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Photo: Paintbox
Photo: Paintbox

A Guide to New York City's Cool-Girl Nail Salons

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Photo: Paintbox

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Not all nail salons are created equal: you have your in-and-out $9 manicure go-tos, your white-walled modern mini-chains, and, finally, your reservation-only, "here, have a glass of champagne while your top coat sets" spots where no polish line is too obscure and no accent nail request too absurd. Here, we're rounded up New York City's coolest nail salons, from a downtown destination whose owner sets the manicure trends backstage at New York Fashion Week to a Soho newcomer that specializes in nail art for people who hate nail art.

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Tenoverten

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In addition to its house polish line, Tenoverten carries a fashion-girl-approved lineup of nail lacquers by brands like Chanel, Nars, and RGB. The best perk: you can put the tip on your credit card. Bless. [Photo]

Jin Soon Natural Hand & Foot Spa

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Jin Soon is kind of a celebrity in the nail world—she collaborates with designers on their runway manicure looks, regularly paints the nails of top models for glossy magazines, and has her own cult-y polish line. At her three NYC salons, traditional manis and pedis are combined with treatments like sugar scrubs and rose petal soaks, giving appointments a spa feel. While Jin Soon doesn’t go nuts with nail art (her polish shades are standouts on their own), she does offer a few options like gradient glitter and graphic stripes. [Photo]

Valley NYC

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Every manicure at Valley comes with a complimentary design on one or two accent nails, and if you can dream it up, this salon’s nail artists can paint it with their teeny tiny brushes. While geometric looks are Valley’s specialty, they’ll gladly adorn your fingertips with emojis or planets, should you ask. There's also a newly-opened second location at 237 West 15th Street in Chelsea. [Photo]

Paintbox

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This Soho salon is known for making converts out of nail art skeptics, thanks to its ultra-minimalist designs (like pearl-topped gel manis, metallic half-moons, and marbled foil looks). There’s no polish wall—instead customers are handed a nail lookbook (and a glass of champagne) upon entering. [Photo]

Vanity Projects

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Part gallery, part nail salon—this Chinatown spot features rotating works by local artists, as well as video installations that might just tempt you away from picking up that Us Weekly while your polish dries. Vanity Projects is known for its super-intricate nail art—even bringing in international nail “artists in residence” for guest stints—so don’t be shy about asking for a lifelike portrait of your cat on each fingertip. [Photo]

Tomahawk Salon

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Score an appointment with manicurist-in-residence Fleury Rose and just try not to gesticulate approximately 300% more after you leave. You’ll want to draw attention to that nail art—which Fleury paints free-form in acrylics, after applying a polish base—by any means possible. [Photo]

Tenoverten

In addition to its house polish line, Tenoverten carries a fashion-girl-approved lineup of nail lacquers by brands like Chanel, Nars, and RGB. The best perk: you can put the tip on your credit card. Bless. [Photo]

Jin Soon Natural Hand & Foot Spa

Jin Soon is kind of a celebrity in the nail world—she collaborates with designers on their runway manicure looks, regularly paints the nails of top models for glossy magazines, and has her own cult-y polish line. At her three NYC salons, traditional manis and pedis are combined with treatments like sugar scrubs and rose petal soaks, giving appointments a spa feel. While Jin Soon doesn’t go nuts with nail art (her polish shades are standouts on their own), she does offer a few options like gradient glitter and graphic stripes. [Photo]

Valley NYC

Every manicure at Valley comes with a complimentary design on one or two accent nails, and if you can dream it up, this salon’s nail artists can paint it with their teeny tiny brushes. While geometric looks are Valley’s specialty, they’ll gladly adorn your fingertips with emojis or planets, should you ask. There's also a newly-opened second location at 237 West 15th Street in Chelsea. [Photo]

Paintbox

This Soho salon is known for making converts out of nail art skeptics, thanks to its ultra-minimalist designs (like pearl-topped gel manis, metallic half-moons, and marbled foil looks). There’s no polish wall—instead customers are handed a nail lookbook (and a glass of champagne) upon entering. [Photo]

Vanity Projects

Part gallery, part nail salon—this Chinatown spot features rotating works by local artists, as well as video installations that might just tempt you away from picking up that Us Weekly while your polish dries. Vanity Projects is known for its super-intricate nail art—even bringing in international nail “artists in residence” for guest stints—so don’t be shy about asking for a lifelike portrait of your cat on each fingertip. [Photo]

Tomahawk Salon

Score an appointment with manicurist-in-residence Fleury Rose and just try not to gesticulate approximately 300% more after you leave. You’ll want to draw attention to that nail art—which Fleury paints free-form in acrylics, after applying a polish base—by any means possible. [Photo]