Finding the best nail salon in the City by the Bay usually boils down to a matter of personal taste, but the following salons consistently make the best of lists.
When both Allure and Vogue magazine add you to their best of lists of American nail salons, let alone San Francisco nail salons, you know you’ve got something to brag about. It’s decorated the way the funky, adventurous but still feminine aunt that you always wished you had would have decorated her salon. The sunshine yellow walls and the polished, wooden floors serve as the backdrop for incredibly cozy, sink your butt into plump, overstuffed chairs. The layout encourages chatting, so invite your friends
If you’re not greeted by uber-cool and friendly owner Pauline Mai, you’ll feel no less welcome when ushered to your chair by one of her friendly staff. You can sip sweet, herbal tea your while your hooves are gently and meticulously filed down, and enjoy the sounds of a funky, music playlist while your rough paws are being turned back into delicate palms. Needn't worry if you're pregnant or just toxic-conscious. Polished Lounge has a slew of non-toxic, odorless polishes that emit no odor while still looking as pretty as punch. If you need to be in and out, get the mani-to-go for $14, or the pedi-to-go for $19. If you can stay awhile, treat yourself to the Bon Bon Pedicure, which involves a blissfully scented foot soak, a foot massage that veers dangerously close towards lulling you to sleep, and a final polish or buff.
If you love to look good in a space that looks good while you're made to look even, well... good-er, you’ll love Mizu Spa. Designed by architect Stanley Saitowitz, Mizu (“water in Japanese”) is a modern design lover’s dream space, with its long, low bank of cubed white seating and ebony floors. Its design is meant to instill peace and calm in even the most stressed-out visitor, and judging by review after review, it does.
One of their top treatments is the hot stone manicure, which uses hot stones in the application of super hydrating and moisturizing oils in order to optimally increase circulation. This 45 minute, $45 treatment finishes off with the perfect buff or polish.
For men, there are relaxing manicures that use decadent soaks to exfoliate and polish your skin, followed by a beautiful buff. For his barking dogs, the gentleman’s pedicure involves a diamond buff followed by an ultra relaxing soak. Even the manliest man that ever manned won’t be able to resist.
This extremely popular Portero Hill spot is the type of nail salon that you visit once, and fall in love with. The owner and her staff make you feel like members of the family from the moment that you step through the doors. Sit back, slip on some headphones, sip some hot tea or a cool drink, and watch a movie on one of the salon’s big screens as your hands and feet are sloughed, buffed and polished. Don’t waste your time dropping in without an appointment because it won’t happen, but if you arrive for a prescheduled appointment, you won’t leave until you are fully done and fully satisfied. And if you scrape your ruby red nails across your jeans on the way home, no worries: the salon has a three-day warranty on its polish jobs.
If you’re a chocoholic, try the Chocolate Indulgence Pedicure. Made with cocoa butter, chocolate extract, French cocoa absolute, organic cocoa powder and pure Dagoba chocolate, mixed into treatments that leave your skin butter smooth. If you start to drool over the treatment ingredients, don’t worry: they do offer you hot cocoa and chocolate treats.