Beauty lovers, rejoice! London’s finest nail salons have finally been given the green light to open their doors from Monday, following in the footsteps of the city’s hairdressers, who have successfully implemented Covid-19 safe measures. Whether you’ve been longing to smarten up with a classic gel manicure and pedicure or dreaming of experimenting with some eye-catching nail art, we’ve rounded up the best places in the capital to sort out your post-lockdown nails.
While this usually buzzing social spot may be a little quieter at the moment, what with the new social distancing rules in place, it’s still the go-to nail salon in central London for well-heeled locals looking for a quick mani or pedi. Done out in a soothing palette of blush pinks, muted greys and rose gold, the salon stocks an impressive range of niche brands and shades, including vegan brand Lauren B Beauty, Smith & Cult and Soigné polishes. Alongside simple file and paints and Shellac manicures, which are always super thorough with a perfect finish, they also offer simple, chic nail art designed by Alex, which you can browse on their Instagram account.
74 Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7RZ
This cutting edge nail salon in Fitrzovia offers manicures for the modern age, with an in-house ‘nailfie’ photobooth where you can upload your latest look to share on social media. Slick and efficient, as soon as you walk in you’ll be offered a full menu with every nail shade under the sun (plus some you didn’t even know existed) as well as a list of that month’s nail art specials. Grab a spot at the sleek poured concrete nail bar and prepare for a seriously thorough manicure – their gel treatments have been known to last three weeks without a single chip.
88 Great Portland Street, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7NT
Billing itself as “London’s green beauty haven”, beauty bar Le Fix stocks a curated range of emerging clean brands you won’t find anywhere else in their minimal, Scandi-chic salon, all crisp white walls, potted plants and smooth wooden floors. The natural and organic treatment menu ranges from detox facials and vegan waxing and brow shaping through to bespoke make-up consultations, but it’s the manicures here that prove the most popular. Done using the innovative Jessica soak-off gel polishes – all of which are 7-free, cruelty-free and 100% vegan – a trip here is the perfect eco-luxe pampering pitstop.
45 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1QE
Nails and Brows
Tucked away between Piccadilly and Berkeley Square, this Mayfair favourite counts some famous faces among its clientele, including the Duchess of Sussex, who gets her brows done here when she’s in town. While the marble-filled nail salon may be in one of London’s ritziest neighbourhoods, a visit here is always refreshingly relaxed and low-key, with simple file and polish appointments available on a drop-in basis. We’d recommend going for one of their bespoke manicures, though, where the nail technicians will even go as far as to create a custom colour blend to find the exact match for your skin tone.
31 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London W1J 8EJ
This holistic nail salon in Dalston is east London’s go-to place for cruelty-free and vegan-friendly manicures and pedicures. The natural beauty hotspot prides itself on its non-toxic products, from the gels by 12-free US brand Orly to the varnishes by Parisian favourite Kure Bazaar, as well as its stylish nail art designs. A haven of dusky pink and grey, complete with marble nail tables, the zen-like studio also sells crystals, jade rollers, organic bath salts and other wellness products, as well as offering tarot reading sessions with spiritual guide Wolf Sister and healing therapies by East of Indigo.
450 Kingsland Road, Dalston, E8 4AE
While Soho House’s hugely popular spas now have outposts all over London, the original and the best is the site on Foubert’s Place – just off Carnaby Street, it’s ideally located for a serene post-shopping manicure. The nail salon was designed with comfort in mind, with cosy leather chairs to sink into, complete with plumped up cushions, and mini TV screens to keep you entertained while one of the expert nail technicians buffs and files your nails to perfection. Try the Ultimate Cowshed Manicure, which includes exfoliating treatments and a scalp massage with their gloriously scented in-house products.
31 Foubert’s Place, Soho, London W1F 7QG
Founded by fashion industry-approved session nail stylist Ama Quashie, AMA was London’s first natural nail salon when it opened its doors in Brixton at the end of 2018 and comes with some seriously clean credentials. They only use eco-friendly products for their treatments, including Kure Bazaar’s non-toxic polishes, LA-based gel system NCLA, known for its vegan and cruelty-free formulas, and British skincare brand Pinks Boutique for scrubs and creams. The eclectic living room-style décor, where the walls are covered in mismatching prints and photographs of the local area, and well-chosen playlist give the place a cosy, home-away-from-home vibe.
340 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8QH
This intimate nail salon, tucked away off one of east London’s busiest streets, is housed in a cute one-roomed workshop, filled with hanging plants and featuring just three stations for manis and three wicker chairs for pedis. But while it might be small, there are still plenty of treatments on offer, from classic Shellac styles to monochromes, block colours and metallic tapes. Book in with one of the friendly, down-to-earth nail technicians and make sure to ask them about their nail art options, which range from bold art-inspired graphics to striking leopard print designs.
13 Cleve Workshops, Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7JD
Main image: Lila Moss for Marc Jacobs Beauty