Last month I had the very lucky fortune of being treated to a gel mani courtesy of the The Ten Spot nestled right in the heart of Yaletown here in Vancouver. This is just one of the latest beauty bar locations opened in the franchise created by Canadian delight Kristen Wood – The Ten Spot has been busy lacquering tips and waxing bits over in the Toronto area since 2006, and making a name for itself as THE place for manis pedis and waxing in magazines all over the nation since then! Besides getting a one on one skin consult and intro into an exciting skincare brand The Ten Spot is now carrying (more on that in another post!) I got a chance to chat with Kristen herself, swap fave lipstick shade details and walk out with gorgeous nude gel polish on my nails and a new found appreciation for the glory that is a gel manicure.
Nestled right across from The Keg Steakhouse on Mainland St in Vancouver’s Yaletown (lunch and a mani/pedi afternoon anyone?), The Ten Spot is minimalistically chic with white walls, charcoal cushions and pops of pink and orange. There are no tacky massage chairs stacked in rows here, or acrylic nail dust coating everything at The Ten Spot; This beauty bar is sparkling clean and tidy beyond any nail salon I’ve been in. The retail snob in me noticed several things right away: the products are all front faced and merchandised beautifully; Not a single bottle of nail polish looked grimy or crusty in spilled colour. These kinds of attention to detail alone make the experience heightened, and in talking to Kristen I learned that it was the aim of the game to stand out from dime a dozen nail salons and offer superior service with the atmosphere to match.
My gel mani started with my lovely tech taking a really good inspection of my hands, nails and cuticles, and inquiring about how my nails grow and what shape I prefer them to be. She then got to work with the pampering, giving my hands a wonderful scrub, hot towel, massage and soak, then gently pushing back and trimming cuticles where needed and buffing the nails to prep for polish. Once she had expertly applied my chosen shade (OPI’s Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around, a lovely creamy nude) and cured each step under the UV light instantly drying the polish, I was ready to enjoy my new tips!
Now if you’ve done the gel polish route before, you’ll know the lasting time is significantly longer than regular polish. I’m lucky if I get 36 hours max out of regular nail polish, and my gel mani from The Ten Spot lasted me a full 9 days before I say any polish lifting. To have polish last on my nails that long is unheard of for me! I’ve heard for others (who probably have much stronger nails than I do) it can last beyond two weeks, which is incredible. Here’s the kicker though – in effort of comparison, I went to a local hole in the wall nail salon and had a gel mani done there. Besides the fact that there was no massage, soak or scrub, my gel polish started lifting in the corners and by my cuticles later that day. If that’s not considered “proof in the pudding” then I don’t know what else is!
So if you couldn’t tell already, I highly recommend visiting The Ten Spot if there is a location near you. I was lucky enough to be invited for my first mani there complimentary, but I’m already planning my next visit and hoping to treat my toes to a much needed pedicure. They are also known for their famous “Brazilly” wax, so perhaps I’ll test those waters down the road as well *gulp*.
In the next coming weeks I’ll also be reviewing the latest skincare line that The Ten Spot has brought into their stores: Miracle 10 (see keep watch for that a little down the road!). If you happen to treat yourself to one of the services at The Ten Spot, tell them you heard about it here – both Kristen the CEO and Patricia, the owner of the Yaletown location are absolutely lovely!