Nothing makes us feel like we have our lives together (or at least look like we do) like a good manicure. And in recent years, NYC’s best polish parlors have come a long way from fluorescent lighting, malfunctioning massage chairs and the overpowering smell of acetone. So what comes next? The evolution of the nail salon into a full-blown wellness sanctuary.
Chillhouse, which opens today in the LES, is the nail salon-slash-café of your dreams. Along with classic manis, gels and nail art, you’ll find Parlor Coffee, pastries from Maman and new-agey wellness tonics like matcha and Beet-Chata. (Also: wine.) The spot also offers massages, from a quick 25-minute de-stressing session to a full 80-minute rubdown. What does such an eclectic multipurpose space look like? An aesthetic that can best be described as “SoCal desert yoga retreat” (we mean that in the best way possible—just look at this wallpaper).
Another salon that focuses on the self-care ritual: the recently opened Sundays in NoMad. Instead of standard manis and pedis, the spot's menu touts hand and foot “treatments,” using luxe organic botanicals like coconut milk, rose essential oil and orange-peel scrub.
As for polish, the spot’s do-no-harm philosophy goes deep: Its in-house lacquer is entirely 10-free, nontoxic, vegan and cruelty-free. (We’re loving the petal-pink shade No. 27 for spring.) The minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired (OK, hygge) space also makes a perfect backdrop for a surprising additional service: guided meditation sessions.
Of course, there’ll always be a place for the speedy express mani in a city of impatient New Yorkers. But we’re pretty stoked to have the option to combine our wind-down time with our biweekly polish change. Come for the nail art; stay for the cookies.