I have no idea what possessed me to take my beautiful 5-week old infant on a salon review by myself as our first outing together. Let me paint the picture, I was desperate to get out of the house so decided to choose a salon that was a good 20 minute walk away so I could enjoy the spring weather and beautiful Manhattan skyline. My little cherub loved the walk and was dozing off in her stroller when we arrived at Grace Nail and Spa salon. As soon as I opened the door she began to stir and cry, and by crying I mean screaming. That was my sign to turn around and go back home, but I was determined to review this salon and of course have some ‘ME’ time. Now you learn in ‘baby prep’ class (yes there is such a thing) that there are three things at this age that she could be crying about – hunger, diaper change, or exhaustion (like her poor Mom). I decided to nurse to see if that would calm her. The friendly gentleman at the front desk was rather diplomatic at my request to nurse (albeit looked slightly freaked out even though I told him I would be completely covered) and quickly summoned one of his workers to direct me to the ‘wax’ room. Meanwhile I was juggling my screaming infant, trying to push the stroller one handed all the while trying to keep her pacifier in her mouth. My soon-to-be nail technician was amazing, she stayed calm amidst my obvious stress that my baby was disturbing the rather relaxing environment for the 20 other women who were trying to have their nails done in peace. She even cleaned the pacifier after my darling spat it out in frustration. Once nursing was complete my little cherub was sound asleep (I was thinking I am rocking this new Mom thing, baby asleep and now I can get my pedi done). I opted for the special callous remover treatment as pregnancy hormones had wreaked havoc on my heels and for the first time in my life I am ashamed to say they were cracked. I sat down in the massage chair, my baby in my lap as I prepared for my time of relaxation; I soon realized that during the commotion I had forgotten to choose a color. The very patient nail technician jumped up to grab her swatches so I didn’t have to leave my seat. I went with OPI’s deep pink/red color ’kiss me or elf’. It had more of a shine to it than I normally like but it was actually nice for a change so I went with it. My technician slathered callus remover on my feet and wrapped them in plastic while she prepared my toes. Those of you that read this column on a regular basis know I have very ticklish feet – there is nothing like holding a newborn in your arms to cure this. It was during the hot stone foot massage that my baby began to stir after what I could feel was a poop explosion in her diaper. I knew it would be a matter of time before the blood curdling screams would begin so I asked my technician if she could hit pause on my treatment so I could change her. My little darling had made a beautiful mess everywhere and was very unhappy about her Momma not changing her quick enough so her screams came once again. At this stage I was in the middle of cleaning the explosion, sweating about all the noise she was making for the other guests while trying to settle her. I finally calmed her down and went back to my treatment, I was about to have my second foot polished and bam she starts screaming again. I swear she knew that this was Mommy’s time to relax; lucky I had my cover up handy so I could start nursing again without exposing myself (the gentleman at the front desk seemed pleased about that). All was calm for about 10 minutes until my little munchkin started to projectile vomit (thank you acid reflux) all over me. Cue the screaming again, I took this as my sign to give up and go home. Oh how my life has changed. I didn’t care if my polish was dry, I just jammed my feet into my shoes as quick as I could, left my very patient nail technician a nice tip, and apologized to the 20+ salon’s guests as I exited. Once outside the little tiger stopped crying and was happy the entire walk home. So I guess she isn’t into nails just yet.
They say stressful situations truly bring out your character, well I am pleased to say that despite all of the drama the salon staff were friendly, professional and handled it all with grace. I would most definitely return and recommend them – although next visit I will be sure to leave my little one with her Daddy.
Until next time,
Grace Nail & Spa – Essex St, Downtown Jersey City
Ambience: Relaxing music played in the background to my screaming infant
Cleanliness of salon: clean
Polish: OPI’s ‘’kiss me or elf’’ (Retails $8-$10)
Polish job & chip factor: Despite me not allowing any time for the polish to dry the polish is still going strong 7 days later
Brands they stock: Essie & OPI
Color range: High quality polishes with an extensive color range
Customer engagement: Engaging, friendly and helpful
Price range: Classic Manicure $13, French Manicure $18, Parrafin Manicure $23, Polish Change $8, Callous Treatment Pedicure $45 and Classic Pedicure $30
(w/ Shea Butter & Hot Stone Massage)