Nail Art Salon Staffed With Celebrity Manicurists Opens in SoHo

By Danielle Tcholakian on May 6, 2014 8:43am 

SOHO — Hot-off-the-runway manicures have arrived in SoHo.

Veteran beauty editor Eleanor Langston just opened Paintbox at 17 Crosby St., a chic nail salon peddling nail art designed and applied by a team of young manicurists recruited from the backstage of New York Fashion Week.

"They all work on editorial and do fashion week shows, and they're all really, really talented," Langston said.

Among the nail artists are YouTube sensation Julie Ventura, a nail art guru with more than 40,000 followers, and the versatile Katherine St. Paul Hill, who recently went from making beautiful cakes for the Food Network show "Ace of Cakes" to doing nails for the likes of Mindy Kaling and Megan Fox.

Manicures at Paintbox run $35 for polish and $50 for gel. Langston and her creative director, celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec, put together a collection of custom nail art designs, incorporating studs, foil and glitter geared at "classic Downtown girls" in search of "a touch of edge," which run $55 for polish and $65 for gel, Langston said.

In addition to the unique designs, Langston said she wants getting a manicure at Paintbox to be a special experience.

Clients can settle into the comfy booth seats and sip complimentary Champagne or iced coffee while paging through a cloth-bound book of nail designs. Kandalec and the manicurists offer advice on the best colors for your skin tone and what would complement your signature lip color or favorite piece of jewelry.

The products are hand-picked by Kandalec, who was the lead manicurist on at least seven fashion shows the past two seasons of New York Fashion Week, she said. Kandalec designed all the looks in the menu (though Langston, drawing upon her years as a beauty writer for magazines like Cosmopolitan, Self and InStyle, came up with the styles' names).

"I like anything involving glitter," Kandalec said, pointing to the ombre sparkle on the style Weekend Update as one of her favorites. Kandalec said she draws inspiration for her designs from the runway looks of Rebecca Minkoff and Rodarte, textiles and things she picks up while traveling, like studs on a recent trip to Japan.

"It's all made for the girl who wants sophistication," Langston said, "but wants a little something to set her apart."

Paintbox, 17 Crosby St. between Grand and Howard streets. For appointments, call (212) 219-2412. Open Monday from 3 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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