Get your talons up to scratch with our guide to the best manicures in London – ranging from cheap and cheerful touch-ups to indulgent treatments, plus mobile manicurists and cosy neighbourhood spots. Whatever you're after, we've filed down the lot to the ten best manicures in London.
RECOMMENDED: London's best nail bars
London's best manicures
The most forward-thinking beauty parlour around, Wah’s Soho flagship is an attraction in itself. Not only does it allow you to design your manicure using virtual reality headsets, the concrete-clad space boasts a cocktail bar and its own shop selling brands that were founded by women. Pick your dream mani from the lookbook, or from Wah’s insanely popular Instagram page, and let it work its famous nail art magic, starting from £25. (Mini manicures without nail art from £15.)
This cool salon attached to the misleadingly named Hoxton Hotel in Holborn (complete with pink neon wall art) is ideal for those in central London in need of a talon touch-up. Using the fab range of Cheeky polishes, you can get your nails attended to at one of the six nail stations, from just £15 for a file, shape and paint. If you’re feeling flush, shell out on Shellac or nail art from £42.
Never knowingly under-innovative, Selfridges is home to this unique unbranded nail bar in the ground floor beauty hall. Though The Paint Shop is run by Nails Inc, you can get your digits decorated using any of the huge array of brands on display. A Paint Job express mani will set you back £24, or try Nails Inc’s scrummy-sounding Superfood Manicure, £38, that includes a matcha hand mask in hot mitts.
Those who frequent this ’50s-themed Shoreditch salon are loath to go anywhere else – not only because of its lovely neighbourhood vibe, but because of the genuine skill and expertise of its staff. Manicures are carried out with efficiency and precision, using products like OPI and Essie, with prices from £12 for a file and polish, going up to £40 for a pull-out-all-the-stops luxury mani.
This nail-painting newcomer is located in the basement of design shop/restaurant/bar Clerkenwell London. A thoroughly good-looking space, with birchwood accents on the walls and bespoke botanical upholstery by Charlotte Frances, it’s a lovely place to be indulged. Manicures, from £15, use a range of vegan polishes from French brand Kure Bazaar, that reflect the spa’s favouring of natural products. The Well also offers a variety of other treatments, from waxing to LED facials.
Young entrepreneur Kirsten Hazell saw a gap in the market for an affordable American-style nail salon with late opening hours. And so London Grace was born, living by the sociable motto ‘nails, coffee & cocktails’. Pop in for a drink and to get your nails lacquered using London Grace’s own brand of nasties-free polish. If you’re in a rush, try a genius timed treatment – a ten-minute ‘Slap Dash’ mani is just £9. Bring your mates and you can even book your own private treatment table.
The luxurious Cowshed – based on its original location at Babington House in Somerset, and now with several London spots – has a homely farmhouse vibe, with sheepskin rugs and comfy armchairs. Manicures use products from sister brand Cheeky, with prices ranging from £15 for a quick polish change, to £60 for the Ultimate Cowshed Manicure, including exfoliation and a relaxing head and scalp massage. Pile on more pampering by opting for the Light Salon (from £30) – a 15-minute, anti-ageing LED facial that can be done while you’re having your hands seen to.
In need of a spruce-up, but can’t get to a salon? Whether you’re trapped at work or hungover at home (tsk, tsk), London company Milk’s superlative team of mobile manicurists will happily nip round to city-dwellers in any postcode. Manicures are always excellent, and keenly priced too – an express is £15. A (very reasonable) minimum spend of £40 is required for all home visits, but with a wide range of other complementary beauty treatments on offer, it’s easy to make up the difference.
Venue says: “Call or text now to book your next treatment!”
Lovers of all things retro will be in their element at this tiki-themed parlour, founded by a former Mac employee: even the red-lipped, pin-curled staff get into the vintage theme. Nail treatments are perfect for any burlesque queen or fan of old-school swank: think heart-tip or half-moon polish jobs (from £25) or glossy gels, which start from £36. Un-superstitious types (who don’t mind queuing) should nip in for the bargainous £13 manicure that Hula Nails offers every Friday 13th.
Part of the Soho House group, this multi-storey beauty and grooming joint is just off Shoreditch’s trendy Redchurch Street. On its top floor you’ll find a Cheeky Parlour that offers the usual array of top-notch manis from £15 (nail art starts at an extra £1.50 per nail). Barber & Parlour is convenient for those looking to get all of their grooming needs addressed at once – it also has a Josh Wood hair salon, as well as men’s barber Neville. Plus there’s a café, and even a cinema in the basement should you want to make a fancy day of it.
Indulge in some retail therapy
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The Chapel prides itself on expertise delivered in a friendly environment and informative nature. The converted Islington pub bears no resemblance to its former use with decedent silver gilt framed mirrors suspended from the ceiling and stylish ’30s inspired chairs, which are the most comfortable salon seating your derrière will ever sit on. The Chapel opened their London branch in 2007 – following the launch of their Tunbridge Wells flagship salon in 2001 – and haven't looked back. Their individual style informs their team of stylists that can make over a tired dated hairdo as well as refresh hairstyles to create natural looks.