The decor at The Nailery is simple. Cushy red chairs tuck into manicure stations positioned before mirrors, and sand-colored walls stand elegantly bare, save for a shelf full of vibrant nail polish and a single decoration—a 2012 Reader’s Choice award from Trib Total Media. The hardware speaks to The Nailery’s excellence in service, as its team of licensed technicians grooms, shapes, and paints fingernails and toenails with top products from CND, Essie, and even no-chip gels by OPI. Clients can stop in for a quick and simple manicure, or sink into a cushy pedicure chair for a foot rub that’s more relaxing than knitting a scarf while taking a hot shower.
Deemed one of the city?s best salons in 2010 by the Pittsburgh City Paper, Dean of Shadyside has been beautifying clientele since its founding in 1984. Its stylists focus on hospitality and guarantee all their services, which include everything from a basic blow dry to feather extensions and three levels of highlights. Nail techs perform four types of manicures and three pedicures for everyday occasions or as part of packages for bridal parties. In a private office, staff experts also consult clients on hair loss and offer them wig-fashion services or attach extensions for more voluminous looks.
Capristo Salon & Wellness Spa is more than just a beauty haven—it's a family legacy. The late founder, Bruce Capristo, started styling hair at the age of 19. He owned and operated many successful salons in the Pittsburgh area beginning in the 1960s, including his flagship site—Capristo International—where he worked alongside his wife, Cheech. Bruce established a strong reputation while working in fashion, film, and television; he even styled hair on the set of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead.
The location that Bruce opened on Ellsworth Avenue has now been going strong for more than 25 years. When Bruce passed away in 2006, his son Roman—a master stylist who trained with the likes of Vidal Sassoon and Bumble and bumble—took over the business, continuing his father's dream. And although she no longer works as an aesthetician and stylist, you might still see Cheech helping out behind the scenes.
The laid-back atmosphere at the salon and spa keeps both clients and staffers happy; in fact, some of the stylists have been with the company since the very beginning. The crew hands out complimentary martinis on Wednesday evenings, pampering guests with custom facials and body wraps. In a private spa-party room filled with padded chairs and sheer drapery, the beauty experts ply brides-to-be or birthday girls with complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres.
For Perfectly Polished?s owner Kathy Paff Barnhart, a holiday is more than just a celebration; it?s a chance for her to try new nail designs. She relishes the job?s endless opportunities for creative expression, which includes hand painting original nail designs and matching her clients? nail colors to their prom dresses. Since 1997, Kathy?s been a self-proprietor, running her cozy, lace-curtained shop with a passion for beauty and backed by a degree from Butler Beauty School. Her specialties include gel manicures, pedicures, and acrylic nails, which she files by hand instead of relying on drills or other mechanical means. Spray tanning is also available.
It’s too bad that nails aren’t actually edible, because the pink and purple designs on display at South Side Nail Candy look positively delicious. The salon’s new location sets a relaxing tone with its plush princess pedicure thrones, which nicely counterbalance the feisty leopard and cheetah prints that accent the front room’s décor. More than just a place for mani-pedis, South Side Nail Candy also offers airbrush spray tans that infuse skin with UV-free color and waxing services that swiftly remove hair or turn the body into a giant, wickless candle.