Are these salons nail-ing it?

Kate Harrison

Having your nails done is a cultural staple of the teenage experience in Marin. Additionally, nail salons can be an escape from academic stress, as well as a way for people to express themselves through nail shapes and designs. Finding an inexpensive place to get a quality mani pedi with the right ambiance and environment is key.

Browsing for a color, a woman at Trendy looks upon the selection of nail polish.

Trendy Nail Spa – High five!
One of the most popular places in Marin for teenagers is Trendy Nail Spa, located in Fairfax. They offer a seemingly unlimited amount of colors and varied services, including acrylics, dip nails, gel and more. Trendy is hidden in an old shopping mall, a secret amongst small stores. The cheapest of the three nail salons, at Trendy, a mani-pedi costs $50 and the quality is top tier. The salon is comfortable and bright, creating a joyful aura throughout the space. Huge windows illuminate the room and calm music plays in the background, enhancing the experience. The nail technicians are very skilled and offer designs for your fingers and toes. Going to Trendy is how a mani-pedi should feel: bright, happy and relaxing.

Bursting with clutter, Fingers and Toes salon gives off an eclectic vibe.

Fingers and Toes – Hands down

Located at Bon Air Center in Greenbrae, Fingers and Toes is where to go if you want a quick mani-pedi. A mani-pedi costs $60 but the price point is expensive for the quality that you receive. Fingers and Toes offers a variety of services, from gel to regular manicures and pedicures. The salon has modern, bright decor that creates a cohesive atmosphere with the nail art many hope to receive. Spa music plays softly behind the loud talking and clanging of supplies. Though the environment is very modern, it doesn’t seem like the salon is as clean as one would expect. Everything is chaotic and rushed. The nail technicians are trying to complete a mani-pedi in five minutes! There are plenty of better places around Marin where you can get better quality mani-pedis and feel more relaxed.

 TopCoat Nail Spa – Thumbs up

Concentrating on their work, a nail technician at TopCoat paints colorful designs on a customer.

Walking into TopCoat, the sounds of upbeat pop music play throughout the small nail salon in Mill Valley. The salon is packed tightly and it is hard to navigate when crowded. There is a good selection of nail polish colors, but it’s unorganized and hard to find the perfect color you want. TopCoat, like Trendy, also offers a bunch of different services, including acrylics and gel. The mani-pedi itself isn’t too relaxing and maybe even a little jarring, but it makes you feel cleaner and newer once you leave the salon. Overall, $60 dollars is on par for the quality service you receive.