When I came to work on the Hill, (eons ago, when the world was new and dinosaurs roamed the earth) I was amazed at the city within a city that is the Capitol complex. From post offices to eateries, from shoe shine counters to doctor’s offices, the Hill seemed to have everything that a person needed in order to survive. I later realized that we have all of these things because our bosses never want us to leave the building, but at the time, to a young naive intern, it seemed very cool.
However, while my fellow Hill staffers were content to use the House dry cleaner, the House cobbler, and the House bank, no one, and I mean no one, used the House beauty salon. Capitol Styles as it was called back then, was, in a word, sketchy as all hell.
Earlier this year, the House salon was leased by new management and given a full remodel, including a new name. Yesterday, I visited Tides Salon for a midday mani-pedi.
I have always been shocked by how much Washingtonians are willing to pay for beauty services like manicures and pedicures. Unwilling to shell out $65 for a Bliss Spa pedicure, I became a do-it-yourselfer. But when I saw that Tides Salon offers a full service pedicure for $25, I had to try it.
Taking with me a pile of work-related reading, I strolled over to Tides for my lunchtime appointment. I wasn’t expecting much, given the salons previous reputation, so when I turned the corner and came face-to-face with a clean, modern, peaceful salon, I was pleasantly surprised.
My pedicure took about an hour and the technician (Mary) was extremely thorough. She scrubbed, trimmed and polished my feet while I relaxed and read my National Journal. It was the most amazing hour of my day, and the perfect start to my week.
The salon uses eco-friendly products, including the nail polish line SpaRitual, which is DBP, toluene and formaldehyde free. While the color selection was by no means expansive, I was able to select a pretty blackberry color for my toes. In the future, I will probably bring my own Nars polish with me and just have her use that. I recommend that you do the same if you want a certain color.
All in all, my pedicure was a pleasant and satisfying addition to a lazy out-of-session Monday. The technician did a fine job and was pleasant to talk to, though she didn’t expect me to entertain her for the entire hour, which I appreciated. And given what nearby salons are charging for a pedicure, I would say that this experience was worth every penny of my $25.
Tides Salon is located in the Cannon House Office Building Rm 139, phone number 202.225.4008. It is open to staff as well as the public. According to the owner they are busiest on Fridays so end of week appointments should be booked in advance. Call to confirm, but I believe that they are open until 8:00PM.