JoliNails, Shirokane

By Lisa Gravestock
August 20, 2013
Families, Health & Beauty

Adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mum and trying to find the time to do what I previously did without a second thought has proven to be a bit more difficult that I expected it to be. I was desperate for a massage and a little pampering to make me feel like Lisa and not just a mum, but caring for my daughter 24 hours a day made such small luxuries impossible. Or so I thought, until I heard about a new salon that offers childcare while you get your treatments.

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JoliNails is an American owned and operated one-stop beauty, nail and esthetic salon, conveniently located a three-minute walk from Shirokane Takanawa station.

On arrival I met the owner, Janica, who took my daughter and I to the playroom on the first floor to meet the sitter and spend some time with her before my treatments. The playroom was equipped with toys and books to keep my little one entertained, and once the sitter was armed with refreshments, nappy changing supplies and the info she needed, it was time for me to relax.

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On the second floor I was greeted by the international team of specialists, who were all very welcoming and professional. The salon has only recently opened so was fresh and bright with an air of excitement amongst the team.

My massage therapist took me through to the cosy treatment room to discuss my needs and recommended a 60-minute deep tissue aroma oil massage (¥7,000), which was wonderful. The therapist did her best to help me relax, ensured the pressure was fine for me (which it was—I hate soft wishy washy massages) and worked on the areas that needed most attention after finding the numerous knots in my back. I felt like a new woman after 60 minutes, but wait—there was more pampering to be done!

After popping downstairs to check on my little one, the IPL therapists were ready and waiting for me. They explained that the machine they use is one of only two of its kind in Japan, using the latest Intense Pulsed Light technology, which tailors the settings to your individual skin tone and hair type, unlike most other salons here that are set for Japanese skin and hair. I was also amazed to hear that the machine will remember my settings for next time. The zapping itself was painless, and to make the hair removal experience even less painful I was happy to hear the salon is offering a 50 percent discount on IPL treatments (including courses) until September 30, so there’s no time like the present to say sayonara to unwanted body hair.

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The salon prides itself on being a hair removal specialist in Tokyo. As well as IPL and waxing, it also offers threading, an ancient Middle Eastern technique of hair removal by thread, which removes the entire hair follicle. Shaz is an authentic threading therapist with 20 years of experience and an expert at eyebrow shaping. Within 10 minutes my eyebrows were shaped to define my brow and enhance my eyes, without the pain and irritation of other methods that can be harsh on sensitive skin.

Finally, I indulged in a manicure and checked out the options available: regular mani, Shellac, OPI gel or a vast array of gel nail designs. I opted for a summery Shellac shade and got a chance to chat with Janica. A mother of three, she told me that the salon came about after her and her friends found themselves unable to indulge in nail treatments, a well earned massage or even book a hair removal session without the stress of finding a babysitter or cutting out of family time on weekends.

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After a couple of hours of me time while my little one was being taken care of close by, I felt great. The therapists were very knowledgeable, and as my Japanese is limited it was a joy to be able to communicate in English (or any of the other languages spoken in the team). They were all very friendly and happy for me to go downstairs in between treatments to see my daughter, who I was relieved to see was having fun with the sitter and the other youngsters, including the owner’s baby boy.

I’ve already booked my next appointment for IPL and threading and look forward to going back. The availability of onsite professional childcare is a godsend for mothers, but course you don’t need to be a mum to benefit from the range of treatments and offers currently available at JoliNails.

The Deets

Address: 3-10-9 Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Tel: 03-6721-9669

Open: Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (last appt. 8:30 p.m.); Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (nails), 3-10 p.m. (massages); Sun, hols massages only


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British-born Lisa has been living in Japan since 2002. She studied business management in the UK, and worked in financial services and banking until becoming a stay-at-home mum when her daughter was born. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, yoga and exploring the urban and rural joys of Japan.

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