NEW YORK CITY — If this warm weather has you caught off guard, it's time to take care of those ghastly haven't-seen-the-light-of-day-since-September toe nails. Local natural nail salons promise an Earth-friendly experience, free from as many chemicals as they could eliminate from the process.
While you'll certainly pay more for your mani-pedi at these places, the salons provide nail polish that is either three-free (free from dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde) or five-free (add formaldehyde resin and camphor to that last list).
Here's seven natural nail salons to check out this spring:
[pH 7] at 277 Grand St. in Williamsburg
Price for basic manicure is $18
[pH 7] claims it offers a "guilt-free experience." There's three-free and five-free nail polish, non-acetone polish remover and moisturizing products are essential oils and organic shea butter. You also get a cup of organic herbal tea.
Magnolia Organic Spa at 111 E. 31st in Kips Bay
Price for a basic manicure: $20
Magnolia only uses organic products such Nature, Shira and Deep-Sea to keep all their treatments — nails to waxing to facials — as pure as possible.
Hortus Nailworks at 210 Forsyth St. on the Lower East Side
Price for a basic manicure: $15
Peppered with real herb plants, Hortus feels more like a greenhouse then a nail salon. Hortus uses small-batch products from independent companies along with with three and five-free nail polish. They also have sugaring available, which is a food-grade alternative to waxing.
Sakura Nail and Spa on the Upper East Side (1709 2nd Ave. at 88th St.) and Lower East Side (35 E. 1st St.)
Price of a basic manicure: $18
Sakura, a Japanese-inspired salon, uses its own brand of cream that is natural and non-toxic. Even the herbs in the cream are grown in Kumamoto, a city in Japan that has water renowned for purity.
Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa and Boutique at 222 W. Broadway in SoHo
Price for a basic manicure: $26
Even down to the cleaning products and furniture, Sweet Lily tries to keep its spa as natural as possible, so it's good for you and the environment. And its manicures — Lavender Cream or Honey Walnut — sound more like a dessert than a nail service.
Very Polished at 1082 Fulton St. in Clinton Hill
Price of a basic manicure: $15
Guests here are offered natural and organic products that are created by Very Polished co-owner Anjaneth Aguirre. Choices include the peppermint lime soak, which is made from peppermint oil, lime and Himalayan salt. There's also a Margarita manicure that uses tequila to loosen dead skin.
Tenoverten is a nail salon as well as a line of nail polish and nail care products. All of their creations are considered eight-free, meaning they are free of formaldehyde, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor.