Even though London is the biggest city in the UK, you won’t have to travel far to find a high-end salon…
London is a city of energy – each borough has a unique style. Shoreditch is trendy and has the younger-generation wandering around, visiting thrift stores, and checking out live music. The City of London has men running around in suits during their lunch break, hurriedly trying to get in line at their favorite sandwich shop. Camden has the always-busy market and vintage shops lining the streets.
No matter what area you’re in, one thing is for sure – style is key. People are always dressed to reflect their style, whether it be Nike high-tops and high-waisted jeans or trim-cut suits. To further enhance your style and cement your place forever in the London fashion-scene, you need to make sure everything about your look is on point – and that includes the nails. Sure, some may not think it’s important, but we disagree.
If you’re meeting someone for the first time and go to shake their hand, you don’t think they’ll notice your nails? Exactly. Luckily, London has an infinite amount of options to give you the best manicure and pedicure, whether it be a quick budget fix or a multi-hour event, the country’s capital has a few stand-out options that will always do a quality job.
1. Ama – Brixton
Nail Salon – by Kris Atomic – Unsplash
First up, we have Ama, an all-natural nail salon in trendy Brixton. We applaud Ama Quashie, the famous founder of this establishment, for branching into South London. The south side of the river has been needing a quality nail salon for years, and she heard our cries.
The menu here is incredible – she offers both traditional treatments, but also gives you the choice of products that are 90% vegan and cruelty-free, so you can do your part to better the world while getting your beauty treatments. Talk about multi-tasking.
The walls are covered with unique mixes of photographs, posters, and uplifting quotes about women. We dig. Although you definitely need to make a reservation, the planning ahead is worth the royal treatment and girl-power vibes you get here.
The naked manicure, consisting of file and buff, shaping cuticles and cleaning them, hand massage, and moisturizing, rings in at approximately $24. For the most expensive manicure, it will set you back £45 for file and buff, cuticle cleaning, massage, gel, and organic moisturizer.
As far as London prices go, this isn’t too bad. Getting a combination of hands and feet, the most expensive 105-minute treatment is £80 for gel mani and pedi. If you’re a South London resident and want a quality job with friendly technicians and upbeat energy, come here for a cruelty-free manicure.
2. Townhouse – Fitzrovia
Next up, we bring to you Townhouse, the salon that was invented for millenials. Bring your Apple Pay, Apple watch, tap credit card, or whatever else you use to pay online here – they don’t accept cash, and you can cancel up to two hours before your appointment. This is perfect for literally anyone under the age of 30 who can’t make plans more than 48 hours in advance at fear they might miss out on something.
If you set aside your FOMO and keep your appointment, you won’t regret it. You can choose either a simplistic color or ask for a fancy design from their lookbook. Instagram-obsessed patrons can head into the photobooth to grab a picture of your sparkly new nails and post them to your story so your ex-boyfriend can see just how well you’re moving on.
This salon is also a consistent favorite of the UK’s Beauty Editors, just confirming our love and confidence in this modern-day salon. The nail shades are endless, the gel manicures last for a month, and the treatment is extremely high-quality. The chic interior and cordless phone chargers at every station make this a great spot for young professionals trying to make a living in the city.
3. Nails & Brows – Mayfair
If you need to get some beauty treatments done as well as a new set of nails, check out Nails & Brows in Mayfair. Not a spot for a quick lunch-time fix, come here when you have a full day to spend on relaxation. The focus here is skin-related. We recommend trying the hot paraffin wax, and submerge your hands into a jelly-like liquid to get your hands softer than they’ve ever been. Think velvet or silk robe – and that’s now your hands.
The salon prides itself on offering a boutique experience – and we can attest. The bespoke approach is complemented by experts who really know what they’re talking about and an upscale ambiance, complete with marble counters and spotless stations.
The founder, Sherrille Riley, put a lot of work and thought into this salon, choosing only highly-qualified specialists, and becoming famous for creating naturally-styled brows. Manicures range from £24 to £66, pedicures are between £45 to £79, and the infamous brows cost between £30 to £995. Yes, you read that right. These semi-permanent brows use needle technology and microblading to perfect your natural brows and help those who have minimal hair.
Yes, it’s insanely expensive – but it must work since patrons keep coming back for more. One of the most popular treatments is the Game-Changing Brow, which reshapes and tints your brows using the Beauty Edit Mayfair collection. This salon is not for those who are trying to watch their wallet, but is ideal for those who want beauty treatments along with stunning nails.
4. STILL – Dalston
With the focus back on just nails, head to STILL in East London. This calm and relaxing place features white walls, a cute neon bunny, and a comfortable setting. A newcomer on the salon scene, this 2019 location uses only cruelty-free and vegan products, a trend which is popular among the younger generation these days. We like the focus on all-natural products – and the focus on high-quality work.
This salon has an extensive range of nail color selection and offers extremely detailed nail art that will blow your mind. Their motto of “good for your nails – good for your soul” is truly reflected in the entire salon. The staff here creates a luxury salon atmosphere, while keeping you mindful about the products you’re using, and relaxed to enjoy the experience.
They want you to know that no product in the salon has ever been tested on animals, and they don’t use any toxic nail polish as so many salons do. With environmentally-conscious values and a wellness store attached, we like the worldly-awareness that the owner has created here.
Manicures begin at £20, ring up at £34 for a gel manicure, and are topped at £50 for a 75-minute luxury Icelandic soak, massage, and gel manicure. The basic pedi will start at £30, cost £39 for a gel pedicure, and £55 for the Icelandic treatment.
If you want something different, the nail art here is incredibly unique and well-done without being tacky. A full set of gel nails with artwork will set you back £64 for the hands and £69 for the feet. If you’re an eco-conscious person, a vegan, or just simply want to support the cruelty-free movement, then come here for a relaxing spa day with good vibes all around.
5. London Grace – Multiple Locations
Next up, we have London Grace – not just an award-winning nail salon, but also an upscale cafe and bar. Who doesn’t want to grab some coffee, or cocktails, after getting a fresh set of nails? This is definitely the place to go if you want to pamper yourself with your girlfriends. You can reserve a table bar, and sit back and relax while you chat with your friend.
Your technician will fully pamper your group, giving you great service, a fully stocked bar, and aesthetic surroundings for the back of your Instagram-story photos. If you’re quite popular and have multiple friends that want to join in on the fun, you can reserve a couple of tables, order some bubbly, or put in special cocktail or coffee orders to the barista on deck.
If you prefer to go solo, a quick mani or pedi will be between £10-16, and a gel polish mani or pedi will be between £32-48. If you book between 3-5 pm on weekdays, enjoy the happy hour deal of 15% off your service – and some drinks to go along with the happy hour trend. For a sociable and fun salon experience, this place is for you.
6. Aveda Salon – Covent Garden
If you really need a full-on break from the hectic city life for a day, book into the Aveda Salon at Covent Garden. Escape the madness of the center-city rush, and transport yourself into the relaxing zen of this salon.
Harper’s Bazaar has recognized this salon as giving some of the longest-lasting manicures in the city, and holding the infamous Shampure scent for hours after completion. Founded in 2001, this salon has been busy ever since, with over 80 beauty experts on hand to help serve you here.
The interior is professional, exceptionally clean, and makes you feel like you’ve escaped to an upscale chateau in the mountains for a day. If you only have a couple of hours to escape the craziness of London, the express manicure comes in at only £32.
If you need both a mani and pedi, you can get a 45-minute shellac service for £43. One very relaxing option is to get the Top to Toe Experience, costing £149 for 135 minutes of pure bliss – you’ll receive a full face and body exfoliation, a back, neck, and shoulder massage, and an Aveda mani-pedi. Trust me, you won’t want to leave once your time is up.
