If the runways and red carpet are any indication, nail art is proving to be more than just a passing trend—it’s here to stay. We’re not talking about crazy, unwearable bubble nails or 3-D styles (though they’re totally fun for another occasion), but gorgeous, sophisticated looks that amp up your wedding day ensemble without distracting from your look. New York City is bursting with hundreds of salons on every corner that do a fair job at creating a classic mani, but if you’re on the hunt for a manicurist that can whip up something a little more special, here are three nail art places in NYC that, well, truly nail it.
An appointment at one of celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi’s intimate salons is more than a beauty treatment—it’s like a therapy session. Soak in the calming wood décor that feels like you’re at a destination spa rather than the East Village, sip on complimentary hot tea, and chat with Jin Soon, who frequents each of her salons on a regular basis (she’s probably one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet). Then, there are the manicurists themselves: Each of the nail technicians are mentored by Jin Soon and her high level of nail artistry. Jin Soon is minimalist when it comes to nail designs, but you will find something interesting like negative nail art to cool interpretations of a French mani that’s equally bridal and on-trend. On top of Jin Soon’s own namesake polish line, the salon offers luxe brands like Chanel, Tom Ford, Givenchy, and MAC as well as cult-favorite lines like OPI and Essie—pick one, or mix and match.
17 Crosby St.
Founded by former beauty editor Eleanor Langston, Paintbox is SoHo’s manicure-only destination with a unique approach to guiding you through the often confusing world of nail art. Once you get to there, you’ll be greeted with a glass of champagne, tea, or water as you flip through their seasonal lookbook and pick out one of the 20 to 25 curated editorial designs created by celebrity manicurist and Paintbox Creative Director Julie Kandalec. While the gel designs themselves aren’t super customizable (the artists are trained to recreate the exact lookbook styles), you can swap out the colors to make sure it fits your wedding vibe. Competitive prices ($35 for polish and $65 for gels that last over two weeks), a spacious location that you can even rent out for bachelorettes, and a fun mani cam for nail art selfies all keep us coming back for more.
At this Fashion Week mainstay, the concept behind Tenoverten caters to what New Yorkers appreciate the most: reliability, convenience, and speed. No matter which technician you choose, a signature mani, which includes nail shaping, cuticle care, a hydrating hand massage and, of course, polish, will be done with perfection in just 25 minutes. Plus, easy-to-get-to locations in Midtown, TriBeCa, SoHo, and their newest one in FiDi make it less stressful to squeeze in an appointment during your lunch break. Tack on a few extra minutes should you decide to do a subtle nail art design, and the technicians will take extra care to make sure it lasts as long as possible, using good-for-you nail brands like RGB and their own five-free line.