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

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

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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.

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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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