We’ve taken some pressure off of you to find the best nail salons around the city. After all, you’re supposed to relax at a salon, right?
London is known for having everything – this city has the best pubs, restaurants, bars, attractions, sports teams, etc. We think this holds true in terms of salons as well. The number of high-end, aesthetic, professional, and quality salons around the city are never-ending.
Even so, these on our list stand out as consistently top performers, garnering awards and high praise from beauty magazines and patrons alike. Whether you’re stopping by for just a weekend or moving to the city, you can rest assured you’ll have no trouble keeping your appearance in tip-top shape when booking in at any one of these spots.
What it is: This is the most popular manicure you'll hear about right now. Think of it as a souped-up version of a basic manicure that uses a UV light to cure and harden liquid polish, which is what makes a gel manicure last up to three times longer than regular polish.
The widely accepted minimum tip in the industry is 15 percent, Kandalec says, but the most common tip at a nail salon is 20 percent. This is similar to what's expected when tipping at a hair salon, or for a massage or spa treatment.What is shellac polish? ›
Shellac nails are a patented form of polish from Creative Nail Design, with over 100 shades available at CDG-verified salons. Shellac polishes mix two types of nail coating: gel (for durability and nail protection) and traditional nail polish (for color and shine). The finished look errs on the natural side.What is gel manicure? ›
What is a gel manicure? A gel manicure is a service that uses a gel-based polish and requires a UV or LED light to cure the polish and lock it onto your nails, says Duguay-Gordon. "Gel polish is more durable than regular polish," she says.What are 4 types of manicures? ›
What are the different types of manicures? The main manicure types that you will come across are basic, acrylic, gel (including Shellac), French and dip powder. We'll explain what's involved in each of these and why you might choose them.What type of nails last the longest? ›
Dip Nails Last Longer
One of the biggest advantages of dip nails is their longevity. Whilst acrylic nails tend to last between two to three weeks before needing a touch-up at the salon, dip nails can last up to four weeks. Dip nails also last longer than gels.
Yes, tips are expected, thus not tipping your nail technician at a nail salon is unpleasant and disrespectful unless you are extremely unsatisfied with the job they did, or they were nasty to you or anything.Why do nail salons prefer cash? ›
“A lot of techs prefer cash tips because they think there's no record of receiving them, and therefore they won't have to pay any taxes on them or declare them as earnings,” says Elizabeth Morris, owner of The Nail Hub in Scottsdale, Arizona.How much do you tip for a 2022 pedicure? ›
How much should you tip for a pedicure? Toes are no different than fingers when it comes to nail care. That means you should follow the same etiquette for how much to tip for a pedicure—15 to 20%—says Wilson.Which is better gel or shellac? ›
Gel manicures definitely last longer, and if you like that plush, ultra-glossy finish, it's the way to go. However, the removal process for Shellac is much gentler on the nails, which makes switching up your colors easier to do. Either way, you will have a manicure that lasts longer than basic polish.
Does treatment cost vary with shellac nails vs gel? If removal is included, then yes, gel nails typically cost more to remove because of their more complex process. However, in terms of application, the costs are usually the same.What is the best type of manicure? ›
Dip Powder Manicures just like gel polishes are safer and healthier alternatives to acrylic, gel extensions, or polygel manicures. They are ideal if you want a strong manicure that won't damage your nails. Dip Powder manicures are very durable and long-lasting they can last for 3-4 weeks without peeling or chipping.What color nail polish is in for 2022? ›
When Pantone announced its 2022 color of the year, a dreamy blue-toned periwinkle, it was instantly evident that it would be the It nail color. This polish from Sally Hansen is a near-perfect match for the of-the-moment shade.Whats better gel or dip? ›
Simply put, dip powder polymers are stronger than those found in gel polish, and, therefore, dip manicures will generally last longer — up to five weeks, if properly cared for.Which is better gel or acrylic? ›
As mentioned above, gel nails are a healthier alternative for the nail than acrylic. They are less likely to cause damage to the natural nail or nail bed. Gel nails also feel more natural and less rigid than acrylic, so if you accidentally hit them against something they are less likely to snap!What nail shape makes hands look younger? ›
“An oval-shaped nail helps fingers look longer, and in turn, makes hands look younger,” she explains. Another grooming tip from the pro: pay attention to your cuticles! “Be sure to keep your fingers well-manicured,” she says.What is the healthiest nail option? ›
Choose soak-off gel nails instead of acrylic nails.
