Downtown Hamilton doesn’t exactly scream high-end salons. When I moved here, I used to make the trip back into Burlington to see my old trusted manicurist, until she moved to Ottawa. I have tried out a few places in Hamilton since, most were just ok and some were just scary – none that screamed go back to me always. I remember sitting in one and seeing them do two manicures at the same time using the same tools! Needless to say I just walked out.
I go by The Ten Spot on a regular basis on my way downtown. James Street is like a hidden gem, so close to downtown but full of cutesy stores and businesses that makes you feel miles away from Jackson Square! The Ten Spot is nestled into a cute row that houses Hotti Biscotti and the HandKnit Yarn Studio, definitely not the Hamilton you are used to.
The Spot Spot is full of cheeky slogans, my mum was visiting when it was first opening and they had a huge billboard saying “Get a Quickie at The Ten Spot” that made her wonder about adult advertising in Canada. People who post photos of their manicures with #JustGotNailed and tag them while still at the nail bar get a free mini nail file or lip balm. Once inside the Ten Spot, it is family friendly and they even offer mani/pedis for kids under 12.
The Ten Spot has a slightly clinical feel to it from outside, you won’t find any massaging chairs and bubbling foot spas there. They take hygiene really seriously. Those bubbling spa chairs, as comfy and relaxing as they may be, are a breeding ground for bacteria and no one wants to go home with a nasty infection with their pedicure!
Each customer gets a tray of fresh instruments/supplies. Even the lotion for the hand massage is pre-poured into a cup so there is no double dipping and no risk of infection. Even the nail files are single use pads stuck on to a sanitized metal file holder. Everything else comes in pumps or is disposable.
The Ten Spot have a number of polishes to choose from including their own brand of lacquer, Get Nailed. For regular manicures, choose from their brand, Essie or OPI. Choose Get Nailed and you can take a bottle home for $8 to refresh your manicure. They don’t use your bottle though, you get a fresh one! For gel manicures, they have OPI, Gelish and Essie. Unlike a recent salon I visited, they have swatches of the gel colours so you are not guessing how your nails will turn out for gel polishes too and will let you mix it up with 2 polishes for no extra charge if you want an accent nail.
For my gel manicure, I went with one of OPI’s Coke themed polishes, Today I Accomplished Zero, which pretty much summed up the day I was having. It is inspired by Coke Zero and is a black jelly with red glitter. Leah, my manicurist, got as close to my cuticle as possible to leave my gel mani looking great for as long as possible, because who wants a huge visible nail line after a week. After growing out for 9 days, it was still looking great.
Needless to say, I have found somewhere I will be going back to, for a lash tint next since they do more than just nails, they do waxing, facials and more! I will definitely be recommending it to friends (and you of course). Even better, they have a loyalty program Friends with Benefits where you earn points for every dollar spent and friends referred which you can use for free treatments, because who doesn’t love free manicures?
Disclosure: gel manicure was received free of charge in return for my review, but I highly recommend Leah & The Ten Spot.