Manicures & Pedicures

Parent Q&A

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  • Parent-child nail salon experiences?

    (6 replies)

    Hi BPN,

    I’m wondering if anyone has experience getting their nails done with their toddler in the Richmond, Albany, El Cerrito, or Berkeley area? I’m imagining one of those places with the plush chairs and the fancy footbath things. My spouse thought it might be a fun Mother’s Day gift. A couple caveats — our kid is genderqueer and currently does not like things that he thinks are associated with girls (pink, especially). He enjoys wearing makeup and doing nails, and doesn’t know those are things many others would consider “girly”. He’s also a nail biter, so I’m looking for a place that would do a mani-pedi with non-toxic polishes. Does such a place exist?

    Thanks for any leads or advice! 

    Marlowe in Berkeley does all non-toxic polishes and is really good about ventilation, etc. I haven't taken my kids there but I imagine they would be amazing. They are really attuned to their clients' needs.'re making me feel nostalgic! My now 22 year old daughter and I used to go to the Elmwood Nail Salon on College Avenue. It's a low key place--not pink or fancy, but very clean and pleasant. Also, it always seemed fairly quiet since there are no hair cuts and blow drys happening nearby. Later on, a fancier place opened up lower down on College closer to Ashby, lots of buzz and jam packed. I couldn't hack the fumes from the nail polish. I'm not sure that Elmwood Nail Salon has non-toxic polish. My daughter was also a nail-biter and we preferred to bring our own so she could do touch ups if she wanted them. Elmwood Nail Salon:  3836 College Ave, Berkeley: 510) 644-0526  BTW, if you're not familiar with the Elmwood, it's a lovely little neighborhood with enough restaurants and cafes to enjoy a before or after treat.

    NOT Saunders and James on College in Oakland. I took my six year old for her first manicure and had a horrendous experience with the owner in terms of customer service that soured the experience for my daughter and myself. 

    Check out Marlowe on 4th Street. They use non-toxic nail polish and are great!

    Marlowe on Fourth Street in Berkeley checks the box in terms of non toxic polish and is also running a mothers day promo on 5/9 and 5/10 (I think for moms coming in with kids under ten though, not sure how old your child is). I’m not sure if your child would find the vibe/interior of the place too “girly” but they do have a whole array of polish colors. 

    Marlowe on 4th St in Berkeley is great! I also saw that are doing some mom+mini specials mid-week. 

  • Quality nail salon?

    (5 replies)

    A superficial but helpful to me question: I am returning to salon visits for manicures/pedicures this year and have had disappointing experiences going to places I’d visited pre-COVID or saw were recently reviewed well via Yelp. I may go once and have a good experience-but then the next time find polish is applied haphazardly, or worse am getting nicked fairly often. Does anyone have a place they consistently love (ideally around Berkeley/North Oakland/Emeryville, but at this point I am willing to go farther)? I value skill and cleanliness over massage or other pampering.

    I saw recent positive reviews for at least one natural salon but am interested in gel pedicures as an option too.

    I love Versailles nails in Berkeley on College Ave. They're very friendly, have comfortable chairs, and give long massages. 

    Hi! I’ve been going to Top Nail Spa in Piedmont for about a year now and am very happy with them. They have vegan polishes as well as the traditional stuff. Very clean but also offer great massages and pampering. It’s best to have an appt with them because they do get busy. 

    I’ve been pleased with every manicure I’ve gotten at The Classic Nail Shop on Piedmont Ave, and I’ve been a lot.

    Check out Marlowe on Fourth Street. Very clean, sleek environment. They are also committed to paying their staff reasonable wages. It’s the only place I go now. 

    I recommend the Nail Suite on Delaware between 5th and 6th in Berkeley. I went there this summer, it was the first pedicure I got since 2019, and although pricier than the cheapo places I used to go, I felt it was worth it. For a pedi you are escorted into a separate room, just you and the salon tech (masked, as was I, though it appears to be voluntary for customers). I felt the treatment was very thorough, careful, and gentle. No nicks or even accidental pokes by the tech's long nails! Despite my best efforts, the polish remained impeccable for almost 3 weeks--I don't tend to go to nail salons often, even pre-COVID, so this was a big plus for me. I've been back since (and am going next week), and have had the same results in terms of the quality of the pedicure and the long-lasting appearance. I don't believe it is a natural salon, and they do offer gel.

