We Could Spend Hours in These Dreamy NYC Nail Salons
Still getting your mani on in harshly-lit spaces swirling with polish fumes? It might be time for an upgrade. Fortunately, NYC has been upping its nail salon game, as trendy women-owned spaces continue to crop up across nearly every neighborhood. From nontoxic wellness salons to nail art visionaries, here are the coolest spots to check out the next time you want to treat yourself.
Sundays’ brand new location in Hudson Yards is less nail salon and more Zen sanctuary. While your nails are primped and colored with nontoxic 10-free polish, you can opt to listen to Sundays’ custom meditations by Inscape through headphones, and then continue the relaxation sesh at the tea bar as you wait for your paint to dry. Don’t miss the note-writing station, either: pen a message to your future self, and Sundays will mail it to you a year later.
Williamsburg’s Paintbucket is all about fun, fun, fun. A self-dubbed “social club for the 21st century,” the modern salon treats you to free Prosecco and tons of polish options, plus a colorful environment (fluffy pillows, Instagrammable walls, etc.) that screams “girls day in.” Nail art offerings change with the season’s trends; current looks include of-the-moment animal prints and Coachella-worthy desert designs.
With a café serving up Ashwagandha lattes and hibiscus milkshakes, a body treatment menu consisting of “Hangover Cure” and “Chill Pill” massages, and editor-loved nail art designs with nontoxic polishes, it’s safe to say Chillhouse is the ultimate wellness salon for the Lower East Side’s cool crowd. Need more proof? Just look to its cult-y 75k+ Instagram following. (It doesn’t hurt that founder Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton has her own equally trendy influence.)
Côte in the East Village is a minimalist mani-lover’s dream. The clean beauty oasis uses all nontoxic, 10-free polish (with shades simply named by number, rather than gimmicky catchphrases), and offers you a glass of rosé to sip while you're attended to. The space is tiny, so we recommend booking an online appointment ahead of time.
If you run in any fashion circles, you’ve probably seen a Paintbox mani or two (or ten). The SoHo salon is known for its stylish nail designs customized to suit your style. We're currently crushing on its spring/summer 2019 collection, which features bold geometric shapes, pops of color, and interesting accents guaranteed to up your Insta game (because trust us—you’re definitely going to want to show them off on the ‘gram).
Founded almost 10 years ago by two women seeking healthy nail care in New York, tenoverten has expanded its nontoxic, better-for-you approach all over the city with locations in Midtown, Tribeca, SoHo, and FiDi. Their elegant yet fuss-free salons feature tenoverten’s own 8-free polishes as well as other nontoxic options for basic or luxe manis and pedis. An additional treatment with Christian Louboutin Perfume Oil is available for those who want to upgrade the experience.
The appointment-only Vanity Projects salon-atelier in the Lower East Side takes nail art to a new level. Through a partnership with Daata Editions art foundation, Vanity Projects displays contemporary video art for customers to watch and engage with while they get their nails done. As for the nails themselves? The salon hosts unique nail artists on a rotational basis through its artist-in-residence program, giving clients the opportunity to be painted by one-of-a-kind international talents.
JINsoon Hand & Foot Spa
JINsoon Hand and Foot Spa traces its origins back to 1999, when influential freelance nail artist Jin Soon Choi opened her first salon in the East Village. Following its success, she debuted locations in the West Village, Upper East Side, and Tribeca while also launching her eponymous line of nontoxic and 10-free polishes in 2012, which you'll find in her salons and sold through retailers like Barneys. We especially love the salons’ serene interiors with natural woods, which were inspired by Choi’s Korean heritage and designed by her architect husband.
From the outside, LES-based Hortūs Nailworks looks more like a greenhouse or plant shop than a nail salon. Step through the doors, however, and you’ll have your pick from dozens of 10-free polishes and a variety of treatments ranging from a super-speedy shaping-plus-polish (“the new yorker”) to a restorative ancient Himalayan pink salt soak and organic sugar scrub (“the works”). Before you leave, be sure to pop into the shop for a few organic skin care products or handmade fine jewelry to compliment your new nails.
Unwind with organic herbal tea and a nontoxic mani at ph7, an eco-friendly Brooklyn nail salon with locations in Fort Greene and Williamsburg. Thanks to its homey atmosphere that emphasizes natural wood and neutral colors, you’ll feel one with the earth throughout your whole treatment—which is also 100% natural, whether you opt for an organic essential oil cuticle treatment, a dead sea salt scrub, or a green tea milk soak.
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