BeautyHack editor Daria Sizova was desperate to find a salon where everything would be perfect. Look for the confession of a perfectionist with long nails and the experience of many years of searching in our material.
“Where do you do your manicure? “Who made you such a beautiful styling? How much do you pay for services? " - the most popular questions in work, personal chats, conversations over a cup of coffee and even at business meetings. The beauty salon market is developing despite the crisis, but such issues are still acute.
According to the investment company Altera Invest, there are more than 12,000 beauty salons operating in Moscow, but we still cannot find our only one. Why it happens?
Russian girls are very careful about self-care - just getting a manicure is not enough for us. It should be perfect - with an even coating, without chips, streaks. The manicure should hold for at least 10 days - a feasible task, but for some reason difficult.
There are no questions with the salons of the premium segment - a comfortable atmosphere, pleasant interior, polite masters and delicious coffee. But in the modern market, expensive does not mean high quality. And to give money for a manicure, on which you can easily live a working week, is somehow not logical (especially if no one guarantees 100% durability).
Quality comes first. You can even go to hell for a good master, but most of the salons of the budget segment really look like the third or fourth circle according to Dante's classification. They are located far from the center, you feel uncomfortable in them and you don't even get pleasure from high-quality service.
There is no need to even talk about "combining business with pleasure" - it is almost impossible to do a manicure, styling and make-up in a good salon at the same time not for the price of an airplane wing.
The position of a beauty editor gives a lot of privileges - in a year I tried more than 100 procedures in 20 salons, but I did not manage to find a middle ground.
Therefore, going to the next salon before the fashion show, I was very skeptical - I wanted to do a manicure and styling in two hours. The pricing policy was pleasing - a good service cannot be cheap, but the average price did not inspire confidence. I was getting ready for a regular visit, but this salon managed to surprise me.
Bless My Nails (hearing the name, grinned - good marketing) is located in the very center, not far from Tsvetnoy Department Store. I easily found a small door in an old Moscow courtyard, inhaled and entered.
There are a lot of girls in the salon on weekends - no music is playing, but laughter, pleasant chatter is heard, and in some areas it's completely quiet (apparently, the girls want to relax and immerse themselves in themselves). I was pleasantly surprised by the clients - I see a famous TV presenter on a pedicure, and a beauty blogger friend, whom I often see at events, waves to me from the manicure zone. “Also preparing for the show,” I smile to myself. And I'm surprised that I didn't get to this place earlier - like a store with good discounts, they trust only close friends.
A smiling administrator hurries towards me - asks to wait a couple of minutes and pours delicious coffee from the coffee machine. While I undress, without taking my eyes off the cool swing at the entrance, I am seated in a chair in front of a large mirror - I see myself practically in 3D.
A stylist comes up to me and asks carefully - where am I going today, what time, what I will be wearing and what mood I am in today (an unexpected question). At 13:00, the show will start at eight in the evening, and there are still a lot of things to do and plans before. The styling on my fine and brittle hair does not last longer than an hour, which I am confident about. The stylist smiles and offers to bet that I won't have to do the styling for the show tomorrow. Again I hum skeptically and plunge into the correspondence on the iPhone.
An administrator comes up to me, looks closely at my face and suggests trying a new service - long-term styling of eyebrows. The girl got to the point - since school I was teased by Brezhnev's granddaughter. Then wide natural eyebrows became fashionable, but leaving them without a shape is a real crime. Only the strongest gel can cope with hairs, but the daily ritual is more like torture than part of a routine. I agree with pleasure, but without the hope of throwing the gel into the trash can. A special composition is applied to the eyebrows and covered with a film. I start laughing and taking pictures of my eyebrows. At this time, the stylist does my styling, maintaining the general fun, but his hands deftly curl my hair - half the work is done.
I'm starting to send photos of eyebrows to my friends and to our working chat. I catch funny comments from the editor-in-chief "I hope for the show you will come in this form?" and alarming - from a friend "Will not your eyebrows fade?"
I don't have time to answer - the stylist asks me to look in the mirror. I can’t hold back my face - surprise is written on it. The styling turned out to be cool - the curls do not look sloppy (the effect of the surfer's girlfriend over the summer is very tired). But the hairstyle is not like the old-fashioned bouclie - tight curls fall beautifully over the shoulders and emphasize the oval of the face.
The stylist smiles, secures the curls with invisible hair in a simple and elegant hairstyle. The film is finally removed from the eyebrows - my natural sable color remains with me, and the hairs do not stick out in all directions. I examine my eyebrows in the mirror and still do not believe that the shape will remain the same after the first wash. Spoiler - it remained, for a month the eyebrow gel dried up and simply became unnecessary.
An hour passed quickly, and I was already getting a manicure. The caring receptionist brings me more coffee and offers me candy (as if she knows that I will be left without lunch today). We choose a shade, and the master immediately gets down to business.
I find myself in a "quiet zone" - where they do a pedicure, there is no music, a silly romantic comedy or the eternal TV series "Sex and the City" - a permanent attribute of any salon, which is already pretty tired. I have the opportunity to truly relax and unwind. But if it gets bored, I ask the administrator to turn on the film - there is still a TV in the salon.
