Colored nails made a comeback last winter and they were mostly dark, complementing the winter’s gloomy shades of grey and black. But spring is here, and it’s time for a brighter, fresher look. To kick away those winter blues and put a spring in your step for the upcoming season, The N Bar hand and foot spa’s varied menu of treatments will leave you feeling revitalized, with perfectly polished nails to boot.
The latest trends for spring 2008 are sheer colors in shades of soft pastel, namely lavender and pink. The opaque nails of last winter are out, so to make your nails stand out, apply several layers of the pastels. One color from winter did make it into spring: blue in all its shades, from navy to violet. To get the hottest nails, head to The N Bar, which is tucked away in a quiet street in Maadi. Gated off with a wicker fence and surrounded with a garden, a stone cobbled walkway leads you to the sleek glass entrance.
Owner Nawal Farah told Daily News Egypt that it is not a franchise of the Dubai establishment of the same name, adding that the ‘N’ stands for the first letter of her name as well as for nails.
“Being a woman, I know all women love to be pampered. The concept was in Cairo, yet you either have the high-end establishments or the local hairdresser. This is a different concept. The staff is trained by professionals from the Emirates, and we value hygiene and quality service.
The hottest color for summer, she says, is fuchsia, for nails, clothes, accessories – everything.
Once you’re inside, the noises of the city are replaced with sounds of chirping birds, rustling leaves and rushing meadows. The quaint, modern interior is simple and quite girly, with comfortable white leather seating and fluffy pink pillows. Even the white towels are adorned with The N Bar’s pink logo, which fittingly looks like a splash of nail polish.
First you must check in at the small reception area – treatments are by appointment and walk-ins are accepted depending on availability. Judging by the popularity of the three-month-old establishment, you’re safer calling in beforehand. The point, as my masseuse told me, is to keep the place as quiet and calm as possible and not have people waiting at the door, so the staff can give each customer – well, their hands and feet at least – their undivided attention.
Large flat screen TVs play “Friends episodes and each customer is given a set of headphones to help tune out the outside world and indulge wholly in the experience as your hands and feet are pampered like never before.
If you’re only getting a manicure, you take a seat on one side of the L-shaped table, which has four nail stations, and give your hands over to the experts. Each station is equipped with a small glass sink, a pillow to rest your hands on and a variety of aromatic soaps and lotions to soak your hands in.
Past the manicure section is the feet haven. I chose to get a simple treatment, just a French manicure and pedicure, so I sat on the large, plush leather couch and soaked my feet in a mini glass tub filled with delightfully scented soap. After a bit, I put my feet up on a little bench as Amina worked skillfully on my toenails, which, I’m embarrassed to say, have not been buffed or filed since last summer. Meanwhile, Mary worked on my manicure.
Frankly, having two people work on my hands and feet was not exactly a Zen spa experience, but in the end I walked out with one of the best French manicures I’ve gotten in a long time.
I probably should have chosen The N Bar’s Papaya Revitalizing Hand Treatment (LE 110), where hands are soaked in a papaya green tea-enriched soak, infused with vitamins. This is followed by a mango hand peel, which exfoliates the skin. Grape seed oil is then massaged and sealed with a hot towel wrap.
Their Rehydrator (LE 120) treatment helps rejuvenate hands with a milk and honey salt scrub and a deep dermal wrap. Milk and honey butter are then massaged from the elbows to fingertips.
For your feet, try the Citrus for the Sole (LE 120), where feet are soaked in a pool of Tuscan citrus leaves. Citrus scrub buffs away dead skin as a papaya green tea cuticle oil is massaged onto cuticles. Citrus infused oil and a hot towel wrap finish off the aromatic experience.
The N Bar also offers threading (upper lip: LE 10; eyebrow shaping: LE 20), a bit pricier than what you pay at your coiffeur around the corner. The cost of waxing is also a bit more than usual, but not unreasonable (full arm: LE 50; underarm: LE 25; full leg: LE 85; bikini line: LE 30; full body: LE 200). The halawa hair removal is cheaper (full arm: LE 30; underarm: LE 20; full leg: LE 50; bikini line: LE 25; full body: LE 150)Back to nails, The N Bar also offers gel acrylic sets and silk wraps, and all treatments come with the N-Guarantee: if your nails chip in 24 hours, you can go back for a free touch up. If you’re looking for a new gift idea, buy your girlfriend a gift voucher just in time for summer.
After my experience at The N Bar, I’m ready to throw on my sandals and bare my toes for the world to see.at least until my next pedicure.
The N BarShop No. 6, 1/2 Al Lasilky St., Maadi, CairoTel: 2519 3028Open 10 am- 8 pms