Writing a report on a complimentary pedicure with shellac nail polish and a facial is a new experience for this reporter.
With the grand opening of the spa coming up in September, Josh Friesen, one of the owners of Cast + Court, asked if one of the reporters would be interested in experiencing some complimentary service to write a review.
I was nominated.
In 2006, I went for a manicure and pedicure with my sisters and grandmother. I chose clear polish.
This time, I went with purple. I’d never had a facial.
Not sure if this qualifies or disqualifies me from writing a review, but here it goes.
The location of Cast + Court hasn’t changed. It’s still in a converted house across the road from Slave Lake Koinonia Christian School. The house is set back from the road with some flowers out front.
There is a sign on the lawn and in the window.
This being Western Canada the question of which door to approach came up. The front or the side door.
The sign by the front doors said, ‘we’re open so come on in’, or something similar.
I chose that front door. It was unlocked and the right choice.
Just inside the front door, there are two baskets of comfy slippers – white for the spa and gray for the salon.
Being a newbie, I wasn’t positive if a pedicure was spa or salon, so I chose gray.
For future reference, at Cast + Court, the salon only applies to the hair cutting etc. done in the basement. Which isn’t creepy at all like the preceding sentence makes it sound. It is very chic and clean with a new photo area for taking pictures of beautiful hair.
Friesen and his partner, Jeffery Solis started the salon with just the two of them, but it has grown to three chairs and now the new spa.
No one commented on my choice of slippers, which made me feel comfortable and welcome.
The waiting room, which used to be a living room, is tastefully decorated with antiques, a dark couch and two chairs.
The far wall has a variety of high end hair and body care products.
Friesen says he and his partner love going to spas. All the spas that they like carried Éminence Organic Skin Care products, so that is what they carry. Éminence comes from Hungary and was founded in 1958.
The spa manager welcomed me with a long warm wheat bag to put on my shoulders. It was very restful.
After the preliminary paper work, I met Emily McNally, the esthetician who was going to do my pedicure and facial. An esthetician does manicures, pedicures, facials, and waxing.
The bedrooms in the house have been converted to spa rooms. The first door on the left is the mani/pedi room.
It has two chairs, a handy spout under the sink for filling the soaking tubs and a beautiful large painting of a colourful woman and birds.
The painting is right in front of the chairs. It’s both abstract and soothing.
There was ambient music playing in the room. McNally was more than willing to answer all of my questions.
The signature pedicure takes 60 minutes and has lots of different elements. There’s a soak in a warm tub of soapy water with a vibrating floor, which massages the feet a bit.
McNally alternated my feet and trimmed, buffed, and cleaned my toe nails and cuticles. She also exfoliated and filed my feet. She suggested I moisturize since I have a few micro cracks in my heels.
The health and cleaning part of the pedicure ended with a foot massage which relieved tense muscles in my feet.
“Foot health is health care,” McNally said. Nail polish is just a nice bonus.
She has several male clients who come to get their feet looked after and don’t get nail polish.
The signature pedicure comes with regular nail polish, but since this takes a while to dry, McNally did the shellac nail polish.
I must admit being a bit concerned when I heard the words shellac. I’m not much of a makeup person, but it was fine. It last longer, and dries with a LED light.
Having never had a facial, I had no idea why it could mess up nail polish. I had this idea that I’d be sitting in a chair similar to a hair cutting chair getting my face cleaned and massaged a bit.
It was nothing like this.
Like a massage, it’s in a private room with subdued lighting and soothing music. When you are alone, you take off your shirt, put on a wrap, and climb under the covers. The bed is comfortable, with a thick blanket and bed warmer.
The signature facial is 60 minutes, and includes several cleansers, a mask, and a hand massage.
The only part I didn’t like was when McNally first put the warm damp cloth on my face to wipe of the cleanser. I had this irrational fear she was going to put it over my mouth and nose, but she laid it down in a circle leaving space for both. This circle covered my chin, cheeks and eyes. The warm cloth was calming once I got used to it.
McNally used various products. After the facial, she gave me a list of what she used, suggestions for better skin care, and two samples.
Facials and pedicures aren’t cheap.
Cast + Court pedicures range from $36 to $65. Shellac adds $22. Facials range from $64 to $130.
At first glance, this seemed very expensive, so I price-checked facials against two other salons and spas in Slave Lake. Beautique Esthetics lists a spa facial as $65. Hair FX has two facials specialized for $115 and plastic facial for $95.
It seems Cast + Court prices are in the same range as the competition.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would consider saving up to do something similar in the future.
The whole experience made me feel pampered and relaxed. My skin feels lovely and the colour is staying very well on my toe nails.