I woke up Friday morning, ecstatic about the nice weather, but terrified about the condition of my toes. The only solution was a pedicure near work . But the bigger dilemma was the fact that there is no decent spa near my job in Chinatown. I mean, I’m not even going to test it out-too dangerous.
So the first thing I did do rectify this dilemma was go to twitter, the fastest source for an answer to a question, in my opinion. And luckily, when I put out the call @loryivey was there to respond with Aveda as a suggestion.
Now, I work in Chinatown, and it is truly my second home. I’m here all the time. Yet, I’d never ventured into Aveda before. No reason; maybe my perception (and other black women’s) is that Aveda is not for me. Not until recently have I ventured into ‘salon brand’ products. Usually they’re more expensive than I’m used to spending. Or maybe I’m just stubborn and under exposed.
I called Aveda and listed to the recorded hold message about 6 times before I had the good sense to call another number. They really should do something about that. I couldn’t hang up, thou, I was desperate. With evening plans that required exposed toes, this pedicure was essential. And I saw it as a chance to try the Institute out for it’s services.
After the long hold on the phone, the receptionist was able to fit me in at lunch time and informed me that there was a 15min grace period for the pedicure. We still hadn’t talked about price, and at this point, I’m not sweating it. I hung up, confident that I would have a good experience and that it wouldn’t cost an arm & a leg.
I arrived on time. I was adamant about that. I checked in downstairs with a polite retail representative who directed me to the massive teaching space upstairs. The small retail shop belies the space upstairs. But having frequented Gallery Place, I was aware of the massive instruction studio.
I waited about 7 minutes before my pedicure specialist came to get me. I was ushered to a small, but not cramped area, shared by no more than 5 cosmetologists. The space and decorations are minimal. I faced a soothing chocolate colored wall. The floors were an industrial pattern that compliments the ambiance.
I was seated in a green woven lounge chair on a bamboo lift. My cosmetologist offered me a lovely tea to drink. The comforting tea is 100% organic and caffeine free soothing blend of licorice root and peppermint.
Aveda is a Teaching Institute
My pedicurist had got a consult, which is the practice and it is the first time learning about the hyper pigmentation on my toes. Surprising. She applied the Aveda products (Cuticle Control) to treat my feet and gave me a nice, adequately pressured foot rub followed by the Foot Relief lotion.
I had selected a vibrant purple to wear on my toes, complimenting my dress for later tonight. Aveda uses SpaRitual products for color. I was familiar and comfortable with that. That product line is 100% natural as well, which is what my cosmetologist (in training) shared with me.
Total time in Aveda: one hour twenty one minutes. This includes arrival, wait, 30+min pedicure, and closeout. Too long.
Pros: convenient to my job; overall professionalism of the Aveda name. Environmentally responsible.
Cons: the young trainee still hadn’t demonstrated ease with the procedure. She didn’t appear to use notes like her counterparts, and often she was awkward in applying polish and perhaps was not ready for the solo application.
Biggest Con: the price. Sure, I got to relax for 30 minutes and have someone pamper my feet with some of the best products in the industry, but when the paint doesn’t last the whole weekend, I’m a little perturbed. The pedicure was not worth the $27 I paid.
Verdict: I will not be returning to the Aveda Institute for a $27 pedicure that exceeded my budget, time frame, and did not live up to my expectations.