After a New York Times report put corner salons under fire for their workplace practices when it comes to nail technician wages and treatment, we've all been a little wary of getting our digits done on the cheap. Enter Manicube, an in-office manicure service. It's a house call... for your nails... at your job... provided your employer participates, of course.
The fallout from the initial NYC nail salon report certainly interferes with what was once an innocuous, don't-think-too-much-about-it practice for me that found me popping into a salon to get a quick, after-work mani before starting the weekend. I didn't consider ethical issues until now, even if the low, low prices could have been a warning sign that something was up.
That's why I'm so intrigued by Manicube, a service that companies ought to think about utilizing. If you are reading this and work in HR, pay attention, as this might be something your company wants to offer to employees.
Not only does the Manicube nail tech come to the office — which is crazy convenient if you can't break away due to an impending conference call that requires you to be in front of your desktop computer —but the service offers high-quality, 15-minute manis.
Manicube really is designed to make life easier for working women who are in high-demand but who also need to put care and thought into presentation, including their nails/hands.
Women in the corporate workplace can't show up to a board meeting with ragged, torn cuticles or chipped lacquer. Whether we like it or not, image is everything and being polished, quite literally, is critical.
The company serves working women at corporations in major cities from NYC to Boston to Chicago to San Francisco.
What's even more beautiful than a Manicube mani is the fact that the company founders, Harvard grads Katina Mountanos and Liz Whitman, treat their employees as respectfully as they do their customers. Mountanos and Whitman tell me that Manicube employees are compensated competitively, have flexible schedules, are offered development opps, and are able to use products that are not detrimental to their health.
Mountanos and Whitman were sadly not shocked by the New York Times report, as some of their employees have worked in salons and have dealt with similar situations. Mountanos tells me, "It comes down to pricing. It’s clear that the labor practices have been driving down pricing of nail services for a few decades. Then owners can’t pay workers fairly or maintain proper sanitation procedures, and can’t afford premium products."
She did suggest that for now, while regulations are being considered, consumers can ask questions at their salons and they can do their homework to make sure they utilize "good players" in the market that take care of their workers, which is what Manicube does. The company pays over minimum wage and tips are always handed over directly to the nail tech.
That said, here's the skinny on how Manicube works, in case you're still on the fence.
1. Manicube Does It All
Literally. The company works with corporate HR teams to set up the particulars, like where in the office the service can take place, either at a desk or in a conference room. You make the appointment, pay for it, and then get your nails did.
2. No Cash, No Prob
Since you pay online ahead of time, like Uber, it's totally cashless. No more digging in your bag and possibly smudging a fresh mani.
3. Clean And Mean
Certain tools are single-use, while others are sterilized. It's the ultimate in cleanliness.
4. Options! Options! Options!
Manicube has gel and gel-lite options, depending the city you live in.
5. Choose A Color, Please
That's the first thing a manicurist says when you say you need a mani or a pedi. How do you pick your Manicube shade? You can BYOP(olish) or select one of the 60 shades they bring with 'em. With 60 choices, there has to be something you like.
They do pedis, which seems counterintuitive, since you need a chair with a water bath for a quality pedicure. But Manicube offers two dry pedi options: a premium and a quick service.
7. High + Dry
No dryers? No problem. Manicube manis include a quick-drying top coat and drying drops, eliminating the need for a noisy, takes-too-long dryer.
Seriously, if you boss isn't hooking you up with Manicube yet, it's time to do some convincing.
Images: Giphy (8); Getty (1)