Having your nails or toes done can be a stress-relieving form of self-care, but not all nail shops are created equal. Most of us have walked into a new place and turned around and walked right out because it didn’t seem clean, or it just gave you a bad feeling. But now we’re getting pro tips for knowing when that walk out is justified, from Oprah’s personal pedicurist.
Gloria Williams, who’s been exclusively doing Oprah’s toes for the last 12 years, and has been in the nail business for over 30 years, says these are the signs you’re about to get a bad mani or pedi:
- The foot basin has no liner - If the tech is running water for your pedicure in a bin without a liner, you may want to go to a different place because that liner protects your feet from cross contamination. Plus, it’s also required by law in most states.
- That jar of bright blue disinfectant is a no-no - If the tech pulls the nail tools, like nippers and clippers, out of a jar of sanitizing solution, that’s a bad sign. The tools should come out of a sanitized packet, not a jar of disinfectant.
- Make sure your file is fresh too - “If they go to use a file on your toenails and they’ve used it on someone prior to you, you’re about to have a bad pedicure, Williams says.
- Pay attention to the towels - If someone drops a towel on the floor and uses it anyway, that’s another red flag.
- If they use their own fingernail to clean your nail or polish, run - The correct tool for the job is an orange wood stick or a disposable brush, not their nail.
- You should always get a base coat - No matter what kind of polish you get, the color shouldn’t go on without a base coat on your nails first. "Regular polish or gel polish, if they go to polish your toenails with no base coat, that's it," Williams says. "And they're doing it so you come back and spend more money."
- And a top coat is just as important - This step is also essential for a good mani or pedi, according to this expert.