Admit it, what could be nicer than having someone lavish attention on your feet? Pedicures are one of life’s greatest indulgences, and I indulge as often as our student budget will allow.
But lately I have encountered my fair share of unmemorable “pedis.” From sub-par hygiene standards to weaker-than-weak massaging, the factory approach to spas has become sadly common.
So imagine my pleasant surprise when I walked into Shayna’s at 142 Mass Ave. and walked out feeling like the past 30 minutes was actually worth what I paid for!
I should have known I was in for a treat when the manicurist offered me the magazine she was reading with a friendly, “Here, this is the latest and best one” before I could reach for an out-dated tabloid. And it just got better from there.
Rather than row after row of jet-massage chairs, there was a single chair in the corner with a foot bath in front of it. I later learned that the foot bath is far superior from a sanitation standpoint because, unlike a jet system, it does not require hoses where bacteria tend to grow, and it can be taken apart and cleaned piece-by-piece.
I climbed onto what felt like a throne and dipped my not-so-pretty toes into the piping hot water. I don’t know where most people stand on the heat spectrum, but I despise dipping my toes into tepid water at a salon. I want that water good and hot-so much so that it kills any bacteria that might be left over from the previous patron. And Shayna reassured me that she takes apart the foot bath after every use and soaks it for no less than 10 minutes in a sanitizing bleach solution.
I sunk deeper into the chair feeling confident that I was in good hands.
When I pulled my toes out of the water, things got even better. I immediately noticed the incredibly soft towel-it was velvety and purple, different than the abrasive white washcloth-like ones I’m used to. (Believe me, it was worth mentioning.)
After years of being clipped, buffed, polished and then hastily sent on my merry way, I was impressed by (and grateful for!) the time Shayna spent repairing my flip-flop callused feet. And her petite frame packed a delightful punch when it came to the massage which lasted an enjoyably long time. Plus, I was given a choice of three scented lotions, all of which were equally pleasant. (I opted for colada over mandarin honey or citrus, but it was a tough decision.)
For those who are pregnant or have medical restrictions, it is important to note that Shayna uses a polish line that is specifically made for natural nails. The brand, Zoya, does not contain formaldehyde, toluene (for adherence) or dibutyl phalate. The OPI and Essie polishes we are used to seeing in salons do contain these ingredients, which leave your nails yellow and spotted over time.
And while all of these perks differentiated Shayna Shirazi’s brand-new salon, the greatest part of my experience was the individualized service. “I like to cater to my clients’ needs rather than providing a service where they can’t pick and choose what they want,” she said. And true to her word, Shayna didn’t try to force a particular polish color on me, or talk me into upgrading to a manicure when I didn’t ask for one. She also didn’t rush me in and out-even when her next client entered the salon.
At the end of my pedicure, I didn’t need to sit under an automatic drying fan or UV light to dry any of the harsh chemicals from polish. It was the perfect end to a perfect pampering session.
Spa Manicure – $20
Spa Pedicure – $35
30-minute Facial – $45
Facial Waxing – $10+
Body/Bikini Waxing – $25+
30-minute Massage – $45
60-minute Massage – $75
Shayna’s Day Spa
1638-1642 Mass Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138