I discovered a new nail haven or more appropriately, nail heaven.
Last weekend, my friend Golda threw a spa birthday party (quite genius, I will steal this idea) in this newly opened nail salon in Mandaluyong. Say the words “Spa,” “Nail Salon,” “Party,” and “Golda” in the same sentence and I can’t say no. She showed me pictures of this place called Pink Me Up Nail & Dry Bar on Facebook and the place looked really nice (as places in press photos usually do) so I was excited to go.
I got to Lee Gardens not knowing what to expect. You can’t see it from the street so I had to ask the guard if I was in the right place. He told me where to go and I navigated a maze of corridors on the second floor. I was starting to become skeptical when I turned the corner and there it was!
I was blown away. The place is fabulous! The photos weren’t kidding. It really is that pretty in real life!
Since Golda booked the whole afternoon for her guests, this meant we had the entire place to ourselves. This left me free to Ooh and Ahh at the interior, take photos and interview the owners and staff about the place. Owned and operated by nail & hair enthusiasts Reg & Stef, the concept was to make it feel like every girl’s dream bedroom. Mission Accomplished, ladies. Well done.
They throw Spa Parties!
You bring the guests and the food, they take care of the drinks. They offered a selection of iced tea, cucumber water, lemon water and for the adults you can arrange separately for cocktails also. We had a fruit punch and vodka concotion that tasted deeelish. Here is Golda’s cupcake tower which started a cupcake competition. Lol. I gave her cupcakes also.
Before I go into my experience at Pink Me Up!, I have to give you a background — Nail Salons are one of my guilty pleasures. In Manila, nail salons and parlors are cheaper by the dozen, so much so that it sacrifices the quality and the experience. Now it feels like anyone who can use a nail file is made to give manicures. This makes me wary of just going anywhere, I’m very particular about where I go to get my nails done. The worst part is, the quality places charge so much for their services. I guess what you pay is really what you get. As a result, over the years, I’ve developed a specific set of criteria and consequently judge my nail salons on the following: (I’m 100% serious)
1) Ambiance (crowds, lighting, noise levels, space)
We were having a spa party which meant we were talking nonstop, watching TV and getting our nails done. Before we started watching a movie, there was music playing but it wasn’t bothersome. I still found the experience very relaxing despite all the bustle. I would think that this would not be as much of a problem on a regular day because not all the clients would be interacting as much as we were. Please note the dry bar and use of the hairdryer will increase the noise level in the place.
Best times to go are weekends. They are open until 10pm on weekdays which means you have ample time to get here after work.
The lighting was perfect. Ambient when it got darker, bright during the day. The Space was beautifully decorated. May have a little bit of navigation problems though when full.
2) Mani/Pedi Quality (shaping, filing, buffing, cleanliness, painting, nail polish selection but I rarely get my nails painted)
I was happy with my Mani/Pedi. The technician (I forget her name) was meticulous with my nails, filing and shaping until I was satisfied. I got the Peppermint Patty Treatment which offers muscle relief and allows tired hands and feet to de-stress. Perfect for me as I was out clubbing the night before. I felt great afterwards.
Their nail polish selection is small but has a little bit of everything. They use Essie and OPI.
No complaints on this. My nail technician was great. I wanted to nap but it was a party and I didn’t want to be that loser that fell asleep at the party.
4) Facilities (how comfortable the seats are, the tools used, WiFi, quality of magazines)
All their furniture is custom-made (impressive). This means that the owners thought very carefully about how they wanted the seating to be. The chairs are comfy and spacious. Perfect for hours and hours of pampering. They had WiFi but I didn’t get to use it. Their magazines, mostly local, I was looking for the international publications (aka hollywood tabloids, hehe).
The downside, they don’t have a private toilet. You have to leave Pink Me Up! to use the restroom which is located far down a hallway. This can be kind of a hassle if you need to pee in the middle of your foot scrub.
All things considered, the services are priced VERY attractively. They are not drop dead cheap but they aren’t exorbitant like some of the more popular nail places. I was very very happy. I think avid Nail Spa goers would be too.
For now, cash only.
But wait.. there’s more. And this is my favorite part.
THE BLOW OUT!!! They offer Blowouts!! FOR ONLY Php280!!!!! I couldn’t contain my glee when I discovered this. A blow out is when you get your hair shampooed and blowdried to perfection in a style of your choosing. At Pink Me Up! they have a few style options from Straight to Updo. How is this useful? Well, if you’re going to a party/date or just want to look nice and you want to get your hair done..this is the treatment for you.
So for the heck of it, I opted for the volumizing blowdry. Wow I was happy. Michael, the guy who does their hair worked wonders into my lifeless locks. After a few hours, they went limp again but it’s okay, I purposely told him not to set it or put any product. Obviously, they can make your do last longer, if you please. Next time I will go for the beach sexy blowdry. Ahhhh!!!!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Some may argue, “but it’s not in a mall” and “it’s out of the way” but to me that’s the beauty of it. It’s away from the hustle and bustle, it’s quiet, relaxing and you won’t feel rushed. Also, everyone knows that the best places are usually off the beaten path. Pink Me Up is exactly that, an oasis off the beaten path and totally worth a visit. By the time I left, I was giddy with delight. Thank you Pink Me Up for a wonderful afternoon.
PINK ME UP Beauty Nail & Dry Bar
2D Lee Gardens Condominium, Shaw Boulevard cor. Lee Street
0915-1392234 / 0947-9650507 / 3582412
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