I have been a paying customer of Nails by Merci for a couple months and love her work! My most recent visit was offered free of charge in exchange for a Spotlight blog post about her services. Though I didn’t pay this time around, what I shared is my honest opinion! You are going to love her work and her products as much as I do!
Before beginning her career as a nail artist, Merci Ligertwood worked as a Production Manager on the set of commercials in Southern California. In her spare time, she did nails as a hobby which led to her going to school and passing her licensing exam to do nails professionally. This then gave her the opportunity to do manicures and pedicures on set. With all of this amazing experience under her belt, when she had the opportunity to move from SoCal to Napa and open her own salon, she decided “to go for it.” Nails By Merci is tucked back into a cozy corner of local boutique hair salon – The Parlor. Founded in 2012, The Parlor is pet-friendly and LBGTQ proud! The team is a group that really care for each other; more family than co-workers and want everyone to feel welcome and accepted!
For her sake and the sake of her clients, Merci prefers working with “less chemicals.” Luckily for we vegans, low toxin products and vegan-friendly often go hand in hand. Merci offers two of my favorite vegan polishes: 9-free Lakur by Londontown and 5-free Julep. She also offers Londontown top coat – not fast drying but definitely vegan. She uses the 5-free Bio seaweed gel for manicures. This water-based nail product is vegan, cruelty-free and helps promote the growth & shine of our natural nails. The pedicure foot soaks are done in copper bowls which are not only very easy to clean but are naturally antibacterial. And if that isn’t enough, copper bowls can help achieve a healthier immune system and help with joint pain and inflammation! And if THAT isn’t enough, copper was used in Ancient Egypt to purify their water. I don’t think you need any more reasons to never go back to those whirlpool tubs!
What I enjoy most about the pedicure is the totally customizable DoTerra Essential Oil soaks. Whether I want to feel energized, relaxed, detoxed or somewhere in between, Merci can create the perfect combination of oils for however I want to feel! The oils are then mixed with a combination of pure and non-scented bath salts from around the globe that include Dead Sea, Pacific and European salt from the San Francisco Salt Company’s spa collection. It is truly a copper bowl full of bliss. She then makes an exquisite small batch foot scrub using coconut, jojoba and almond oils; vegetable glycerin and Himalayan salt. Merci has found that because of the coarseness of the Himalayan salt it is much better at removing dead skin than using sugar. Merci even uses a natural cuticle remover by SpaRitual; this proudly vegan and cruelty-free company uses certified organic ingredients in its products whenever possible! To help minimize waste, she also uses a stainless steel, fully sanitizable ProFusion pedi file and mini sized cotton balls & individual buffers. She also has this odd looking tool that she uses to massage my legs and feet. It is a fascia blaster which is typically used to destroy wrinkles and cellulite but works really well to relax my feet and calves! Merci’s real specialty is her nail design. She loves to collaborate with her clients to come up with unique and creative nail art. Many of her clients bring ideas they’ve found on Pinterest though she prefers to create her own designs instead of copying other artist’s work.
As much as I like Merci, I am completely in love with her dog Hamish. This French bulldog & pug mix is the official “shop” dog and is always there to offer love, kisses and some amazing snoring. And boy is he a good kisser! After visiting shelter after shelter she happened to find him & his brother on Craigslist. She went with a friend to meet them and they both fell in love with a Frug that day. Be sure to follow Hamish’s adventures on his Instagram page – Hamish the Frug.
After the disappointing closure of Wood & Rowan earlier this year, we have all been given a second chance. We have a new opportunity to support a salon that offers healthy, vegan & cruelty-free options. It is time to vote with our wallet and provide Merci all of our support. None of us wants to go back to supporting salons that pump our bodies full of toxic chemicals and use polishes that are tested on animals.
Merci is available Wednesday through Friday and sometimes Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at The Parlor located in Napa at 1701 Lincoln Avenue. You can follow her schedule on Facebook and Instagram and check out her current Yelp reviews. Or text her at 310.560.9605 to schedule your appointment now! So let’s explore the world together (with some really pretty nail art) and as always…eat, drink & be vegan!
PS The month of June has been crazy busy and crazy exciting. I will be publishing posts over the next week or two about my incredible meals at Ca’ Momi Osteria in downtown Napa and the new sports bar NapaSport located in the South Napa Century Center. And for all you wine lovers I will be sharing my mind-blowing vegan food & wine pairing experience at gorgeous Palmaz Vineyards. Oh, how I love to eat, drink & be vegan!