  • Very clean nail salon?

    (4 replies)

    I was just diagnosed with diabetes and although I don’t have any symptoms yet in my circulation or skin, I need to be extremely careful about pedicures going forward. Can anyone recommend a place where they trust the staff and management to maintain an extremely hygienic working environment? Huge plus if they use mostly green polishes etc. I really can’t stand that chemical smell that most salons have. I am willing to pay more but every place seems suspicious to me now! Thanks.

    I highly recommend Natural Nails Plus on Grand Ave in Oakland.  They are very, very hygienic, super covid safe, do not do acrylic nails so there is not those chemical smells, and podiatrists and doctors recommend them to their patients as they know how to care for the special needs of many feet conditions.  Very friendly as well.

    Try calling Natural Nails Plus on Grand Ave in Oakland. The owner is very COVID safe, the salon is very clean and she is particular about the products they use. 

    Hi! I think you would have a good experience at Simply Green on Grand in Oakland. All green polishes and a clean place in general. You can even request to book an appointment online and they will respond quickly. I also really enjoy their reflexology pedicure which is basically the best foot massage I have ever had followed by a pedicure. 

    Check out Nailbar on Park Street in Alameda. Kathy (the owner) is very meticulous about cleanliness. She uses stainless steel bowls and sanitizes everything, and offers several "organic" polishes. The salon is fairly new, so it feels fresh and it isn't smelly. In terms of Covid safety, masks are required and the door is always open for ventilation. She's currently the only one doing services there, so only one client is in the shop at a time. 

  • seeking OUTDOOR mani / pedi ???

    (7 replies)

    last year there were two nail salons near me that offered outdoor services, but no longer. prefer east bay. thanks! 

    Solemates on Shattuck has set up in the parklet outside. 

    I’ve used Solemates nail spa on Shattuck in Berkeley (next to Sauls) - great experience!

    Solemates on Shattuck has outdoor mani pedis. It's right next to Saul's Deli in North Berkeley/Gourmet Ghetto. It's pricey though so definitely be aware. 

    Natural Nails on Grand Ave in Oakland.  It is not technically outdoors, but they have wide open windows, are VERY Covid safe, do not do acrylics, and Drs and podiatrists often refer patients there for foot care, given the level of knowledge and hygiene.

    Harbor Bay Club on Bay Farm Island (Alameda) offers outdoor mani/pedis.

    Solemates on Shattuck! They charge $10 extra for outdoors and it felt great.

    I've noticed that Solemates Nail Spa (on Shattuck near Vine) does outdoor mani/pedis.

  • Nontoxic nail polish for teen

    (4 replies)

    My teenager likes nail polish, and I'd like to get her some that is water-based.  There are a lot of brands out there, so I'd like to know if any are particularly good (or bad), in terms of colors, application, holding up versus chipping, etc.  Thanks!

    Try Ella - they have fun colors and you don't need Acetone to remove it. I use this myself (I'm a 47 yr.old gal!). The acetone was destroying my nails. This is a great alternative and chips just as much or little as anything else I've used. 

    My teenager is also a fan of nail polish. I've purchased many different non-toxic and lower-toxicity brands for her over the years, only to have her cast them aside for others she buys whose fumes trigger migraines for me. Not good.

    For her birthday, I recently purchased a nail care kit including polish from Olivia and June ( She loves the kit and the colors. The polishes are free of the major nasty chemicals, and last a long time without chipping. I can tolerate the smell, even when she applies the polish in the house. You might give them a try.

    I don't think it's water-based, but I really like Mineral Fusion's nail polish line ( as a healthier option than traditional polish - they are free of paraben, ethyl tosylamide, xylene Free, formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, triphenyl phosphate and camphor. The colors are fun and they last a while. Another option I've used without a lot of toxic ingredients is Beauty Without Cruelty (

    I have a 7-month old baby and was looking for non-toxic nail polish for myself. After some research, I learned that there are nail polishes that are "ten-free," meaning they are free of the ten most common & toxic ingredients in nail polishes, and I ended up purchasing the Terra brand from my Grove Collaborative subscription (which I also highly recommend for purchasing household supplies). A week in, my nail polish is intact, my nails don't smell like chemicals, my baby hasn't been affected by my polish, and I feel great about my purchase!

