Spruce Salon Nails It

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Photograph by Tamia Stinson

The first thing that stands out when walking into Over-the-Rhine’s Spruce Salon is the laid back cool-girl vibe, like the popular girl in school decided to get into the nail game. The second thing? No overpowering chemical smell. Talk about a godsend.

That’s because the salon owners stick to five-free brands like Deborah Lippmann, tenoverten and Zoya, and create their own all-natural products—cuticle oil, hand lotions, and scrub—to fill any gaps. The decor feels less like a salon and more like a studio, with manicure tables crafted by local furniture outfit Brush Factory and cozy lounge chairs at the pedicure stations.

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Photograph by Tamia Stinson

It’s easy to make an appointment online, and I decided on The Staple manicure with accent nail art. Once I arrived and checked in with the receptionist, I chose several polish colors from a selection of vibrant bottles before sitting down at the station and explaining my vision to the nail artist. She got to work quickly, removing the old polish before grooming my cuticles and doing a basic hand massage while I gazed around the salon and Snapchatted with my free hand.

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Photograph by Tamia Stinson

I overheard one of the salon’s co-owners chatting with a client getting a pedicure, and though my manicurist was slightly less friendly, she was definitely thorough: The polish on one of my nails got a small smudge during the topcoat process, and instead of covering it up, she took the polish off of that nail and started all over again. Once everything was perfect, it was time to dry my gleaming fingers under mini-fans while watching passersby on Vine Street.

I was skeptical about the longevity of natural nail products, but my manicure lasted a solid week, (mostly) in-tact despite the usual suspects like washing dishes and laundry. A run-in with a particularly stubborn gas pump netted a chip or two, but my hands didn’t reach hot mess status until day 10.

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Photograph by Tamia Stinson

Spruce fits in nicely with the other independent women-owned businesses on Vine Street, and the trendy oasis feel makes for good clean fun.

Spruce Nail Shop, 1235 Vine Street, sprucenailshop.com

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