Karencita de Perú

Manicure & Starbucks

Posted on: November 19, 2010

Yesterday I decided to treat myself to an early birthday gift.  I spent a relaxing afternoon getting a manicure followed by a trip to Starbucks.  What’s interesting about this is the relative cost of these two items here in Peru.


A basic manicure  in Lima costs S/.8 or S/.9, which is about $3.25.  For this price you can get a solid color or a french manicure.  If you want something a little fancier, like drawings or designs, it is an additional S/.5 to S/.10 soles ($2 to 4).  I once had a manicure at a hair salon that cost me S/.20; however, it did  included a special moisturizing treatment for my hands which was quite nice.

The place where I went for my manicure is called Toque-X.   The first time I went there was for my wedding manicure a few weeks ago.  This place specializes in manicures and pedicures.  There are two floors with long tables packed with girls dressed in fuchsia & black giving manicures to their clients.  Both times I have been there the place has been packed.   The basic manicure uses Color Club nail polish.  If you want OPI it is an extra S/.5.  I personally don’t see the benefit of paying the extra as Color Club has a good selection of colors and seems to last just as long as OPI.

The manicure at Toque-X is quite thorough.  You can choose to have your nailed filed redondeadas (rounded) or cuadradas (squared).   After filing and shaping your nails, they clean up your cuticles  and give a quick, but relaxing hand massage.  The manicure includes a base coat, two coats of polish and a top coat.  After that you head of to the maquinita (little machine) to dry your nails for 3 minutes with air and UV light.

A basic manicure in Vancouver costs about $25, a lot more than the $3 you pay in Lima!  At that price, how can I not afford to go every few weeks.


After the manicure, with my nails still slightly tacky, I headed over to Starbucks.  I had planned ahead, taking S/.10 out of my purse and putting it in my pocket so I wouldn’t ruin my nails when I had to pay at Starbucks.  I normally order a vanilla latte which is S/.8 ($2.90) for a tall and S/.10 ($3.60) for a grande – not that different from the prices in Canada.

As I entered the Starbucks, I noticed that they had holiday flavors.  Holiday beverages are different in Lima.  There are no peppermint, gingerbread or eggnog lattes.  (Actually, there is no eggnog here at all).  The holiday flavors are Chocolate, Toffee & Caramel, Dark Cherry Mocha and Toffee Nut.  Well, how could I not try the Chocolate, Toffee & Caramel latte?  I had my S/.10 ready and ordered a tall as I thought the special flavor would probably be a bit more than the S/.8 cost of a vanilla latte.  When the guy told me it would be S/.11.50 I was shocked!  How could it cost S/.3.5 more just for a holiday flavor??  “¡Qué locura!” I said as I gingerly tried to extract my wallet from my pocket and get more money out without ruining my freshly manicured nails.  The cashier noticed my strange maneuvering and said “Oh, you just had your nails done!”.  Well, he actually said it in Spanish but that is the rough translation.  Anyway, I paid the S/.11.50 ($4.20) for my tall chocolate, toffee & caramel latte and thought to myself “this better be worth it!”.

I have to admit it was quite tasty, but as I sat there in the Starbucks I couldn’t help marvel at the difference in the price of a manicure versus a coffee.  My manicure was less expensive than my coffee!!   The girl in the nail salon spent 45 minutes doing my manicure and earned the equivalent of $3.25 while the barista in Starbucks took 5 minutes to make my drink, for which I paid the equivalent of $4.20.     Something definitely seems wrong with this picture!

Anyway, if you ever visit Lima be sure to get a manicure and be prepared to pay relatively high prices at Starbucks!


1 Response to "Manicure & Starbucks"

omg! i love starbucks. what an excellent birthday treat. but i am SO choked that there’s no chai eggnog latte. =P

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