The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Health & Fitness
Joy Beauty Salon

Joy Beauty Salon: Expert Manis & Pedis at Modest Maadi Salon

reviewed by
Salma Anderson
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Joy Beauty Salon: Expert Manis & Pedis at Modest Maadi Salon

We all deserve a little pampering every now and then. But where does a girl go to get a decent mani/pedi in Cairo? Gel polish is a rare find here and who has an LED nail-drying lamp at home anyway? So we decided to splurge and check out Joy Beauty Salon on Road 199 in Maadi.

While booking an appointment is advised, walk-ins are welcome if you go early enough like we did (11.3AM). The salon offers a range of facials (Anti-aging, micro-needle brightening serum, etc), gel and acrylic manicures and pedicures with or without nail extensions and spa treatments (hot stone massage, waxing/laser hair removal, scrubs, Moroccan bath etc.)

In keeping things simple, we went for the classic gel manicure. The owner, Joy, sat us down across from her at one of the three white nail stations equipped with taps, LED nail-drying lamps and alcohol wipes, placed our hands on wrist rests and examined our nails. She pressed down lightly on each nail to assess how strong/weak they were and told us what our natural shape was (hint: it’s squoval). Initially, we’d wanted extensions, but Joy advised against it, saying our nails weren’t quite strong enough and would be further damaged. Her honesty was appreciated, as it would have cost us a lot more to get extensions (210 LE compared to 140LE).

When it came to choosing a polish colour, there were so many swatches to choose from, that it was hard to pick just one! There were two boards with row after row of fake nails painted in different colours (around 120 shades in total), including glitter-infused options, all sourced from the U.S. and China. We chose a skin-tone enhancing shade of mulberry.

She then proceeded to clean our nails with alcohol and file/buff them with a thick emery board. Then she primed the nails with a clear topcoat, before applying the first layer of gel colour. Between every single application of polish, the nail bed was wiped down with alcohol to keep it smooth and free of dust. Hygiene is obviously paramount at Joy Beauty Salon.

With each coat of polish applied, the hands are placed under a LED nail-drying lamp, which hardens the polish in 60 seconds. A total of six coats of polish were applied— one base, three gel colour and two clear top coats —but our nails didn’t feel goopy or weighed down at all; they were firm, yet retained their natural flexibility, and of course glamorously shiny. For extra measure, OPI cuticle oil was rubbed around the edges for a little TLC.

Equally pleased with her work, Joy decided to take photos for the salon’s Instagram page and happily played the role of personal photographer for our own. The manicure lasted ten days as promised, only beginning to lose lustre on day 7. It even survived a trim without chipping!

Overall, the experience was excellent compared to the average Egyptian salon. The prices range from 70LE (for a classic manicure) to 500LE (for the micro-needle brightening serum), which may be a little pricier than the average salon, but the quality of the products and care is worth it.  Joy was gentle with our talons, filing them a lot gentler than we were used to and answered any and all questions we had before our visit (she even sent pictures!). In keeping with the classic manicurist 

360 Tip

You can have nail-art designs done - ask for samples. 

Best Bit

Drying our wet nails in under a minute.

Worst Bit

The process took around an hour and a half, since each coat had to be dried before a new one was applied.

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