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If we were to make a (very scientific) graph of nail art's popularity, it would peak in late 2011, hang on through 2012—bolstered by Katy Perry's 3D floral press-ons and things like magnetic top coats—and start to wane in 2013. Elisabeth Moss flipping off E!'s mani cam at this year's Golden Globes would be its death knell.
Blame it on fashion's return to '90s minimalism, or the economy's slight uptick (polish sales boomed after the recession), but you just don't see tiny unicorns galloping across nail-spanning rhinestone rainbows anymore.
What you do see is sleek, geometric designs—a Mondrian-esque accent nail in neutral hues here, silver French tips over a pale pink base there—and Eleanor Langston is right at the forefront of nail art's new guard with her manicure-only Soho salon, Paintbox.
The former beauty editor sifts through hundreds of polishes each season, picks her top 50 shades, and forgoes the overwhelming bottle wall in favor of a lookbook, which customers are handed (along with a complimentary glass of champagne) upon entering.
And, rather than charging per nail for art, Paintbox sticks to four price points, which range from $35 for a traditional manicure with polish to $65 for a gel manicure with designs. (Speaking of gel, removal is free at Paintbox. They'll even hand you another glass of champagne when you stop by for a soak.)
The salon is currently taking reservations online, but you could also try your luck after hitting up Opening Ceremony down the street—an all-white mani with a silver dot at the base of each nail seems like the perfect foil to an embroidered fish dress, don't you think?
· Paintbox [Official Site]
· Former Beauty Editor Eleanor Langston Opens a Nail Salon [Racked NY]