  • Rigorous Pedicure

    (2 replies)

    Once in New York, I was upsold into a more rigorous pedicure.  After a soak, she covered my feet in what I assume was some sort of cuticle remover and then took out a microplaner and removed all the dead skin.  The result was incredible and lasted about a year.  No joke.  Where can I get one of those in the Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito area?  

    sadly, illegal here to use the razor. But this thing is AMAZING:

    I believe you might be referred to a razor based tool.

    These are illegal in California.

    I've attached the Cosmetology Boards  Health & Safety rules pertaining to this tool.

    991. Invasive Procedures

    (a) No licensee or student may use a product, device, machine, or other technique or combination of the same, which results in the removal, destruction, incision, or piercing of a client’s skin beyond the epidermis. Any such act shall be considered an invasive procedure.

    (b) Invasive procedures include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Application of electricity which visibly contracts the muscle.

    (2) Application of topical lotions, creams, serums or other substances which require a medical license to purchase.

    (3) Penetration of the skin by metal needles, except electrolysis needles/wire filaments.

    (4) Abrasion and/or exfoliation of the skin below the epidermal layers.

    (5) Removal of skin by means of a razor-edged tool or similar device.

  • My toenails have gotten weird, not quite ingrown but almost, just a tad hard to deal with including some callouses right at the tips of the nails. I was thinking of getting a pedicure but my partner says forget it, I need to see a podiatrist, a pedicurist would not be up to the task. What are the advantages/limits of each? I was thinking I could just start with a simple pedicure and see how it goes. Maybe there are some pedicurists with more skills, or on the other hand if there is such a thing, a low-key podiatrist. I welcome all thoughts and recommendations, east bay only, preferably Berkeley or Oakland.

    Definitely pay for the podiatrist and get it fixed correctly. A pedicure will ease the immediate pain by removing the side triangle of your nail. But it will just grow back exactly like it is or worse. The best way to stop getting ingrown nails is to cut your nails straight across and leave that side piece there. But you really have to fight the ladies at the Asian nail salons not to cut that piece off. I think that they do it on purpose to force you to keep coming back. I've had no issues since I've grown out my nails and won't permit anyone to cut those side pieces off.

    Sophia has been a magical foot care-giver for me since 1999, and has saved me (and others) from toe issues otherwise sent to podiatrist, who will only do macro/surgical/major interventions. She's great at on-going care, once a month save me from mega bucks. On shattuck between Cedar and Lincoln, next to Guerrilla Cafe in Chic Salon: 510.967.2572, Fri and Sat.

    Connie at Joi Nail Spa on Solano Ave in Berkeley is the best. I have chronic ingrown toenails that can get really bad and she always fixes me right up. I've had other pedicurists tell me I was beyond help and that I needed a medical doctor and then I went to Connie and she fixed me up in about 5 minutes. She is very skilled. Give her a try before you go to the podiatrist and give her a big tip! 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Manicures Pedicures


Manicure and Cocktails party for a group?

March 2010

I am wondering if there are any salons/spas in the Berkely/Oakland/Albany (or even Walnut Creek) area where you can have cocktails and manicure/pedicures?? I am trying to put together a mommies day of indulgence party. There would probably only be about 5 or 6 people attending. Any ideas? thank you for your help!

Check out Entourage Salon in Orinda...I go there to get my haircut but have not done a 'party' there; however, I know they offer them. It is a beautiful salon with excellent customer service and well set up to 'pamper'! Have fun! Andrea

Kensington Nail Spa

June 2009

Dear BPNers, I noticed a new nail spa in Kensington on the Arlington. Does anyone know if it is baby friendly? Diane

The new Kensington Nail Spa is a great place to relax, with or without your baby. On Wednesdays, they are offering a 10% discount to anyone who brings their babies along. It is women-owned and operated, and, if the super-friendly ladies look familiar to you, you might recognize them as family members of the popular Inn Kensington restaurant a few doors down. The spa is very clean, with an emphasis on sanitation. I highly reccommend it! Laura

Massage/Manicure combo?

