NASHVILLE TRAVEL SERIES: POPPY + MONROE
I am so excited for today's post! If you recall from my post all about Germantown, my whole reason for being in that part of town was to visit Poppy and Monroe. It honestly was the best experience and I am so excited to get to share all about the salon today. The are located in the CUTEST old row home, I mean look at that pink door, and has the most beautiful interior. You know from the second you walk in the door, that you are not in for your standard nail or skin service. It was actually an empty, overgrown older home that owners Karen and Sherri saw potential in, and man, did they ever do a good job! Every detail is on point, even down to the treatment rooms. For starters the treatment room I was in had the most awesome plant hangers with little baby air plants in them. It screams Living with Landyn. Let's just say I felt RIGHT at home as soon as I stepped through that door.
MEET THE OWNERS
Opened by two friends, Sherri Coates and Karen Kops, Poppy and Monroe is the only all natural beauty collective in Nashville. All of the beauty and skincare products that they use in the salon are 100% organic and/or natural and do not contain any bismuth oxychloride, cornstarch, parabens or sulfates at a minimum. They also only use nail polishes that are free of six ingredients that are found in most nail polishes- formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, DBT, TPHP and camphor. Awesome, right?!?!?
I got there a little before the salon opened for the day and I was so excited that I got to sit down and talk with Karen and Sherri about their business and their mission to bring cleaner beauty services and products to the Nashville market. Since no one can tell their story like they can, I am so excited to share Poppy and Monroe with you guys through the eyes of the two people who know it best- their owners.
Obviously clean beauty is an important component of Poppy and Monroe’s positioning, tell us about why this is so important to you and what lead you down the path of opening a natural beauty salon/spa?
Sherri: Being from California, I've been into clean eating, health and wellness trends in large part thanks to my environment and many fitness teachers and friends who are the typical California health nuts. The big wake up call however was when my mother died at only 57 years old of heart disease and then I had several girlfriends diagnosed with breast cancer in their 30's.
Karen: As many new moms, I wanted to be able to ensure the best and healthiest environment for my son. When I started doing research, I was shocked at how unregulated the cosmetic industry is. I discovered that in the U.S., there have been no new regulations on the cosmetics industry since the 1930's and to date, the US has only deemed 10 ingredients "unsafe" while Europe has banned over 1300. In addition, I am an admitted germaphobe and had stopped getting my nails done because I was distressed about not only the products being used, but also the sanitation practices I witnessed at shops all over the country. I knew there had to be a better way.
Collectlvely, we had very personal reasons and knew we had to share and educate others as much as possible. That's what makes us feel most fulfilled. We never want to scare anyone, we just want to share information and provide alternatives if someone is inclined to try them. Luckily, our clients are interested in what we're doing and we couldn't be more grateful to them for joining us on this adventure.
Tell us a little more about what differentiates Poppy and Monroe from other salon/spas in town?
We are the sole clean beauty collective in town, offering Nashville a healthier alternative to the services and products offered at other salons/spas. We only use products that are less-toxic and environmentally conscious, avoiding harsh chemicals that are potentially harmful to clients' health and our staff as well. In addition, we're so proud of offering and curating the best natural/organic skincare and makeup brands that are leading the way in the clean beauty revolution in our retail space. We love giving clients in-person access to brands they would typically only be able to order online.
While I was in the salon, I got to experience three of their different services- a facial, dermaplaning, and a gel manicure. All of the services were so unbelievably good and their estheticians and nail artists are truly some of the best of the best in Nashville! In addition to their skin and nail services they also make-up appication and a hair removal process called sugaring.
Tell us about the services you provide. What is your favorite service to receive?
We provide 3 types of services: Skincare including facials and of course, dermaplaning among others. We are also huge advocates of Sugaring which is a natural hair removal technique that is a less painful alternative to waxing. This was huge for Karen who's been known to walk out halfway through a bikini wax because she just couldn't take it anymore! We offer makeup applications via our talented makeup artists and lastly we offer natural nail services including manicures, pedicures, 5-free gel polish and nail treatments. Our favorite service to receive is honestly any of them. We are lucky enough to be booked consistently and we'll bump ourselves if a client wants to come in so when we are actually able to get a service, any service, we don't complain!
