Oki-Doki Nail Bar (www.oki-dokinails.co.uk) is the kind of nail salon that you wish every budget nail salon would emulate, but they never do. The first thing that struck me when I walked in was how clean, bright and well ventilated the salon was. It’s about 30 seconds from the Crossharbour DLR station, so for you ladies living or working around Canary Wharf, this place is for you. I walked in and was greeted by Mike at reception. He offered me a drink (they have water, a large selection of teas and even wine!), and then he asked me to pick a colour and showed me my seat. The salon itself is relatively small. There are three nail stations and three “American spa” style pedicure stations, but they also have three stations by the window where customers can dry their nails under the drying machines. Despite its size, I was incredibly impressed by how airy the whole place felt. They have very high ceilings, and the entire salon is white with accents of pink and purple, so it felt much bigger and is a pleasant atmosphere for both the employees and customers. What really won me over however, was the fact that all the tools used for the manicure were pre-sanitised and came in individual packages, so no gross jar of blue anti-bacterial liquid rammed full of nail equipment!
The lady who performed my manicure was polite but not very talkative. My nails were filed, soaked, cuticles were pushed back (they have improved!) and removed. She took a lot of care doing this, which I really appreciated. After all the filing, buffing and cuticle work, I was asked to wash my hands at a small sink. I actually really like this because I often feel my hands are a bit sticky after all the cuticle remover and cuticle oil. I was then given a nice hand massage with moisturiser, before my nails were cleaned. My nailtiques base coat was applied, along with three coats of OPI “down to the core-al” polish and a topcoat of seche-vite. Following this, the nail technician cleaned around my nails with a paint brush dabbed in nail polish remover. She did a great job on my nails, and I was asked to move to the drying stations for about 10 minutes. The whole process took about 45 minutes. Over all, this was a top quality experience. My only gripe was with the polish I picked. It might have been an old bottle, because it was quite watery and streaky, hence the need for three coats. It looked decent after the top coat was applied, but there has been some slight chipping three days in.
The colour I picked looks amazing on dark skin. It's definitely a fun summertime or vacation colour. It might be a touch too loud for a conservative office ;)
Over all, if you work or live around here, I 100% recommend stopping by. You'll be hard pressed to find a nail salon of this quality at this price range.
Tip: Book over the phone. I overheard a bit of confusion when a lady who had booked via email came in and they had some trouble finding her reservation.
Salon: OKI-DOKI Nail Bar
Location: Docklands (Crossharbour)
Treatment: Deluxe Manicure
Description: “Nails filed and shaped, cuticles soak, pushed back and trimmed, nails buffed, hand massage, choice of colours from OPI Nail Envy Strength”
Colour: OPI – ‘Down to the Core-al’
UPDATE: This is the manicure a week on. It lasted longer than I expected it would given the quality of the polish. I did apply a topcoat for the first two days after the manicure. There's some significant chipping around the edges, so it's time for the polish to come off now.