Kate Farr, the Hong Kong blogger behind the Accidental Tai Tai, shares her thoughts on strappy sandals, sauna-like weather, and how to keep your toes in tip top shape.
With the mercury steadily creeping up to sauna levels while every shopping mall blasting sub-zero aircon, it can only mean one thing – summertime has well and truly landed in Hong Kong! And regardless of whether you’re braving summer in the city or jetting off elsewhere, strappy sandals are now firmly on the menu.
If, like me, you’re less than limber and your DIY pedicure efforts tend to result in more polish smudged on your flip-flops than gracing your actual nails, a trip to the professionals is in order. But with my ability to reduce even an expertly applied paint job to little more than brightly coloured scuffs within a matter of days, I was keen to try out something with a little more staying power and save myself time at the salon this summer.
Fortunately, I was recently invited to try out the soft gel mani-pedi at The Loft on Cochrane Street. This Central offshoot of Poho lacquer specialists, The Nail Library, is perched just above Iyara on the Mid-Levels escalator, making it a convenient spot for post-work pampering or a gathering with friends. The boutique salon has a bright and airy vibe, its polished concrete floors and comfy chocolate leather armchairs lending the space a chic urban ambience. But this isn’t a snooty, too-cool-for-school, insiders-only kind of place; the welcome here is warm and friendly and I was offered a seat – and a boggling array of colours – as soon as I arrived.
Once I was sitting comfortably, chilled drink in hand (The Loft’s complimentary refreshments include wine and even whisky for the ultimate opportunity to make the most of your downtime!), my pedicure began with a luxurious petal soak that was extremely soothing for my poor heat-swollen feet. Then came a good scrub, meticulous and gentle removal of dry skin and finally a very welcome reviving leg massage. The manicure followed the same pattern, with a thorough hand massage at the end loosening the residual tension in my forearms and wrists from too much time in front of a laptop and toting a heavy baby around.
Like its Sheung Wan sister, The Loft specialises in polish of every conceivable hue and high-end brand, however despite serious temptation in the form of some stunning Tom Ford blues, I stuck to my guns and went for an OPI shellac mani-pedi. And that’s where I came unstuck, as the selection of shades was just too much for my heat-addled brain to come to a decision. Luckily for me, The Loft’s nail experts were on hand to suggest a winning colour combination; for my manicure, a classic neutral base with rose gold French tips that was subtle enough not to be overwhelming, but unusual enough to have me sneaking admiring glances at my hands for days afterwards. My toes were treated to a cheerful coral that added a summery pop of colour to my stride.
Of course, the best thing about soft gel is that it is so resilient, meaning that a well-timed mani-pedi will keep you perfectly glossy and groomed without the need for touch-ups for several weeks to come – this is ideal for the holiday season when we all have better things to be doing than removing chipped polish or scheduling regular nail appointments. So if you’re looking to treat yourself with long lasting nails that come with lashings of friendly service and a side order of cool, then head up to The Loft.
The Loft by The Nail Library, 2/F, 26 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2618 8623