August 30 2014

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Turning Nails Into Art (for Everyone) at Paintbox Studio


paintboxNail art—as cool as it strives to be—can be a somewhat intimidating experience for the uninitiated. So many options, so little guidance at your fingertips. But at Paintbox, a new nail studio in Soho, the experience is, thankfully, edited to appeal to both novices and the more seasoned nail aficionados. Founded by former beauty editor Eleanor Langston, the 1,500-square-foot space features eighteen manicure stations and a streamlined menu of options designed by Langston and celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec, who serves as Paintbox’s creative director. “I would often get texts from friends at the nail salon saying, ‘I’m paralyzed by the wall of colors’ or ‘I want to try something new but don’t know where to start,’” says Langston. To that end, Paintbox offers just fifty—not five hundred—polishes of the moment (think Tom Ford, Chanel, Essie, Butter London) and seasonal lookbooks depicting twenty-five highly wearable nail art options, all of which can be further customized to your liking. For spring/summer, the range includes Shadow Boxer, with a geometric cutout pattern, and Divide and Conquer, a simple yet striking take on the color-block trend that doesn’t announce itself as being “trendy.”

Another simplified aspect: the cost. Instead of charging by the stud, the studio offers four tiers of pricing, from $20 for a basic manicure with polish, to $65 for a gel manicure with design. And did we mention the pampering touches? Besides staying open until 9 p.m. most nights, there are iPhone chargers at every station, gratis beverages (champagne!), and even a Paintbar with magazines and Scotch at the ready should your significant other want a tipple while you’re waiting for your moon mani to dry. On your way out, don’t miss the Photobox, where you can take a still-life image of your artfully done nails to post on your social media feeds. #LoveIt

17 Crosby Street, New York City, 212-219-2412;

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