Is their something that you would consider a signature service or something that you are best known for?
I guess our signature service would be our waterless pedicures. We chose to go this route because it lessens the spread of bacteria, reduces the use of a viable resource and also allows your polish to stay on longer since your nails expand in water and then contract when dry. We are super stringent about cleanliness though so we still spray your feet with a non-toxic antibacterial solution we created in-house and we use hot towels with essential oils to ensure your feet are spic and span before we get started. If you're really going for it, you can upgrade to a Luxe Pedi which includes dry brushing to improve skin health and circulation, a gentle organic sugar scrub to remove dead skin, a hydrating aloe vera gel mask and the finishing touch is an extended massage using your choice of Doterra essential oils. Our favorite service to receive is honestly any of them.
How cute is this pedicure area? At first it was a little weird to be in a nail area where there were not big basins running full of water, but I am totally sold on the whole waterless manicure and pedicure thing. I always feel like I am risking some nasty fungus or nail infection every time I dip my toes into those pedicure tubs, so I was totally in to this. Also, on a completely unrelated side note, I may or may not have been sitting right next to a Nashville celebrity who was getting a treatment here after this picture was taken. Top-notch services and celebrity sightings, could you ask for anything more?
Do all natural gel polishes stay on and work as well as conventional gel nail polishes? Outside of being free of the big 5 chemicals are there any other benefits to them, i.e. do they last longer, are the easier on the nail itself, etc?
Great question! We were skeptical of 5-free gel being just as long lasting as regular gel too at first We did an insane amount of testing prior to opening and even thought we had found our brand only to realize a week in that it wasn't consistent 100% of the time. So we stopped offering gel for weeks until we found a product we knew would deliver results each and every time. Another thing we learned, while Karen was attending nail school, is that a long lasting manicure is 30% polish and 70% nail prep (filing, cuticles (pushing back, not cutting), dehydrating, etc). We are meticulous about our nail prep and we feel that's the reason our manicures last so long on both gel and non-gel nails.
Do you have any other nail tips that you can share with us that might ensure healthier nails and longer lasting manicures/pedicures?
Another HUGE factor to maintaining nail health is proper gel removal. Most nail shops want you in and out of the chair as fast as possible because time is money. They'll scrape your gel polish off with a metal tool before it's ready to come off and in doing so they not only remove the gel but also the top layer of your nail. I can't tell you how many clients have come to us with painful, thin and brittle nails and 9 times out of 10 it's because of improper gel removal. We book out 30 minutes for our gel removals because that's the amount of time we need to ensure we do it right. Our in-house gel polish comes off in 7 minutes, which is another benefit to using this 5-free polish, but many clients come from other shops with different polishes on so we want to make sure we have enough time to remove it the right way. The last thing I want to mention is that we don't cut cuticles! This is a sneaky trick nail shops incorporate because although your nail looks clean, the skin that was cut will not only grow back faster but also thicker which means you'll have to come back sooner. Not only that, it's actually super dangerous as the skin they remove is living skin and is there to protect your body from harmful bacteria so don't remove it! We've developed a technique for removing only the dead skin while pushing back the live skin which leaves your nails looking amazing but still protected.
I had a manicure while I was there and it was unbelievable how good it looked. Seriously their cuticle work is amazing. I felt like my hands were ready for a magazine shoot. I am super weird about my cuticles and I was so, so impressed. If you go, you have to book an appointment with Yasheka. She was amazing and was freakin' hilarious! We seriously were talking and laughing the whole time and she did a fabulous job on my nails. So so good!
ALL ABOUT THE SKIN
While I was there I also go to experience their Luxe Facial and dermaplaning procedures. I had never had dermaplaning done, but I am now TOTALLY HOOKED! I always considered myself to be someone with relatively healthy and hair-free skin, but I was SHOCKED at what all came off of my face. I had so many questions from you guys about the procedure that Karen and her estheticians have agreed to do a full Q&A post for us just about dermaplaning. I compiled all of y'alls questions and sent a few of my own and they have provided the most thorough answers. Stay tuned for that later this month. I also highly recommend the facial services in combination with the dermaplaning.
