Natalie Dinh is a woman on a mission, with a boatload of qualifications, knowledge and experience under her belt, the young entrepreneur has developed The Cure Lab, the region’s first vegan and cruelty-free nail salon.
Based at Stack, the shipping container village, and occupying Unit One, the salon has a completely different feel from any other. Gone is the adhesive chemical smell and staff laced with masks, instead a sweet diffuser and soft playing music, a small haven in the centre of Newcastle.
Natalie said: “Our salon has none of that chemical smell because all of our products are non-toxic and have none of those chemicals in them.
“Every single product we use is cruelty-free and vegan, doing nails like this is a real emerging trend over in Sydney and New York and is just starting to make an impact in London. So why not bring it to Newcastle.”
To achieve the better and less harmful results, Natalie uses a range of products which she has researched and shipped from around the world.
Most recently, she has brought in Bio Sculpture Gel, a new way to build up nails and make them appear longer with gel instead of the the traditional acrylic.
She said: “The Bio Sculpture Gel is amazing, it has a completely different feel from acrylics too, it basically looks like a real and healthy nail, it also has that real nail flexibility unlike acrylics that can badly snap if you put too much pressure on them.
“I always say nails are like fruit, if it lasts too long there’s something not right with it. People need to be careful with what they are putting on their nails, everything we use is free of so many toxic chemicals and of course is vegan and cruelty-free.
“Even just to use the Bio Sculpture Gel in my salon I’ve been to Edinburgh for intensive training, they will not distribute it unless they know you can use it correctly. But I love that, it means I’m giving customers something different and something of quality.”
Speaking to Natalie, it’s clear that providing the best customer service possible is one of her real passions.
She said: “I love doing nails and seeing people happy, I’ve seen so many places that don’t take the time or the care with customers and you can tell it’s more about making money than providing a service, getting your nails done should be a treat not something you dread.
“When you first walk into a typical nail salon the first thing that hits you is the smell of product and then the fact that everyone has their faces covered with masks. That’s hardly inviting. Here we don’t wear any masks because we don’t use electric nail files and our products are the most natural they can be, which makes it so much easier to chat and get to know our customers.
“My dad always told me not to set out to make money, you have to have passion and love for what you do and having this salon and meeting new people is something I have endless energy for. I’m constantly researching products to use, the latest trends and anything that can give the customer the best experience possible.”
What we tried:
The Pedi-Spa Treatment
An hour of bliss, including a foot mask, dry skin treatment, foot massage and gel toenails.
Forget putting your feet in a bowl of water, Natalie uses an ethical and more hygienic dry-pedi system, meaning your feet are bathed with a beautiful smelling foam made of all natural ingredients. Nails are primed and filed before treatment begins and as you sit back on one of the salon’s comfortable chairs, it’s very easy to relax. The foot massage left me feeling like I was walking on air and I can finally wear peep-toe heels without feeling the shame of my always last-minute coated toenails.
Head over to the website to book a treatment here or call 0191 283 7939
The salon’s nail art is well worth checking out too, take a look on the instagram here.