorough treatment was given to our hands, leaving us with clean and tidy nails, as well as soft skin.
Whilst the waxing experience wasn’t the best, with almost unjustifiable prices, Nail Fashion employs a team of practised nail technicians, making it one to visit for basic nail treatments when everywhere else is busy.