If you live in New York City and enjoy on-trend nail art, chances are you’ve heard of or gotten a manicure at Paintbox, an Upper East Side nail studio known for its Instagramable manicures. The nail maison solves analysis paralysis when you want a trendy manicure but either have too many options or don’t know where to start. Paintbox seasonally curates a sizeable collection of nail art designs inspired by runway and editorial trends utilizing color theory, shapes, negative space, and linework to upgrade your manicure. The looks are fashionable but wearable and work-appropriate, so the corporate girlies won’t have to hide their hands in the next team meeting. However, the downside to Paintbox is that they only have three locations (two in NYC and one in Boston), and appointments are in such high demand that walk-ins are non-existent. However, beginning today, you can have Paintbox at your fingertips, literally, no matter where you live: The nail studio launched its first-ever limited-edition press-on nails.
“After a decade in business, more than 400K manicures, and thousands of customers at Paintbox studios, we’re so excited to introduce Paintbox Press-Ons so people everywhere can experience the iconic, modern styles we’re known for in our salons,” Elle Langston, founder of Paintbox exclusively tells ELLE.com. The beauty of press-ons is that you can DIY perfectly manicured nails sans drying (or curing) time. Paintbox Press-Ons are long-lasting; your manicure should last more than a week and the press-ons are reusable up to three times. Langston refers to these as ‘Ready-to-Wear’ nails because of the ease with which you can accessorize your outfits with “stand-out designs” that you can apply anytime, anywhere.
And during NYFW, they have been everywhere—on the runway, that is. Paintbox Press-Ons were seen at Tory Burch, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Khaite, and LaPointe. “We created five unique looks for this collection, reflecting fall trends and iconic Paintbox looks. ‘The Right Angle’ [is] inspired by the copper looks in LaPointe’s latest collection, playing up the contrast between matte and metallic. Metallic copper pops with movement as it reflects the light,” Mabelyn Alva, Creative Director for Paintbox, exclusively tells ELLE.com.
In fact, ‘On the Verge’ was the nail art of choice for models strutting down the La Pointe runway and that silver, thanks to Beyoncé, is trending everywhere this fall. “The glitter French tip on our ‘On the Verge’ style catches the light in the most stunning way,” gushes Alva. These nails are an easy DIY for your Renaissance Tour beauty look or even a wedding manicure, if you are feeling bold.
The three other designs include ‘Twosome,’ which is inspired by the femininity and boldness of a classic red nail but softened with blush— “a favorite of Paintbox clients,” Alva shares.
Known for their foil nail art, ‘Space Age’ is what Alva refers to as one of the salon’s favorite looks and “achieves a 3D effect while still keeping [your nails] feminine and neutral.” She adds, “It’s like jewelry for your nails!”
The last design, ‘Falling Hard,’ showcases Paintbox’s color theory skills, mixing a minty powder blue with sage green. “Greens entered classic territory for nails a few years ago, and this is our update to the look for this fall,” Alva states.
Each press-on set provides 16 tips for each hand, including half sizes and costs $28.00—averaging out to less than $10.00 per manicure per wear—a stark (and affordable) difference from the $50.00 to $165.00+ manicure price range at the Paintbox Nail Studio. They also come with gel tabs and nail glue for short and long-term wear, as well as all the tools needed to DIY your press-on manicure (buffer, cuticle stick, nail file). “Gel tabs are for short-term wear and are completely non-damaging while the premium brush-on glue is perfect for long-term wear up to 10-14 days,” Langston explains. Another fun fact: The press-ons are waterproof, meaning there is less chance of a press-on popping off after a few showers and household chores. In addition to fashionable designs, Langston also had sustainability in mind. “Paintbox Press-Ons contain recycled materials to meet The Recycled Claim Standard, and the outer packaging primarily consists of paper materials, avoiding excess plastic,” she says.
Paintbox Press-Ons is a game-changer for those who love the look of editorial nails (but don’t enjoy editorial-like prices). Langston shares with ELLE.com that the brand will be rolling out new styles following runway and editorial trends to match your seasonal outfits. You can shop the collection at Paintbox’s Upper East Side location in New York City or on paint-box.com.
Danielle James is the Digital Beauty Director of ELLE.com. Previously, she was the Fashion and Beauty Director of HelloBeautiful.com and MadameNoire.com. She’s bylined for The Cut, InStyle, Allure, Business of Fashion, Nylon, Essence, Good Housekeeping, The Grio, and Huffington Post. Danielle enjoys sailing, thrifting, Japanese whiskey, Naomi Campbell’s runway walk, and Rihanna in the comment section.