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  • 2900 E Madison St, Seattle • Madison Valley
    • Eyelashes
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Private Room
    • Waxing
    Liz Pearce - Best manicures east of I-5. Nice atmosphere, super friendly service. Good magazine selection :)
    Rebecca Lovell - Sen is the best! Quiet, professional, gentle, efficient, everything I'm looking for in a salon experience. And fun to go with friends!
    Leslie Feinzaig - My team and I went to get manicures and pedicures at Sen Salon. They had a private room and enough technicians so they could accommodate all of us at once! They did a great job, will definitely go again.
  • 2128 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle • Queen Anne
    • Eyelashes
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Waxing
    Michelle Flandreau - They are very busy, so book in advance. Their staff is fantastic!
    Maria Hess - Apollo feels like a good middle-ground between super fancy spas and the lower-end spots. They also have a better atmosphere than most and would be good for hosting a group (bachelorette, birthday, etc.)
    Sarah Bird - Lots of seats. Great color selection. Clean.
  • 6409 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle • Ravenna
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Private Room
    • Waxing
    Shannon Garbaccio - Very clean, chic and friendly, welcoming environment. Wonderful staff and a really fun spot to go with friends to relax and get your nails done.
    Ali White MacBeth - I love going to HOA, I often get gel nails or I bring my own non toxic polish. The experience is always relaxing, its extremely clean, and the technicians are professional.
    Vanessa Laughlin - Hoa does a great job with mani/pedis and their back room is a fun spot to gather with friends, even if it's not for a special occasion.
  • 2128 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle • Capitol Hill
    • Eyelashes
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Waxing
    Liz Pearce - This is a great place. Easy to get an appointment (even if you walk in), nice people, good service.
    Erika Ramberg - When this place first came to the neighborhood I was skeptical (so shiny and sleek!) but now it's my go-to. Great massage chairs, solid technicians and pretty easy to get day of appointments. Worth the extra couple dollars.
    Ginger Hultin - Love this place! I go almost weekly and always have a good experience. Highly recommend.
  • 714 12th Ave, Seattle • Central District
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Waxing
    Yaprak DeCarmine - Sooo, this place is my secret. They do such a great job here.
    Flora Ku - Have gotten a few pedis from Jolie Nails and Spa and have had good experiences so far! Don't expect the full treatment, but if you're looking for a quick cleanup, etc. get it done here for $25.
    Anne Gravrock - Nancy runs a wonderful shop. Each technician strives for perfection and the polish lasts longer than any other salon I've visited. They take their time and do well.
  • 2914 E Madison St, Seattle • Madison Valley
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Waxing
    Casey O'Donnell - There pedicures are so nice! Service is amazing!
    Heath Foster - Sweetest manicurists!
    Sarah Nadolny - Everyone there is very kind and welcoming, we've been going for years.
    recommended by Tina
  • 404 Cedar St, Seattle • Belltown
    • Facials
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Waxing
    recommended by Adriane, Chelsia Andreassen
  • 1521 3rd Ave, Seattle • Downtown
    • Eyelashes
    • Facials
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    • Waxing
    Yaprak DeCarmine - The best place to pamper those nasty toes! Mani + pedi combo is great. You get to choose your scrubs, lotions and tea. Be sure to get the hot towel!
    Alexa Alejandria - Ask for Rose – she does amazing lashes. She really does. ~$70/fill
  • 7722 Aurora Ave N, Seattle • Greenlake
    • Manicure
    • Pedicure
    Jessica Eggert - Obsessed with this place. Switched to SNS, and Sophia has my nails the healthiest they’ve been in over a decade and I get compliments on them all the time. Small locations so call ahead.
    Taylor Stedman - I hop back and forth between nail art and solid color nails. I love the woman that does my art, but getting there/parking/etc. feels like a hassle when I just want a solid color (much shorter appointment). Liz Pearce recommended Glamour Nails to me and I'm so glad I made an appointment! Quality, color, shaping, price-- I truly love everything about this place!
  • 250 NE 45th St, Seattle • Wallingford
    • Eyelashes
    • Pedicure
    • Waxing
    Julia Freeland - I LOVE this place! Best pedicure in town for the price! Massage chairs, parafin wax dip and great quality! Say hi to Van (the owner) the hardest working I have ever met!
    Danielle Oyama - I've been going to Night Light Nail Salon for the past few years while I've lived near Wallingford. I've always had great service and love that they give you small massages and the hot wax at the end. They are my favorite spot to go in the neighborhood.
    recommended by Jennifer Shernoff

About Nail Salons

Taking a moment to sit down and receive a manicure is a modern day luxury. A hand massage, buffed and shaped nails, and a glossy coat of nail polish can elevate your day. However, if you’ve been out of the manicure game for a while, there are many choices. From gel to shellac, powder to acrylic, what do you choose? We’ve broken down the top things to consider in selecting a nail salon.