While gel nails can cause nail brittleness, peeling, and cracking, they're more flexible than acrylic nails. This means your own nails are less likely to crack. You'll want to ask for gel nails that soak off rather than ones that must be filed off.
Luxury: this usually signifies a whole-hand treatment which includes a hand massage, softening paraffin wax and heated mittens or a wrap; the combination of heat and moisturising unguents warms and soothes your hands, and softens and hydrates your nails.Do gel nails ruin your nails? ›
Although gel manicures can be beautiful and long-lasting, they can be tough on nails. Gel manicures can cause nail brittleness, peeling and cracking, and repeated use can increase the risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging on the hands.Which is less damaging gel or dip? ›
Therefore, professional nail products — be it dip powder or gel — are equally healthy for the nails. In fact, the most important thing to know about dip powder or gel is that neither inherently causes damage to the nail. Instead, damage is caused by improper application or removal of nail coatings.
Almond shaped nails tend to suit everyone. If you have short palms and short fingers. it's best to opt for rounded oval and almond shapes. For longer palms and fingers, consider dramatic stiletto or coffin (or ballerina) shaped styles.What is the tip for 60? ›
15-20% of the bill, including drinks. 10% unless their credit card machine is "broken", then no tip. It is now possible to tip using the app.How much is 20% tip? ›
To calculate tip multiply the total check by 1 plus the decimal percentage tip you'd like to leave. If you wanted to leave a 20% tip, you would add 1 to 0.20 to get 1.20. Multiply the bill by 1.20 to get the total amount you'd leave including tip.How long do gel nails last? ›
Gel polish lasts between 2-3 weeks at the minimum, while regular polish is lucky to go a week without chipping. With light wear, your gel nails last at least twice as long as a normal polish, but realistically they get you four to six times a standard manicure mileage.What happens if you don't pay for your nails? ›
In most jurisdictions, walking out of the salon without paying the bill constitutes theft of services (or larceny) but most states also recognize “reasonable rejection,” so a customer may be able to refuse to pay because the services provided weren't as advertised or didn't meet “reasonable standards of quality.”Should you tip nail technicians UK? ›
Is it customary to tip hairdressers and nail salons in London? The answer is mostly yes. While tipping isn't nearly as common in the United Kingdom as it is in places like the United States, rewarding good service at a salon is generally well-received.How much is a full set of acrylic nails? ›
Nail salons typically charge anywhere from $20 to $50 for a basic set of long acrylic nails.Should you remove polish before pedicure? ›
It's okay to remove toenail polish just before your pedicure but you don't have to. Do not leave moisture between your toes when you bathe or shower. It is also important to avoid callous peelers. Don't let your technician share emery boards.How often should I get a pedicure? ›
You should aim to get a pedicure every four to six weeks. This is the amount of time it takes for dead skin to form on the feet, so targeting this before it worsens can be beneficial.Do you tip owner of nail salon? ›
What salon staff wants you to do: Our experts were split 50-50 on whether you should automatically tip a salon owner, but we found a savvy compromise: Always offer a tip as a gesture for the owner's hard work and time by discreetly handing it to him or her directly.
