A girlfriend of mine recently held her hen do at a super-cool, brand new nail salon. Trawling through her photos on Facebook, my eyes lit up at the sight of incredible nail art and a funky New York-like loft space – where was this place and why hadn’t I been there?! A few Whatsapps and a phone call later (plus a consultation with Sassy’s resident nail addict, Rach!), and I’d booked fellow Sassy blogger Emma and myself in for a mani-pedi at The Nail Library, Poho’s (Po Hing Fong, darling) best-kept pampering secret.
Hidden away in a secluded area of Poho, The Nail Library is every girl’s dream. On arrival, I was warmly greeted by its owner Ping, asked whether I cared for tea or bubbly (really, need you ask?!) and filled out a form asking about allergies and the state of my nails. There are only a few chairs at The Nail Library so you definitely need to make a reservation, but this just means that Ping is able to make everyone’s trip truly special.
It didn’t take long before I was standing in front of The Nail Library’s jaw-dropping collection of nail polishes, including the likes of Tom Ford, Ciate and Chanel, in just about every colour you could ever wish for – manicure heaven. Having umm-ed and ahh-ed, I opted for Shellac and Deborah Lippmann, whilst Emma chose a shade from Butter London. Our charming manicurist got started, removing her tools from a sealed bag; every treatment here begins with new emery boards. Ping is a total stickler for hygiene and, on returning to Hong Kong, was amazed at the hygiene levels (or lack thereof!) at most nail salons here, in particular the sterilization of tools. Consequently, you’re given the boards to take home after your treatment or you can keep them at The Nail Library (labelled, of course) for your next visit.
The whole experience was top drawer – my Shellac manicure looked immaculate and lasted for four weeks with zero chips or scratches. In fact, the only reason I had them removed was because I was going on holiday and desperately wanted an excuse to return! Ping had previously mentioned that The Nail Library wasn’t just fabulous for mani-pedis, but also did a range of treatments specifically for hands and feet – so sure enough, my next visit involved a foot spa, including a pedicure and nail art mani too.
Green nails are very on trend for AW13, so having exhausted blues, neons and yellows this summer, I opted for something a little more subtle for my pedi (Nails Inc’s Bruton Mews) that my boss wouldn’t be too horrified at! Whilst the manicurist started on my nails, my spa treatment began with a foot soak of lime, lime leaves and salt; an optional hard skin remover (with a shaver) was then offered, followed by an invigorating scrub, a moisturising mask and an amazing oil massage. All products used for this treatment are by Panpuri, a Thai brand with all natural and organic ingredients, which left my skin feeling like silk for days.
Meanwhile, another therapist had begun massaging my shoulders, and within minutes I felt completely relaxed. After the massage, she placed a heated scented neck pillow around me, whilst Oreos, pretzels and a cup of peppermint tea were left within reaching distance – ladies, it was pure bliss!
I love to do something a little bit different with my nails, so I turned to my nail artist for artistic guidance for my mani. Geometrics are out and soft shapes are in, so after showing me a selection of designs on the salon’s iPad, she recommended some monochrome waves. I was over the moon with my nails – they looked elegant yet cool, sophisticated with a bit of edge. I’m a big believer in well-kept nails, but The Nail Library gets you thinking outside the box and offers a lot more than your regular manicure.
Whilst I was having my treatment, a heavily pregnant lady walked in and asked for a manicure. Ping led her over to their 3-Free selection of polishes – nail polishes sans Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, and Formaldehyde, perfect for the expectant mother or anyone concerned about nasty chemicals. I was blown away. The Nail Library really has thought about everything down to the finest detail.
When I left, I felt like I was walking on air – the whole experience was so relaxing and rejuvenating. This is a big shout, but I think my pedicure at The Nail Library was one of the best I’ve ever had. That combined with the service, surroundings, staff and atmosphere get it a big gold star from me!
A weekday manicure at The Nail Library is $265 and a Pedi & Foot Spa is $750
The Nail Library, 6 Po Hing Fong (enter via Po Yan Street), Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2803 2290