Anyone who's ever ridden in a cab with me knows that I'm a stickler for good customer service. (I.e., if a driver is incompetent I get real annoyed.) I'm like this about pretty much everything, from restaurants to department stores. (No one--I mean no one--who works at Uniqlo knows where anything is. Unless they've been promoted to the +J department. There, I've noticed, you can't be lazy. But I digress.)
Because of my high standards, I never really stick to one place for beauty treatments, particularly manicures, pedicures, and Brazilians. To me, all nail salons are pretty much the same. The people are nice, but you can't put a tip on a credit card and it's rare to find a technician with whom you're so impressed that you make an effort to go see her every week or two.
I was fine bouncing along, getting a manicure whenever I had the time. Until, that is, I discovered Tenoverten, a light-filled loft in New York's TriBeCa neighborhood.
I work in SoHo and live in South Brooklyn, so for me, TriBeCa is kind of on the way home. But even if you live far, far up on the Upper East Side, you should make an effort to get down there. (Maybe after brunch at Locanda Verde and a stop by Edon Manor?) Because Tenoverten is nail mecca.
Owned by Adair Ilyinsky (a financial analyst at Coach) and Nadine Ferber (owner of Mick Margo), Tenoverten is a salon for picky fashion girls (the polishes range from the latest Chanel and Nars and Essie to the entire Bernhard Willhelm collection--swoon), busy ladies (their quick dry polish seriously makes your nails like bone in five minutes), and anyone who appreciates high touch customer service.
The receptionist--who looks like an Opening Ceremony model--is sweet and takes your coat, and even chats with you about your new jeans. There's wine and soda and cheese and iPads to play with, too. The aestheticians are quick and nice and make the dreaded Brazilian wax as painless as possible. And the nail technicians--oh, the nail technicians!--are all incredibly kind and incredibly talented. I've been about five times now, have had a different technician each time, and I would go back to every single one. (Although Stephy is so funny and sweet, I may ask for her specifically next time.) Even when I've chosen Chanel nail polish--notorious for chipping quickly--the color has stayed fairly still for about five days. (My nails usually begin chipping at after no more than two days.)
They don't seem to do gel nails, but honestly, I had that done once and thought it was nasty, so I'm not bothered. As for nail art--everybody's obsession these days--it's not a priority, but if you want a heart or a flower or maybe even a palm tree, they'll comply.
Did I mention that the owners have even stocked the shelves with their favorite beauty products, from Rodin's Olio Lusso to Weleda Skin Food?
As for pricing, it's pretty standard. The brazilian is $55, and so is a regular mani/pedi combo. (Sure, the nails are bit more than your typical corner place, but the experience makes it worthwhile.) And maybe the best news of all: You can put the tip on your credit card and they'll email you the receipt. You can even book every appointment via their website.
Bottom line: I'm excited to get my nails done. I take my friends here to show them how awesome their nails can be, too. Tenoverten is great, and if you live in New York and want to get your money's worth from a trip to the salon, it's the place to be.
www.tenoverten.com 112 Reade St 2nd Fl (between Church St & Broadway) New York, NY 10013