Oaxaca city is filled with beauty salons where haircuts, coloring, manicures and pedicures are available at a half to a third of the cost in the United States. Some are bargains, where a manicure costs 100 pesos or about $7.50 USD. I’ve paid as little as 300 pesos ($23 USD) for the mani-pedi combo. And, for years, I’ve shopped around and tried out one salon or another. As with most things, you get what you pay for.
Some of my gringa acquaintances complain that it takes too long to get the combo mani-pedi. And, yes, one must invest at least one-and-a-half to two-hours for this treatment. Self-care is important here and local women patronize their favorite spots over and over. (There are relatively few ex-pats in Oaxaca, especially in the off-season, April to October.) Feet are especially important since we are constantly pounding the pavement in sandals with exposed toes.
Yesterday, I decided to opt for the 470 peso (about $36 USD) mani-pedi combo at Estetica de Alex, Av. Morelos No. 905, Centro Historico, Oaxaca, between Reforma and Cinco de Mayo, Tel. 516-6734. So far, this place falls into the most expensive category. I walked in at 4:45 p.m. and didn’t leave until 7:45 p.m. That’s a long time in the chair! But, this was definitely the best manicure and pedicure I’ve had since being in Oaxaca since 2005.
Maybe this depends more on the women who provide the service than the salon itself. Claudia, who did my pedicure, was especially careful and particular. She left no detail untouched! I can’t tell you how many times she scraped my heels and tended to my toes. At the same time, in tandem, Sandy took care of my fingers and hands. I reminded myself it’s important to stop and breathe. Being in a hurry is definitely NOT part of Mexican culture.
The tools are sterilized, the floor is clean and this shop has the largest selection of OPI nail polish perhaps in all of North America. I’ve never seen such colors as there are here. They told me that OPI costs 200 pesos a bottle, which is about double the price in the U.S. Aye, carumba!
What made this place to special?
- Cleanliness and sterile tools
- Cheerful, dedicated service
- Large choice of colors
- Attention to detail — every follicle and cuticle tended to
- No skimping on process: soaking, cleaning, trimming, filing, scrubbing, massaging, creaming
- No skimping on product: base coat, two coats of polish, top coat, drying agent
P.S. This is not an advertisement 🙂 It’s a recommendation! I welcome other recommendations and encourage yours in the comment section.