There are many things we look for in our manicure and pedicure salons. First the space has to be clean and not too cramped and noisy. Hygiene is an important factor and so is a relaxed environment. No one wants to feel like they're getting their nails done in sweat shop. Friendly staff and attention to details is another plus. The best nail salon experiences leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to step out — pedicured feet forward. Buro's beauty team scoured the island to find five spots to recommend. Check out our picks below:
BEST FOR CUSTOMISATION
MD Dermatics MediCure Hand & Nail Specialty Centre
Level 1, Metro The Centrepoint, 8122-3555
From $29 and upwards for a spa manicure
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the beauty section of the department store, is a small but sleek nail bar. But don't let its relatively small size fool you, as this salon boasts an extensive menu of services. You can customise every step of your treatment, from your soak to your scrub to your lotions and masks. The salon uses MD Dermatics treatment products that use exotic ingredients that are sourced from around the world... and smell divine. They include Polynesian tiare flower and Manuka honey. The salon also has an extensive range of cult, nail polish brands to finish off your experience. Pick from Jinsoon, Ruby Woo and FNUG to name a few.
Hygiene rating: 3/5
While we saw that there was a steriliser for the equipment used, but would have felt more comfortable if a sealed sterilised bag of tools were used.
Treatment to try: We were bowled over by the Whitening Treatment that can literally leave you a few shades fairer thanks to the intensive ingredients and multiple steps, that include a scrub and a mask. It's great to do this treatment in succession before a big occasion.
BEST MEDICAL PEDICURE
Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez
Remède Spa, The St. Regis Singapore, 6506-6896
From $195 for a pedicure
Located within the luxury spa is this exclusive studio that offers medical-grade pedicures and manicures using specialty tools and techniques carried out by trained podiatrists. Our therapist Steve — unearthed a whole host of tools including a drill (to buff nails) and a blade (to remove dead skin). Though those tools could look intimidating, the dry pedicure was carried out with such skill and precision that there was absolutely no pain. Steve worked efficiently and unobtrusively, cleaning and shaping the nails and removing the dead skin from our feet, in a pedicure that expertly combined podiatric elements with a beautifying aspect. The pedicure in particular is followed with a heavenly foot massage that will relieve all the tension in your calves and feet and leave you literally walking on clouds. We loved especially that the results of this pedicure really lasts. If you maintain your pedicure with a regular application of Révérence de Bastien products like the Sensitive Foot Cream, you won't need to return that often.
Hygiene rating: 5/5
All the tools used are sanitised and placed in a wrapper before removing them at the start of the treatment. As there is no water in this dry pedicure, there are no shared basins used.
Treatment to try: Indulge in both the manicure and pedicure with Bastien's Duo, $285. Give your nails a break from gel polishes and nail art, and go with naturally buffed nails (using a pearl buffing cream) for healthy, pink tips instead.
50 Tras Street, 6225-1828
From $25 for a manicure
8Twenty8 calls itself it a little house of luxuries and rightfully so. Tucked away on the second floor of a shophouse in Tras Street, is this quiet haven where artisanal teas are served and the service staff are warm and professional. Some highlights of the spa include the use of jacuzzi jet foot basins as well as comfy customised chairs that can fit both a client, and a small child — useful for mums. The salon also retails a chic and curated selection of goodies — think Ashley & Co hand creams and By Invite Only jewellery. We love the modern decor that has touches of marble and black and white, yet is still cosy and warm. This private space is the perfect place for a mid-week perk-me-up. The treatments are not only hygenic and meticulous, they are so well-priced, you're bound to return for a second treatment.
Hygiene rating: 4.5/5
The space is immaculate and comfortably-spaced out. Owner Victoria Yap is as particular about hygiene as we are, so all tools are sanitised and the basins are cleaned after each treatment and properly aired out at night.
Treatment to try: The Signature Botanical SPA Manicure ($60) and Pedicure ($70) that uses the salon's Italian-made, in-house products. Pick from two exquisite scent choices: ginger grapefruit or jasmine neroli patchouli.
BEST ALL-AROUND PAMPERING
Hands + Feet Studio
44 Siglap Dr, 456169, 6448-7187
From $28 for a manicure
Even if you're not an 'Eastie', you may just want to make a pilgrimage down to Siglap Drive for Hands + Feet Studio. Fronted by an unassuming façade, this combination nail spa and foot reflexology hotspot is an award-winning favourite that's been steadily flying under the radar for a handful of years. Enveloped by softly dimmed lights for a cosy atmosphere, you can already feel the zen upon stepping in where your every need will be tended to by a team of unfailingly polite staff. Frequented by loyal fans in the area, Hands + Feet Studio also does beauty services such as waxing and brow grooming on top of their vast repetoire of mani and pedi treatments, as well as their stellar foot reflexology massages. This is a one-stop pamper locale you'll happily spend an entire day at.
Hygiene rating: 4/5
Hands + Feet Studio is armed with a full team of qualified nail technicians and specialised foot reflexologists trained with the awareness of skin and nail related infections. Pedicure sinks are scrubbed down with an anti-bacterial solution, tools are sterilised using a UV light box and further spritzed with disinfectant prior to use, and fresh towels are brought out for each customer.
Treatment to try: The combo classic manicure and pedicure package ($62), paired with the Loosen Up foot reflexology treatment ($40).
BEST FOR NETFLIX AND CHILLING
84 Joo Chiat Place, 6344-4048
From $40 for a classic manicure
If you're on the prowl for a new hipster neighbourhood to haunt, direct your attention to Joo Chiat Place as this eclectic district is turning up cafes and bars to show up the hippie scene at Tiong Bahru Estate. Among them is Boo-Ti Parlour, a new luxurious nail spa tucked along a street of traditional shophouses that puts a new spin on 'Netflix and chill'. Stocked with iPads and headphones, you'll be kicking back and relaxing against plush OSIM uDiva massage chairs with the latest season of Narcos while professional manicurists pamper your hands and feet. Its wired facilities aside, Boo-Ti Parlour boasts a host of services from facials to indulgent manicures that also cater to younger girls with their Little Princess mani option — all within a chic, Parisian ambience that's a treat for the senses.
Hygiene rating: 5/5
Run by a detail-obssessed duo of powerwomen, Boo-Ti Parlour doesn't skimp on hygiene. From equipment sterilisation after each customer via UV lamps and copious use of 99.9 percent anti-bacterial spray to an in-house washer and dryer for their towels, every nook and cranny of Boo-Ti Parilour is so clean, you could eat off the floor.
Treatment to try: The classic manicure ($40) and classic pedicure ($50), with an optional upgrade to gel polishes at a reasonable fee