I sometimes find it hard to feel okay dedicating time to doing something nice for myself.
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Often, I actually feel more anxious than usual when I set aside time to relax and do nothing, because I have a bad habit of associating that to “wasting time.” And for a while, I got frustrated because I felt like I was trapped in a unbreakable, contradicting loop. And then one day, I found myself feeling so at peace when I was sitting at sundays studio, getting myself a manicure. I was surprised but felt so relieved at the same time.
I’ve always heard people explaining how “self-care” comes in many formats — setting time aside to get your nails done really is a form of it, too, considering you’re making effort to do something nice just for yourself. But somehow, I never truly thought of it that way before. To be honest, the first time I went to get a manicure at sundays, I felt like the rhythm there was too slow for me. I wanted to rush the manicurist, speed up the process, and have everything done as fast as possible. I didn’t realize I was missing out on a great opportunity to calm myself and slow things down.
Getting my nails done is now the only hour when I, myself, actually do nothing — since I can’t physically do anything without my hands. I can’t look at my phone, reply to e-mails, text people back etc., and it sort of passively forces me to just space out! And I mean it in a good way, of course.
So now, I’m officially a brand ambassador for sundays studio, and determined to spread the news so that even the busiest New Yorkers who are constantly hustling can get a sense of stillness in one of the busiest cities in the world.
In celebration of sunday’s 2nd birthday and the opening of the new branch in Hudson Yards (hooray!), I decided to write about the nail salon! I also sat down with the founder Amy Lin and chatted about her journey and efforts in making sundays studio a wellness haven over a cup of hot tea.
About the Hudson Yards Branch
Located on the third floor of the newly-opened Hudson Yards, the new sundays studio is parked in a corner away from the crowd. The interior space is welcoming, open and comfortable. One thing that makes the Hudson Yards branch unique is the addition of having a tea bar in the studio.
“The tea bar is a significant addition because it was created to offer people a better experience as a whole, but especially during the wait when they’re drying their nails,” Amy told me. Many nail salons ask people to put their hands under a fan to speed up the drying process, but Amy believes the fan dries the skin and cuticles at the same time. It is better for nails to just dry naturally.
As someone who really cares for her customers’ wellbeing, Amy is aware of how much people dislike the process of waiting for nails to dry. “So I thought to myself: what can I do to make the experience better? And that’s how we came up with the concept of including a tea bar, where people can drink some tea, chat to their friends, and simply, relax,” said Amy.
I personally thought having a tea bar was such a brilliant idea. To me, tea offers serenity in so many ways — watching the tea-making process, smelling the aroma, and tasting the subtle flavors — together, it offers a sense of restfulness and calmness.
Meditation + Manicure
In order to enhance the experience at sundays studio, Amy invited KRI-certified Kuhdalini yoga and meditation teacher Valerie Oula to create a collection of meditation programs. Different topics area available for people to choose from so there is definitely something there for you! Headphones are set up just alongside every manicure station, so everyone can use it while getting their nails done.
“We’re trying to introduce the idea that you can meditate anywhere,” Amy mentioned; “it actually isn’t as challenging as people would think to incorporate meditation into a wellness routine.”
I thought that was very interesting because Amy is right — for people to make time to go in for a manicure is itself a ‘self-care’ action, so why not go a step further?
Amy aims to offer her customers an opportunity to take care of themselves, inside and out. So spending time at the studio really isn’t just about getting your nails painted, but also really about taking a break. A real break. When people leave the salon, they should feel prettier and better rested.
10-Free Nail Polishes
I remember growing up learning about how one of things pregnant women shouldn’t do is to use nail polishes because of the harmful toxic ingredients. But Amy assured me that sundays’ 10-free, non-toxic nail polishes are so safe that even pregnant women can use them, too!
Instead of going after the latest “color trends,” sundays places their focus on creating organic, natural products that are free of harmful ingredients, such as TPHP, camphor, parabens and xylene. The colors available in the line are classic and timeless.
[ Click here to learn more about what 10-free means. ]
Some of my personal all-time favorite colors include No. 07 Beige Rose and No. 15 Classic Red. Recently, I’ve also been into No. 29 Deep Lavender and No. 44 Mild Mint!
If you prefer doing your own nails at home, you can use HAPPILYEVERSTYLE10 to get 10% off polishes purchased online.
What Self-care means
Amy also shared something with me that I thought was really interesting. She told me she has witnessed hundreds of women coming into the salon spending a long time picking a color, which of course we can all relate. Initially, I thought it was simply because there are too many colors to choose from, but Amy said a lot of the times, it is because they would wonder: “Will my boyfriend like it?” “Will my colleagues judge me?” “Will people think this color is “so out of trend?”
A lot of us seem to worry about what others think, even something as small as the color of our nails. But part of taking care of yourself mean doing something for you — what makes you happy, what calms you down, and what nail polish you like!
When I was younger, I would ask my mom what she wanted for her birthday, and she used to always say “taking good care of yourself is the best present you can give me.” I never realized self-care could benefit myself as well as my loved ones until I really understood what it really means.
What does self-care mean to you? What is something you do for yourself? Share your tip with me by leaving a comment below. Thank you for stopping by Happily Ever Style.
Tricia Chen is co-founder of Key To Radiance. She loves having fresh flowers in her apartment, putting on face masks, savoring cupcakes and a daily cup of grande almond latte. She works in PR and Marketing, and is currently based in New York.
Skin Type: Combination skin with an oily T-zone area (forehead and nose). Changes in climate, diet and/or lack of sleep irritates skin and causes inflammation, which then leads to large pores. High moisture level required on dry cheeks.