Our new weekly series Get Right for Summer has one aim: to make sure you're completely beautified before the thermostat hits 90. Whether you need a fresh pedicure or a fake tan, we're here to tell you where to go.
Photo by Brian Harkin
Nail salons are as ubiquitous as bodegas in New York City, and you can't go more than three blocks without being beckoned by a neon sign to come in and primp those fingers and toes. For your first really good manicure and pedicure of the season, though, you want to go somewhere top-notch. Below are our six favorite go-to salons for scoring a perfect polish.—Mina Shaghaghi
Photo by Brian Harkin
↑ Essie: 35 East 65th Street
Essie addicts, this is your version of heaven on earth. Nestled within the luxe Samuel Shriqui Salon on the Upper East Side, Essie Weingarten's flagship salon embodies everything about those iconic, white-top nail bottles. Choosing the location was a no brainer for Weingarten—she's been a regular at the Samuel Shriqui for the last twenty years for her weekly manicures with Josephine Allen.
The salon includes eight nail stations with cozy love seats in a range of hues representing various classic Essie colors. Bottles are displayed against a crisp, gleaming white wall, with over 250 shades available for purchase. Channel Weingarten's classic sense of style by requesting her signature manicure: one coat of Blushing Bride followed by one coat of Mademoiselle. Manicures range from $32 to $45 ($40 to $50 with head manicurist Josephine Allen); pedicures are $65 ($70 with Allen).
Photo by Driely S.
↑ JINsoon Hand & Foot Spa: 56 East 4th Street; 23 Jones Street; and 421 East 73rd Street
When the crème de la crème of editorial manicurists opens up a nail salon, you take a skeptical pause and wonder if it'll actually live up to the hype. Rest assured, Jin Soon delivers. From the sleek interior (outfitted with custom-made manicure stations and chic satin throw pillows) to the expertly trained staff who mirror Soon's trademark method of applying nail polish from left to right for a flawless finish, every aspect of her eponymous salon is pure professionalism at its finest. As for polish choices, all your favorites are here, plus the in-house line.
All pedicures include a standard foot soak with your choice of pampering essential oil (lavender, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree, grapefruit), but if you're feeling especially decadent, treat yourself to the Breath of Milk and Honey pedicure. As the name suggests, it includes a sumptuous soak in a blend of hot milk and honey. Manicures and pedicures range in price from $18 to $65.
Photo via Blush
↑ Blush Nail Lounge: 218 East 5th Street
This bubblegum pink townhouse that definitely gets the Elle Woods stamp of approval, with its funky neon nameplate sign, exposed brick walls and booths with pink leather seats.
Choose from a full range of Essie and OPI polishes, and treat yourself to the Spa Manicure, which consists of a luxurious soak in heated milk, followed by exfoliating with a homemade sugar scrub; hand masque treatment infused with a blend of sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E; and finally, a relaxing massage. As if your mani/pedi experience could get any sweeter, Blush also offers complimentary lollipops. Their basic mani/pedi combo deal ($34) runs Monday through Thursday from 11am to 4:30pm.
Photo via Valley
↑ Valley: 198 Elizabeth Street
Let's be real: Sometimes, you just want to go big and bling out your nails. There's a fine line between elegantly adorned and overdone, but the pros at Valley Nails know exactly how to strike the perfect balance. Their manicurists are experts at creating intricate, beautiful, and cheeky designs, like breezy palm trees or exotic evil eye motifs (their Instagram is great, by the way).
You can also bring in a photo of your own to use as inspiration, and the nail artists will re-create it with stunning precision. Added bonus: a complimentary nail art design on your accent nail is included with every manicure. Manicures/pedicures range from $28 to $68. Nail art services vary in price according to design. Manicures start at $28 ($45 for gel polish) and pedicures start at $45.
Photo via Vanity Projects
↑ Vanity Projects: 99 Chrystie Street
Founded by Rita de Alencar Pinto, a Sotheby's Institute of Art grad and hostess of NYC's legendary pop-up manicure parties, Vanity Projects delivers a truly unique mani/pedi experience. For starters, it's not just a salon. Beyond offering innovative nail art designs worthy of framing, Vanity Projects helps you get your culture fix too, courtesy of video art installations projected onto the walls.
The salon is rounded out by their nail-artist-in-residence program, which featuring a rotating group of expert technicians from all over the world. Manicures start at $18 and run up to $80 for nail art, and pedicures start at $30.
Photo by Brian Harkin
↑ Tenoverten: 112 Reade Street; 132 W. Houston St; 119 W. 56th Street
This small chain of salons offers a laid-back vibe combined with the expertise—and enviable range of luxe polishes—you'd expect from the swankiest of salons. Its mission: to bring back the simple pleasure of getting a mani/pedi. The moment you step inside any of Tenoverten's three outposts, you're welcomed into a well-lit space with a relaxed atmosphere with limestone slab manicure tables and plush pedicure chairs.
The newly opened Soho location features a sun-drenched patio, making it the go-to manicure spot post-brunch this summer.
· New York City's Five Best Salons for Hair Color [Racked NY]
· Fourteen of New York's Best Hair Salons for a Fresh Summer Cut [Racked NY]
· All Get Right for Summer Posts [Racked NY]