The Instagrammable mural is merely the base coat of Jina Javier’s mission to strip her North Park business of any telltale nail salon signs. Instead, when you step into Leo, the expected outdated magazines, drilling sounds, and stench of acetone are replaced with a carefully curated reading selection, flickering candles, calming music, and, at the front desk, essential oils to handpick and add to your services.
Javier opened this individual offshoot of Liv3, the San Marcos boutique she owns with her two sisters, in December, calling on Solstice Interiors (Juneshine) to hone the interior design, Janie Rochfort of Betty Larkin for that mural, and Moniker Design for those plush chairs that aren’t just for vanity; using removable bowls for pedicures allows for a more thorough sanitation process, she says.
Each service begins with a soak of organic Sekala bath salts, ends with a swipe of Essie, OPI, and Ella Mona polishes, and comes with a complimentary cup of custom-made Paru Tea (mixed with marigolds, Leo’s astrological flower). There’s more R&R in back—two massage rooms, with sound bowl meditation—and at the end of your appointment, the option to write a postcard to yourself that’ll be mailed several weeks later so that, as Javier explains, the self-love lives on.
3104 University Avenue, North Park leobyliv3