While the nail art craze shows no signs of slowing down, over-the-top styles are beginning to feel dated and overdone. Enter Paintbox: a brand new nail studio in Soho that's setting out to elevate every aspect of the traditional manicure. Founded by Eleanor Langston, a former beauty editor, Paintbox transforms the typical nail salon visit into a super-chic, collaborative experience and redefines the concept of nail art with highly-curated nail designs that are always chic, and never cheesy.
You won't find a towering wall of polish at the manicure-only studio. Instead, Paintbox showcases only the season's hottest 50 shades which can be crafted on to one of 25 carefully curated nail designs that change based on seasonal trends. The designs are created by Julie Kandalec, Paintbox's creative director and celebrity manicurist, who is a perennial presence backstage at New York Fashion Week. The 1500 square foot studio's design was imagined as a fusion of a French bistro and a Soho fashion boutique. They really have thought of everything—from online booking, complimentary beverages, and iPhone charging docks at the stations to a Mani Cam. On your way out, you can have a photo snapped of your trendy tips and you'll receive an email with a high res image for you to post on social media and share with friends.
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Paintbox, as seen from its Crosby Street exterior in N.Y.C.'s Soho neighborhood.
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Once seated in the salon, the decor of which was inspired by a French restaurant, guests are welcomed with their choice of champagne or iced coffee.
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Paintbox's offerings, exhibited in an editorial-style menu, change every season in accordance with trends. What's to come in the fall? Creative Director Julie Kandalec says to look out for more metallics.
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Tools (and a handy bowl for rings!) are at the ready.
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The salon's manicure essentials are comprised of Kandalec's and Elle Langston's top picks from years of experience in the beauty world.
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Kandalec and staff at work.
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Kandalec applies the second color to the salon's "Borderline" design.
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The look gets finished off with quick dry drops.
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For the "Firestarter" manicure, the manicurist first applies two coats of navy polish and preps them with an adhesive to ensure the foil sticks.
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A length of foil is then cut into strips and painted with adhesive.
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Foil was then adhered to nails.
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Once peeled off, the pattern of the foil remains on the nails.
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The completed "Firestarter" manicure.
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Post-manicure, share your nails on social media via the salon's photo booth!
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The final "Bordeline" manicure.