First Look: MiniLuxe on Newbury Street

1211384334Since it launched last year, MiniLuxe‘s premise of quick, affordable, sanitary nail service in a sleek setting has been super attractive. However, its Newton Centre locale was less than ideal for city-centric schedules, leaving those of us who work in town to deal with cheapo nail shanties and price-gouging spas for nearby digital clean-ups.

So my over-walked tootsies and bitten-to-the-quick cuticles rejoiced when I heard the mani-pedi pros had finally opened up their second shop in Back Bay, just a few blocks away from work.

In a last-minute grooming effort before jetting off for bridesmaid duty in Charleston last weekend, I dashed into the airy, pastel-colored spot and took them up on their walk-in-friendly policy. After choosing an OPI in a deeeep purple (which later looked terrific with my ice blue bridesmaid gown) I was assigned to Melissa, who took me into the scrubbed, foot basin-lined pedi room. Unlike fungus magnet foot baths, MiniLuxe exclusively uses simple, single-drain sinks. As I sat on the ultra cushy bench, Melissa worked her magic in under a half-hour, leaving my toes in superior shape.

Then, on a whim, I asked if the brow technician could squeeze me in. With luck, Meredith was available for the plucking. She was quick (finishing in ten minutes flat) and skilled (two fellow maids complimented me on my arches over the weekend). But, affordable? Not so much.

When my total came to $75, I was shocked to learn that while the topnotch pedi set me back a mere 35 bucks, the quickie brow shape demanded I fork over $40. I’m all for investing in eyebrows, but the time to money ratio threw me for a bit of a loop. I mean, $40 for 10 minutes translates to a whopping hourly rate of $240 (plus tips!). Maybe I picked the wrong career.

Still, my feet were fit for walking down the aisle, with brows to match. And I was in and out in under an hour—fungus free.

296 Newbury St., Boston, 617-362-7444,