Manicures and pedicures
The best places to get your nails done.
Tue Jan 25 2011
Photograph: Julia Gartland
The Setai Club & Spa
Photograph: Courtesy of Red Door Spa
Red Door Spa
Photograph: Courtesy of Setai Spa
Photograph: Courtesy of Eve Salon
Photograph: Courtesy of Ohm Spa
Photograph: Courtesy of Sweet Lily
Photograph: Julia Gartland
The Setai Club & Spa
The Setai Club & Spa: Setai signature manicure 40 Broad St at Exchange Pl (212-792-6193, setaiclubnewyork.com). Regularly $45. TONY deal Mention TONY for 10 percent off this treatment through Wed 2.
The Setai's signature manicure is more of a hard-core hand treatment than a quick polish-and-go. I was ushered into a private room by chatty manicurist Ewa, who brought me a cup of complimentary tea, arranged a warm, aromatic pillow around my neck and proceeded to pamper my hands for ten minutes.
Best part: The thermal paraffin gloves healed my winter-chapped fingers, and the goth-glamour Essie color I chose was still flawless six days later.
Why it's worth it: While best reserved for more special occasions—or combined with one of the Setai's excellent massages—this manicure is long-lasting and completely indulgent.—Sharon Steel
Ohm Spa: Green-tea antioxidant manicure with CND's Shellac polish 260 Fifth Ave between 28th and 29th Sts, seventh floor (212-845-9812, ohmspa.com). Regularly $65. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 15 percent off this treatment through Feb 28.
The meticulous technician groomed my nails painlessly and to my exact specifications. Each coat of Shellac polish needs a few minutes under a UV lamp to dry, but the comfy chair and a subtitled movie playing on widescreen televisions made the wait easy.
Best part: I expected a manicure, not a massage. Each of the treatment's three stages (exfoliating scrub, mud mask and moisturizer) came with its own body-melting rubdown past the elbows.
Why it's worth it: This new polish holds up for about two weeks without a chip—the UV light cures the enamel, which can be removed at home with acetone or back at the spa.—Sarah Rammos
Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa: Sweet & Simple Pedicure 222 West Broadway between Franklin and North Moore Sts (212-925-5441, sweetlilyspa.com). Regularly $46. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 20 percent off the seasonal Cranberry Apple Pedicure (usually $68) or Healing Hands treatment (usually $44) through Feb 5.
As soon as you sink into one of three comfy living-room chairs and dip your feet into a country-chic white basin full of peppermint-oiled water and fresh cucumber slices, it becomes clear Sweet Lily is not your usual nail salon. And though what follows are the familiar pedicure steps, each is kicked up to lavish proportions: The cuticle-conditioning process uses tea-tree and citrus oils; the exfoliation massage was performed with a mint sugar scrub; and after a hot-towel wrap, a second, anything-but-skimpy rubdown turned my legs and feet to happy mush. By the time the polish is brushed on (formaldehyde-free Zoya), it's simply icing.
Best part: The minty, herbal aroma of this pedicure is amazing—fresh and rejuvenating to more than just my feet.
Why it's worth it: I felt like I was receiving special attention here, unlike with the impersonal quickie at the corner mani factory. There's room for only six people at a time to get nail treatments, which keeps the open, airy, beach-house-like space serene.—Billie Cohen
Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa: Timesaver Pedicure 691 Fifth Ave between 54th and 55th Sts (212-546-0200, reddoorspas.com). $42.
Designed as a refresher between full-blown pedis, the Timesaver is a no-frills, no-fuss foot treatment that takes only about 25 minutes (plus time for the polish to dry). The service is fairly basic: After your feet soften in a peppermint soak, the soles of your feet are buffed, and your nails are filed and painted using Essie polishes. But small details—like comfy chairs, complimentary coffee and tea, and a serene setting—up the luxury factor.
Best part: Instead of using goopy lotion, the nail specialist used an olive-oil revitalizing gel (Villa Floriani, $24)that absorbed quickly and left my dogs feeling smooth and revitalized.
Why it's worth it: You can get a similar pedi for much less at other spas, but this treatment offers full-scale pampering in a super-short amount of time.—Amy Plitt
Eve: Hot-cocoa manicure and pedicure 55 W 8th St between Sixth Ave and MacDougal St (212-807-8054, eveswebsite.com). Regularly: manicure $20, pedicure $40. TONY deal Mention TONY for 20 percent off either service through Feb 15.
Mariana started by giving me a neat, clean manicure and pedicure, then gently massaged my shins and my hands in circular motions using cocoa-scented scrub and cooling cocoa butter.
Best part: If you opt for the pedi, you'll be served complimentary hot chocolate. My hands were incredibly soft after the manicure—and the scrub smelled pretty damn good too.
Why it's worth it: Each client is given their own nail file kit—a file, buffer and manicure stick in a cute Eve bag—to take home. If you recycle it at the spa on your next visit, you'll receive a discount on your nail service ($1 off a manicure, $2 off a pedicure).—Rachel Sokol