Frequently Asked Questions
I can’t find you, where exactly are you located?
We’ve taken to calling ourselves "the speakeasy of nail salons", since we’re a little hidden. If it’s your first time, here are some hints: We are located in the grey warehouse building at 5202 Centennial Blvd. The same building as White Bison. Even though we have a big sign on Centennial Blvd, there is no entrance on Centennial Blvd. To enter, park in the back parking lot and wave to Mr. Estes (the man in the mural). Look for the silver door with 114 on it.
Do you take walk-ins?
We are an appointment-based business. This helps us to best serve you and other clients, with a consistent and quality experience, because we wouldn't want you to have any less. We can do our best work when we have the perfect amount of time blocked out to focus on you. For inquiries about last minute bookings please call us at (615) 505-3030. We will always do our best to accommodate you.
What do you mean by "boutique luxury"?
Boutique means we're small on purpose, and specialized in what we do. Think fashionable boutique hotel, in nail salon form. Luxury means that we use quality products, with high end service delivered by highly trained professionals.
What’s the difference between a “quickie” and a “classic” mani or pedi?
Our quickie service is for when you need to be in and out the door ASAP. Sometimes our lives get busy and we just need it done, fast. Generally we recommend our classic services as they get the best results. They take a bit more time, but you deserve it! The main difference with the classic is that it’s more of a spa experience; you get a massage, an exfoliating sugar scrub and a moisturizing mask. No matter what service you choose, your cuticles and calluses will be worked on, but if your nails, cuticles, or calluses need any extra attention, we recommend booking a classic service.
What do you charge for a full set?
Generally when this question is asked, people are referring to traditional acrylic nail extensions. We do not use traditional acrylic at Luster. You can get dip powder, which is a form of acrylic, on your natural nails. Or if you are looking for nail extensions, we can use hard gel to sculpt an extension on your nail to achieve the most natural look. It's always best to book a free consultation with us to determine what's best for your nails.
Do you do acrylic?
The traditional form of acrylic is being used when a liquid and a powder are blended together into a paste, which is applied to your nail using a brush. We do not use traditional acrylic at Luster. Dip powder is a form of acrylic, and will produce the same look, feel, and performance as acrylic, but without the odor. We recommend dip powder on natural nails. For extending the length of your nail we recommend our hard gel nail extensions.
Is dip “healthier” for your nails?
Like many things in the nail industry, technicians aren’t always in agreement on the answer to this question. Many clients report that their nails grow fast and strong with dip and absolutely love it. While it is true that the powder has added vitamins and calcium, it is still made with acrylates, and any nail enhancement has the potential to weaken your nails, especially if removed improperly. Keep in mind that gel polish is also a “nail enhancement”.
We use Kiara Sky Dip Powder, which is vegan and cruelty free.
What’s the deal with dip?
Dip powder is one of the biggest trends in nails right now. A lot of people end up trying it just because all their friends are doin’ it. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Dip powder is applied by alternating layers of acrylate powder and glue on the nail to create essentially the same effect as traditional acrylic, without the odor. On the plus side it adheres better and therefore lasts longer than gel polish. On the flip side it takes slightly longer to apply and remove, and is slightly more expensive. Many don’t like dip because it can appear too thick or bulky on the nail, however we take special care to apply it as thin as possible for a more natural look. You can always come in for a free consultation and we would be happy to take a look at your nails and make a recommendation for what is right for you.
Should I do gel polish or dip?
Gel polish is for when you want to keep color on your nails for longer than a regular nail polish usually lasts. But it will not add strength or structure to your nail. If you want that, or if gel polish just doesn’t seem to work for you (everyone’s nail chemistry is different), we recommend dip powder. If you are in healthcare or you’re a hairdresser, dip generally works best. For some people gel polish is enough. You can always come in for a free consultation and we would be happy to take a look at your nails and make a recommendation.
Why don’t you offer tips with your dip service?
We prefer using nail forms to the use of glue and tips, and unfortunately nail forms cannot be used with dip. We recommend the dip on your natural nail to begin with, it’ll grow out faster than you’d think, and you’ll have long nails before you know it! If you’re looking to extend the length of your nail immediately we recommend our hard gel nail extensions. We can build them right onto your nail without having to glue on a tip. It’ll feel more like an extension of your actual nail.
What is hard gel?
Hard gel is a nail enhancement that is in the same family as soft gel (the gel polish we all know and love) but unlike gel polish, you can add strength, structure, and even length to the nail. It is also cured in an UV or LED light. It's sometimes referred to as resin. In our opinion it's a better alternative to acrylic nail extensions. Although we have not added it to our menu yet, we are offering it on a trial basis. If you are interested please call us at (615) 505-3030.
