Last week I headed to Westboro to try a place I'd been hearing lots about: The Ten Spot. A few girlfriends had been in and raved about it so it was time I went to see for myself. The Ten Spot is a cheeky beauty bar concept from Toronto that prides itself on quality services in a modern, fun, and distinctly un-spa-like environment (there are no "shush ladies" here), and the Westboro location is their very first Ottawa outpost.
I'd been following Westboro owners Kim and Carolyne on Instagram and Twitter for a while (hi ladies!) and they seemed like such lovely, genuine, and hardworking entrepreneurs. So obviously I was thrilled when I received a kind invite to come check them out.
Without further adieu, welcome to The Ten Spot!
The first thing you'll notice when you walk through the door: the space is open, airy, and fun, with vibrant pops of colour. The mani/pedi area is open concept and designed for socializing, so it's the perfect place to chat with your girlfriends to catch up while you get your nails did. And this ain't a spa with that awful 'spa music' either (you know the kind I'm talking about). Instead they played an upbeat music I actually listen to and there was a TV on the wall playing chick flicks (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days!). At the front of the shop you'll find a little retail section stocked with Dermalogica, Essie, and OPI, and they even sell Havaianas flip flops in case you want to wear a cute pair home from your pedi. Bravo, ladies!
The second thing you'll notice about The Ten Spot: it's immaculately clean. Every square inch of this place seemed like it was designed for cleanliness: stainless steel (easy to sanitize thoroughly) and smoth surfaces that are easy to wipe down (no pesky nooks and crannies). The whole place was gleaming it was so clean. Thumbs up.
I picked out my polish and settled into the comfy couch-style seating for my pedi. My esthetician, Naomi, offered me a delicious cup of tea (David's Forever Nuts! I had three cups...), a magazine, and even an iPad (fancy!). I popped my feet into the warm water and she got started. My pedicure included a soak, nail shaping and buffing, cuticle work, buffing of my feet, a scrub, massage (sooo good), AND The Ten Spot even offers a complimentary toe wax with all pedis. For real?!? This is SUCH a good idea yet it's the first time I've seen it offered anywhere. Très impressed over here.
Naomi was gentle yet thorough throughout my service, and checked in with me about my preferred nail shape, massage pressure, and more. When I couldn't make up my mind between all their pretty polishes, she patiently applied three different colours to a few of my toes so I could choose a winner. I chose Frock n' Roll, a gorgeous deep metallic purple (almost black, really) from the new Essie x Rebecca Minkoff fall collection:
Now it was time for my mani. Naomi refilled my yummy cup of tea yet again, then treated my hands to a scrub, hot towel, nail shaping (my choice: square, always), then buffed and soaked my hands and tended to my poor dry cuticles. Then more massage (aaaaahhh so good for relaxing those texting fingers!) and polish.
In fall and winter I'm a massive fan of short, black nails, so I went for Licorice by Essie, a rich, creamy black. Full disclosure: I also chose black because it's totally unforgiving and shows event the smallest mistake, so I knew I'd be able to gauge the quality of my mani. Well, Naomi was a total pro with a steady hand and no goof-ups. She managed to cap the tips of my short nails without making a mess (I have no idea how), and the end result was a beautiful, sleek mani. I'm officially converted.
THE LAST WORD
So would I recommend The Ten Spot? Absolutely. From start to finish I was impressed with the fun, welcoming atmosphere, the friendly and professional service, and the little extras that set them apart (hello free toe wax!). Plus they have online booking, which I love.
A mani and pedi at The Ten Spot will run you $80 so no this isn't the cheapest place in town, but it's one of the best and definitely one of the cleanest. I dug a bit deeper and learned that The Ten Spot pays their staff a living wage with commissions, proper breaks, overtime, and vacation pay, plus health and dental benefits. They invest in staff training too, with education allowances and the like (as evidenced by Naomi's perfect job on my black mani).
Yes, you can find mani-pedis elsewhere for half the price, but I've been to some of those places and I simply don't feel comfortable in them: poorly trained staff, rude managers who treated employees badly (in front of customers no less!), messy work stations, and iffy safety and sanitation practices. You get what you pay for, folks. But that said... I've got a deal for you!
Since I enjoyed my trip to The Ten Spot so much, I asked them for a special deal so you could try it too.
Mention you heard about The Ten Spot on Amy in 613 or show them my blog on your phone, and you'll receive their First Timer discount for 25% off your first service. Heads up: this promotion is not available from December 17, 2015 - December 31, 2015, so plan accordingly. But that's not all: for the month of November, get 20% off select retail products in-store when you book an appointment Sundays through Thursdays!