August 2008

Does anyone know of a salon in the Oakland/Piedmont area that gives a manicure while also giving a shoulder & neck massage? Or do you know of a nice salon where you can pay extra to get a massage while getting your mani? A 3rd option would be a salon that gives massages in 1 room and does manicures in another...I live off Piedmont Avenue so anywhere in the neighborhood or Lakeshore/Grand would be ideal. Thanks! mani/massage lover

Sol Y Mar Salon & Day Spa on Piedmont Avenue, just a couple of doors west of Piedmont Springs, is exactly what you're looking for. It just opened a couple of months ago and I'm already a huge fan. Everything's new and the services and treatments are tremendous. Here's the website: ttkblx

Quality Nail Shop near Albany

March 2008

I'm looking for a quality (yet affordable) nail shop in/near Albany...any recommendations?

Hello- My favorite is Mai Beauty Nails....great prices & great service. Sharyn

I absolutely love and swear by a shop called Bebe Beauty Salon at 701 San Pablo in Albany. Their phone number is: 524-7285. (The cross street is Portland). A mani/pedi is only $30 and they use Opi polish. I find that my polish stays fresh and doesn't chip like others places do. They also do a really long massage on your legs and arms, it is fabulous value and a quality shop. Go visit Bebe! Most times I go I don't even have an appt. and they make time for me. I have also brought my 3 and 6 year old in and they only charged me $5 to have their nails and toes painted!:) Bebe fan

Nail salon, well ventilated or non-toxic materials?

May 2007

Can anyone recommend a nail salon or somewhere to get a manicure/pedicure where either they use non-toxic polish and materials, or one that is very well ventilated? I can't breathe in most nail salons - and would love to go somewhere where some of the healthier kinds of stuff is used. Must be some in this area?

check out joi nail salon on solano in berkeley. they carry regular brands (like essie & opi) but also some non-toxic ones (non-toluene, maybe?). anyway, it's a very nice relaxed experience and never reeks of those awful fumes. i've been there now two or three times and have always been pleased with my pedicures. hope that helps! breathing free

I can't rave enough about the Nail Spa on Telegraph in Berkeley. They have excellent ventilation and have a full line of non-toxic/vegan nail polish. Not to mention their wonderful indulgences like aromatherapy salt scrubs and other treatments. They even have an autoclave so there's no issue with cleanliness. They will be opening another location on College across from Safeway sometime in the next few months. You can call them at 510-644-9900 or visit their website at: Melissa

try cuticles on park blvd. in glenview. it's been open about a year now and owned and operated by two women from the claremont spa. they are sweet and professional. they take pride in their cleanliness and spa-like products, and the salon is like no other nail salon you've seen. it's a little on the pricey side, so i only frequent it as a treat; but, well worth it when i do. pedicure junkie

Azul Spa on Encinada off Solano in Berkeley has none of that icky smell about it. They don't do the plastic nails there which I think is the main source of that noxious smell plus it is well ventilated. Also, you get the feeling that everyone is making ok money there too to ameliorate any liberal guilt one might have. Sarah

Joi Nail Spa on Solano is exactly what you are looking for. I highly recommend it. Liz O.

I've been going to Chantee at Hair to Serve in the Beauty Center store on Piedmont Avenue since 1999. She runs a one-woman, multi-service salon and has lots of regulars, so call ahead and make an appointment 510-923-1339. Because she is the only person there doing nails or hair, you won't be drowning in a sea of other people's chemicals during your service. I love the fact that she is very meticulous and takes her time with each client. And she is impeccably clean with all her equipment and tools. It's not like a nailshop assembly line. Prices are not rock bottom cheap, but very reasonable and worth it for the extra care she takes. She sees lots of clients for hair, so the nail polish only comes out now and then. A devoted regular

Nail salon for acrylic nails?

Feb 2007

Can anyone recommend a nail salon in Albany or Berkeley which does a good job with acrylic nails? Preferably someplace reasonably priced which takes walk-ins, not a salon or spa. Thanks! MB

Try Emily at Ashby Nails, right across from the BART flea market. She does excellent work and her son, as well. I have gone there loyally for years. A satisfied customer

Sara's Nails in El Cerrito Plaza does lots of acrylic nails (silk wrap, gel and regular acrylic), does a good job, and takes walk-ins (there are usually 6-7 manicurists working there). anon

Glue-on nails

May 2003

I must have missed this day in ''How To Be a Woman'' class! I went to get my nails done and was amazed at all the choices of things to have done. What's the difference between acrylic nails, gel nails, silk nails, and crystal nails? Is one kind actually better than another?
destined for glamour

