Perfectly Polished

Need a fun way to spend a girl's weekend? A bridal shower idea beyond deviled eggs and cheesy games? Or perhaps just an hour (or a day!) of self-absorbed pampering? My advice would to be to try Polish Beauty Bar, a New York style nail bar located right here in our very own city.

Polish Beauty Bar is the "love-child" of two friends, Matthew Onion and Meredith Kelly Oke. Though I was not able to meet Meredith on my visit, I had the pleasure of spending some time chatting with Matthew who is just so darn cute it is worth popping in just to meet him. Luckily, if you do head in, you will most likely have that chance as he made an effort to chat with each client and maintain a warm, welcoming environment during my visit, while at the same time trying to set up for the Toronto Film Festival, prepare for the media visit AND maintain the business.

The decor is an experience in itself. Funky, but still low-key. Pleasant, talkative staff who know when to make easy conversation and when to simply let you relax and enjoy a glorious hand massage. In the front of the store is a mini boutique-type section that houses some great products, including Toronto-based Cake. It is obvious that Matt and Meredith really pay attention to details. The decorative touches throughout the place all tied together very well, from a vase on the shelf to the mint green calculator at the front desk. Most importantly, Polish upholds all hygiene standards impeccably, and even the bathroom was spotless (always a good sign).

I suppose I should get to the most important part, the actual services provided. Polish Beauty Bar specializes mainly in nail care, though they also do hair removal including the Middle-Eastern art of threading which I am dying to try. Manicures start at $25 and pedicures at $45. They are fast and efficient, I was out in about 30 minutes and my nails looked so good I had to convince a complete stranger that they were in fact real. There is a fun, funky lounge area to relax in when you are waiting for your nails to dry, complete with books and fun magazines you would not find in any old waiting area. I am definitely going to head back for a pedi because the area for that particular activity is just so neat! Clients sit up on high, patterned cushioned benches while one of the members of the small but friendly staff work from below.

Beyond all that, Polish also offers great gift packages and they hold informative workshops (see website for more details). This is no ordinary nail salon, it is a fun manicure experience. Grab some friends, book some space and try it for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

Polish Beauty Bar, 20 Camden St. 416-203-0014

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