You guys! The chicest, most modern nail salon ever is opening tomorrow. Calling it a "salon" doesn't even seen right. Let's call it a nail studio instead. The super fancy new Paintbox, located in Soho next to the Mondrian hotel, is light years away from the corner nail salons that dot big cities like New York and L.A. (We all frequent those, of course, but they're not exactly nice, or--eek!--clean, no?) Basically, if those cheapie salons are the Walmart of the nail salon world, this would be the Barney's. Brainchild of Eleanor Langston, a former beauty editor at Fitness, Self, and Cosmo (and, full disclosure, my friend!), Paintbox was designed to completely elevate every single second of the manicure experience.
The space is gorgeous (it looks like a cool, fancy boutique without a single ugly massage chair in sight), and the 18 stations are beautiful, minimalist, and comfy. Gone are the walls and walls of polish. The shade choices are tightly edited to the best colors of the season (don't worry though--there's still a ton to pick from!), and you can choose from lots of different brands--even Chanel!
In addition to regular and gel manicures and polish changes (no pedicures though!), Paintbox offers some truly amazing nail art. When you come in, you get a lookbook with tons of different designs to choose from. But here's the key: The designs definitely veer towards the subtle/tasteful end of the spectrum--no mini kittens, smiley faces, or anything cheesy like that here. (I also liked how the lookbook shows suggested color combos for each design, but that you're welcome to customize it and choose whichever shades you want.) Then you sit back in your cushy banquette seat, stick your phone in the iPhone charger, have a drink (I recommend the Grady's Cold Brew iced coffee--yum!), and relax while the technician starts painting away.
Paintbox opens tomorrow, Saturday May 3. You can make an appointment here. I got a sneak peek yesterday and I was seriously impressed. I opted for the Crown Jewels design with tiny rose gold studs. That's my hand above showing off in the salon's official mani cam. It's so cool: You stick your hand into the specially designed mini photo booth, it snaps a pic, and then instantly emails the shot to you so that you can Instagram it to your heart's content. Things don't get more modern than that, huh?
What do you guys think? If you're in New York, are you going to check it out? And, if you live somewhere else, tell me: Do you have any fancy/cool nail salons where you live? I'm so curious!