There is, indeed, quite a bit of glamour in nails. A word of caution, however, as you embark upon the beauty of glued-on stuff. A 1995 article by the Food and Drug Administration, and recently (beginning in 1997, and continuing in greater numbers) several outbreaks of disease in hospitalized patients (including the deaths of about a dozen newborns in one hospital in the midwest) have been associated with either long natural nails or artificial things stuck to one's nails. It is impossible to clean the potential space between the artificial nail appliance (gels, wraps, overlays, nails, jewelry, etc.) and the natural nail. The glue that sticks the stuff on is a food source for microorganisms, and protects them as they multiply. Perhaps it was better to have missed that day in the ''How to be a Woman'' class. There are other ways to have glamorous nails, such as buffing or polishing. A word to the wise healthcare consumer: The unwashed hand of the health care professional (dentist, doctor, nurse, practitioner, medical assistant, etc.) is the number one transmitter of microorganisms, and could put you at higher risk for healthcare-acquired infections. Ask your healthcare professional to cleanse their hands (with either soap and water, or with a waterless, alcohol-containing rub, gel, or foam) in front of you before every examination or procedure. Amy

I had fake nails for years, mainly acrylic and silk. Silk is thinner and less obvious when they start to grow out. They basically put a piece of silk over your nail and glue it down. WIth the other types, they put a synthetic liquid over your nail that hardens and makes your nails thicker. All of the above can be used over your natural nail or with a fake nail tip. Here are the drawbacks of all nail systems: 1. They reguire regular maintenance and look really bad when they start to grow out unless you get them maintained. If you don't do regular maintenance, you risk getting water under them and getting fungus. 2. They are way toxic--the fumes you breathe in the salon and the waste they generate. Definitely not eco- friendly. 3. They require having your own nail filed and eventually your nail gets paper thin. I have seen people whose nails have never recovered. Personally, I think you are better off getting a regular polish manicure and skip the overlays. Elizabeth

Longlasting manicure

Oct 2004

I'm looking for a manicurist (Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito area) for a French Manicure that will hopefully last a couple of weeks. Recommendations and prices would be greatly appreciated! Shelley

Sherry at Elixir on Hopkins Street in Berkeley gave me a manicure that lasted two weeks (I did wear gloves to do dishes). Lovely shape and long-lasting, too! 526.1700 anon

I like Mais Beauty Nails in El Cerrito. It is on San Pablo Ave across from JV center. They are reasonable and very good. b3rkl33m0m

Clean, reasonable nail salon

June 2004

Hello, I'm looking for a clean, reasonable nail salon. I live in the Claremont Canyon above the Claremont Hotel. Any suggestions? anon

Well, since you live above the Claremont, there's always the Spa at the Claremont, but if you're looking for something more affordable (albeit further away), I highly recommend Polish on Piedmont Avenue. They are scrupulously clean, and obsessed (in a good way) with sanitation. Their services are very reasonably priced for the quality of the work they do. They use the highest quality products (polishes like Essie, Chanel, Deborah Lippmann), which may not be to their benefit because pedicures can last up to a month. They also offer discounted, express services where they give you a spa quality manicure or pedicure without the frills. It's still plenty relaxing and pampering, but it's less expensive and perfect if you don't have a lot of time to spend. This is their website:

I just found a great--and affordable--salon for a luxurious pedicure: Argania Salon, 1801 MLK, 883-1832. It's a spacious and pleasant salon, and there's only one manicurist, so it's not all full of nail polish fumes. She spent close to an hour and a half on my feet, and it cost only $30 (price goes up to $35 starting July 1). If you go, tell her the very pregnant woman recommended her! Pregnant and polished

Quality manicure and pedicure, reasonably priced

May 2003

I am looking for a reasonably priced place to receive a quality maniure and pedicure. I only do this about every three to four months adn would like to find someplace that is unhurried and relaxing. I would appreciate any recommendations. Thank You! I have consulted the existing recommendations, but they seem to be quite old. elise

I recently had the best manicure and pedicure of my life at Moonshadow Salon at 2634 Ashby in Berkeley. Halina Myca is most thorough and professional. The charge is $46, which isn't cheap, but it also takes about 1.5 hours. She also uses a nail polish line (Zoya, I think?) that does not have harsh chemicals. The salon's number is 510-841-4696. Kristin

