I'm not pregnant. But if you are pregnant and you live in the Denver area, and you can't see your toes, much less reach them to put on a coat of polish, you need to know about Base Coat Nail Salon! I mentioned this low-odor/chemical salon in my How to Have an Awesome Mother's Day in Denver post last month and I decided to give them a try myself.
Booking was easy with their online system (you can also call them directly to book) and they sent me a confirmation via email, so the address and appointment time was at my fingertips. (Perfect since I had no idea where they were located.)
The salon is exactly as I pictured it--probably due to the amazing online photos of their other locations. It's sleek, modern, and boho all in one. One thing was noticeably absent: the incredibly strong chemical odor that permeates most "regular" nail salons.
How is Base Coat Salon different and why does it smell so non-chemical-y? Because they are non-toxic-y! That's the basis of their entire philosophy and highlighted in their "Our Promise" or what I like to call, their manifesto. Here is an excerpt (emphasis is mine):
"Our custom formulated creams, scrubs and oils used in all of the services at Base Coat Nail Salon™ are vegan friendly, scented with only essential oils, plant based preservatives and never contain petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates or any other harmful chemicals. . . we do offer a Oxygenating Medical Grade Gel, 10-Free of the most toxic ingredients using LED light to cure, not skin-aging UV lights, vegan/cruelty-free and lasts up to 14 days. . . Our Base Coat nail polish is long-wearing and 8-Free of the most toxic ingredients known to cause health problems including cancer, asthma and even neonatal death. . . All our products are responsibly made, vegan, gluten and cruelty-free."
After getting a pedicure from Base Coat Nail Salon, and seeing that the quality of the product is as good and probably better than your typical nail salon, it's kind of shocking that more businesses haven't tried to move to a healthier product. The entire experience felt very spa-like vs. nail salon-y and the quality of the polish is impressive. Sure, the price was a little higher than what you would pay at a regular nail salon, although compared to some nail salons, not by much! And it felt like more of a "spa" vs. nail salon.
I paid $40 (+ tip) for an incredible pedicure. She removed my polish, cleaned up my cuticles, buffed my nail beds, trimmed and filed my nails, used a sugar scrub on my feet and legs, massaged me as she applied lotion and applied 3 coats of polish! She topped it all off with cuticle oil that felt extravagant and fancy. It was so relaxing and I didn't have to breathe through my nose the entire time (anyone else do that while at a 'regular' nail salon?).
Are Nail Salons Safe During Pregnancy?
You should always consult your doctor when determining the safety of beauty treatments while pregnant. From my research, the jury is still out on whether or not the chemical fumes in regular nail salons can harm your baby while pregnant. Most pregnant women can't tolerate the fumes and become nauseous.
I couldn't find any studies that stated that nail salons are not safe during pregnancy. I found one article that referenced a study of the children of moms who worked in nail salons. The study found that these children had lower test scores on things like cognitive function, language, and attention. It should be noted that long-term scientific studies have not been conducted due to lack of willing participants. This should tell you something!
I would err on the side of safety, especially with the rise of non-toxic and low-fume options like Base Coat Nail Salon! Why risk it?
Other Things to Consider About Nail Salons While Pregnant:
1. Make sure the salon is well ventilated.
2. Wait until you are out of your first trimester.
3. Check to make sure the salon has a current health certificate (you can usually find this information online).
4. Trust your gut. If the fumes are overwhelming, turn around. And book an appointment with Base Coat or a similar salon ;)
And now a few words about Base Coat's new location in Stapleton:
The Stanley Marketplace
Stapleton seems to be all the rage these days. Every time I turn around I hear about a restaurant opening there or a satellite location of one of Denver's established businesses. Beyond that, I discovered that Base Coat is located in an old airplane hanger and manufacturing facility, named "Stanley Marketplace." It.Is.The.Coolest.
The inside of the Stanley is industrial, yet bright, warm and happy. It's still a work in progress, but that just adds to the personality. This place has everything. Food, boutiques, kid activities, meeting space, even a dentist!
The Zero Market is just what you guessed! A market to provide you with life's necessities all while reducing product package waste (zero waste). You can bring your own container for bulk shampoo and other toiletries and they have gifts, food and even stainless steel straws!
You want a boutique for unique jewelry, wardrobe, and gift options? Stanley Market has you covered! They have carefully curated shops for grownups and gift shops with plenty of choices for you or for your next baby shower.
One of the boutiques is a store for the grownups, called Velvet Wolf which carries clothes and accessories all for under $100 an item! And BONUS:
They have a separate store front for babies and kids called Little Wolf boutique with everything you can think of for life with a baby. This would be an awesome place for a baby shower gift for someone you really like or want to impress :) They are as chic as they are hip.
There are a variety of restaurants including the uber popular Rosenbergs Bagel & Deli where you can catch a New York style bagel without the line typically seen in their downtown location! Apparently they have retrofitted their water system to mimic that of New York City allowing them to make bagels that rival some of New York's most historic delis!
We (I had my 11-year-old son with me) ended up at a Mexican restaurant named Comida Cantina for a quick bite to eat. If you like spicy, you will love this Mexican-inspired street food restaurant. Me? It was a little tooo spicy. I ordered guacamole and chips as an appetizer and couldn't eat more than one bite. It was unpleasant. But I had them wrap it for me and Joe loved it! As the waitress said, you never know how hot a jalapeño will be, so it's hard to judge. I guess.
The street taco combinations were like nothing I've ever seen and despite sounding a little crazy were very good. For example, "The Situation" is slow-roasted steak over smoked gouda sweet potato mash with roasted onions and house crema. Rich, but amazing.
The entire Stanley Marketplace is just plain COOL. There's not a better way to explain it. Because I'm still somewhat of a Denver "newb," I discovered that the old Denver airport used to be in Stapleton and Stanley Aviation's manufacturing facility lived in this warehouse right next to the Stapleton Airport's main runway.
The owners of the Stanley Marketplace carried the aviation theme throughout the entire building--even the restrooms were not forgotten. While you wait in line, you can read about female pilots on the bathroom doors.
The Stanley is located in Aurora and more specifically "north Aurora" which is going through somewhat of a "renaissance." There are signs (literally and figuratively) all around showing how Aurora is changing for the better and the Stanley Marketplace is going to be a big part of that transformation.
The Stanley Marketplace houses about 50 Colorado-based businesses and is somewhat of a destination for everything you could imagine--there's even a dentist and a gym! I can't wait to take my husband and kids back because there is something for everyone here!
And if you are pregnant, or know someone who is, tip them off to Base Coat Nail Salon! What a relief to find an affordable, safe nail salon with the added bonus of a spa-like feel!
Plus, right next door to Base Coat is Belly Bliss--a parenting education and doula resource as well as yoga studio for expectant mothers! (They also have mommy and me classes and family yoga!) If I were pregnant, an afternoon spent at Stanley with Yoga + Pedicure sounds like the perfect way to #treatyoself!