When Katia Suwintono was a little girl, her Grandmother would take her to the nail salon every week, without fail. She believed it was a women’s right to have her hands and feet looked after, and this downtime was an important and well-deserved ritual amid the madness of everyday life. Grandma was right, you know. Come to think of it, Grandmas are always right. Tip & Toe is Berawa’s newest nail bar and experience-driven salon. It sits snug up the back of the ever-expanding Tamora Gallery next to Genesis Coworking Hub, just past our favourite dawn dungeon, The Vault.
While the brand may be fresh to Bali, these ladies aren’t new to nails. Katia’s weekly customs with Grandma acquainted her with how important a space can be in defining the comfort and ease of any treatment. She wanted to create somewhere women could come to relax and be treated with respect by therapists who respected the craft of nail maintenance. She wanted a manicure or pedicure not just to be something that “got done” but an experience that was looked forward to and revelled in. In 2008, Katia partnered with Jenny Wiano and Tip & Toe opened their first salon at the Kemang Club Villas compound in Jakarta. Now they’re in the ‘Gu and our fingers and toes couldn’t be twinkling any harder.
Tip & Toe pride themselves on attention to detail. Not just in the art of their treatments but in the selection of their products, the curation of their staff and their unwavering standards for hygiene. The salon uses polishes from the US and before agreeing to stock anything, vet their products against some pretty rigorous principles. The salon carries non-toxic, vegan and completely breathable polishes for both a regular and gel finish. These products contain no formaldehyde or parabens; no toluene, dibutyl phthalate, ethyl tosylamide or triphenyl phosphate. We have no idea what those last few were but based on how near-lethal they were to type, we can’t imagine they’re any good for your nails.
If you’ve been having your claws gel-ed or acrylic-ed for some time then you’ll be familiar with the crispy white look that seems to be hiding beneath every seemingly robust nail. This weakening of the natural bed is (no) thanks to over buffing – with or without a machine – and poor-quality products. We’re also told, it can lead to nasty infections. Tip & Toe are the Kombucha of the nail world – they give just as many sheeeets about keeping you healthy on the inside. The salon offers a range of to-the-rescue nail remedies including a medical grade biosculpture vitamin E and A infused oxygenating gel polish (take a breath if you’re reading aloud to the squad) which treats your haggard nails beneath the gloss. They also have a mask and oil treatment (think a cream bath but for your fingers and toes), a callus cure (‘cos let’s be honest, no one wants to know any more about your CrossFit obsession than they need to) and a ‘warm wrap moisture’ treatment (for those sun-drenched and scooter-battered extremities).
Tag-alongs can get some too! The Tip & Toe menu features a gent’s basic or deluxe scrub mani/pedi and kiddies can also have a non-toxic pampering while they wait. The salon mixes up their monthly promotions and makes a point of keeping their staff up to date with new technologies (oh yes, nail art is an evolving science) by running trainings each week with their technicians.
For those of us who always seem to always have our hands occupied, perhaps the only relief is, well, to have our hands occupied. T & T can keep your talons busy while you switch the rest of your body off and indulge in a little R & R. Plus, your endings say a lot about you. Make sure yours are happy.