the paintbox difference:
- located in soho (near the mondrian hotel) the space has a more luxurious feel than many of the previous spots i've hit up for gel nails. the studio feels relaxing and inviting. beverage choices include cold-brewed iced coffee, complete with decorative paper straws.
- they offer quick-drying gel/lights. it's a brisk 30 seconds under the dryer for each coat, compared to the typical 2 minutes. from start to finish my service took 1 hour 15 minutes (i typically spend close to 2 hours getting a gel mani with a design).
- their famous manicure menu - for better or for worse, each manicure comes from a carefully edited book of options, chosen by their team to reflect the season's latest nail trends. the current menu offers guests 26 possible designs, with endless color variations. for me, this is a plus. i am easily overwhelmed after looking at pages upon pages of possible nails, such so that i forget what i came in for and end up with something like rainbow-cheeseburger design fingers instead. for my visit i went with the moonbeam in rose gold (pictured above). i'd seen this design featured on the catbird instagram, and had to have it. the negative space gives it an art deco vibe, which also feels very current.
editor's note: please be aware that above manicure was provided for review, while all opinions are my own.