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A Nail Salon Owner’s Favorite Polishes

Chillhouse founder Cyndi Ramirez on the best colors, gels, top coats, and more.

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Photo: Chillhouse

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There’s no shortage of nail polish brands at your local salon (or the beauty aisle of CVS), from classics like Essie and O.P.I. to smaller indie labels like RGB. But which ones are the best? Or rather — which one would your wise nail technician recommend?

To find out, we asked Cyndi Ramirez, the founder of the very Instagrammable New York City salon, wellness spa, and cafe Chillhouse, to recommend her favorite brands for the best colors, actually-worth-it top coats, and more.


What are your favorite polish brands at the moment?

I'm kind of obsessed with Floss Gloss. Their colors are like no other. I'm loving Jess Hannah's polish collection — I’m currently looking to carry them at Chillhouse. I'm also VERY into RGB. Their packaging and colors are bold and modern. For gel, NCLA is where it's at right now.

What about top and bottom coats?

Deborah Lippmann's All About That Base is pretty fly. It has a matte nude-ish pink effect, so it's good for nail beds that are a bit uneven because it acts as a light shield. For top coat, Deborah's Addicted to Speed is a must-have.

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How about hand creams? Which is your favorite right now?

I'm currently obsessed with Lauren's All Purpose Hand Salve. It smells lovely, it's not too greasy, and it's 100 percent organic. I don't moisturize my hands as often as I should, unless there's a hand cream by a bathroom sink. At Chillhouse, we currently have Byredo products in the bathroom, and they've been super soft on my hands thus far.