Non-toxic, vegan, sustainable, and cruelty-free nail salon in The Junction
Forget everything you thought you knew and had come to expect from a nail salon, because Mia and her brand new space, Yū Nontoxic is here to change the local nail game. Originally from Hanoi in Vietnam, Mia has called Newcastle home since the age of eleven and has brought a nail art boom to the city; all thanks to her nail salon sitting quietly in The Junction; Yū Nontoxic.
The non-toxic, vegan, sustainable and cruelty-free salon in The Junction is a welcome addition to the local beauty scene and has arrived at a perfect time where we’re more conscious of what we’re putting in and on our bodies.
Following years of working beside her mother in a traditional nail salon, Mia couldn’t stand the constant flow of chemicals floating around the space and ultimately into her lungs and on her skin.
“I grew up in nail salons and have been working in the industry since I was 17. A decade went by and I knew it was time for a better option that supports the health and well-being of people and the environment,” Mia said.
Thus, the idea for her own space with her own philosophy was created and Yū Nontoxic slowly came to fruition.
“I’ve always felt like a bit of an outcast living in two different countries. I’m too Asian to be white, but I’m too white to be Asian. When I got back to Vietnam, people treat me differently because I’m not a local but because of the way I look and living here in Newcastle people still ask me how often I go home; to which I reply, I go home every day.
“I guess I never really had that sense of belonging. But ever since I connected with being from planet earth and knowing that we’re all from the earth; I feel much more like I belong. I wanted this place to feel like home to anyone, so anyone can belong.”
And belong you will. One foot inside and your senses are overcome with a calming notion. From the soft fruity scent in the air, calming interiors, and Mia’s inviting bubbly smile; you’ll relax instantly.
Pulling on her experience in visual communication and fine art, Mia designed the space before you by herself as well as the business branding. Every inch has been thoughtfully arranged from the dried florals and potted plants to the walls exhibiting pieces by local artist; Sami Bayly.
“I found Sami Bayly on Instagram many years ago and I bought a few prints off of her because my husband really likes reptiles. Then two years on, when I wanted to open this space I thought her works were really fitting for the brand's philosophy and the cruelty-free products.”
All polishes used here are cruelty-free, non-toxic, and vegan. So, you can rest easy knowing that your pamper sesh isn’t leaving a footprint. With three brands of polishes including Sundays, based in New York, Hanami based in Melbourne and Ere Perez from Sydney.
Mia also stocks a huge retail range including the aforementioned nail polish, as well as other beauty products including Ere Perez’s skincare and makeup, Salt + Glow body scrubs, Babe body products, and even tea from local business, Pleasure & Peach; just to name a few.
“A lot of the products that I use here in the salon I’m really trying to support small businesses or local businesses owned by females.”
The name itself, Yū Nontoxic, is actually derived from the Japanese word, Chikyū which means earth.
“I really like the lettering of Yū and coming into the nail salon it’s a one-on-one experience; it’s all about you when you come to visit.”
Officially opening her doors on the 1st of June 2020, Mia has been run off her feet with days booking out a week in advance. You can book in for a classic, deluxe, express, or rejuvenate manicure or pedicure. Stick with plain polish, gel polish, or of course, her very popular, and not-so-typical nail art designs. Gone are the nail art days of diamantes and bold colour combos, Mia at Yū Nontoxic is all about utilising minimalist and abstract designs.
“I used to have clients that would never get nail art because all of the designs were quite old school. But now, ever since I opened everyone seems to really like the minimalist nail art.
“You can do so much with it and I don’t want people to feel like there are any limits to it. I encourage people to do weird things and try an idea out. I’ve been doing heaps of boobs and penises on my nails, but no one has requested it yet.”
So, next time you’re thinking about getting your nails done, or maybe you’re in need of a little me-time; book yourself in with Mia at Yū Nontoxic and see what all the fuss is about.