What do *I* do at a pedicure?
December 22, 2012 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Manicure/pedicure etiquette: What exactly do you do during the process?

My friend got me a 30 minute manicure + 60 minute pedicure as a holiday present -- it is booked for later today. The thing is, I'm not entirely sure what I am supposed to be doing while getting it. 60 minutes is a long time! Do I talk to the nail technician? Do I read a book? Do I meditate? Do I awkwardly play with my phone? Help!!
posted by aaanastasia to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I make a little small talk at the beginning and then power through their trashy magazine collection. Disclaimer- I really love trashy magazines.
posted by queens86 at 10:48 AM on December 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

All or any if the above. I normally pick a station by a window and people watch
posted by spunweb at 10:48 AM on December 22, 2012

You do what you'd like to do - some places have massage chairs for the pedicure, so I lean back and relax, trying to pay attention to when they want me to switch feet. Some people look at magazines or their phones. I usually just chill out and try to enjoy the process.
posted by ldthomps at 10:49 AM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

The other thing is that often the nail techs are talking to each other (in Vietnamese) at the place I go to, so with the language barrier I don't chat much.
posted by ldthomps at 10:50 AM on December 22, 2012

Don't worry--You won't be expected to entertain the nail technician! I take a book and enjoy the experience of being pampered. THe most I usually say is "I'd like xxx color polish", "My feet feel great--thanks!". "My feet LOOK great--thanks!", and "Thank you so much--have a great day!"
Sit back and enjoy it--what a great gift!
posted by bookmammal at 10:51 AM on December 22, 2012

I bring my iPad and read/faff around. Sometimes I'll make small talk but mostly the conversation goes along the lines of what bookmammal said - picking the polish and then complimenting the esthetician. You are under no obligation to chit chat.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:54 AM on December 22, 2012

I listen to an audio book on my IPod, because that is hands free. At the start I chat a little with the technician, along the way I say thanks or feels nice or looks good or shorter, please. At the end I tip generously, preferably in personally delivered cash.
posted by bearwife at 10:55 AM on December 22, 2012

I get mani/pedis every other week and I read on my Kindle, fiddle on my phone, or listen to something with my headphones. In fact, I'm having a pedi right now while I surf AskMe. :)

You won't offend the tech by tuning out but if it makes you feel weird just say, "I'm going to relax a while while you work your magic."
posted by _Mona_ at 11:02 AM on December 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

I chat with the tech and/or people watch during the mani because my hands are captive, but I read/chat with friends on my tablet during a pedicure. There's usually someone else getting one too, and the techs mostly chat with each other.
posted by Stacey at 11:06 AM on December 22, 2012

Enjoy it! And you may want to add a tip for the nail tech if your gift certificate doesn't state that's included. I tip 20%. I read magazines, answer email on my phone, etc. The harried mom next to me last time slept through hers.
posted by cecic at 11:25 AM on December 22, 2012

Definitely tip! And the time is yours to spend as you like...I usually read.
posted by honey badger at 11:41 AM on December 22, 2012

Read, listen to music, whatever helps relax you; I tend not to pay much attention to the woman unless she's asking a direct question (she's got a job to do and probably isn't super into talking to me either) and then leave a good tip, especially if I'm planning to go back. Also, in many places the pedicure seats are actually massage chairs so look around for the controls if you're interested.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:42 AM on December 22, 2012

I usually read my Kindle (during the pedicure). Some places I've gone to have TVs showing chickflicks or reality TV or whatever, and that's good for when I've got the manicure going on. In the US the places I go usually have Vietnamese technicians who talk to each other and not me. In the UK they're usually English speaking and we have the whole "Why do you sound American and what are you doing here and what differences do you see between our countries" conversation. YMMV.

Once, when I was technically on vacation but had something at work come up, I ran a conference call meeting with a bunch of military bureaucrats while I was having a pedicure. One of my prouder moments as a woman in engineering.
posted by olinerd at 12:21 PM on December 22, 2012 [16 favorites]

I read -- my phone, Kindle, or magazines. The important thing is to relax. Relax your mind as well as your feet and hands. It's easier for the technician to work on hands and feet that are very relaxed. Try not to stiffen your hands or feet. Allow them to relax like a rag doll so the tech can move them and work on them easily.
posted by Fairchild at 2:00 PM on December 22, 2012

They usually take the cue from you as to whether you want to talk or not. When I get a pedi I usually make some small talk then just lie back and close my eyes and make it obvious that I'm just taking it all in. Also there is often a language barrier (most nail salons have Vietnamese techs, not sure why, but I'm pretty sure that's a statistical fact) and as mentioned above the techs usually just chat to each other. I think if you started going regularly to the same person you might develop a relationship, but basically it's totally fine to just have "you" time.
posted by radioamy at 2:22 PM on December 22, 2012

I read, but I don't listen to anything on headphones that might prevent me from responding to a question from the nail tech.
posted by elizardbits at 4:05 PM on December 22, 2012

I read a magazine and my phone during the pedicure, and during the manicure she and I told each other bad dating stories. Mani-pedi win!
posted by aaanastasia at 4:11 PM on December 22, 2012 [6 favorites]

Same thing I do during haircuts pretty much! Or eyebrow waxes/threading. Which is to say, chat if the esthetician is chatty, but often just chill out or read. (My hairstylist is really chatty and I like her but there have been plenty I've been fine with just zoning out under).
posted by stoneandstar at 3:54 PM on December 23, 2012

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