THE RETAIL SPACE
As Karen and Sherri said, not only do they offer the all natural salon/spa experience, but they also have a beautifully curated retail space that carries some of both the best well-known and up and coming brands in the clean beauty space. They also have beautiful jewerlry, accessories and the best smelling candles. They have worked really hard to make sure that they are bringing access to local clients so they can experience brands that they may never heard of or have been wanting to test out but have been afraid to pull the trigger on. They carry brands in the hair care, skin care, nail care, bath and body and beauty space and you can see a full list of all the brands they carry here. Sherri and Karen are so passionate and knowledgeable, not to mention friendly, about this industry so if you have any questions about products definitely stop by the retail space or call and they will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
They also were so generous to send me home with some products from Odaciteʹ, a clean beauty brand developed by a French ex-pat living in California. If you are looking for a cleaner beauty routine then you HAVE to try this brand. It has been getting a ton of press from everyone from the WSJ to Vogue, Elle, The Rachel Zoe Report and more; and I can totally see why. The entire line is certified organic and contains no fillers, parabens, nanoparticles, petrochemicals, PEG, synthetic perfumes, dyes, or phenoxyethanol. It is also vegan, cruelty-free, and non-GMO. I really don't think it could get any purer then that. I have fairly sensitive skin and react really poorly to products that have synthetic perfumes in them, so I was really happy to find this line. Due to my sensitive skin they recommended a specific regimen for me to use that I want to share with you in case you suffer from sensitive skin.
- Gentle Skin Cleanser (sold out online, but call Poppy and Monroe): This skin cleanser is perfect because it can remove all my make-up, dirt, sweat and pollutants without stripping my face of the oils it needs.
- Rose and Neroli Hydravitalizing Mist: You guys know I love a good rosewater mist and this one is the best I have every tried. It has rosewater which helps balance my skin, but it also contains Aspen Bark, Neroli, and fresh Aloe Vera juice. Basically it is a rosewater on steroids. The Aspen Bark acts like an astringent that tones the skin and minimize pores, the Aloe Vera juice helps keep the skin moisturized and protects it from environmental pollutants, and the Neroli works with the Aspen Bark to get rid of blemishes and encourage the skin to regenerate. You can use this product in the place of lotion, after you have applied lotion, or as a make-up setter.
- Sensitive Skin Ca+C Serum Concentrate: Odacite is really known for their serums and they recommended this Ca+C serum for me due to my sensitive skin. If you have any redness in your skin from things like roascea or excema, then this is the product you need to try. They honestly have a serum for just about every skin type and skin issue, so I highly recommend checking out their site and finding which one would work best for you.
- Ac+R Youthful Glow Serum: This bad boy helps give you back that dewy, glowing skin you had back in your 20s. Can I get an AMEN! It has Acai Berry in it which is the most powerful natural antioxidant in the world. The combination of the Acai Berry and Rose Oil make it the best all in one product to help fight aging. It can tackle wrinkles, fine lines, tone, texture, dullness and dryness. Basically sign me up. You just drop a few drops into your moisturizer every day and VIOLA you are done.
- Beautiful Day Moisturizer: Okay girls, this moisturizer is pricey, but it is the holy grail of moisturizers. It contains a compound called MSM which is the nutritional form of sulfur. MSM is known as the "beauty mineral" because it penetrates the skin through several layers and, therefore, hydrates and smooths for longer periods of time. It also helps stimulate collagen production.
- Synergie (4) Skin Perfecting Mask: This mask is basically four masks in one. It detoxes, peels, brightens and firms skin all with just one product. It is actually a powder that you can mix with water to make your own mask. Karen even mixes hers with Apple Cider Vinegar if she is breaking out or yogurt if her skin is really dehydrated. This is a great mask for every skin type, so if you are looking for a mask to add to your Sunday night routine, this is a great one.
Odacite has different product lines and product groupings for all different types of skin issues, so I highly recommend you checking out their website because it has a section where you can shop by concern and it groups all of the products you would need to address that issue in one section. It makes it super easy to shop.
Thank you to Poppy + Monroe for providing the services and thank you to all of you that support the brands that help make Living with Landyn possible. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.