Safe and cheap are two things that don't exactly define New York, so when it comes to keeping our digits and tootsies in tact, we get very serious. If you're petrified of Staph infections (you've heard the horror stories), or you want to avoid a Foxy Brown situation, we've rounded up some spots to get the best quality bang for your buck—whether you like plush pedis or straightforward nail care. Besides a clean buff-and-polish, we've also lined up another deal that keeps both you—and your wallet—safe from emery board-wielding harm.
1. Valley: Couched inside vintage boutique Portia and Manny, the sisters Werman offer nail care to accompany the wood-stacked heels and classic kimonos. Besides using the organic nail enhancer Calgel (cleverly called Val Gel here) and hard, strip-free waxes, Valley lets nails take center stage. Renowned for their ornamental nail-art (acrylics, 3-D texturing, the works), the salon also offers Minx manis and pedis. Betsey J is a fan of their kooky colors. Need we say more?
Valley, 198 Elizabeth Street (between Prince and Spring streets); 212-274-8985.
2. Jin Soon: Jin Soon Choi is kind of a big deal. She's been tapped by MAC to come up with a line of autumn-friendly colors, plus you can find her nail art creations in just about every editorial. In fact, she is so in-demand that she's become a mini-mogul, with three eponymous locations in Manhattan. While you aren't likely to see Ms. Soon bustling about her small (but immaculate) spas, her manicurists are all trained by her—something she takes rather seriously (she even created her own free handbook). Try the luxurious hot milk and honey treatment ($28 for hands, $50 for feet) or enjoy a freestyle paint job (between $4-$15 a finger).
Jin Soon, 421 East 73rd Street (between 1st Street and York Avenue); 212-249-9144.
3. Element Beauty: This spot is straightforward without being boring, and chic instead of clinical. The treatments sound as delicious as they are luxe, with tasty treats—think the hour-and-a-half long citrus hot cream service ($20 for hands, $35 for feet) or the refreshing ice cream bath for your tootsies ($35). Throw down an extra $13 for a totally-worth-it chair massage, and leave you walking on Cloud Nine. Bonus for Brooklyners: the Park Slope location is tops.
Element Beauty, 73 5th Avenue (between Warren Street and St. Marks Place); Brooklyn; 718-398-2969.
Valley is giving you a hand. New clients get 20% off all services, but Refinery readers (new or old) can book a regular Valley Manicure ($22) and get a free upgrade to Val Gel (normally $45) til next Thursday. Just mention Refinery29!