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Alicia Lyons: Amara Resort and Spa
“I’m sort of the OCD nail tech,” says Alicia Lyons as she carefully examines an expertly filed fingernail. “I’m detail-oriented and I’m here to educate clients on their nails – the best way to treat them and take care of them.”
Alicia, cosmetologist and senior nail technician at Amara Resort and Spa, began doing nails in 1982. She attended beauty school as part of high school in Pennsylvania and became a licensed cosmetologist. She’s seen every trend in the nail industry come and go, competed in New York and Las Vegas in acrylic and gel nails, and recently finished writing a book titled The Secret of Beautiful Natural Nails or How to Say Goodbye to Artificial Nails and Peeling Nails Forever. She moved to Arizona six years ago and has been at Amara since October 2006, two months before the spa opened.
Alicia says the results of her manicures (up to 60 minutes) can last up to two weeks while her pedicures (up to 90 minutes) last four to six weeks. If you aren’t capable of taking care of your own nails (Alicia sees a fair amount of elderly customers), she says it’s a good idea to see a professional once a week. Alicia gives herself manicures and pedicures on a regular basis. In this warm, sunny climate, she gives manicures and pedicures all year round and often works on men trying the services for the first time. Alicia, her long red hair pulled back from her face, smiles at that, adding, “It certainly won’t be their last manicure or pedicure.”
Alicia feels strongly about knowing your nail tech – she’s not a fan of the discount shops that have become popular over the past ten years. She says it’s a challenge to educate clients on the risks of visiting a nail salon that doesn’t properly sanitize its instruments – Alicia sanitizes all her implements and uses new nail files and foot files on each person. If a spa pedicure like those offered at Amara doesn’t fit your budget, she advises to do your own and invest in high-quality cuticle oil, a good top coat, and, if you have foot problems, a foot file to get rid of calluses. For polish, Alicia says you get your money’s worth with brands such as OPI, Creative Nails, and Orly.
After more than 25 years in the nail-care business, Alicia says the manicures and pedicures at Amara are the best she’s ever done. “They are the most hydrating and nourishing treatments for your hands and feet, especially the deluxe manicures and pedicures using Elemis products. Maybe you’ve had a pedicure with a paraffin wax – that’s the Cadillac of pedicures – but if you’re looking for a Rolls-Royce you come here.”
Sedona Monthly Recommends… Exotic Hand Ritual with Manicure and Sole Delight Foot Treatment with Pedicure
The pedicure begins with a welcoming touch before Alicia drizzles water along your legs and slowly puts your feet into a beautiful copper basin filled with water. The treatment includes a lime and ginger salt glow, a warm milk bath and drizzling of Frangipani Monoi Oil, a hand, arm, and leg massage, and warm compresses, plus careful cuticle treatments, nail shaping, and polishing. The manicure is similar, but with a neck and shoulder massage. Both treatments include aromatherapy – lime, lavender, and rosewood fill the air. All this while lounging in a robe in Amara’s beautiful nail room with red rock views. After several days our nails still haven’t chipped.
Amara Resort and Spa
310 N. Hwy 89A in Uptown Sedona
By appointment, Wed. to Sat., 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sun., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Manicures, pedicures, makeup application, and facials