A really good place for a manicure/pedicure is DTN Nails on Mt. Diablo Blvd in Lafayette. I live in Berkeley and make the trip out there occasionally just because they are so good and reasonably priced. They charge about $22 for a pedicure. You sit in the massage chair and they do a full pedicure plus a 5-10 minute foot massage on each foot! It feels great. They also do the paraffin treatment free of charge if you want it. Most of all, I just get really good pedicure's there that don't chip. There's a place I go in berkeley occasionally when I can't get out to Lafayette and their work is just much more sloppy. have fun

Berkeley manicurist for less than $25

December 2002

Can anyone recommend an excellent manicurist in/near Berkeley who charges less than $25.00? Lynde

Top Silk Nails on San Pablo Ave at Marin gives a nice manicure for about $10. They also have spa chairs for a relaxing pedicure. The owner, Ana, has an amazing orchid collection. 524- 8817 Cheryl

If Montlclair isn't too far for you, I would recommend Bozenna skin care. Bozenna does all the work herself, her manicures are $21 and they have lasted me up to three weeks. She is excellent and I can't recommend her enough. anon

When I lived closer, I always went to Galaxy nails in Berkeley on College/Claremont across from the Safeway on Claremont. $30 for manicure AND pedicure. I think it's $10 for just manicure. They're very nice ladies and you don't usually need an appointment. Nancy D


Where to get pedicure for ingrown nails?

Nov 2009

I have a painful ingrown toe nail but not bad enough to go to podiatrist. A good pedicure would suffice. Any recommendation on someone who is good at cleaning ingrown nails on your toes? anon

I,too, am prone to ingrown toenails--ouch. I have found a woman named Cuc (pronounced kook) at The Nail Shop on Grand Avenue in Oakland who has healed me and keeps me healed by going to her every two to three weeks. It is reasonable and I am so grateful that I leave her a good tip each time. It hurts the first time or two but I have found that it works better than all of the other things that I have tried in the many years that I have suffered from this. I call her my foot doctor. Good luck, helen

I have troublesome toe nails incl. a big toe where the nail was taken off due to surgery. I have been seeing Kanika for the last 5 years and never had prettier toe nails. She knows what she is doing and has the magic touch at a very reasonable price. You can find her at: Ajuda Day Spa in Old Oakland Kanika Ashford/ Nail Therapist: 510-593-1136 website: Tell her I sent you - Stefanie

I recommend Cuticles on Park Ave in oakland. Former Claremont spa employees. High quality pedicure and very clean. cath

I have the same problem and have been going to Amy Ho for years. I've never had a better pedicure and I've had many in my day. She works out of her home which means less polish fumes. She charges $33 and it is worth every penny. Her number is 604-4069. Pretty nails

Joann will take care of your ingrown toenails! Her shop is in Alameda, Joann Nails & Hair, on Park Street. She's been looking after my toes for 4 years. 1619 Park Street (between Lincoln Ave & Pacific Ave) Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 523-4572
Happy Toes

Good pedicure in Berkeley/Piedmont area?

Feb 2009

Can anyone suggest a good nail place in the Piedmont-Berkeley area? We've just moved here and there are loads out there - just looking for someone who does a good job, uses a decent product (I like OPI), and doesn't charge the moon...Thanks! Alison

The Nail Shop on Grand Ave. in Oakland (not too far from Piedmont) is my favorite place. Spa chairs, Opi polish, great service and prices. I think they also have a shop in W.C. and in Emeryville, although I have never been to either of those. The brother of the owner also opened a shop on 4th street in Berkeley called the Lounge which has gotten rave reviews from my friends. needing a pedi, too!

The best pedicure (and believe me I've tried many) is Femi Macus on Park Blvd in Oakland. They are the only people I know that do a ''hot wax'' treatment at the end of the pedicure to moisturize your feet. It is fabulous. The women are very meticulous and pay attention to details. They also do what you ask them to do. My pedicures last for several months. The only pitfall is you have to be prepared to carve out a good window of time because they take their work seriously. anon

i LOVE cuticles spa in Glenview. (510) 689-0137 They aren't dirt cheap, but they are clean, classy and talented! irene

Looking for a great pedicure - help!