A basic manicure, with the right polishes, is the healthiest for your nails. When we say the 'right polishes' we mean the best nail growth polish or breathable nail polish. The harsh chemicals in many polishes often degrade our nails. Using an organic polish that contains vitamins, is the best way to avoid damage.How long should Shellac last? ›
Your shellac nails should remain shiny and chip-free for 14 to 21 days if you take care of them responsibly. Don't worry about your day to day activities: taking out keys, working on the computer and (light) cooking are no match for shellac.Which is kinder to nails gel or Shellac? ›
If you do want to do it at home, however, know that because shellac is a polish, it's easier to remove than gel and kinder to your nails as you don't have to buff your nail plate to 'break' the bond.How long do Shellac nails take? ›
Depending on the speed of your nail professional, a shellac manicure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour — but that's not all. You won't have to sit around for hours waiting for the shellac to dry. The manicure is cured with a special LED lamp made exclusively for shellac.How is Shellac removed? ›
Any remover with an acetone content of 60 per cent or more will work, but it's best to find one designed to remove shellac or gel polish – like this one – as it will be less harsh on your skin and nail beds. Pure acetone is also very effective, but it can also be drying to your skin and nail beds.How often should you get Shellac done? ›
“The optimum time between CND Shellac manicures is 2 weeks,” says Marian. “However, slow growing nails can go up to 3 weeks. The main reason is that after 2 weeks the Shellac starts to take a little bit longer to remove as it continues to harden.How often should you get a manicure? ›
However, professionals suggest leaving two to three weeks between each manicure and pedicure is ideal for keeping your nails in the best shape. Within this time frame, your nails and cuticles will begin to dry and grow jagged. Most nail varnishes or coats will also begin to chip away.What is a full manicure? ›
What is a full manicure? A manicure and/or gel manicure is where we concentration on your “actual/real” nails; trimming and shaping your nails, the cuticles, and polishing on polish or gel polish on your nails. ... Full Set = applying artificial nails and/or solar powder to your existing nails.What do I ask for at a nail salon? ›
When going to a nail salon, you will need to ask for the type of nail manicure that you would like. Your options will likely be standard nail polish, Shellac, gel, acrylic, and dip powder. You will also need to select and ask for your desired color, and perhaps some optional extras such as nail art.What is the most popular nail shape for 2022? ›
Legend predicts that coffin nails, which are long with a flat, tapered tip, are going to dominate this year.
For 2022, Pinterest predicts that nail painted with dream-worthy designs inspired by nature will be all the rage. The company found that searches for galaxy nail art are up 115 percent since last year, geode nail art is up 200 percent, ocean nails 500 percent, desert nails 105 percent, and aurora nails 400 percent.Why do my nails hurt after dip powder? ›
Dip powder can also make your nails hurt when they come into contact with soft tissue, which are located under the cuticle lines. This is because there are sensitive nerve endings at these cuticles, which is the main reason why you will experience some short term pain.Does dip ruin your nails? ›
Lipner says, “It's not dangerous to apply a dip powder every month. However, to remove these manicures, you need to put 100% acetone on your nails, which can damage your nails.” The acetone removes more than the nail color. “It peels off layers of nail and thins the nails over time,” says Dr.Which lasts longer dip or gel? ›
Both dip powder nails and gel nails are long-lasting. While gel nails last longer, there isn't a huge difference in the time your nails will keep. Gel manicures tend to last about two to three weeks and dip powders roughly two to two and a half weeks.What's more expensive gel or acrylic? ›
Acrylic nails are generally cheaper than gel nail application.Which fake nails are best? ›
Acrylics are one of the most common fake nail options to pick from, and it's not hard to see why acrylics have been so popular for so long. They are incredibly strong, which also makes them flexible and durable, so you don't have to worry about chips or damage to your nail style.Which nails last longer acrylic or gel? ›
Acrylic nails usually only last about a week or slightly longer if you take care of them well. Gel nails can last up to 14 days without any chipping. If you have long nails or extensions, you should think in terms of durability.› 2019/08 › manicure-types ›
7 Different Types of Manicures To Try
How to Choose Between Gel, Acrylic, or Dip Powder Nails
Dip vs. Gel Manicures: What’s the Difference?
