Thankfully, I may have found my mani-pedi person here in Lima. Just as I left Bogota, I found “my” mani-pedi person there. Then I went on the road and had to search all over again. When I got to Lima, I went to a salon that I had been to before. Sadly, I nearly got a new hole buffed on my nonexistent bunion (it would have been funny if no blood had been shed).
Now, I’ve found my person: Monica Corneja. Monica is a good advertisement for her business with nice long, healthy, painted nails.
60 Soles (60 Peruvian Suns = about 17 U.S. dollars) for a mani-pedi at your house. Monica only needs a bucket to soak your feet and a small stool/box/etc. to sit on while carving the bunions and coarse skin off your feet. She takes pride in her ability to feel the rough areas of your feet.
Monica doesn’t speak English (so it’s a good opportunity to practice Spanish). Her telephone/whatsapp number is 950-070-925.
Very typical… as I’m on my way out of Bogota, I finally meet the best mani-pedi (and waxing, apparently) ladies in town. The word for nails in Spanish is “uñas” with an ñ but they understand “mani-pedi.”
The ladies make house calls and bring everything with them include a vast array of nail polish. They simply need access to warm water. The cost is 50,000 pesos (about $17) no tip required.
And then you get to relax and be pampered as they rub, scrub, scrape, massage, and polish your nails. Ah…
A. Spa at Home. There are several cosmeticians who come to your home for a full range of spa services. I have used only one and would like to take her with me to the end of the world. Since it is not possible, I am passing her onto you. Her name is Koli, number 01916355643. Koli does an outstanding Thai massage, as well as elaborate facials, body scrubs, excellent manicure/pedicures, waxing, etc. range. For mani/pedi she has the instruments, but I would advise having your own nail polish and top coats. If you have your own instruments, even better. Clearly, her services are much cheaper than a salon.
a. Nelos. I use them almost exclusively for blow-dry-s and for head and feet massages. All these are outstanding services.
b. La Femme. (in the same building). I use them mostly for massages and for manicure when my Koli was pregnant. I prefer Nelos for hair services. Salons also do hair for weddings and mehendi.
c. Que Bella on road 13 in Baridhara. While I was not impressed with the blow-dry there, they cut my small son’s hair exquisitely (he has long hair which has to be layered). Also, they have an unbelievable masseuse. She gave me one of the best massages in my entire life. Her name is Shiba, I think.
C. Eyelash Extensions. A recent discovery, Moo has a salon in banana, immediately after Jatra. Taneem Square at 158/E Kamal Ataturk avenue, top floor. Phone 01819192208. You must make an appointment. Cost – 2500 taka. Effect – stunning!
D. Laser hair epilation. If you have ever attempted this in the US, you’d know the high costs associated.Here, Dr. Manzur fromthe Apollo Hospital does these services, she has a machine and has been US trained as a dermatologist. Call 01713063089. Prices depend on the area you are working on, but you can buy packages as well.
How to live the good life in Dhaka? I will now share some recommendations from an expat who thoroughly loves her life in Dhaka. As she says, this is because she has learned to enjoy “the good life which is affordable here.” This first part is about tailors (she also mentions porcelain and spas which I will share next time).
a. Ferdous has extensive fabric selection, including a lot of linen. They copy extremely well (400 taka plus fabric), and make tuxedos (about 8000 taka). They also make excellent suits. Located on the north side of Madani Avenue near Gulshan 2 circle. Store is on the second floor, look carefully when you drive, they have a big sign outside).
b. K L Sweden (located across from Ferdous, on the south side when you drive on Madani Avenue to DIT2 market, the store is down a side street right after the VIP Photo building on the other end of the VIP Photo sign, which is not obvious from the main road; right next to Shinepukur plates store). They also copy shirts very well and have good linen. They also do tuxes. All very good quality.
a. Best copier of western clothes – European tailor, located at the corner of road 12 and UN road, keep walking from UN road in a narrow alley, it is right after another tailor and fish store. It has a bright yellow sign. It is down the alley once you see the fish store. Cheap.
b. Best tailor of Western clothes who can copy anything, or can make them from a simple picture (he is my personal favorite of all times!) – Johny, he comes to your house, his number is 01923270358. Johny makes fabulous ball gowns and costumes (for expats there are many balls each year… Glitter Ball, etc.).
c. Shaheen, also on road 12, is a popular choice. I do not use him, I hear he has a bit of an attitude and is relatively expensive.
d. For sarees and saree blouses and petticoats – Sharonika in Pink City. Located on the first floor (need to take the escalator once inside), and then simply ask for the store, it is a bit inside. As many will tell you, local tailors have trouble making blouses for our body types and I have found Sharonika to be very good at that. Prices are, as usual, cheap. For saree bordering (must be done for each new saree you buy) is only 250 taka.
e. I have heard a lot about the Russian tailor Svetlana, but have never used her. Apparently, she is quite artistic and good, but she is very busy and often out of the country, as well as quite pricey and opinionated on what you should be making, versus what you want to have made.