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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Nail Fashion: Comfy Nail Salon in Citystars
Love it or hate it, we all end up in Citystars in Heliopolis every once in a while to score some new goods. Sometimes, there are good reasons to go (such as the constant flow of new openings, like American Eagle) and sometimes you are forced by your friends to tag along. After strolling around the gigantic shopping mall, your feet will be in desperate need of some pampering. And as it turns out, Citystars is home to an incredibly good nail salon. Who would have thought?
In the huge labyrinth that is Citystars, Nail Fashion is located in a corner of the second floor of Phase 2 across from Johnny Rockets. The shop windows are tinted white and from the outside, it doesn’t look welcoming at all. However, as soon as you step inside you are immediately welcomed by the staff, and the salon is bigger than it appears from the outside. There are two spacious areas; the first one is for manicures only and has high tables that fit up to three people. It’s the perfect place to go with your friends; you can all have a treatment at the same time while enjoying each other’s company.
In the back is the pedicure area, which is arranged in a circle, giving it a somewhat outer space look, especially with the bright white interior. There are about ten large, comfortable leather chairs with foot baths. If you want both a manicure and a pedicure, you can just stay in the pedicure area while the manicurist comes to see you. Having your pedicure and manicure simultaneously is a huge time saver.
To start off your pedicure, your feet are placed in the foot bath for a while. The pedicure technician will then scrub your foot and sole, and then slough off the dry skin around your ankle, calf, sole and toes. After that your nails are carefully cut and polished. Your cuticles are massaged with oil before they get pushed back. After that, the technician will rub your feet with lotion and give you a little foot massage. You can choose from many different colours of nail polish. We chose the French pedicure, which was applied very neatly.
The manicure follows the same routine. Your hands are spoiled with different kinds of oils and lotions, making them very soft, and the lotion smelled terrific. Even four hours later, our hands still smelled heavenly.
The downside is that Nail Fashion is very expensive compared to other nail salons. A pedicure costs 80LE while a manicure costs 70LE, which is definitely above the average market price. However, this was absolutely one of the best pedicures that this reviewer has had in Cairo. It might be expensive but it’s worth it.
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.