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Sophisticated Nail Art From Posh NYC Salon Paintbox

Photos by Driely S. for Racked
Photos by Driely S. for Racked

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Welcome to Working It, where Racked follows street style into the office.

Nail salons in New York City may be as pervasive as bodegas and Duane Reades, but Paintbox stands out. The high-end, fashion-forward spot opened just steps away from Opening Ceremony in Soho this past May, and instead of a nail wall filled with half-used bottles of Essie, Paintbox clients pick their colors and styles straight out of a lookbook that's filled with chic, editorial designs like half-moons and metallic foils.

After the jump, see what founder and former beauty editor Eleanor Langston and her team wear to work, and learn a thing or two about picking the right polish and making manicures last.

Eleanor Langston, CEO and Founder, is wearing an Aqua top, Rag & Bone jeans, Dolce Vita shoes, Eddie Borgo bracelets, Rue Gembon earrings, a Cartier ring, and Paintbox's "Shade Shifter" nail look with Gelish polish in Hot Rod Red and Black Shadow.

What nail polish sums up your personality?
RGB Scarlet. I'm really into bold, rich reds right now, and this one's pigmented formula never disappoints. I love that it's a true, saturated "fire-engine red" that you can wear year-round because it isn't too coral or dark. For gel, my all-time favorite red is Gelish Hot Rod Red, the perfect blend of warm and cool tones.

What other beauty treatment, besides a manicure, is a part of your normal routine?
A deep tissue massage is my favorite indulgence, and I try to get one about every six weeks or every other month. Studies show the longterm health and stress-management benefits of massage, which really helps me justify this splurge. Also, I have so many knots in my back from carrying around my 33-pound toddler, Miles, so massages are a heavenly treat and a true escape!

What beauty product is totally worth its price tag? and why?
Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I'm totally hooked on the satiny cream base that melts into my skin seamlessly. It's hydrating and gives skin the ideal amount of coverage without looking cakey.

What beauty products do you depend on while traveling?
Klorane Mini Dry Shampoo (I have tried a million dry shampoos and always go back to this one), BeautyRx Brightening Complex (an exfoliator that makes my skin look less dull), Chanel Eyebrow Pencil (groomed brows help you look put-together on no-makeup days), and MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Satin Taupe (an almost-pewter, metallic shade that has been my go-to shade for over 12 years).

What nail trend are you loving right now?
Metallics continue to be the new neutral, and I love a simple metallic moon on a red shade. I also love subtle embellishments (à la a gold bead or a tiny pearl), as well as a flash of negative space and oil-spill foils on top of the nails.

Whose manicure style is always on point?
Lana Del Rey, JLo, Beyoncé—all three are nail trendsetters I always watch closely.

Pick a shape: square, round, or pointy.
Almond! I used to go round, but almond nails feel Mad Men-era feminine and very sexy.

How do you make a manicure last?
When you're wearing gel on your nails (which I do 90 percent of the time), it's important not to start picking at the edges. If you feel a rough spot, carefully file it with a glass file that's gentle on the nails. Applying cuticle oil (my top pick is from Deborah Lippmann) twice a day will help keep your cuticles looking polished and nails healthy.

Whose beauty routine do you admire most?
Eva Chen's beauty routine fascinates me! I love her enthusiasm about trying new products, and her reviews are always intelligent and thoughtful.

Lindsey Kaszuba, Studio Manager, is wearing an Equipment top, Club Monaco pants, Michael Kors shoes, bracelets from Alexander McQueen, Giles & Brother, Michael Kors, and Huffy Jewels, and Paintbox's "Hot Shot" nail look with Gelish polish in Princess Tiara with silver and hot pink foil.

Pick a shape: square, round, or pointy.
Pre-Paintbox, I was a square shape kind of girl, but now I'm totally into the round shape. It's much more elongating and flattering.

What beauty product is totally worth its price tag?
La Prairie Cellular Revitalizing Eye Gel. It has this cooling effect and feels perfect for tired eyes. I rely on it morning and night.

