I haven’t worn fake nails since prom. But when I heard about City Nails & Spa’s celebrity clientele—Lorde got some “pointies” there—my girlie curiosity was piqued. I made an appointment and decided: I’m getting stiletto nails.
The space: City Nails & Spa is clean and contemporary—fairly typical in layout, the salon is more elegant than most. Nail desks are arranged in front with a comfy pedicure chair valley in the back; a sleek water feature lives in between. Flatscreen TVs stream movies. Orange glass basins serve as sinks, and the hand-drying table is covered in fashion magazines.
The ethos: Hospitality feels authentic at City Nails. The salon’s Facebook page posts happy customers and celebrates employee birthdays. While shop owner Kay Parkcareonpaisan was working on my nails, she greeted everyone who entered. Though appointments are held sacred, walk-ins are welcome. Grammy-winner Lorde stopped in unannounced the night before her 2014 Preakness performance—and Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo of the Swedish duo Icona Pop visited last summer (you know their hit song, “I Love It”).
The stylist/the style: Before my appointment, I did a little research and discovered that longer, sharper nails are actually a revival of a style dating way back—Lucille Ball wore “almond nails” in the 1940s. In recent years, they’ve been appearing on red carpets—and decorating the digits of some of music’s biggest names. On Parkcareonpaisan’s advice, I went with rose pink and a shorter version of the currently popular claw-like talon (I need to be able to type). “I think Lorde got her nails like that,” Parkcareonpaisan said.
The verdict: The tips took some getting used to—buttons were tricky at first—but a week later, I’m comfy. My fingers look longer. The pink polish is such a feminine shade, but the peaks pack fierce power.