I arrived at my 37-week obstetrician appointment feeling nervous and giddy; I guess I had a sixth sense that my life was about to change from that very moment. After being told that I was in early stages of labor (which I now know can last days) and that my beautiful daughter was indeed on her way, I looked down at my nails (I know a crazy first thought when you are told that you are having contractions) which had not seen a fresh coat of polish in weeks – thank you snow storms and third trimester pregnancy exhaustion. I could not possibly welcome my baby daughter into the world with horrendous looking toes and fingers, so I went in search for a salon that could quickly rectify the situation while putting up with a women who was in early labor and trying to mask the pain of her mild contractions (I was new to this and had no idea that it was about to get much worse).
I found Black Label Nails and Spa in New York’s midtown area and was greeted by a warm and friendly nail technician that directed me to a plethora of fabulous OPI and Essie colors. It was actually rather difficult to choose the perfect color. Let’s face it my fingers and toes were going to be in the very first pictures of me with my beautiful baby girl so I didn’t want to regret my color choice years from now. Isn’t it crazy the things that run through your mind at a time like this? I can tell you that after 37 exhausting hours of labor I did not care about how my nails looked when I finally got to hold my little cherub (I know, shocking right). Anyhow I opted for a pale pastel pink tone for my fingers – Essie’s ‘Spin the Bottle’ and a gorgeous bright red hue for my toes – Essie’s ‘Bordeaux’. Despite the salon being busy the staff still managed to offer exceptional service. There were no massage chairs which was something a women in early labor looks forward to, however the pedicure included a mini hot stone leg massage which more than made up for it. Instead of water in the tub they used a moisturizing jelly-like substance that was scented with essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, and green tea. It literally felt like my feet were swimming in a thick lavender scented soup. I opted for an extended foot massage (did you know there are pressure points in the feet that bring on labor?), which my swollen pregnant feet thanked me for. As I breathed through my contractions my eyes took me to a number of signs hanging on the wall stating that this salons top priority was hygiene and sanitation. This is why they don’t use whirlpool footbaths, as they are a breeding ground for micro-bacterium. They also don’t use reusable razors or files, instead they use sealed disposable manicure kits and ensure all metal equipment is sanitized at hospital level and is sealed. Good to know that I would not be catching any diseases at this salon. I have to say that sadly this level of sanitation is rare in the salons I have reviewed. Overall, even though I was experiencing contractions and starting to stress about my impending labor, this was a relaxing experience and I could not think of a better salon to be at during this time. So if you are in New York be sure to check them out – I know you won’t be disappointed.
Until next time,
Black Label Salon & Spa – 318 Lexington Ave, Murray Hill
Ambience: Busy yet balanced perfectly with a relaxing environment
Cleanliness of salon: clean
Polish: Pedicure – Essie’s ‘Bordeaux’ (Retails $8-$10). Manicure – Essie’s ‘Spin The Bottle’
Polish job & chip factor: Exceptional polish job my manicure did not chip for 6 days and my pedicure is still going strong after 3 weeks.
Brands they stock: Essie & OPI
Color range: High quality polishes with an extensive color range
Customer engagement: Engaging, friendly and helpful
Price range: Basic manicure $11.50 and pedicure $26. Spa manicure/pedicure $31.50 and 10 minute massage $10.50