What nail polish sums up your personality?
Chanel Blue Satin and Zoya Ryan are both favorites. I love a deep navy: it's chic, yet simple and elegant.

What nail trend are you loving right now?
I love anything with glitter or foil, especially our Ice Queen and Urban Jungle looks. I'm over all literal nail art trends, especially for the holidays. Snowmen and reindeers should stay in the North Pole (not on your nail beds).

What other beauty treatment, besides a manicure, is a part of your normal routine?
Facials. I started seeing Irina at Mario Badescu two years ago, and every time I see her, my skin feels—and looks—five years younger.

Whose beauty routine do you admire most?
I love how Jessica Alba has a natural look about her. She also has incredible style.

How do you make a manicure last?
I usually do gel manicures, but if I change it up and do polish, I add a top coat every other day. A few drops of cuticle oil (my pick: CND Solar Oil) also helps to extend the life of your polish manicure.

What beauty products do you depend on while traveling?
I never travel without cleansing toilettes by Neutrogena, Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer, Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, Chloe's travel size eau de parfum, and CND Solar Oil cuticle oil.

Whose manicure style is always on point?
I admire so many of our staff's manicure styles, it's tough to choose! Eleanor, our founder, is always on point with her manis.

Julie Kandalec, Creative Director, is wearing a Bebe top, a Ted Baker skirt, Christian Louboutin shoes, an Hermès bracelet, an H&M necklace, a Shibuya 109 watch, and Paintbox's "Point Taken" nail look with Zoya polish in Song and Maisie with Swarovski crystals.

What nail polish sums up your personality?
Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe. Anyone that knows anything about me knows I'm obsessed with both glitter and aqua blue nails. This color is a balance of the two, plus the month it was released marked my journey in moving to New York, so it holds a special place in my heart.

What beauty products do you depend on while traveling?
Lush Eau Roma Water, Smith's Rosebud Salve, and Garnier Sleek 'n' Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream.

What beauty product is totally worth its price tag and why?
For me, my skin is something that is top priority for me. La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Cream—along with never sleeping with makeup on—is my top beauty secret.

What nail trend are you loving right now?
I love negative space nails, when the negative space is in the center of the nail along with a few gems or studs; I call them "window nails." I wish having a different color accent nail on the ring finger would go away. Accent nails are fun when the rest of the nails are cohesive, but a totally different color or texture is passé.

What other beauty treatment, besides a manicure, is a part of your normal routine?
Eyelash extensions open up my small eyes in a way no mascara can.

Whose beauty routine do you admire most?
Women who aren't afraid to leave the house without a full face on are my beauty heroes!

How do you make a manicure last?
Keep your hands out of water, before, during, and after your manicure. I always joke with my clients that I can write them a "get out of doing dishes" note. And never, ever pick your gel mani off! Professional removal of gel manicures is a must for healthy nails.

Whose manicure style is always on point?
I'd have to say Jennifer Lopez. Her nails (my friend Tom Bachik does them) are gorgeous; the length, shape, and chic style are always flawless. Very Paintbox approved.

Pick a shape: square, round, or pointy.
Depending on my nail length, I am either an almond-shaped girl if they're long, or a narrow, soft square-shaped girl if they're short.

Elissa Schell, manicurist, is wearing a Sandro blazer, a Choies top, Madewell jeans, Jimmy Choo shoes, a Steven Alan necklace, Catbird rings, Giles & Brother and Digby & Iona bracelets, and Paintbox's "Jazz Hands" nail look with CND Vinylux polish in Chiffon Twirl with custom glitter.

What other beauty treatment, besides a manicure, is a part of your normal routine?
I always try and keep up on lash extensions and pedicures, although I must admit I've been slacking. I started doing lash extensions this summer and immediately got hooked. You wake up every morning ready to go; it's amazing.

Pick a shape shape: square, round, or pointy.
Almond-shaped, as it's not too pointy, not too round. It's the perfect mix of feminine and sexy.

