Workday Reading

The Workday Reading: May 11, 2015



1) Last week, The New York Times published an expose about the city’s nail industry.  They also covered the health effects of being a manicurist. Here’s a quote from the reporter’s Q&A:

There is no such thing as a cheap luxury. It’s an oxymoron. The only way that you can have something decadent for a cheap price is by someone being exploited. Your discount manicure is on the back of the person giving it.

2) Looking for a cheap thrill?  This ruffled blouse from Joe Fresh is incredibly fun.  Topshop has a lovely lace sundress in bright white or black.  This extra long, double-pendant necklace would go with anything.

3) Starbucks is moving its Ethos water-bottling plant to from drought-ridden California to Pennsylvania.

4) This black and white tweed skirt from Banana Republic is a classic piece that can be worn in any season.

5) Timothy Caulfield talks about his new book (Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?) and our celebrity driven diet culture.

6) Traveling to the beach this summer? Take a travel-sized Fuzz Off Foam from Bliss to touch up your bikini line.

7) A City Paper reporter from Philadelphia went undercover as an UberX driver exposing what the service looks like from the inside.

8) ASOS has such cute shoes. These lilac-colored Asos sandals are adorable.  I also love these neutral Kurt Geiger high-heeled sandals.

9) What is Fair Trade Coffee?  Vice Magazine reports on the bitter fight for labor standards.

10) This Roland Mouret evening gown is the stuff of dreams.

*image found here.

Leave a Reply to KM · cancel comment


  1. Allison says:

    Wait- does Joe Fresh deliver in the US now? Last I checked their e-commerce site didn’t sell in the US. I would be so thrilled if this changed!

    May 11, 2015/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Kind of related to the nail salon article, they were featured in the John Oliver piece on labor exploitation to make inexpensive clothing. They were on a few of the Today Show segments he showed, so they must sell it here.

      May 11, 2015/Reply
      • Coco says:

        Yes, ironic given the first link! I have personal reservations about buying from so many stores, especially cheap fast-fashion type places.

        May 11, 2015/Reply
  2. Anna says:

    What I want to know is how much salon owners are pocketing (by the sounds of the article, they’re not doing too poorly). Operating costs can’t be very high after the initial capital investment. The bulk of the costs are labor. $25 for 30-45 minutes of work (a run-of-the-mill pedicure) doesn’t seem obscenely cheap, so where is that money going? This also made me somewhat weary of where my tip money goes. I know the article is very NY specific, but do owners pocket the tips customers add on cards or make nail techs handover cash tips?

    May 11, 2015/Reply
    • Jenn S. says:

      A lot of the salons in my area that employ immigrants actually don’t even offer the ability to tip on a card. It’s messed up, too, because it isn’t posted anywhere in most of these places so even if you liked your service, if you didn’t bring cash, your nail tech doesn’t get a tip.

      There’s no good solution, really. Personally, I’ll be seeking salons and spas that don’t seem to cut corners (in supplies, sanitation, or wages) and whose employees I can communicate with. It’s a separate issue entirely, but if a customer has a question along the lines of, “What’s the difference between your pedicure and your spa pedicure?” SOMEONE in the shop should be able to answer.

      May 11, 2015/Reply
  3. KM says:

    Do you recommend the “Fuzz Off” foam, Belle?

    May 11, 2015/Reply
  4. Kathy says:

    Love the links as always, Belle. But I won’t be purchasing anything from Joe Fresh given the conditions their clothes are manufactured under. Like the NYT article says, there is no such thing as a cheap luxury.

    May 11, 2015/Reply
    • EMD says:

      Exactly. That was an odd juxtaposition of items: “cheap luxury comes at a cost” and then a link for a cheap item of clothing at the expense of a factory worker.

      May 11, 2015/Reply
  5. Addie says:

    neither my nail salon or my hair salon allow tips on credit card payments. I feel like that’s pretty common anymore. I do think a lot of what that article discusses was very specific to NY as another commenter mentioned. They only talked about Korean, Chinese and Hispanic workers. I’ve been going to the same nail salon for three years and with the exception of one black employee, they’re all Vietnamese. I’m often the last one there since I go after work and I’ve seen them counting their tips. Hopefully they’re not being exploited by the owner. Interestingly, today I got a NY Times alert that Governor Cuomo has enacted emergency measures to protect nail salon workers:

    May 11, 2015/Reply
    • Anna says:

      That’s great. It seems like a lot of what was detailed in the article is illegal, but there is a lack of enforcement. Glad the government is stepping up.

      May 11, 2015/Reply
  6. Sherry @ Save. Spend. Splurge. says:

    Your #2 recommendations for cheap clothing from Joe Fresh are exactly the same plight the nail salon workers go through from #1.. perhaps worse.

    May 15, 2015/Reply