I’m not good at sitting still…
Let’s start there. I am happier in motion and always have been. With the exception of meditation and sleep, my body is moving. The very idea of sitting for an hour or more to get a manicure is stressful. Pedicures are a little different as my hands are free to flip pages, send emails or otherwise occupy the time. Recently, I had an opportunity to change my perspective and the transformation has been dramatic.
Here’s my hand.
I’m so proud of these fingers and the love they pour into my client’s hair. I take care of them with moisturizer and massage, but had been avoiding manicures after several less than pleasant experiences.
In my previous visits to the nail salon, the odor is off putting and toxic to my health. I’ve often wondered why the technicians wear masks but the customers do not. As a person sensitive to chemical smells, the exposure to acrylic particles and fumes is not ideal.
I have a cosmetology license as a hairstylist and am also a a licensed nail tech, although I do not offer in salon services. Having been through state board sanitation practices, I have consistently noticed in many California nail salons, protocol is not followed and tools and foot spas are often unsanitized between clients. Ewwwwww. No, thank you. Between the smells and the sanitation, I’ve never felt relaxed or pampered during a manicure and had reached a point of denying myself a fun fashion accessory because of it. Something had to change….
Enter Bihn Phan, nail artist extraordinaire. I’m lucky to share space with him at Evergreen Salon and Spa in Oak Park, California and as you will see from his work, his talent is undeniable. Skills can be taught and mastered over time, but one thing Bihn has is an incredibly humble spirit and true kindness pouring from his hands to his clients. He loves what he does and his passion shows with the intricate designs he creates. Check out @bphannailartist to see all the latest creations.
The first difference is there is no odor. The products Phan uses are environmentally friendly and he chooses with a clear intention to offer his clients the best options! BeBio Nail Lacquer Bio Seaweed Gel is a great choice for hairdressers or anyone with their hands in water a lot. It’s a cruelty free, vegan polish line with no toluene, BHA, DBP, camphor or formaldehyde and comes in some amazing colors!
He polishes the nails carefully after a simple, thorough manicure. When it comes to choosing a base for his nail art, Phan uses lacquers with a soy base and he often custom blends colors for his clients.
For my first visit, I brought in a pink Amazon opal and a request that my nails looks good for 10 days in Mexico. As you can see, he nailed it. Not only did they last through salt water, yoga at the ruins, and dozens of tacos, they were a no hassle accessory I couldn’t lose!
Most recently, for Americas Beauty Show in Chicago, he created a beautiful set based on two of my favorite stones for energy work. I needed to be grounded and focused and able to delegate my energy for this hair show experience. Malechola and obsidian are part of my personal healing arsenal and I wanted them at my fingertips, literally.
Spending an hour in peace, allowing the energy of the stones and Phan to soothe my sole (and my soul) is a new favorite beauty ritual. Every 7 weeks, we do something special and I no longer dread visits to the nail salon.