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Driely S.

Manicures, Mapped: New York City's 15 Best Salons

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past two months, you know that getting your nails done isn't as simple as going to that cheap salon on the corner anymore—and that's why we've frequently been hit with the question Where can I get a good manicure? The answer is mapped out below: Organized from north to south, find fifteen of New York's top spots for polishing your digits, from salons that specialize in house brands or eco-friendly polishes to those who have perfected the next generation of nail art.

Photo: Driely S. Research assistance: Daise Bedolla.

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Bed Of Nails

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Harlem's answer for downtown chic nails without a lengthy subway trip is Candice Idehen's salon, stocked with polishes from Essie and Deborah Lippmann to Chanel and Christian Louboutin. Manicure prices range from $15 to $30 depending on the length of service, while gels begin at $40. [Photo]

Fix Beauty Bar

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Opt for the nails-and-blowout combo service they're known for when you need to get ready in a rush, or just throw your hair back and focus on your manicure at the Upper East Side salon. Regular manicures start at $18, but you can add on extras like a lavender hot cream massage or Ciaté velvet polish for not much more. Services with gel polish begin at $35. [Photo]

Jinsoon

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Step into the serene West Village salon (or the East Village one, or the Upper East Side one, or maybe Tribeca at some point in the future) for a manicure from a nail technician trained by the cult nail expert, who launched her own line of colors in 2012. Hand services start at $18, or add on things like soaks with flower petals, cucumbers, or milk and honey for a few bucks more. [Photo]

Ph7 Nail Couture

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A Williamsburg newcomer as of last fall, Ph7 caters to the neighborhood with natural, Brooklyn-made products (you won’t find any Essie here), and of course, a super clean, super safe salon experience. Basic manicures run $18, while you can also upgrade to the “indulgent” mani for $30, which gets you a ten-minute massage and a natural scrub exfoliant. Calgel (a reportedly safer alternative to regular gel) manicures cost $45. [Photo]

Primp & Polish

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At each of this north Brooklyn mini-chain’s four salons, most staffers are paid “well above” the state’s minimum wage—which is good to know, since the options for gel designs here require crazy artistic skills. But if you’re only in for a touch-up, basic manicures cost just $15, while gel manis start at $35. [Photo]

The Red Door

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Bypass the shelves of makeup on ground level at the northern edge of Union Square to get to the black, white, and red-all-over downstairs salon. Manicures, including the $22 "essentials" and the $40, 25-minute express gel session, are done in the plushy pedicure chairs so that you can still take advantage of that back massager. [Photo]

Valley NYC

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Need whimsy? At both this original location and the new Chelsea outpost, customers are coming in for nail art, ranging from a menu of sleek geometric designs to custom options that can be negotiated with your technician. Prices vary by design, but that'll be added to your $30 standard manicure (gel, meanwhile, is $50). [Photo]

Vanity Projects

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Like Valley, Vanity Projects is another salon that's known for its innovative nail art, which pairs nicely with the rotating selection of video installations in their Chinatown space. Sans designs, a basic manicure is $18 and a gel manicure is $40; when you add in the art, prices will start at $50. [Photo]

Tenoverten Parker Meridien

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The house brand five-free/cruelty-free polish is all you'll find at this fashion-favorite salon, where each color is named after a downtown Manhattan block—that's where it all began for founders Nadine Abramcyk and Adair Ilyinsky (they've got locations in Soho and Tribeca, too). And luckily, a manicure as good as this doesn't translate to big bucks: The quickie service is just $15, and the luxe service (with a ten-minute massage!) only comes to $40. [Photo]

Essie Nails at Samuel Shriqui Salon

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At least you don't have to decide between brands at the dedicated nail stations inside this full-service Upper East Side salon—but choosing a color out of their library of hundreds of bottles is something you should budget some time for. Sink into one of their plush couches while your nails are painted; pricing starts at $32. [Photo]

Paintbox

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Even with the depth of cool-girl salons in this city, there isn't anyone who's doing it quite like Paintbox. Pick out your design from a lookbook rather than a wall of color, and opt for something with a fun effect (like nail foil) to take advantage of their singular aesthetic. Prices range from $35 to $68 for manicures, depending on factors like design and gel polish—and don't forget to snap a picture in their mani photo booth on your way out. [Photo]

Hortus Nailworks

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The earthy vibe at this salon—think exposed brick, lots of wooden access, tiny plants everywhere—that was formerly known as Lushlife has a refreshing non-New York feel to it. Choose from one of several manicure packages, starting at $15 and featuring a selection of 3-free and 5-free polishes, or a gel manicure for $40. [Photo]

Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa East

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When you want your manicure to feel more like an experience rather than just another errand, book a 45-minute classic manicure for $35, or bump it up to a 60-minute service for $50 with extras like a Decleor hand treatment and exfoliation. Other locations in the city are within the Core Club and the Chelsea Piers Sports Center.[Photo]

The Paint Workshop by Nails Inc. (at Saks)

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Nestled among racks of clothing on the department store's fifth floor are sleek manicure stations equipped with iPads, charging docks, and 150 of the British brand's colors, including polishes that can mimic the feel of leather and velvet. Their extensive menu ranges from the quick-service $24.50 express manicure to a $48 gel session. Nail art like Swarovski bling is available, too. [Photo]

Very Polished Lounge & Nail Spa

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All services at this salon, which straddles the border between Prospect Heights and Bed-Stuy, use natural, organic products, including toxin-free polishes and kitchen-made scrubs, including unexpected recipes like a “margarita manicure,” in which tequila apparently helps remove dead skin (who knew?). Basic manicures, which include a mango mint hand soak, cost $15, while other variations (almond cookie, strawberry margarita, etc.) run into the $25-to-$30 range. There’s also the option of requesting an express manicure, where for just $10, a technician will shape, file, and coat your nails. Gel manis, which also come with the mango mint soak, are $45. [Photo]

