Meet Paintbox, Our New Favorite Nail Joint

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paintboxPhoto: Courtesy of Paintbox.
As much as we love our fancy-pants nail salons for a pampering mani experience, sometimes we just need the no-nonsense, no-frills fix of our local cheapie salons. We're not all millionaires, and $60 a pop for a polish change just isn't in our budgets — no matter how tasty the posh herbal tea may be.

Well, what if you could have the best of both worlds in one beyond-chic place? Say hello to Paintbox, the latest trendy nail salon to hit the streets of Soho. Founded by former Fitness magazine beauty director Eleanor Langston, Paintbox offers a high-end nail service at prices that won't make your wallet cry tears of loneliness.

The 1,500-square-foot studio, which opened on Saturday, has 18 manicure stations and offers both routine polish changes and more artsy nail-design options. The salon is manicure-only (no pedis) and provides a lookbook of seasonal designs and color options that are inspired by runway and editorial trends.

The polishes are all top tier and curated by Langston's expert editorial eye: Butter London, Chanel, Deborah Lippmann, essie, Estée Lauder, Floss Gloss, Illamasqua, and Zoya are just a few of the standouts. The nail-design options that were on offer for spring/summer '14 were sophisticated and grown-up — no 3-D fruit or cute kitten faces here. Plus, the salon boasts its very own creative director, Julie Kandalec, who oversees all of the designs. You see now why we love this place?

If all that wasn't enough, you'll find a super-luxe environment in which to enjoy your weekly (or monthly or yearly — we don't judge) mani. Langston has thought of every last thing, right down to the social-media aspect: Paintbox has its own mani cam that allows you to snap a pic of your fresh-to-death digits and blast it out to your web following. Or, your mom. Whatever floats your boat.

Now, about those prices. Paintbox offers a regular mani experience for $35, a gel mani for $50, a designed manicure using regular polish for $55, and a gel nail design for $65. We know, that's pricier than your usual corner nail spot, but the studio also offers a semi-secret, off-menu Express Manicure — polish removal, buff, and paint — for just $20. So, you get to enjoy the fabulousity, without having to pay sky-high rates. Just because you aren't spending a fortune doesn't mean you don't deserve the star treatment, right?

Paintbox, 17 Crosby Street (between Howard and Grand streets); 212-219-2412.



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