I’ve worked in beauty-focused public relations for close to 8 years now, which means I’ve had the opportunity to try some of the top nail salons in NYC. There really are so many – from the high-end Ritz-Carlton level nail salon to the hipster nail art joints, to hole-in the wall $8 manicure spots.
Part of my job is to take editors or writers out to hear about the stories they are working on, this way we can chat and find a way for my clients to potentially fit in to their stories. Sometimes it’s over breakfast or dinner, but many times I’ll go for manicures.
Here are a few of my favorite places in NYC, all have great atmospheres, service, and of course, manicures.
Valley has been popular for a few years now, and I’ve only had good experiences there. There are actually three locations in Chelsea, Nolita and the Upper East Side and they all do great gel nail art. I’ve been to the Chelsea location a few times just because it’s been more convenient for me, but I’ve honestly never been to the UES store because I rarely venture that far up town. The décor is what I would call Americana-chic (buffalo heads, arrows) with wood accents throughout. Very cool!
Nail polish is non-toxic so that’s a plus.
You’ve probably seen Paint-Box all over Instagram, they do a great job encouraging customers to share their nail art. Last time I went it was pretty hard to get a reservation, so book in advance!
They have a cute little book of nail art, or you can go with a simple color. I usually go for gel, it lasts pretty long and they use a special kind that doesn’t damage your nails. They also have champagne which should be mandatory IMO.
It’s pronounced ten-over-ten, and it’s a classic. It’s just so, I don’t know, chic? The atmosphere is relaxing and décor is all non-boring neutrals with delicate yet industrial-like hardware throughout.
All of their nail polishes and materials are completely non-toxic, so you know your nails will be in good shape after. I usually just go for a classic manicure here and skip the gel, it just seems fitting.
Tenoverten has four salons across the city but I love the Fulton Street location because that street has this amazing view of the World Trade Center (it’s the little things). I usually never have a problem getting a reservation because it’s one of the larger locations.
I almost forgot about this little hidden gem! BISOU is a tiny little salon in SOHO with some of the most unique nail art options I’ve ever seen.
There are only two manicure tables so it’s not easy to get a reservation on short notice. The nail technicians are seriously artists, they are so dedicated to their craft and will sit there as long as it takes to perfect your nails. I’ll be honest, I didn’t choose the best nail art for my short tiny nails – I got this bright blue with gold specks and it just wasn’t “me.”
I’ll definitely go back soon and choose my gel more wisely.