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Tribeca takes a natural approach to beautiful nails

By Staff | Sep 3, 2010

Cheryl Smith, who takes a natural approach to manicures and pedicures, is the latest addition to the Tribeca Salon family.

In a world where hybrid vehicles have become top sellers and diligent recycling is no longer considered a mere trend, but a necessity, the ubiquitous mantra of “go green” is quickly branching out into the beauty industry.

Tribeca Salon owner Domizio Melchiorre is introducing islanders to the concept of natural nails through his latest hire, natural nail technician Cheryl Smith.

“We’re concentrating on natural nail care, manicures and pedicures,” Smith said. “We also do shellac manicures, which is a hybrid polish containing a little bit of gel. You put it on like polish and it wears like gel. The polish lasts for up to two weeks without chipping, and because it’s a light-cured polish, once you head out the door your nails are totally dry.”

The Nashua, N.H. native spent many years as a government quality control technician for the electronics industry. But throughout the course of her career, Smith was always passionate about nail health and care, and in 1993 she began focusing her attention on natural nail care.


“Actually, I was a nail biter. I always wanted my nails to look nice and so I wore acrylics for 13 years. But when the acrylics came off, my nails were really damaged — they’re still weak and trying to grow,” Smith said.

In her 17 year career as a natural nail technician, working in both day spas and full service salons, Smith has never gone back to acrylics.

“I’ve never done acrylics, mostly because of the dust and the smell of

the monomer — to me, it isn’t healthy. It’s all about personal preference, but I prefer natural nails. Acrylic weakens the nail and leaves ridges behind. The filing can also be very damaging. I feel if you take the natural nail approach, you can have great looking, healthy nails,” Smith said.

Smith can also help diagnose problem nails.

“Weak nails, peeling nails, any type of fungal disorder. If people have any kind of nail issues going on I can identify it and recommend they go see a podiatrist,” she said.

And it was Smith’s keen eye for nail health that convinced Melchiorre to bring her on board.

Melchiorre was having an issue with a persistent toenail fungus that just wouldn’t go away. After having a consultation and a simple session with Smith, his problem nail is no more.

“She has a gift and a passion, and to see results like I’ve seen, it really inspired me to go in this natural direction,” he said.

“It’s all going back to the basics, really. We want clients to come in and have their hair done and relax and not have to smell the odor of the acrylic,” Smith said.

And there’s also the matter of filing dust.

“When I see technicians wearing face masks, I never see the clients wearing masks. It’s not healthy. To go out and get a manicure and not be in a room full of dust is huge,” she said.

Smith says she’s looking forward to bringing the natural nails philosophy to the islands — in addition to working in a tropical paradise.

“I’m very excited. I enjoy my ride into work from Fort Myers. It’s very soothing and the island is so quaint. And knowing that I’m helping people relax feels good. People aren’t just walking out with pretty toes — there are health benefits to pedicures too. Diabetics, for instance, they need to care for their feet properly. It’s rewarding all the way around,” Smith said.

Smith uses OPI, Creative Nail Design (maker of the shellac nail polish) and Tammy Taylor products and is hoping to develop special themed services once season begins — including a peppermint pedicure for the holidays.

Tribeca manicures are $20 and pedicures are $30 — but you don’t have to wait until Christmas for specials.

“Throughout the entire month of September, we are offering the community 50 percent off manicures and pedicures, so that they can come in and see the difference,” Melchiorre said.

Tribeca Salon is located in the Village Shops, 2340 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel.

To schedule an appointment, call 395-3800.