Why do you believe hard gel is a superior product to traditional acrylic?
First and foremost, no more acrylic smell! Hard gel doesn’t yellow and get brittle over time the way acrylic does. In our opinion it has a more natural look and feel. Our hard gel is biocompatible, that means it works in harmony with your body. It was initially a dental product, and later used inside the body for joints, so we feel it's safer for long term wear on nails. It's also vegan and cruelty free. Hard gel is very strong but also has a bit of a flex to it, so it moves with your natural nail, rather than fighting against it the way acrylic does. That can mean less lifting and less painful breaks.
Why don’t you use razors and graters in your pedicure services?
We don’t believe it’s ever a good idea to use either of these “tools” on your calluses, in fact it can be very dangerous. It can lead to discomfort and even infection. Your calluses are there for a reason, to protect you. They can be gradually softened over time but should never be abruptly removed, no matter how satisfying it seems in the moment. For best results we recommend getting on a regular pedicure schedule, with home maintenance in between if you like.
What can I do in between services to keep my nails healthy and make enhancements last?
There are quite a few things you can do:
Apply cuticle oil twice a day. We moisturize our skin and our hair, but we forget our nails need moisture too. We recommend applying cuticle oil twice a day. We have some great products in our store that we recommend, or you can use vitamin e oil from the drugstore, or olive oil from your pantry. Massage gently into cuticles.
Push back your cuticles. You can get a cuticle pusher from your local drugstore. Periodically pushing back your cuticles can help prevent hangnails, dryness, cracking, hard cuticles, and extended cuticles. But be very gentle. The best time to do this is right after you get out of the shower.
Protect your nails. Remember not to use your nails as tools no matter how tempting. The more you baby them the more they’ll love you. Water is not a friend to gel polish and other enhancements. Try to wear gloves when doing dishes or yard work and avoid immersing your hands in water for any length of time.
NEVER NEVER NEVER peel off your gel polish, dip, or resin. We know, it’s so tempting, but this is one of the most damaging things you can do to your nails. If your gel polish starts to peel, nip or cut off the lifted part, buff it down if you can, and patch it with a similar color or some clear regular nail polish to hold you over until your next visit.
Why don’t you have jetted pedicure tubs?
At Luster we believe a foot soak with no jets is the best way to go. We find we are better able to clean and sanitize tubs and therefore reduce the risk of infection by skipping the jets. Jets are another place for germs to hide. If you have jets, especially with a piped system, and bacteria or fungus infiltrates these areas, they can be permanently compromised.
Why the charge for soak offs?
Soaking off enhancements correctly, in a way that won’t damage your nails, takes time and care. We soak off the product exactly according to the manufacturer’s instructions whenever possible. Proper removal not only maintains the health of your nail, it sets the stage for the next product to perform at its best and last longer. That’s why we don’t do things like scrape with metal implements to try to make the process go faster. Especially when coming from another salon, we can never know exactly what’s on your nails; so whether it’s gel polish, dip powder, or traditional acrylic, it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to safely remove.
How are your tools cleaned?
All of our stainless steel implements are first scrubbed and cleaned with soap. They are then placed in a medical-grade dry heat sterilizer for a full cycle. That means our tools are sterilized to the same level as dental or surgical tools would be. Feel free to ask us for a tour of our disinfection area any time.
What do I need to know about disposable tools?
There are certain tools that cannot be properly disinfected, they are one-time use only. We throw these items away, or in some cases give them to you to take home. Here is a list of such items that we guarantee have never been used on a client before you, and will never be used again after you:
Mini nail files, buffers, pumice blocks, toe separators, foam flip-flops, wood sticks
Feel free to ask us for a tour of our disinfection area any time.
How are your pedicure tubs cleaned?
As per state law they are cleaned and disinfected after each use. They are cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with an EPA registered bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, and pseudomonacidal (Formulated for Hospitals) disinfectant. If they were jetted tubs, the jets and filters would need to be flushed and the disinfectant circulated for a recommended amount of time, but our tubs are not jetted.
What’s the deal with the services that are “coming soon”?
Innovation is very important to us. We’re always learning and growing and we want to make sure our clients have access to the best services, treatments, and products. Once we decide on adding something, we get the proper training and education, and work to perfect the service before we add it to the menu. But in the mean time we want to let you know what’s coming down the pipe, so you can get as excited as we are.