Beverly Hills, Calif. — I often receive invitations to visit new salons and attend grand opening parties, but unfortunately many of them aren’t accessible to me by car. That wasn’t the case when I got an e-mail from Fawn Ton about her new nail spa, Chi Nail Bar & Organic Spa. The salon, located right off the well-known shopping mecca that is Rodeo Drive, opened this February. I think we can all admit that it’s not exactly the ideal time to open up a new business, what with the economic crisis and all. But that didn’t stop Ton, a second generation nail tech, from opening up her newest salon. In the business for 10 years, Ton owned several other salons before coming across the space in chic Beverly Hills.

She wanted this salon to be different. The salon uses 100% natural and organic products for manicures and pedicures, blending ingredients together to “harness the botanical and life-giving energy of plants and the sea.” The name Chi, meaning life force or energy, comes from Ton’s Chinese-Vietnamese upbringing and the treatments are all designed to promote relaxation and increase one’s “chi” while nourishing the mind, body, and soul. My Signature Foot Treatment combined a therapeutic green tea soak with an exfoliating Himalayan pink salt scrub and delicious lemongrass scents. The service also included hot towel wraps and a really nice massage from nail tech Cindy Nguyen. (She was a salon owner herself in Kansas before moving to Los Angeles.)

The salon’s modern Asian decor is accented with a bright open front area that includes a custom-made L-shaped table for manicures and enhancement services. I loved the look of the cool custom chairs that Ton helped design herself. Black, red, and white are the predominant colors with metallic and dark wood accents. The open area gives way to lowered ceilings in the two pedicure nooks, lending to the cozy, comfy feeling. The salon also offers facial treatments in a private room.

After my pedicure, I moved up to the front with Ton’s sister Esther Ton and opted for a gel overlay service. I was thoroughly impressed with all three women’s knowledge of nail techniques and attention to detail. They stay on top of industry issues and new products, and they take sanitation and cleanliness seriously, even going above California regulations by autoclaving all metal implements. It’s always nice to find salons that offer both a great atmosphere and exemplary sanitation and service.


Cindy Nguyen, Esther Ton, and Fawn Ton greet clients at Chi Nail Bar & Organic Spa in Los Angeles’ swanky Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive neighborhood. 

Nail technician Esther Ton convinced me to get a gel overlay. It’s the perfect natural-looking enhancement for my lifestyle. 

The manicure table is one long L-shaped piece that can accommodate up to five clients. The front area is open with high ceilings, a crystal chandelier, and plenty of fun paper lanterns. 

Polish trays are organized by color groups and the nail techs bring the trays to the clients

to choose their favorite shade. Owner Fawn Ton used Swarovski crystals for the logo on the front glass divider.

The two pedicure areas at Chi are semi-private enclaves tucked away in cozy little nooks with custom benches and lots of comfy pillows.