Bed Of Nails

Harlem's answer for downtown chic nails without a lengthy subway trip is Candice Idehen's salon, stocked with polishes from Essie and Deborah Lippmann to Chanel and Christian Louboutin. Manicure prices range from $15 to $30 depending on the length of service, while gels begin at $40. [Photo]

Fix Beauty Bar

Opt for the nails-and-blowout combo service they're known for when you need to get ready in a rush, or just throw your hair back and focus on your manicure at the Upper East Side salon. Regular manicures start at $18, but you can add on extras like a lavender hot cream massage or Ciaté velvet polish for not much more. Services with gel polish begin at $35. [Photo]

Jinsoon

Step into the serene West Village salon (or the East Village one, or the Upper East Side one, or maybe Tribeca at some point in the future) for a manicure from a nail technician trained by the cult nail expert, who launched her own line of colors in 2012. Hand services start at $18, or add on things like soaks with flower petals, cucumbers, or milk and honey for a few bucks more. [Photo]

Ph7 Nail Couture

A Williamsburg newcomer as of last fall, Ph7 caters to the neighborhood with natural, Brooklyn-made products (you won’t find any Essie here), and of course, a super clean, super safe salon experience. Basic manicures run $18, while you can also upgrade to the “indulgent” mani for $30, which gets you a ten-minute massage and a natural scrub exfoliant. Calgel (a reportedly safer alternative to regular gel) manicures cost $45. [Photo]

Primp & Polish

At each of this north Brooklyn mini-chain’s four salons, most staffers are paid “well above” the state’s minimum wage—which is good to know, since the options for gel designs here require crazy artistic skills. But if you’re only in for a touch-up, basic manicures cost just $15, while gel manis start at $35. [Photo]

The Red Door

Bypass the shelves of makeup on ground level at the northern edge of Union Square to get to the black, white, and red-all-over downstairs salon. Manicures, including the $22 "essentials" and the $40, 25-minute express gel session, are done in the plushy pedicure chairs so that you can still take advantage of that back massager. [Photo]

Valley NYC

Need whimsy? At both this original location and the new Chelsea outpost, customers are coming in for nail art, ranging from a menu of sleek geometric designs to custom options that can be negotiated with your technician. Prices vary by design, but that'll be added to your $30 standard manicure (gel, meanwhile, is $50). [Photo]

Vanity Projects

Like Valley, Vanity Projects is another salon that's known for its innovative nail art, which pairs nicely with the rotating selection of video installations in their Chinatown space. Sans designs, a basic manicure is $18 and a gel manicure is $40; when you add in the art, prices will start at $50. [Photo]

Tenoverten Parker Meridien

The house brand five-free/cruelty-free polish is all you'll find at this fashion-favorite salon, where each color is named after a downtown Manhattan block—that's where it all began for founders Nadine Abramcyk and Adair Ilyinsky (they've got locations in Soho and Tribeca, too). And luckily, a manicure as good as this doesn't translate to big bucks: The quickie service is just $15, and the luxe service (with a ten-minute massage!) only comes to $40. [Photo]

Essie Nails at Samuel Shriqui Salon

At least you don't have to decide between brands at the dedicated nail stations inside this full-service Upper East Side salon—but choosing a color out of their library of hundreds of bottles is something you should budget some time for. Sink into one of their plush couches while your nails are painted; pricing starts at $32. [Photo]

Paintbox

Even with the depth of cool-girl salons in this city, there isn't anyone who's doing it quite like Paintbox. Pick out your design from a lookbook rather than a wall of color, and opt for something with a fun effect (like nail foil) to take advantage of their singular aesthetic. Prices range from $35 to $68 for manicures, depending on factors like design and gel polish—and don't forget to snap a picture in their mani photo booth on your way out. [Photo]

Hortus Nailworks

The earthy vibe at this salon—think exposed brick, lots of wooden access, tiny plants everywhere—that was formerly known as Lushlife has a refreshing non-New York feel to it. Choose from one of several manicure packages, starting at $15 and featuring a selection of 3-free and 5-free polishes, or a gel manicure for $40. [Photo]

Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa East

When you want your manicure to feel more like an experience rather than just another errand, book a 45-minute classic manicure for $35, or bump it up to a 60-minute service for $50 with extras like a Decleor hand treatment and exfoliation. Other locations in the city are within the Core Club and the Chelsea Piers Sports Center.[Photo]

The Paint Workshop by Nails Inc. (at Saks)

Nestled among racks of clothing on the department store's fifth floor are sleek manicure stations equipped with iPads, charging docks, and 150 of the British brand's colors, including polishes that can mimic the feel of leather and velvet. Their extensive menu ranges from the quick-service $24.50 express manicure to a $48 gel session. Nail art like Swarovski bling is available, too. [Photo]

Very Polished Lounge & Nail Spa

All services at this salon, which straddles the border between Prospect Heights and Bed-Stuy, use natural, organic products, including toxin-free polishes and kitchen-made scrubs, including unexpected recipes like a “margarita manicure,” in which tequila apparently helps remove dead skin (who knew?). Basic manicures, which include a mango mint hand soak, cost $15, while other variations (almond cookie, strawberry margarita, etc.) run into the $25-to-$30 range. There’s also the option of requesting an express manicure, where for just $10, a technician will shape, file, and coat your nails. Gel manis, which also come with the mango mint soak, are $45. [Photo]