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Issa Nail Salon
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best cheap nail salons in NYC

With these cheap nail salons, you don’t need to splurge every time you want to add color and shine to your nails

By Alex Schechter

NYC living certainly doesn’t come cheap, but you can still find a decent manicure for under $15 at these cheap nail salons. You can stop spending cash at beauty supply stores for polish that you’re just going to make a mess of anyway and instead have your nails looking polished and perfect in no time. Give your hands (and feet) some much-needed love at these places, some of which even have spa treatments that rival the best saunas in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to spas in NYC

Best cheap nail salons in NYC

Hortus Nail Salon
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/ Sarah W

1. Hortus Nail Works

Health and beauty Nail salons Lower East Side

You’ll find all the usual services—minus the packed waiting rooms and crabby technicians—at this stylish, friendly studio. The basic New Yorker ($15), does the trick; visitors praise these manicures for lasting weeks after their visit. If you’re in the mood for something extra, try longer treatments like a dead sea salt soak, an organic sugar scrub or detoxifying clay masks.

 Buddha Nails & Spa
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Buddha Nails & Spa

Health and beauty Nail salons Kips Bay

It must be enlightenment that prompted this low-key nail salon to keep prices so low. A basic manicure here will set you back just $9, and on top of that, if you carry a loyalty card with you, the sixth one is on the house. Best of all, the staff here caters to an after-work crowd, meaning you can show up as late as 10pm on a weeknight and still walk out with freshly lacquered paws.

Yo Yo Spa
Photgraph: Courtesy Yelp/ Pam C.

3. Yo Yo Spa

Health and beauty Nail salons Chelsea

A prize buried along hectic 14th Street, this well-regarded, spacious salon’s claim to fame is efficiency. From the minute you check in at the small reception area, Yo Yo goes out of its way to make customers (many of whom have been coming for years) feel at home. Once you’ve tested out the $10 manicure for yourself, go ahead and spring for a $23 mani-pedi—it’s the shop’s signature package and one of the city’s best combo deals.

Local Honey
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/ Alyssa F.

4. Local Honey

Health and beauty Nail salons Bushwick

You’ll savor every moment spent inside this warm, homey spot, which partially resembles a swanky Soho loft with a bearskin rug and driftwood coffee table. If you’re in a rush (or strapped for cash), sign up for the Quickie, a $10 basic polish and cuticle clean-up. Anxiety-prone types might benefit from something called a crystal energy hand massage—exhale deeply as the selenite crystal makes contact with your skin, targeting pressure points and cleansing unwanted negative energy.

Issa Nail Salon
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Issa Nail Salon

Health and beauty Nail salons Lenox Hill

Quick, cheap and thorough is what you’ll get at this cheerful, floral-accented salon on the Upper East Side (its prime location next to the 6 and F trains make it a favorite with commuters). Pay $12 for a full manicure, complete with keratin gloves and a miniature hand and back massage. (Want an extra 10 minutes of kneading? Just add $10 to the bill.) For more in-depth pampering, sign up for the Spa Pedicure ($68), which includes a 15-minute massage, mud mask for the legs and a full manicure service.

Affina Beauty Spa
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Rinta J

6. Affina Beauty Spa

Health and beauty Nail salons Financial District

Tucked on a busy corner in FiDi, this unassuming studio blends the soothing ambience of a spa—warm lighting, intimate alcoves—with the unpretentiousness of a classic NYC nail bar. A basic 20-minute manicure starts at $13, and for $30, you can upgrade to a scruffing manicure, which uses heat from melted paraffin wax to alleviate dry skin and arthritic joints. Need a gel treatment? That’s Affina’s other specialty, starting at $32.50 for a manicure and $40 for a pedicure—just plan on arriving with a color already in mind, as the selection can prove overwhelming for indecisive types.

Top A Nail
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. Top A Nail

Health and beauty Nail salons East Village

Opposite Tompkins Square Park, this newly renovated space equipped with hanging plants and tropical posters has a psychedelic greenhouse vibe you’ll love. Another thing to love is the prices: $10 for an expertly-tackled manicure (with a cornucopia of colors to pick from), $27 for a mani-pedi and $28 for a spa manicure, which includes a 20-minute massage so you can get blissfully squeezed and poked while admiring your newly glinting claws.

Cutie Calls
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Cutie Calls

Health and beauty Nail salons Williamsburg

“Cutie” is exactly what co-workers will say when you walk into work after an appointment here. The service alone is worth the visit (the technicians will gleefully help you sort through different shades), but it’s the quality of your slick, smooth, perfectly shaped nails that you’ll remember. The unbeatable $20 mani-pedi keeps your wallet happy, and with nails that are (virtually) chip-proof, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Ruby Nails
Photograph: Shutterstock

9. Ruby Nails

Health and beauty Nail salons Clinton Hill

Don’t expect to be dazzled by zen rock gardens or gurgling fountains at this humble, cash-only salon—the appeal is in the product and not the frills. The employees here are well-versed in the art of nail embellishment, so rest assured, your hands are in good, er, hands. The $10 manicure runs circles around others in the neighborhood that charge $15 or higher, and while you might want to bring along your own color (the selection isn’t always up to par), you won’t be disappointed by its application.

Soho Nails
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Stephanie W.

10. Soho Nails

Health and beauty Nail salons Soho

For years, lower Manhattanites have trudged up to the third floor of this random building in Soho for impeccable (and cheap: a basic manicure starts at $10) nail service. The attention to detail—finely shaped cuticles, smoothing out of nail edges, evenly applied color—is staggering, and the space, though slightly cramped, is a bubble of tranquility. While your polish sets, settle in for a complimentary 10-minute massage, the perfect wind-down to your bargain treatment.

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Photograph: Courtesy PaintBox

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