What beauty products do you depend on while traveling?
Dry shampoo and lip balm. I love that dry shampoo allows me to prolong any hair style, and I hate having dry skin or lips, so I always need lip balm on hand. My favorite products are Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo and Dior Crème de Rose lip balm.

What nail polish sums up your personality?
Even though I love glitter, I'm going to have to go with Tickle My France-y by OPI. I've been using it since I was in high school. It's the perfect pinky nude—classic and sexy in one. If I could pick a signature color, this would definitely be it.

How do you make a manicure last?
First and foremost, making sure your nail plate is completely clean of any dust or oils before applying any polish, then making sure you're sealing in the polish at the tips to prevent premature peeling and chipping. If you really want to really make it last, try applying a thin layer of top coat over the manicure every other day.

Whose beauty routine do you admire most?
Blogger Karla Deras. Her makeup and hair are always flawless and effortless—that's exactly what I go for. Not to mention her style is incredible.

What beauty product is totally worth its price tag?
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duo. It gives you the most natural and long lasting brow. I've been using this product for years now, and it never fails me. I've dabbled in other brow products, but nothing compares to this.

Whose manicure style is always on point?
Hannah Bronfman. She always has the most amazing designs and is never afraid of color or going outside the box.

Gracie J, manicurist, is wearing an Urban Outfitters poncho, a Necessary Clothing dress, H&M jeans, Forever21 shoes, a Timex watch, a family heirloom ring, and Paintbox's "Center of Attention" nail look with Gelish polish in Arctic Freeze and Starburst.

What nail polish sums up your personality?
I love Gelish Arctic Freeze. It's clean and sits really well with my complexion while accentuating the shape of my nails.

What beauty product is totally worth its price tag?
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown. There is no other fix to perfecting my brows! I get compliments (on them) day in and day out.

What beauty products do you depend on while traveling?
Julep Plush Pout Lip Crayon, MAC Mineralize Hydrating Mist, Tints & Sass Fabulous Lip + Cheek Stain, and Benefit They're Real Mascara.

How do you make a manicure last?
There's nothing like quality products and a clean nail surface. Always be sure to start with a well-prepped slate and also cap your free edge from start to finish.

Pick a shape: square, round, or pointy.
I'm caught between square and round nails. If I'm in the process of re-growing my nails, I shape them squared; as they get longer, I go rounder to prevent breakage.

What nail trend are you loving right now?
I have a love for negative space and minimal editorial looks. Although I have an obsession for full coverage on my nails, I prefer seeing negative space on my clients. I am hoping, wishing, and praying that Duckbill nails will just go far, far away. They're so not easy on the eye.

What other beauty treatment, besides a manicure, is a part of your normal routine?
What would I do without getting my upper lip sugared?! It's my somewhat shameful (but not-so-shameful) little secret. This sacred little routine is the fine line between the days I look like a little boy and when I feel like a woman!

Whose manicure style is always on point?
Rihanna, hands down! No questions asked.

Yuko Wada, manicurist, is wearing an H&M jumpsuit, a Forever 21 necklace, Kanematsu shoes, a ring she made herself, a Rue Gembon bracelet, and Paintbox's "Urban Jungle" nail look.

What beauty product is totally worth its price tag?
My top three are Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Illuminating Foundation, Blinc Mascara, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage SC-3.

What nail polish sums up your personality?
Chanel Frenzy. It's a universally flattering neutral shade and looks so cool on nails.

What nail trend are you loving right now?
I'm a big fan of round-shape nails. I don't love traditional French manicures or super square nails.

What other beauty treatment, besides a manicure, is a part of your normal routine?
Eyelash perms.

Whose manicure style is always on point?
Definitely my colleague Elissa Schell. Her nail art is incredible.

What beauty products do you depend on while traveling?
Shiseido SPF lotion.

Pick a shape: square, round, or pointy?
Round, for sure.

How do you make a manicure last?
Using 5-free polish, base coat, and top coat.

Whose beauty routine do you admire the most?
I always love working on-set with makeup artists—they give incredible tips on how to achieve natural looking make-up. I try and absorb them all.

· Paintbox [Official Site]
· Working It [Racked]