I begin to observe - the salon offers gel polishes of the luxury segment. The palette is very wide, the "menu" includes shades and designs for every taste (even translucent varnishes that will make fashionable candy nails that are difficult to find in other salons).
The master immediately warned me that individual tools and pedicure files are given to clients as a gift, no matter if you come again or not. The salon is very clean - even our editor Natalia, who is obsessed with cleanliness and hygiene, would not find anything to complain about, which I immediately inform her about via What's App. Natasha sarcastically: “The old coating is being removed for you? Look where the dust is flying and forget about your enthusiasm."
Yes, Natasha, an apparatus, and the dust flies in all directions. But she's not on the floor - as if I were the first customer after cleaning.
The master's phone rings - she immediately mutes the sound and apologizes. Again bewilderment - I suggest she pick up the phone, maybe something urgent has happened. The girl confidently refuses - this is prohibited in the workplace. "The most important thing now is your manicure." It doesn't sound pretentious, but on the contrary deserves respect.
I glance into the corner - I see a very expensive sterilization cabinet (my close friend had her own salon, and I know well the cost of such a device - the salon has to work for several months to recoup it. But there are no questions about hygiene right away - the chances of infecting the infection are almost equal zero).
Then I completely "get into the incomprehensible." The average price of a manicure and pedicure is 2,000 rubles, styling and makeup - 2,000 and 3,000 rubles per service. Not expensive at all on the market, but how is it possible with such quality? The answer comes naturally - the masters do not have a minute of free time (although it is quite possible to sign up for a day off)
I notice another interesting detail - an energetic young girl who moves with lightning speed between foremen, clients and administrators. She straightens the cushions on the swing, brings coffee to someone, laughs with someone and talks heart to heart. After another five minutes I understand that this is the owner of the salon - for me it is a great indicator when the owner of the business personally takes care of the clients.
We get acquainted, we start talking. Elena explains how Bless My Nails came about.
“Most of my acquaintances could not find a salon with affordable prices and quality services. Therefore, my sister Masha and I decided to open a place that looked like an ideal one, but first we interviewed more than a hundred girls - what should be the ideal salon?
First and foremost, they don't skimp on quality. The salon is not a business model, but rather a secret place for “insiders”. We do not use mass advertising, we modestly run the page of the same name on Instagram. I would like the people in the salon to like each other, get to know each other, exchange news. You are not surrounded by a crowd of people - we even have a library. Where, if not on a pedicure, you can safely read?"
The salon does not charge extra money for varnishes of more expensive brands and for the "four-handed" service, because the need to pay for every sneeze is simply infuriating. Nothing infuriates here - a coated and removed manicure costs 1,700 rubles, and you won't pay more. For the first time I see that there is no surcharge for a hardware manicure, as well as for repeated removal of the coating. At Bless My Nails for this price, choose any manicure option - hardware or combined, Luxio or Fedua coating. The new-fashioned Golden Trace will cost just 700 rubles, and a coated pedicure will cost 2,200 rubles. Hand Touch and Air Touch coloring will cost 7,000 rubles, and a haircut will cost 2,000 rubles.
With such a pricing policy, even a student can put herself in order. Elena is sincerely sure that manicure and pedicure is a basic care that anyone should do, regardless of status and financial situation.
At the checkout, the administrator quickly calculates me, writes down my date of birth. He smiles slyly: “The holiday is not coming soon, but a surprise awaits you on your birthday. And the ninth service will be a gift - we are always glad to see you. " I can not resist and take several gift certificates in beautiful packaging: the birthday of our editor Julia is ahead - she will definitely like such a gift. For this amount, she will be able to do any procedure, and the salon offers a lot - manicure, pedicure, brow-bar, day and evening make-up and styling options, haircuts and hair care.
I crawl out into the street in a slight shock, confidently walking along the Garden Ring - the wind ruffles my curls, deliberately arranging such a test drive for them. I turn into Arbat lanes for lunch with a friend. She immediately asks two questions: “Who made you such a hairstyle? If you were again in the salon for the price of my monthly salary, you better be silent "and" What's with your face? " I am sharing my experience and presenting a certificate. She looks with a sneer, "Dash, you have been going to salons since you were 15 - have you finally found something that suits you?" I am silent - my friends know how finicky I am. First you need to check how long the manicure will last.
Two hours pass, I'm going to the show. By the way, the styling is in perfect order. She was not spoiled by either the wind, or active games with her friend's daughter, or the backstage atmosphere with stuffy air and crush. The next day, I combed the strands and went to another show. And the manicure didn't chip in three weeks - the nails just grew back.
I open the Bless My Nails website on my iPhone, sign up for Monday night.
Confidently walking towards Tsvetnoy Boulevard, at the entrance I was met by the same administrator with a smile: “I knew that you would return”. The name of the salon no longer looks like a desperate attempt by a marketer. Yes, I returned, and I will not leave again - loyalty is needed in everything, especially loyalty to myself (and to my salon).