Encino’s Soak Nails: A destination spa salon with natural products

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“We want our salon to be a respite for people to come in and take a break from everyday life,” says Soo Wee, who co-owns Soak Nails in Encino with her husband, Young Kim.

“We want our customers to be able to relax and recharge,” adds Kim.

Wee and Kim aren’t your average nail salon owners. Wee  has a hospitality degree from the Swiss Hotel Management School in Montreux, Switzerland and an MBA from the American Graduate School of Business in La Tour de Peilz, Switzerland.  Kim double majored in management and marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Together and apart, they’ve lived cosmopolitan lives in South Korea, Kuwait, Bali, Brazil, Switzerland, New York and Los Angeles.  They spent two years researching  and evaluating products at various high-end salons and resort spas throughout the world before opening Soak Nails.

Wee, who has worked in hospitality management at hotels such as the Ritz Carlton, says she was inspired to open a specialized boutique salon because she has “a passion for nails and beauty” and a commitment that she learned from her mother that “a lady should be treated like a lady.”

With those facts in mind, Soak Nails, which is celebrating its year anniversary next week (with a special promo below), is not your average salon, but can be compared to that at a high end destination resort spa.

Just open the door into this Encino Place salon, and you’ll know why they are different.

Red leather spa chairs

Soak Nails is one of only a few nail spas in Southern California to feature the Sedona pedicure chair. Produced by a small, boutique spa chair manufacturer based in Scottsdale, Arizona, this red leather chair features a six way seat adjustment for optimum positioning for both client and service provider, a full back shiatsu style massager, a heated and massaging foot spa, and a full sized manicure table.

There is no odor of nail polish or acetone — or the sound of electric files or drills.  The air is completely neutral because all products used are natural with many being organic and vegan (and no, you can’t eat it). The floor and all surfaces are impeccably clean (but you can probably eat off them).

Step behind the barrier wall and welcome desk and you’ll find a room filled with red leather specialized spa chairs (exclusive to this salon in the Los Angeles area), divided by pale chiffon curtains. The waiting area is cozily situated with light gray leather seating.  A large crystal chandelier reminiscent of Baccarat, hangs royally from the ceiling, while a television artfully framed to the wall, runs silent films. A stack of current magazines, as well as information about one of the salon’s many causes, Global Fund for Women, are available for reading. The music breezing through the room is eclectic and a pleasant surprise — from Frank Sinatra to Bruce Springsteen to The Beatles, folk, smooth jazz, or perhaps,  a movie soundtrack.

When you arrive for your first appointment, you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning your medical health and your activities. It’s not for a mailing list, but for insuring that every customer gets proper care and treatment.  Before any procedure, one of  the seven trained and certified nail technicians analyze your nails. If there is any trace of fungus or infection, they will not proceed and will suggest you see a physician.  Health and sanitation are number priorities.

The waiting area and

The mod waiting area is filled with reading material and a television which runs silent films.

Kim explains, “Chlorine doesn’t clean well enough” for ideal sanitary purposes. Instead, he says the two employed technician assistants use medical grade supplies to clean each foot spa with a cleaning time of at least ten minutes.  They do not use emery boards and wood sticks for more than one person, and instead, throw them away.   All equipment is sterilized and sanitized.  New equipment is used on each customer.  Before you sit down, the nail technician will ask you to come to the automated sink where you will both wash your hands together with soap and water.

They offer complementary tea, cappuccino, latte, or the special spa water of the day, infused with a fresh fruit flavor.

The main product line used at the salon in SpaRitual.  These nail varnishes are free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP and toluene — all chemicals which have been linked to cancer and birth defects.

Soak Nails does not offer “fills” due to the filing, drilling and chemicals involved.  Wee and Kim believe fills are not healthy for the natural nail. Instead, they offer gel nails that are painted on, set under a purple light lamp and look and feel like polish. Using a product called Bio –Sculpture gel, you are able to get the same effect as acrylic and it’ll last ten days to three weeks, depending upon the wearer (hands $40, feet $50).  Included with the gel nail service is a soak off and a nail shaping manicure or pedicure. For the length of time a gel manicure lasts, you’ll  end up saving money if you are used to getting weekly manicures.

Bio-sculpture gel nails are painted on and look like natual polish. The plus is they do not chip and last from 10 days to three weekes depending upon the wearer. Choose from over 70 colors.

Bio-Sculpture gel nails are painted on and look like natural polish. The plus is they do not chip and last from 10 days to three weeks depending upon the wearer. Choose from over 70 colors.

Also offered is a menu of natural pedicure and manicure services that range from $22 for an Express manicure or Mani Pedi combo ($45) to the Ultimate treatment that is inspired by high end destination resort spas, which includes a vegan soak, organic lotions, a scrub masque, callous treatment and extended massage. ($50 manicure, mani-pedi combo , $96). Add-on services are available at a additional cost.

The prices are indeed higher than the quick neighborhood salons that seem to pop up on every corner, but the difference is the highly trained and certified staff, extreme sanitary conditions, natural products, pampered and pain-free service, which  is more than worth the price of admission — you get what you pay for.

ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: Call now to book an appointment to celebrate Soak Nails’ first anniversary starting November 3.  The first 100 customers to make appointments will receive a special “goody bag.” The bags include Black Hound Truffles imported from New York, mini cupcakes from Cake Crumbs, shea butter lotion, aloe moisturizing mask, SpaRitual samples and savings coupons for Encino Place shops (Karen’s Toys, Pilate Plus, Optx Fine Eyewear, Soak Nails Sugar Scrub service).  Also, truffles and cupcakes will be in store for a special treat for all guests November 3-8.


SpaRitual products are 100% vegan and “cruelty free” formulated with the best organic and “wildcrafted” ingredients available. SpaRitual nail varnishes are free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP and toluene, chemicals which have been linked to cancer and birth defects.


Luxurious bath salts by SpaRitual are carried by exclusive spas worldwide.

SPECIAL FOR MY DAILY FIND READERS: Make an appointment using My Daily Find, you’ll receive $4 off natural manicure services.  Be one of the first 100 to make an appointment for the week of November 3 and you’ll get the goody bag too!

Soak Nails is located at Encino Place 16101 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 235 Encino, California 91436 818.385.1881 Open Tue-Wed,Fri-Sat 9am-7pm; Thu 9am-8pm; Sun 10am-5pm

Karen Young is the Editor/Publisher of My Daily Find.

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.