Spend a Couple Hours »Sakura Nail Salon

35 East 1st Street

Sakura Nail Salon is one of the few spots in the city where you can get Calgel nail art, a nail-healthy, shiny polish that protects nails as it makes them look totally awesome. While the artists (Fumiko and Hitomi are the best!) can create nearly anything your heart desires (I toyed with the idea of cats on thumbs) one of the most popular treatments is the ombre manicure. I opted blood red fading into clear, which allows my nails to grow without an obvious line where the manicure stops and gives me the look of a vampire that’s just had a messy meal. I added some bling in way of crystals on my pointer fingers. Astrid went bolder in color and got blue fading to black with gold lightning bolts on her thumbs. (see photos below/after the jump.)

Really, the only limit is your imagination. Online I saw a Mondrian manicure which is quite enviable; black lace, which was requested by a young French woman while we were there, would also be cool. Sadly that girl was super pissed because it wasn’t possible – which leads me to my biggest warning/recommendation: Make an appointment!! and specifically ask for Calgel Nail Art if you want anything special, otherwise you’ll be pencilled in for a regular (though, surely wonderful) manicure and look on sadly/angrily as those with more diligent phone skills get all sorts of specialness on their nails. The calgel manicure takes about an hour and a half.

True, it’s a pricey treatment, especially with any add ons like crystals, but, in theory, Calgel can last at least three weeks, which makes the high price a little less shocking. Regular manicures, by the way, without the ever-lasting Calgel, are comparably priced to other salons. The ambiance here is serene and friendly and the staff offers all sorts of discounts to bring you back. For example, you get 30% off if you come back with a friend. And speaking of friends, I want to thank my friend Astrid once again for what is probably one of the coolest birthday gifts ever! Think she may have started a personal, money leaking obsession…

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Posted on January 24, 2010

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