March 6, 2015

I ❤ NY: Nail Art at Akiko Hair & Nail Salon

      My girlfriend and I had a girly day out in the city this past weekend, and we went to get our nails done! After searching online for nail art salons, I happened upon Akiko Hair & Nail and out of all the nail art salons. We both decided that this was the place we were going to go to because the prices seemed reasonable, but the work product was amazing. It turned out to be exactly that, and we're already planning the designs for our next visit!

Akiko Hair and Nail Salon
159 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Phone Number: 917-284-7449


The Process

      If you're looking for a "spa like" nail salon that is meant for pampering and relaxation, this isn't the nail salon for you. The nail salon section of Akiko Hair & Nail is strictly for nail art. After the whole process they do apply some cuticle oil, but that's the extent of any pampering. Prices range from $38 for a solid color gel manicure, and nail art ranges from $45-$90 depending on the complexity of the design you want. The salon is located in the back of an indoor market where independent artists sell their work, and the salon can only work on two people's nails at a time. I already knew this before making the appointment over the phone, so I was sure to ask for a time where two spots were open so my friend and I could both have our nails done at the same time.

     Before applying the polish, my nail technician, Michiko, buffed my nails since my cuticles were (embarassingly) dry from the harsh winter NYC is having. Afterwards, she let me choose my main nail color and I chose a shade that was essentially Essie's Sand Tropez. I then showed her photos of the nail art I was aiming for so she can get an idea of what I wanted. Unless you choose from their book of nails they've already done, you need to have a sample of what you want. The technicians are Japanese, and there was a slight language barrier that I encountered so I was glad I had photos of what I wanted. After applying two coats, Michiko started hand drawing the art on my nails. Everything at Akiko is hand drawn - I didn't spy any stamping tools in the salon. The technicians are meticulous. They really ensure that the polish is applied evenly and that the design is what you want. I had a great experience, and so did my friend! We're both going back in a month or two, and I already know what my next design will be!

Painting on the polish

Painting on the second coat

Drawing the roses

Adding the final details

My friend's kimono inspired nail art


The Results 

For price reference, my manicure ended up being $65 (plus tax and tip) and my friend's manicure ended up being $75.

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