Beautiful Montreal: a land of English cobblestones and French accents. It is a place of breathtaking architecture, clean streets, decadent chocolate croissants and delicious French/English cuisine. You would think that during my recent visit to speak at a management conference I would find a nail salon on every corner like I do in New York or New Jersey. No such luck I am afraid, my less than perfect DIY mani job would have to suffice as I took to the stage to motivate change with my “inspiring words of affirmation” (not my description of course, come on I am a little more modest than that!) By the time I returned from Montreal I was in desperate need of a manicure, especially as editor Elise and I had a media event to attend to.
I was visiting a client in Downtown, Jersey City and on my way back into Manhattan I spotted MTRO Central Salon. Upon first look it seemed to be a hair salon, however I saw nail polishes in the window and raced in for a “working girls manicure”. I was greeted by stylist and manicurist Rima; her infectious friendly personality drew me into the salon. As I started to choose my polish I was mortified that every single color had separated and gone off. I queried Rima about this and she politely tried to explain that they weren’t the popular colors. She looked embarrassed that she had to paint with such an inferior product range. Her solution was to mix different polish colors, which I thought was quite innovative given the products she had to work with. Rima was by far the most charismatic manicurist I have ever had, and she primped my nails to perfection. Put two talkers together and you get a quick mani that turns a 2-hour coaching session about life and business. She did a fabulous job of my mani, however because of the horrendous quality of the polish it chipped within a few hours. The fact that I saw a bottle of nail polish thinner on the counter, and the obvious use of this product in the polishes, probably didn’t help.
Would I go back to this salon, you ask – yes! Rima was a fabulous manicurist, her technique was impeccable, she didn’t soak my nails, which we know damages them, but used cuticle remover instead (our Editor would love to hear this). I will be sure to bring my own polish when I do return.
Until next time,
Ambience: Small salon with two manicurist tables and two pedicure sinks. Not a relaxing environment but certainly enjoyable because of the friendly staff
Cleanliness of salon: Clean, they sanitized all products
Polish: ‘Instant Hot’ – Essie, Retails $7-10
Polish job & chip factor: Polish job was fabulous – polish was off and chipped within a few hours
Brands they stock: OPI & Essie
Color range: Terrible, in fact I saw a brochure for the Essie spring range from 2012 & I am sure the polishes haven’t been replaced since then
Customer engagement: Friendly, professional and charismatic
Price range: Working Girls manicure: $14 and Pretty Pedi: $30+. No specials on a mani/pedi combination – expensive for what they offer.