A good manicure is, at times, a necessity. Which is why we’ve rounded up five of our favorite spots to go for everything from a polish change to museum-worthy nail art. All of them are chic, ethical, and probably close to your office. Read on:
The perennially hip Valley Nails, with locations in NoLIta and Chelsea, specializes in graphic, understated nail art. Set signature designs, which change every few months, are the bulk of the menu, but you can always request a custom motif (For a look at some of their handiwork, check out their well-curated Instagram page @valleynyc).
Soho: 198 Elizabeth St
Chelsea: 237 West 15th St
This SoHo studio applies the seasonality of runway fashion to their work. Each season they prepare a collection of nail looks designed by in-house artists, ranging from foiled glitter to ombré nail gradients. Paintbox is less improvisational than some of the others on this list, instead choosing to focus on perfecting a set menu of designs. Bonus: they give out complementary champagne or tea to each guest.
Soho: 17 Crosby St
Primp & Polish
This sleek, modern salon has five locations throughout Brooklyn, and offers services ranging from a dead sea minerals manicure to insane custom nail art. They’ve got the means to recreate any lettering, texture, or effect you could dream up—including a killer matte finish. A few examples of their handiwork include: Snoopy nails, BKLYN graffiti nails, and Broncos-inspired nails with a horse illustration. If you can dream it, they can make it.
Lorimer Street: 586 Grand Street
Bedford Ave: 172 Bedford Avenue
Driggs Ave: 205 North 9th Street
Grand Street: 189 Grand Street
At Sakura, you’ll feel more like a luxury spa guest than someone popping in for a pedicure, which is probably why Beyoncé has patronized them in the past. More traditional than Primp & Polish or Valley, Sakura is best for a simple, sophisticated design or a calgel (breathable gel application made popular in Japan) finish.
Lower East Side: 35 East 1st Street
Upper East Side: 1709 2nd Avenue
With locations in NYC and Miami, Vanity Projects is all about the experience—their mission is to “merge a high-end nail art atelier with video art programming.” Every month or so, they host a nail artist-in-residence, often of international acclaim, and allow them to take total control of the salon (almost like a rotating pop-up). Their services are limited and by-appointment-only, so it’s always best to book ahead of time.