Tag Archives: nails

Getting Your Nails Done in Paris: A Guide for First Timers

by Lindsey Passaic

Like many women, I enjoy being pampered at the salon. But since the thought of going to a salon in Paris was more terrifying than relaxing, I found myself doing one home manicure after another with the same sloppy results each time. When I could not handle my imperfect polishing skills any longer, I finally braved a salon to get the classic French manicure.

Not wanting to embarrass myself beyond my already bitten and chewed nails, I spoke with a true Parisian woman (with a beautiful red manicure nonetheless!) to prepare myself for my first salon visit. In addition to teaching me basic nail vocabulary, she shared simple phrases to communicate with the nail technician.

Unwilling to pay top euro, I avoided chain salons and beauty institutes, instead searching for “mom and pop” shops with lower prices. The average price of a manicure at a full service beauty salon is between 25 and 50 euros. At a no-frills nail salon that price is cut drastically! For around 12 euros or less you can get a quick polish change and have ring-ready fingers in no time. But even for luxury enthusiasts, 12 euros may be too much (especially if you’re blessed with a steady hand and eye for color).  In Paris, like everywhere else, the cheapest and most convenient manicure is still the one give yourself. You can buy topcoat, polish, nail files, and polish remover at Sephora for a little less than 20 euros. Splurge a bit and you can find an all-in-one kit and have a French manicure at your fingertips whenever you please. Beauty Monop and Marionnaud also offer similarly priced products for creating a nail salon at home.

If you’re ready and willing to dive into the French beauty experience, here are my suggestions for getting the manicure you want:

1) Visit  Qype to search for Paris nail salons by neighborhood and price.

2) Visit Manucure & Beaute to find American-style nail salons in and around Paris.

3) Visit one of the following English speaking salons:

Stylepixie Salon
2 rue Edouard Vasseur
Ivry sur Seine 94200
Tel: 01 46 70 25 69

Artistic Nail
84 rue du Cherche-Midi
Paris 75006
Tel: 01 42 22 00 62

Vocabulary

la main, les mains hand(s)
le ongle, les ongles nail(s)
la cuticule, les cuticules cuticle(s)
la manucuresoin des mains manicurenail care
la pédicuresoin des pieds pedicurefoot care
faux onglesles ongles gelles ongles acryliques fake nailsgelacrylic
les vernis à ongles nail polish
la lime à ongles nail file
le bloc abrasif nail buffer
le bloc polissoir, la lime finaliseur nail polisher
le bloc emeri emery board
le dissolvent doux sans acétone nail polish remover w/o acetone
dépose nail removal
ongle cassé broken nail
spray sechant pour vernis drying spray
Je voudrais une manucure. I would like a manicure.
Je voudrais une French manucure. I would like a French manicure.
Je voudrais un changement de vernis. I would like a polish change.
Je voudrais des faux ongles. I would like a set of fake nails.

At the Salon

It is with some trepidation that we launch into making recommendations for beauty salons.   After all, what one woman considers classic, another considers frumpy.   But if you’re terrified about the thought of letting someone new touch your hair, much less someone with whom you cannot communicate with 100 percent confidence, here are some ideas for getting started.  If you have other suggestions, leave a comment and we’ll incorporate them into the post.  Note:  if you are under 26, many salons will offer you a discount.  If it’s not posted, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

 

Salons

 
A Cut Above
2, boulevard Fernand Hostachy
Croissy sur Seine
Phone: 01 39 52 01 44
Notes: Sandra speaks English.

Audebert Coiffure
88, boulevard Saint Germain 75005
Metro: Cluny-Sorbonne
Phone: 01 43 26 90 25
Notes:  Jean-Philippe, owner of this salon, speaks English.

Jean-Claude Biguine
Many locations in Paris
Notes: appointments not always necessary, good products

Richard Chambers Hair Salon
22 rue Scheffer 75016
Metro: Trocadero
Phone: 01.47.27.35.92
Notes: Native English speaker

Coiffure Sylvie Sandy
6, rue Castellane 75008
Metro: Madeleine
Phone: 01 4265 4234
Notes:  “Daniel won’t charge you a ridiculous amount, but he is not one of those cheap clip places, either.”

Dessange
Many locations in Paris
http://www.dessange.com
Notes:  “I like the way they do highlights there. Just paint them on – no fuss with foil or any of that stuff. I went to it in Hong Kong and found one in Neuchatel, Switzerland of all places. It is international. The one I go to is 4/6, rue de Gericault, 75016 (tel 01 42 24 71 24). The woman who did my color was Sylvie whom I liked very much.”

