As someone who once convinced her doctor to write me a prescription for weekly massages, it can be pretty safe to say that I take my pamper time very seriously.
When I heard that there was a new nail salon called Coatroom opening up in Arlington (shoutout Virginians!) I knew I had to check it out, especially since I couldn’t remember when my last pedicure was, and my toes were looking pretty gnarly.
So I made an appointment (Coatroom has an on point online appointment system) for a Friday before a three-day weekend. I had figured that even with my insane schedule, no one’s ever all that busy on a Friday right?
I got out of my morning yoga class on said Friday only to see the most stressful of emails, I had a presentation due ASAP. In fact, the email went so far as to use possibly the three most dreaded letters in the English language. C.O.B. (meaning that it’s due by close of business, in case you are lucky enough to NOT know that meaning).
Panicked, I immediately began thinking I should cancel, but then changed my mind. I was going to do both. I was going to prove that I can get pampered AND make deadlines.
So I forded the river to Arlington, laptop in hand. After touring the gorgeous new space, founder Justin Cook helped me pick my color. I chose a few different Butter London colors but they have over 800 colors from OPI, Essie, RGB and some smaller, more local brands. Most importantly? They have great free wi-fi.
The space truly is gorgeous. Designed by a Parson’s graduate, it looks less nail salon and more like a super cute high-end boutique that you can’t afford anything in but go into anyways because it’s just so much fun to feel like you belong in there. I also LOVED all the color choices. And they have a few of the “less toxic” (let’s be honest, 100% non-toxic nail polish is kind of rare) which was another bonus.
My manicures NEVER stay and as I type this four plus days later my nails are just as magenta pink as they were on Friday.
The price is amazing as well with $45 for a basic mani-pedi. Seriously. $45.
As nice as the salon looks, the customer service from the techs was pretty bad. One of them tried to bully my co-worker into paying before she wanted to pay. Another was skyping on the phone while I got my nails done. Kind of standard salon practice I know, I just expected different from a place that 1) has just opened and 2) is supposed to be different!
All in all, Coatroom is the same as your normal nail salon, just a bit more polished. Go for the price.
Oh and I did make my deadline- thanks Coatroom wi-fi!
I almost never get my nails or feet done because I am calcium deficient (or at least that’s what the internet tells me!) so my nails are thin, brittle, gross and I have essentially given up on them. If you’re my friend / a person who I date you’re just going to have to get used to my gross toes and nails.
However, there are a few occasions where getting my nails done felt necessary for survival, like when I was meeting my boyfriends parents. So while I am clearly not the average customer for a place like Coatroom, I would definitely come back for one of those special occasions. The salon feels so damn fancy for the price. Not to mention it seemed like they were really dedicated to having a large color selection, and more importantly, to the cleanliness of their tools. They have an entire glass wall room dedicated to tool cleaning, so if you’re paranoid you can watch them as they clean everything.
Besides the popular brands like OPI, Essie, and Deborah Lippmann, Coatroom also carried local nail polish Mischo, which I of course ended up picking because D.C. pride doesn’t just mean supporting farmers markets and hardcore brands. A long weekend later, my nails still look pretty damn good and are only showing some minor tip wear, which is crazy because polish normally starts chipping on me pretty much immediately (one of the many reasons why I usually do not bother).
While the “salon” side of the experience was not as luxe as I’ve experienced in other places (the massages felt a little short), I still felt like it was a pretty good considering the prices. If I was cruising around Virginia (not likely but not impossible), I would definitely go back. They made my nails feel less like claws and that’s really all that matters in my book.