1. What’s the difference between gel, shellac, acrylic, and powder nail polish?

Regular Polish: The least expensive nail polish option, regular polish can be removed at home with acetone, and lasts about a week. Cost: $20-35

Gel: Gel polish has a glossy and natural appearance. This is more durable than your typical manicure and lasts approximately 2 to 3 weeks. Gel polish cannot air dry and must dry under a UV light. To remove the polish, you’ll either need to soak your nails in acetone or take a trip back to the salon to get it off. Cost: $25-45

Shellac: A hybrid between regular and gel polish, the benefit of shellac polish is it can last upwards of 1 month. Like gel polish, shellac is cured and hardened under a UV light. Cost: $ 35-45

Acrylic: If artificial nails are what you’re after, acrylic nails are the most durable type of nail extensions. A layer of liquid and powder is placed over your natural nails and an acrylic tip is attached. Shape and polish as you would normally. Expect acrylic nails to last about 3 weeks, then go back to the salon for a “fill” for any exposed natural nail growth. Cost: $35-50 full set, $20-30 fill

Dip Powder: Instead of polish, your nail color comes from a jar of pigmented powder. The nail tech will apply a coat of sealant, then dip your nails into the pigment, then repeat. Dip powder nails are durable and will last 3 weeks or more, however your nails will appear thicker than with regular polish. Cost: $45-50

Prices vary from salon-to-salon, depending on employee wages, products they use, and overhead, like rent, taxes, and utilities.

2. How do I know if a nail salon is clean?

Unless you live in New York or Texas, there isn’t a regulated best practice for cleaning and sanitizing manicure equipment. If a nail salon doesn’t properly clean their tools and facility, you are at risk for a number of gross fungal and bacterial infections, and viruses. No matter where you are located, here are a few things to look out for or ask your technician before you sit down for a manicure.

  • Keep an eye out for excessive dust, dirt, hair and debris on the floors, baseboards, and walls.
  • There should be a hand washing station with hot and cold water and single use liquid hand soap and towels available to customers.
  • All of the products used should have the original manufacturer label and ingredients list.
  • The manicure equipment should be cleaned using heat elements (aka autoclave), liquid sterilant, or both.

3. Are there non-toxic nail polishes available?

Yes! Non-toxic nail polish aka 5-Free do not use five hazardous ingredients commonly used in nail polish manufacturing. Your nail polish should NOT contain any of the following: Toluene, DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, and Camphor. Brands like OPI Infinite Shine, Butter London, and Jin Soon all produce 5-Free nail polishes. In general, nail salons will allow you to bring your own color for your manicure.

4. Is it ok for my nail technician to provide waxing or other beauty services?

An aesthetician or cosmetology license is required to professionally wax any part of your body (looking at you upper lip). Beware of add on services such as permanent makeup, microblading, eyebrow/lash tinting, or other medical services like Botox. These services require additional training and licenses to perform. If you do get waxed at the nail salon, make sure that the wax container is covered and any wooden sticks are single-use and new. No double dipping.

5. What’s proper nail salon etiquette (e.g. tipping, nail repairs and kids)?

As with anytime you leave the house and enter someone’s business, be on your best behavior. Loud talking and eating are no-nos in a nail salon. Be clear with your nail tech on the length, shape, and color of your nails. When in doubt, have a picture handy. If your nails chip or break (within 24 hours for a regular manicure or 5-days or less for gel, shellac or acrylic), call ahead to the salon and ask for their repair policy and a good time for you to come in for a fix. If you bring your kid with you and they occupy a chair or have their nails painted, expect to pay $10-20 for the luxury. Tipping is expected and appreciated at nail salons. Tipping amounts may vary, but 20% is the standard.

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