Feb 2008

So, it's been awhile since my last pedicure, and I would love to get some recommendations from people who get pedicures regularly. Here is what I am looking for:

1. A salon that does not use the whirlpool foot baths - because of the potential for getting a yucky foot fungus

2. A person that I can get to know a little - I would rather go to one person consistently than a different person each time

3. Someone who does not aggressively trim back cuticles - a little is fine, but a lot is a little scary

4. Preferably a salon that uses polish that is free from formaldehyde and tolune.

Is this a crazy list of demands? Does anyone know of a place/person who fits this description? Any leads would be much appreciated. Signed, Toesies are not looking so Rosy

I HIGHLY recommend the Nail Spa (on either College in Oakland or Telegraph in Berkeley). I really like Anna at the College Ave location and always try to get her when I can. They are very good about cleaning the tubs between clients and the have an autoclave for cleaning/disinfecting all their tools. They have a line of vegan nail polish and special aromatherapy treatments, too. Their website is: Melissa

I have the perfect person for you...Halina the Milagro Salon in Oakland (across from the CCAC) she is terrific. 510.593.5080... anon

I get pedicures frequently. The place that best matches your description of a clean, non-whirlpool type of place is Joi Nail Spa on Solano. It's more expensive than your average nail shop, so I don't go there all the time, but it's very clean and everyone is friendly, and they do an excellent job. Also, they are a 'fume-free' nail spa, and offer many beautiful polishes that are formaldehyde and tolune-free. In addition, the interior is beautiful and posh-feeling; I go there when I want to be pampered and have an experience that's a cut above your basic nail place. They are on Solano Avenue. Here's their website: ' Monica

Try the Cure nail and spa in Emmeryville - mostly (if not all) eco-friendly products and they have Spatini nights where you can get a Cosmo with your mani/pedi. Here's the website: know your toes

Cure Nail Spa in Emeryville offers spa services with organic and natural products. I had a pedicure there with my 6 week old in my laps because the atmosphere was fume free. They don't have whirlpool tubs. It was pricey but it may meet your specific needs. anon

Dear (not)Rosy,
I would like to recommend my manicurist, Halina. She works at a cute salon at the intersection of College and Broadway, and her phone number is 593-5080. Halina is wonderful. She has consistently given me the best pedicures I have ever had. She takes a full hour and really pays close attention to my feet. The salon does not use whirlpool baths, nor do they use scary nail polish (with formaldehyde/tolune). Halina is personable and fun to talk to - she has had a very interesting life. Her prices are more than fair - I think she should be charging much more than she does - but they are not super cheap. I think you get what you pay for. At any rate, I highly recommend Halina. Hope that helps!

I highly recommend Cuticles Nail Spa. Owner Tamika Fisher worked at the Claremont Salon for many years before opening her own business. She has a great team. In addition to offering nail services she also offers massage and facials. A great way to support a business owned by a woman. Cuticles Nail Spa 3814 Park Blvd Oakland, CA 94602 (510) 689-0137

Pedicure with Great Foot Massage??

August 2006

Can anyone recommend a place in or near Berkeley where one can get a great manicure and pedicure, where they do a good and not painful job and, as part of the service, they give you a really great hand/foot massage? I've used Fancy Nails on Shattuck for a while, and they're okay but not great. The Claremont is too expensive (!). Azul used to have someone I liked (I think her name is Emily), but I think she left. Any other ideas would be very much appreciated. Thanks! The massage is the best part

Last year for Mother's day my husband got me a pedicure at Argania Salon on Martin Luther King, Jr, North of University Avenue. It was heavenly! It was a ''hot rock'' pedicure, which was new to me and I loved it. I distinctly remember the massage as better than I had ever had at the regular nail salons. Certainly worth a try. 1801 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (cross street Delaware) (510) 883-1832 Tues-Sat: 10:00 am- 7:00 pm

I have had great pedicures at Bellisima on Shattuck near Ashby, particularly from Helen. The cost is $25 and they do a wonderful sea salt scrub on your calves and feet.

