Nailed it: a cheap mani/pedi guide

Photo: Joshua Prezant.

New Yorkers know a thing or two about being fabulous on the cheap. It’s a known fact that NYC fashionistas scoff at the idea of paying over $25 bucks for a manicure AND pedicure combo… sheesh! And although South Florida takes the prize on weather, personality and palm trees, finding a neighborhood nail salon that’s friendly, clean and affordable can be a challenge. So we’ve done the dirty work and found a few places in our own backyard where a gal, or guy for that matter, can get glammed up and turn their tootsies into functional pieces of art.

Nails 4 U
Located just past the North Miami Beach courthouse, this Aventura hot spot makes up for its gaudy artwork by offering some pretty decent pedicure chairs. The place also boasts a large staff, who are ready and willing to help out while you sit back and chillax after a long day at the office, school or dare I say, court. Pedicures start at $20, manicures $12 and fills are $15. Add an extra $5 to both your mani and pedi if you prefer French polish. If you want to get your hands and feet done on the same day, Nails 4 U offers a special of $30 for the whole shebang.
15520 Biscayne Blvd. Aventura; 305-947-2273

Elegant Expressions Beauty Salon
Don’t let the swanky Coral Gables address fool you, Elegant Expressions delivers on price and charm. A mani/pedi costs only $30 ($20 for the pedi, $10 for the mani) and the salon is quaint, informal and very, very friendly. Attached to the salon is a small Cuban cafeteria, so it’s not uncommon for the staff to offer patrons pastalitos and cafecitos… take that New York! Although this place isn’t the fanciest on the block — pedicures are basically done in a lined bucket — it definitely makes up for it with the entertaining personalities of the staff and the quality of their services.
801 SW 8th St Miami; 305-285-4719

Asian Nails
This affordable Hollywood hotspot offers the fanciest pedi chairs around. Not only is the staff aplenty, but they gladly accept last minute appointments, which is crucial for a girl on the go. The salon offers $15 fills, a mani/pedi for $30 and basic services that include a $12 mani and a $20 pedi. French polish bumps up the price a few bucks on hands and toes, but the vast selection of nail polish and gossip mags is a definite bonus for reading while you get pampered.
4929 Sheridan St., Hollywood; 954-986-9209

Nails by VN @ Dadeland Station
An oasis in the middle of a consumer shopping chaos, this Dadeland Station nail shop meets the top three criteria for nail salons: hot water, comfortable pedicure chairs and Essie & OPI nail colors. Their prices are a little higher than others mentioned, but the convenience factor makes up for it. Regular manis cost $12, regular pedis $23 and tack on $5 for French on both. Unfortunately, VN doesn’t offer a mani/pedi combo, but where else in Miami can you park your car in one space and get all of your errands done for the day?
8326 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami; 305-666-1007

SOK Nails
Right next to one of the hippest thrift stores in town (that would be C. Madeleine’s), SOK nails is family-owned, clean and affordable. They have a great selection of polish colors, from traditional reds and pinks to funkier purples, yellows, blues and greens that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Sean, his wife Sok, Maggie and the rest of the staff are very sweet and entertaining. A basic mani is $12 and with French polish it’s $17. Basic pedi is $22 and with French it is $27. If you do a combo with regular polish it’s $32 and with French it’s $40.
13724 Biscayne Blvd., North Beach; 305-945-9766

CT Nails
Located just a few blocks from FIU’s North campus, CT Nails is the perfect place for the college crowd. Not only do they offer $11 fills, weekly specials are guaranteed. Prices for a basic mani and pedi are $10 and $20, add $5 to each if you prefer French polish and if you combine both, get ready for savings — CT only charges $29. Make sure to schedule an appointment though, this place draws a crowd and sometimes they can be a little thin on staff.
14346 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami; 305-945-6177

Pinkies Nail Spa
Feminine, bright and accommodating, this South Miami nail salon has uber-comfy pedi chairs and is conveniently located in the Shops at Sunset Place. Whether in the need of a mani, pedi or both, I’ve never had to make an appointment and have never waited longer than 15 minutes — a luxury in South Florida. They have an excellent selection of polishes and the staff is upbeat, friendly and not afraid to give you their opinions: one time the guy doing my pedi told me he wouldn’t paint my toes the fuchsia color I had picked out because he said guys don’t like fuchsia (I’ve gone with a subtle light pink ever since). A regular mani is $12, $15 for French polish and a regular pedi is $23, $25 for French. If you splurge on both, it’s $30 and a jump of $8 to for French.
5701 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305-667-1802

Published: 11/08

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