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, 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 £24. (Mini manicures without nail art from £15.)
This cool salon situated within the ginormous Topshop is ideal for those in central London in need of a talon touch-up. plus, since it's next to Bleach London, Blink Brow Bar and Hersheson's, you could easily get all your preening done in the same place ahead of a big night out. 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.
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.
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 £10. 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 £18 for a polish change, to £60 for the Ultimate Cowshed Manicure, including a hydrating mask and a relaxing head and scalp massage. Pile on more pampering by opting for the Light Salon (from £35) – a 15-minute, anti-ageing LED facial that can be done while you’re having your hands seen to.
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.
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 £40) or glossy gels, which start from £50. Un-superstitious types (who don’t mind queuing) should nip in for the bargainous £13 manicure that Hula Nails offers every Friday 13th.
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 Need for Speed mani (express) will set you back £25, or try Nails Inc’s swish-sounding V.I.W manicure, £38, that includes a hydrating collagen soak and collagen youth boost massage.