''Safe'' Pedicures

May 2006

I'm looking for a nail salon that does not use whirlpool tubs for pedicures because I am concerned about contracting bacteria from the water jets. I would like to find a salon that cleans the feet in a bowl with a disposable liner. Can someone recommend a reasonably priced and ''safe'' pedicure in the East Bay? Thanks. Susan

You should try Polish on Piedmont Ave. (510) 601-0909. They use foot bowls which are scrubbed clean after each client (I've watched them.) They also give you your own set of nail tools - emery board, orange stick, toe separators, etc. You can bring them back with you or just get a fresh set next time. I too am worried about unsafe pedicures, and have been very happy with the nail techs and their practices - plus, it's a nice, comfortable place and they're really good! Carla

I've found Delane's Natural Nail Care to be at the height of sanitization. She is really committed (not just her words) to keeping her clients safe. I interviewed her a few years ago for a health education class I was taking and she helped me with a presentation I was preparing on Hepatitis C. During the interview she shared a lot of other useful information with me about choosing a salon and what to look out for. She is very knowledgeable about the spread of diseases in the nail care industry. She has a very lovely shop - private rooms, very relaxing...I actually fell asleep in her chair during my pedicure (smile). Check it out:

Pedicure/Spa Chair Downtown Oakland

July 2005

I'm looking for a recommendation for a pedicure/spa chair salon in downtown Oakland, near Chinatown or City Center. Thanks! rami

Try Elite Nails in the City Center complex (on the middle level, same as Kinko's). Very clean, friendly salon with spa pedicures. happy toes

I really need a pedicure

June 2004

Help! I really, really need a pedicure. I have the roughest feet, especially around my heels. My husband says I need to be reshod (as in horses!). I need a miracle worker - know any? Mrs. Ed

I really like The Nail Shop, on Grand (around the corner from the Grand Lake Theater). Clean and bright, and a pedicure with nice long foot bath and foot massage is only $15. Jen

Pedicure and manicure place with long massage

July 1999

I'd really love a great recommendation for a pedicure and manicure place in the Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito area. I'd like some place that'll do good job scrubbing your feet and give a great, long massage for the hand and/or feet. Diane

I go to Albany Nail Salon on Solano Ave (cross street is Stannage). Being too pregnant to reach my toes, I am indulging myself in these last couple of months with regular pedicures! Compared to the couple of other places I've been to, Albany Nail does a good job, paying attention to the rough spots, callouses, etc. The massage is probably a couple of minutes, not too long, but they may be willing to extend it if you asked (and gave a good tip!). Although I live in Moraga, I come to Albany because it's much cheaper (Albany Nail charges $18 for a pedicure). Heather

I am not the kind of person who would have her fingernails painted. I have the fingernails of a gardener, which is to say they are not my best feature. And my feet ... let's put it this way: I'm glad they are out of sight most of the time. So despite my friends' raves, I have always resisted having a pedicure. Last week I finally broke down and tried it, and now I'm a believer. It is great. I highly recommend getting a pedicure to all parents as an inexpensive little 45-minute indulgence, and not just for moms - dads should try it too. During my visit, a guy was getting a manicure, and then an elderly couple came in - she got her nails done while he had a pedicure. So, it really is for everybody.

I went to Galaxy Nails on Claremont just above College, recommended by a co-worker. She said other places are about the same. It was $22 for a pedicure, and on impulse I also said OK to a manicure (no polish), so my total was $30. They have this special chair for pedicures, like a shoe-shine chair, with a little feet-sized jacuzzi. They fill it up with soapy warm water and flip on the whirlpool action, and you sit back and read your People Magazine while your feet soak. Then they do all sorts of scrubbing and sanding and filing and clipping until you don't recognize your own feet. Don't worry - it doesn't hurt, and they pay no attention to the terrible state of the feet you walked in on. Then they rub lotion in and give you a little massage. That feels great. Finally, if you are so inclined, you may select one of a million different colors to have painted on your toenails, which nobody ever has to see if you don't want them too as long as you never go barefoot or wear sandals. I chose Garnet Red. When I got home my kids had a little fit over this - they are used to seeing my dirty, calloused, dried out, unpolished feet and I guess the change was a bit of a shock. That was fun. Plus, I proudly wear sandals now! Ginger

I have heard that the Claremont Hotel Spa is great too if you want to go upscale. I checked into this and it is $45 for a 50-minute pedicure and $65 for an 80-min pedicure which includes some sort of hot wax treatment. I might try that sometime.

I've gotten pedicures occasionally at Sara's Nails in El Cerrito Plaza. My feet are very happy June