FULL DISCLOSURE: I love this place. I will try hard not to gush but Onisha Claire and #TeamKoco are the best thing for beauty in East Falls, hands down. And eyebrows up! Lemme tell ya why….
When you think of beauty hotspots in Philadelphia, most locals don’t tend to think of Ridge Avenue. But when #phillynails fans seek the latest, greatest, over-the-top nail art, they often find their way to an unlikely, tucked-away stretch of East Falls near the Twin Bridges.
Koco Nail Salon & Wax Studio specializes in expert nail art and eyebrow shaping. They do body waxing, too, and impeccable classic manis & pedis of course but one could argue any skilled tech can handle the basics. When it comes to sculpting the perfect eyebrow arch for your face, or creating pin-worthy nail designs, Onisha & her team of artists are a valuable local resource for fashion-forward Fallsers.
My one gripe with this place — and I’ll get it out right here — is that sometimes, they take TOO much care on my nails. I am an impatient sort, and as I see my fabulous manicure coming along, I often start squirming in my chair, thinking to myself: “No! Leave that little dribble, that’s fine, I’ll chew it off later! OMGGGGG, Could you BE more careful? What are you, doing surgery?” (Apparently, my inner voice is Chandler Bing).
The last ten minutes may be agony, but then afterwards, I cannot believe the difference a first-class mani/pedi makes — in how perfect the polish looks going on, and how well it lasts, too. A little more time, a little more money, sure, but I never regret when I take the time to splurge here.
I found Koco when I first moved here in 2011-ish — the place was barely a year old then, and it was just Onisha and her business partner, in what struck me as the warmest, trendiest, most welcoming nail salon I’d ever encountered. Still is, today, even though now Onisha is full owner, with a staff of seven licensed manicurists and aestheticians.
My experience with Koco is limited to traditional mani/pedis, but I’ve been obsessed with their Instagram for years. It’s surprisingly addictive, scrolling thru day-glow nails with jewels and sparkles and teeny-tiny stars, hearts, flowers… leaves…(ha).
At this point, I just stare wide-eyed at the pics but the design with little cupcakes and ice cream cones is definitely calling me — can’t think of a more charming a birthday or vacation manicure. It’s also fun to see faces literally transform thanks to #TeamKoco’s artful eye-brow shaping.
Onisha explained to us, “Brows make your face.” They give you expression, help define your features, and can even “add a little bitch” to an otherwise cherubic gaze, “People will take you more seriously, if you look like you mean business.”
If manicures here are maddeningly precise, brow sculpting is even more meticulous, with contouring and conditioning to create the perfect brow for your face. Wax or tweezing (your choice).
Even if you’ve plucked your brows to oblivion, #Team Koco can bring them back! HD brow rejuvenation can fill them in, bring fullness and color to gray, thinning brows, up to 2 weeks. Eyelash extensions, too.
Summer is a great excuse for a beauty break! Trending colors this season include “pastel neons” — electric-bright colors toned down with a white, creamy base. “These really do flatter all skin tones,” Onisha said, “And they’re so cheerful!“
One last, extra-fun thing about Koco Salon: aromatherapy pedicures! When you choose your polish color, you also select from a list of luxurious foot baths like Mint Express (with olive oil compresses), Jelly Shots (citrus aloe/vitamin E), The Koco (a chocolate scrub), and more. Optional hot rock & chocolate-shea massage, yet.
Right on Ridge in East Falls! Block out an afternoon, accept the wine that Onisha offers you, and trust #TeamKoco will refine your look and quite possibly, give new voice to your interactions with others.
$5 off your first visit, text “Koco” to 48421 — plus $20 TUESDAYS!
2017 UPDATE: Marble Nails on Trend