En a Parté
2, rue Edmond About 75016
Metro: Avenue Henri Martin or Rue de la Pompe
Phone: 01 45 04 51 12
Notes:  “They are a great local salon. Pedro & Mickael are extremely friendly and speak English.  My only basis for comparison price-wise is Frank Provost — and these guys are definitely more expensive.  But you can usually get last minute appointments and we’ve been pleased with their cuts (they cut the entire family’s hair!)  I’ve heard mixed reviews for color — but I’ve never had first hand experience.”

Hair Bar
3, rue de la Croix Nivert, 75015
Metro: Cambronne
Phone: 01 44 49 98 84
Notes:  “The owner speaks English and actually does what you ask.”

Jessika Ester
81, rue Jouffroy d’Abbans 75017
Metro: Wagram
Phone: 01 47 63 74 63
Notes: “Jessika cuts my hair and a colorist, Claude, colors it with her input. She speaks English. Fee is around 100 euros depending on what you have done.”

Jamal Fakih
55, avenue Marceau 75016
Metro:  George V
Phone: 01 40 70 00 20
Notes:  “Fancy neighborhood, small homey salon. Anna has twice given me an excellent haircut, exactly what I asked for.  And if color should ever be wanted, Catherine is very good as well.  They don’t speak English.”

Salon Manhattan
35, avenue Theophile Gautier, 75016
Metro: Eglise d’Autueil
Phone:  01 42 24  86 10.
Notes:  “The owner is named Sandra and she speaks English.  She worked in New York City for two years and then came back to Paris to open her own salon.  She cuts and colors my hair and the cost is about 85 euros.  I am happy with her and certainly she is a good start for people when they move, particularly as she speaks English.”

Stylepixie
2, rue Edouard Vasseur
Ivry sur Seine 94200
Metro: Pierre et Marie Curie
Phone: 01 46 70 25 69
Notes: The entire team at Stylepixie speaks English.

Toni & Guy
248 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001
Metro: Palais Royale – Musee du Louvre
Phone: 01 40 20 98 20
Notes:  A number of the hair stylists and the receptionist speak English.

Joel Villard
16, rue de Saint-Simon, 75007
Metro: Rue de Bac
Phone: 01 45 55 85 69
Notes: The only licensed Aveda salon in France; all stylists are trained by Aveda and Aveda products are for sale. Most stylists speak some English.

Home services

“Paulo Sousa will wash, cut and blowdry hair in your home.  He uses the bathroom sink or the sprayer in your tub and cleans up everything as if he were never there.  I love him.  Only speaks French, but if I can handle it, you can.”
Phone: 06 46 36 38 77

“Severine, a stylist who works at a television station doing hair and makeup in the early mornings, is available for appointments in your home.  She is French but speaks English very well.”
Phone: 06 81 61 78 14

“Romain is very reasonably priced compared with what a person would play in a salon. He does both my cut and highlights and I think he does a great job. He speaks some English but not proficient.  I recommend him highly. ”
Phone: 06 98 19 44 67

“Natalie, who does nails and waxing, is the owner of Aquarelle Institut at 9, rue Saint-Didier in the 16th arrondissement.  She is beautiful, funny and speaks English as well!  She uses excellent products.”
Phone: 01 45 53 09 09

Kristina offers skin care treatments such as facials in her home in the 16th arrondissement.  Contact her by e-mail at skincarebykristina@wanadoo.fr 

Vocabulary

Click here to go directly to the ielanguages.com site for the sound files.  Scroll to the middle of the page for “At the Hair Salon/Chez Le Coiffeur.”

bangs la frange braid la natte / les tresses
highlights les mèches / le balayage ponytail la queue-de-cheval
hair cut la coupe de cheveux barette la barrette
blowdry le brushing head band le serre-tête
curly bouclés hair clips les pinces à cheveux
wavy ondulés hairband l’élastique (m)
frizzy frisés / crépus hairpin l’épingle à cheveux (f)
straight raides buzz cut la coupe en brosse
dyed teints completely shaved head la boule à zéro
lightened décolorés bald chauve
layered dégradé (note: effiler means to thin, not to layer!) part la raie

There is a slight difference between se couper les cheveux (to cut one’s hair – by oneself) and se faire couper les cheveux (to get one’s hair cut – by someone else). The same is true of se teindre les cheveux (to dye one’s hair – by oneself) and se faire teindre les cheveux (to get one’s hair dyed – by someone else).