So what's the difference between regular nail polish and gel polish? The main difference between gel vs regular nail polish is that gel polish needs to be cured under a UV or LED lamp, while regular nail polish is dried naturally. Gel polishes cannot dry naturally.What is the difference between a manicure and full set? ›
A manicure and/or gel manicure is where we concentration on your “actual/real” nails; trimming and shaping your nails, the cuticles, and polishing on polish or gel polish on your nails. ... Full Set = applying artificial nails and/or solar powder to your existing nails.
- Basic Manicure. You know the one. ...
- Shellac Manicure. This is probably what you're getting when you book a gel mani. ...
- Gel Manicure. Also known as “hard gel,” this mani can be applied over natural or fake nails. ...
- Acrylics. The OG of nail extensions. ...
- Dip Powder. ...
- Paraffin Manicure. ...
- Press-Ons. ...
- VinyLux Manicure.
A classic gelish manicure is the same process as the express manicure, with the addition of a gel polish nail colour. A classic gelish manicure comes with only 1 gelish nail polish colour application.What type of manicure is healthiest? ›
A basic manicure, with the right polishes, is the healthiest for your nails. When we say the 'right polishes' we mean the best nail growth polish or breathable nail polish. The harsh chemicals in many polishes often degrade our nails. Using an organic polish that contains vitamins, is the best way to avoid damage.Why do my gel nails peel off after a week? ›
The gel top coat usually peels off if it isn't cured properly, or has been applied over a colour gel or acrylic nails that have been wiped down with isopropyl alcohol. Each layer of gel is sticky and bonds to the next one, so if the tacky layer is removed, the next layer of polish will not adhere and peel off.How often should you take a break from gel nails? ›
For gel nails, take a break for a week at least once every eight weeks to allow the nails to rehydrate and to allow repair of the underlying structures. “An emollient applied directly to the nail and cuticle oil will also aid recovery,” said Batra.What is the least damaging nail treatment? ›
Dip Powder Manicures just like gel polishes are safer and healthier alternatives to acrylic, gel extensions, or polygel manicures. They are ideal if you want a strong manicure that won't damage your nails. Dip Powder manicures are very durable and long-lasting they can last for 3-4 weeks without peeling or chipping.How long should a manicure last? ›
A proper manicure should last one to two weeks. A pedicure should last two to four weeks.What do I ask for at a nail salon? ›
When going to a nail salon, you will need to ask for the type of nail manicure that you would like. Your options will likely be standard nail polish, Shellac, gel, acrylic, and dip powder. You will also need to select and ask for your desired color, and perhaps some optional extras such as nail art.What nail shape makes hands look younger? ›
“An oval-shaped nail helps fingers look longer, and in turn, makes hands look younger,” she explains. Another grooming tip from the pro: pay attention to your cuticles! “Be sure to keep your fingers well-manicured,” she says.Whats better gel or dip? ›
Simply put, dip powder polymers are stronger than those found in gel polish, and, therefore, dip manicures will generally last longer — up to five weeks, if properly cared for.
As mentioned above, gel nails are a healthier alternative for the nail than acrylic. They are less likely to cause damage to the natural nail or nail bed. Gel nails also feel more natural and less rigid than acrylic, so if you accidentally hit them against something they are less likely to snap!What is a deluxe manicure? ›
A luxurious treatment including a soak and moisturizing exfoliation, cuticle work, nails clipped and filed, hard skin is removed (pedicure) and a renewing mask is applied. A short massage and your nails are buffed and ready to paint.How long should a gel polish manicure take? ›
They are restorative and relaxing and are essential for the health of your nails. Furthermore, the processes are relatively quick—the answer to “How long does a manicure and pedicure take?” is less than an hour and usually between 30 and 60 minutes.What is signature manicure? ›
The Signature Manicure is more than just a manicure: The word “signature” isn't just a name without meaning. This signature treatment will give you a full service manicure, along with two added services of therapeutic acupressure massage and anti-aging glycolic treatment.