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Nails Saved ... By Mark

Escape from Main Street without leaving it.

It happened again. All I did was reach for my computer, and half my thumb nail tore off. Amid squeals of pain I made my way to in Chatham, where the manicurist went to work repairing the damage.

Nails by Mark is almost tough to find if you are not looking for it. A modest sign above the door is almost overpowered by the surrounding signs for Gabriella's Ice Cream and Farley's Place. When it starts pouring rain, though, suddenly you find any place to duck into and escape.

The salon is as unassuming inside as it is outside, with stations spaced for privacy and not crammed together, and a flat-screen television airing Food Network. For a business located on Main Street, I felt pretty removed from it once I stepped over the threshold.

The manicurist, a friendly and efficient woman, filed down the razor-sharp broken nail and clipped and filed the remaining nails down.

Nail clippers, when wielded by some, can inflict some pretty significant pain. Manicurists can learn how to paint nails or give hand massages, but a soft touch can't always be taught. The manicurist I had was extremely gentle with her tools, and given the relaxed and quiet atmosphere of the place, I had no trouble easing into a state of total relaxation. By the time I came out of it, the entire manicure was nearly over.

There was one thing the manicurist did that made me shudder a little. After she painted my nails, she went back over with the brush and wiped some color on the very tip, using pointed staccato movements. This can sometimes lead to an uneven effect with a slight ridge at the tip of the nail. Still, the manicurist smoothed over the nail and avoided that rookie mistake, and five days later my hands look just like they did when the finished photos were taken.

Well, except for the one nail that I smudged approximately three minutes after I left the salon.

Place: Nails by Mark, 231 Main St , Chatham

Cost: A manicure is $12, a pedicure is $25. The salon also offers waxing and massages at various prices.

Impression: Friendly staff, quiet and relaxed atmosphere. The salon appears to have relatively little foot traffic, making walk-ins easy to accommodate.

Overall Grade: B+. I would probably raise it to an A- if they had stopped me from leaving until at least two rounds on the electric nail polish dryer, since one round was not sufficient. Still, I would go back.

Carmela Moeller July 29, 2011 at 03:43 PM
I would like to see your comments after a visit to Family Nails in Madison at the Staples Shopping Center.
Dale Burke July 30, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Let me get this correct - you LOWERED your grade of Nails by Mark because they made you stay LONGER for the drying process? Really? Most places are PUSHING you out the door so they can shove their next client into the drying machine. Hmmmmm
Steve July 31, 2011 at 02:02 AM
I smell Pulitzer.

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