When entering the clear glass doors of Samuel Shriqui Salon – aka the Essie flagship – located just a block away from NYC’s Central Park, you are immediately greeted by impeccably styled modelesque staff in head-to-toe black and with perfect nail beds. They take your coat and lead you to a gleaming white leather booth with its own studio-like desk and silver lamp, where your manicurist awaits. A cool glass of water with a slice of lemon magically appears by your side, as does a skinny cappuccino, which you desperately needed.
Your manicurist – a true beauty expert – quickly removes your not-so-haute old polish and soaks your hands in a warm pink Essie lotion, allowing your fingers to relax and your cuticles to soften. She then washes your hands with warm scented water and a heated towel, massaging them after with a thick hydrating baby-blue Essie cream. Your sweet smiling pedicurist arrives and does the same. A mani pedi has never been so soothing. You fight the urge to nap.
From the long white wall holding the beautiful Essie polishes in every color imaginable, you search for your tone. Ten minutes go by, there are so many options! With Valentine’s Day in mind you choose five slightly different hues of red. You ask your manicurist for her opinion. You text your boyfriend for his opinion. You ask the Chanel-clad silver haired (clearly Upper East Side) old lady for her opinion. Eventually you decide on the Jag-U-Are, a shimmering red polish as passionate as your love-filled heart – an Essie classic. You take a seat back in your leather booth and your beauty experts begin to polish; first feet then hands. After two base coats, two coats of red polish and one top coat, you are off to the dryers. As you know, this is usually where the situation gets tedious, but Samuel Shriqui Salon knows better and provides you with your own iPad so you can stay entertained (and technology-obsessed) while your polish dries.
Thirty minutes later you check up on your ravishing red toe nails, making sure those winter boots won’t smear your fancy pedi. You drop some Essie dryer oil on each nail just in case. Your fingers nails are dry too, and look amazing, by the way. You thank your glam team and proceed to take at least thirty nail selfies (hashtag #nailedit) and send them to everyone you know. They love it, you love it, you can’t wait to come back.
You haven’t had a mani pedi until you’ve had an Essie mani pedi.