clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nine NYC Nail Salons for an Ethical Summer Pedicure

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

After a long winter that likely involved multiple pairs of socks and boots with the fur, your feet are ready to come out of hiding and into the outside world. Make sure they're looking their best with a fresh pedicure—one from a salon that treats its workers fairly with adequate pay and proper safety precautions, of course. Below, we've highlighted nine New York City salons (in alphabetical order) that'll wake your toes from hibernation and keep them in shape all summer long. Be sure to book your appointment before the next rooftop barbecue.

Bed of Nails

2272 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd, Harlem;

Owner Candice Idehen brought the luxury salon experience further north in Manhattan back in 2013, stocking the shelves with polishes from the likes of Deborah Lippmann, Marc Jacobs, and Chanel. Pick a color and then take a seat in one of the pedicure chairs that kind of looks like a throne cloaked in black velvet. A basic pedicure starts at $32 and goes up to $60 with extras like a rose petal soak and paraffin wax.

Fix Beauty Bar

847 Lexington Avenue, Upper East Side;

While Fix might be best known for its combo services—getting you in and out the door quickly with buffed nails and a fresh blowout—feel free to slow it down and take your time in the pedicure chair here. Their signature pedicure service starts at $35, and there's also options for French, gel, and French gel (for those who really can't choose).



Locations in the East Village, West Village, and Upper East Side;

There's no such thing as a basic pedicure here—not hard to imagine, since the New York Times Magazine crowned Jin Soon Choi as the "Nail Guru" way back in the 90s. Treatment options range from $32 to $60 and can involve anything from essential oils and rose petals to a cucumber-and-mint soak and a volcanic clay mask. Top off your newly-smoothed skin and shapely nails with one of the bright colors from the house line.

PH7 Nail Couture

227 Grand Street, Williamsburg;

Those who are all about all-natural and eco-friendly beauty should set up recurring appointments at PH7, which since last fall has been shellacking city girls with polishes that are free of the most toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and BHP. Pedicure prices range from $30 to $55, depending on whether you're going for "basic," "polished," or "indulgent."


Primp & Polish

Four locations in Greenpoint and Williamsburg;

This Brooklyn mini-chain touts its nail art expertise, but it could also take pride in the fact that it manages to provide the most affordable pedicure out of the local ethical salons at just $27—though that's bumped up to $55 if you opt for gel. You can also choose add-ons like volcanic clay and milk and honey if your feet need some extra love before their turn in the sun.

The Red Door

200 Park Avenue South, Union Square;

If you're looking for a pedicure that's more suited for fancy wedges at a wedding than flip flops at a beach, stop in The Red Door at the northern edge of Union Square. Their basement-level spa is an oasis from the craziness outside, and treatments—from an olive oil soak to "youth restoring" to warm cream—will generally run you between $70 and $80 (their budget-friendly option is the "time saver" pedicure for $45).


Locations in Chelsea and Nolita;

What won't you find underneath your feet during a Valley pedicure? A tub. That's because the salon does a waterless service that minimizes bacteria and exposure to germs. A classic pedicure goes for $45 and a gel pedicure is $70—whether you want to add on their customizable nail art to one or all ten toes is up to you.


Vanity Projects

99 Chrystie Street, Lower East Side;

Like Valley, Vanity Projects is another salon that's known for its innovative nail art that, while generally reserved for manicures, would certainly work well on toes, too. If you're going for solid colors, the basic pedicure is just $30—a pretty decent price considering that it also doubles as admission to the salon's video gallery installations.


Locations in Midtown, Soho, and Tribeca;

The house line's five-free and cruelty-free nail polishes are all you'll find on the shelves at this mini-chain, and each is named after a street in downtown Manhattan, where it all began for founders Nadine Abramcyk and Adair Ilyinsky. Choose from three pedicure options: The $40 signature, the $55 luxe, or the $65 customizable ones that can target your specific troubles, like dry skin or calluses.