Shopping Local: Spa Tech, Westbrook Maine

Growing up manicures weren’t a part of my life. I was aware of what they were but in my mind they were something you did when you got married or if you were very rich, and I never found myself having any interest in them.

When I got married (almost two years ago now!) I finally had my first manicure, at a place in the mall where no one spoke English and they seemed a little frustrated that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my hands. I wasn’t really sure why people were so crazy about this experience of paying someone to be impatient with them.

So after that I really didn’t feel compelled to seek out another manicure any time soon. Meanwhile I’ve had a gift certificate to Spa Tech, a local cosmetology school on the Westbrook/Portland town line, following me around and being pinned to the various fridges I’ve owned. Today I was actually getting out my own manicure supplies to trim my nails when my mother in law called and said “Find your gift certificate, I’m picking you up in 20 minutes and we’re going to Spa Tech!”

Spa Tech offers programs in Massage Therapy, Cosmetology, Polarity Therapy, Aesthetician, Nail Tech and RYSE. They have a 16,000 square foot campus, which is where I found myself checking in for my second ever manicure.

Spa Tech only offers walk-in appointments for their cosmetology services, but I found I only waited for about 10-15 minutes before being brought in. I told the student who would be doing my nails that I had only ever had a manicure once before and that I need her to guide me through whatever it was we’d be doing that day. She was a great sport about it and put me right at ease.

Right after she put the top coat on my nails she said “Wait just one moment, I need to go ask my instructor if nail polish is included in your manicure.” I was very puzzled, as I figured actually painting my nails was the entire point. It turns out that what she really meant was that I would get to keep the nail polish after the manicure was done! So to my happy surprise I ended up walking out with not only a lovely manicure but a brand new bottle of OPI nail polish.

The entire thing cost $10, with the nail polish being a complimentary add-on. I looked up the polish when I got home and it sells at Ulta for $9.50, so I’m blown away by the deal I got.

I’d guess my entire time investment from when I signed in to when I walked out the door was probably at least 1 hour, and the wait times can get longer depending on how busy they are. That said, if you have a free afternoon it is an incredibly good deal that I would highly recommend.

And if you were curious, here is the finished manicure in Hawaiian Orchid.

Hawaiin Orchid manicure