It’s summer at Tahoe, so put your best foot forward at these five scintillating salons
Special to the Tribune
Ladies, it’s time to bust out your sandals. You know what that means. Can’t hide those cracked heels or the chipped polish on your big toe. By the way, your small toes have lost their color completely. What? Do they grow faster? Who cares? The point is, while you’re here at Tahoe-Truckee, it’s time to do something about it and let a salon professional work her magic.
Go for great summer colors (I like “Judy’s” at Infinite) and leave with a pep in your step during the most beautiful of seasons.
Joy’s “Lookin’ Good” — South Lake Tahoe
Joy Elder brings more than 30 years of experience to her boutique-style Lake Tahoe salon — that’s a lot of tootsies! The “biggest little nail salon” does everything nails in a charming setting, with oldies music playing in the background and a friendly staff of three at the ready. The manicure begins with the customary filing and shaping and proceeds to a rejuvenating sugar scrub (mmmm …) followed by a massage (mmmm …) and then, of course, the polish. They also offer paraffin treatments, which is probably the way to go after the winter months your hands have lived through. When I asked Joy what color schemes or requests she predicted for the summer, she answered, “The more bizarre and abstract the design, the more popular these days.” When I asked if she could do that, she answered, “Of course.” Of course she can. Reservations recommended.
More information: 530-544-2040
Infinite Salon & Services — Truckee
Terry Wilson’s newly relocated salon offers loving to your hands and feet and also your heart. Seriously, you will leave here warmed and purified from head to toe. It’s amazing what Terry can do to your soles and your soul, so go with it. Her conscious healing techniques, where you rest on a comfortable table, do bring up a lot of stuff, but it is junk you needed to let go of in the first place. The best part is, you then get refilled with your source energy and balance is achieved. I know, for me, the experience was life-altering. The tarot card reading that followed stunned me in its accuracy, and I felt a new focus — almost forgot about my feet and hands! Thankfully Terry didn’t; the nails were right on point, and the paraffin dip took care of the winter wear and tear. To really sex it up, Terry is also a Henna/Jagua (like henna but a deep blue, almost like a real tattoo) artist, and having one of her designs (or your own) adorning an ankle highlighted by bright toes takes your pedicure to a whole new level. My leg should now be featured on Match.com – but it wouldn’t be fair to the other women. Even if you were originally going in for just a mani-pedi, I would strongly recommend opting for the full menu of healing.
More information: 530-277-2514
T&T Nails — Truckee
When I get my nails done at T&T, I like to get there early, when they are lighting the incense. It’s such a nice way to start my experience. Then I head for the candy bowl, pick my magazine, my colors (different for me on toes and fingers) and settle into my massage chair. Half the time I forget why I’m there, I’m so comfy and down-for-the-count. While the amount of stations here might bring mega spin-dry salons to mind, it is not the case. Half the “extras,” which are a part of the mani-pedi package, you would expect to find at a high-end resort: hot rocks on your legs to soothe. A very thorough massage of arms and legs. The hot towels and cold bottles of water. Really first class amenities at a very affordable price. Walk-ins are welcome and always accommodated, but if you are coming with a larger party, reservations are recommended. I have seen groups of women come in with their wine and cheese and make a party out of it. In a rush, or planning to stay awhile, the folks here aim to please and they do.
More information: 530-550-7561
Unique Nail Spa — Tahoe City
This little salon operates like a mass producer, in that they provide the best, basic services to keep the cost down, but it has a friendly, family, intimate feel. There are only a half-dozen stations and a room in the back for waxing, making it a good summer one-stop shop. The television is on, which I like, but low, so you can hear the regulars singing Unique’s praises. Everything is spick ‘n’ span and well lit. It’s down-right cheery, and at $45 for a mani-pedi I know I was in a pretty darn good mood. Walk-ins are welcome, but, as they do have a faithful local following and you can get your summer bikini wax and nails done is about an hour, they can be busy and reservations are encouraged. For those of you who visited them last summer, their new location is in the same building but downstairs.
More information: 530-581-0421
Rapture Salon — Incline Village
Owner/operator Cynette Hyslip is not a fan of the “fluff and buff” pedicure. “A pedicure is a treat and should be treated as such,” says Hyslip, walking me over to an amazing niche designed to relax and soothe me while my peds get pampered. Ahhh … more than just a new color, Rapture’s manicures and pedicures are therapeutic, and it’s no wonder patrons with “problem feet” come back again and again — and not just during sandal season. Due to the dry Sierra weather, Hyslip subscribes to only paraffin or warm oil manicure and pedicures, which not only nourish but last longer than their water-based counter parts. Rapture also boasts one of the largest selections of gel colors in the area (and beyond!) with more than 80 to choose from. Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome. They have been operating to a full, happy house for more than 16 years, so I would call ahead of time to make sure you do not miss out on this real treat.
More information: 775-345-3515