August 23 2014

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Manicures, From Mars


With Japanese gel manicures proliferating salons on both coasts since the nail art movement went into domination mode, word of new destinations where you can get sparkly, adorned tips seems like old hat. Unless, of course, that destination is Hiroko Fujikawa’s Mars The Salon. The pristine Tokyo-born operation features private treatment rooms for each nail service (which lasts one hour on average) in lieu of more typical, shoulder-to-shoulder nail bars, so that privacy is the salon’s hottest commodity. It’s fitting, then, that Fujikawa would open her first U.S.-based outpost of Mars steps away from the paparazzi-heavy Melrose Avenue, where solitude is at a premium. “I’m trying to provide hospitality and relaxation, so I felt it was better to have the salon on the West Coast, so it’s more relaxed,” Fujikawa explains of the newly opened space, which places equal importance on technique, tranquility, and trend. While the menu of services can be customized to each client’s tastes—and includes organic gels and expert hand designs rather than the airbrushing available at neighboring mani/pedi options—there are monthly seasonal designs on offer as well, like a summer wave motif or the cherry blossom tableau created in honor of the pink flowers that are currently in bloom in Japan. But it’s the pampering haven’s private quarters and meticulous service that Fujikawa hopes will set her apart in L.A.—with celebrities, women of discerning taste, and even men, who represent 40 percent of her clientele in Tokyo. “It’s different than all the other nail places out there,” she says. Services are set to expand beyond just nails to include facials and massages at the end of the summer.

606 Westmont Dr., West Hollywood, Calif., (310) 652-0930,

Photo: Courtesy of Mars The Salon