Give Your Nails Their Time to Shine at These Salons Right at Your Fingertips

by Michelle Brown

Try out pops of color, sparkles or stripes at local salons safely open for business

Photos by @varnishlane and @sassed_out_nails on Instagram

Chipped nails in need of a little TLC seems to be a common annoyance among those of us still working from home, right up there with grown-out roots and long ends needing a trim. Before you make it to the salon for your next coat of polish though, read up on the trends that these four salon owners are catching on to this season and how they’ll make the experience as safe as possible for you.

1. Nailsaloon

Logan Circle: 1508 14th Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20005

Capitol Hill: 740 C Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

Known for their commitment to being “5-free” (that’s polish without Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Resin or Camphor, if any science-minded folks recognize the terms), Nailsaloon is all about a clean experience that’s healthy for your nail beds, according to founders Andréa Vieira and Claudia Diamante. That also means nailsaloon doesn’t use gels, powders, acrylic or glues — when they say “clean and simple,” they really mean it.


“As everyone resurfaces from the lockdown, we’ve noticed clients seem to be looking for things that represent calm and cleanliness,” co-founders Andréa Vieira and Claudia Diamante said. “We’re seeing nails get cut shorter (maybe to make all that baking or gardening easier?) and colors skew towards hues that are more serene. Pastels, light colors and true nudes (colors that match all our different skin tones) are being used quite a bit.”

Services offered are a “Speedy Mani” for maintenance ($22), a “Saloon Mani” ($32) and a “Saloon Pedi” ($48).

2. Varnish Lane

Friendship Heights: 5236 44th St. NW, Washington, DC 20015 

Mt. Vernon Triangle: 400 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

West End: 1201 24th Street NW Washington, DC 20037

A “new standard of wellness” is Varnish Lane’s selling point, where waterless services seek to prevent nail infections, polishes are non-toxic, removers are plant-based and skin products are made of natural ingredients. The gentle treatment will have your cuticles singing for joy. 


“One of our favorite trends is neutral nails with pops of color. We also love a twist on a classic white manicure for summer but making half of the nail white. Our favorite color this fall is going to be green — from sage-type shades to deep hunter greens,” Lauren Dunne, one half of Varnish Lane’s founding mother-daughter duo, said.

“Our favorite person to follow for nail trends is Betina Goldstein (@betina_goldstein). She is an amazing editorial nail artist in L.A. with a very forward yet refined style.”

“Main Lane Services” include a classic manicure ($28) or pedicure ($48). “Luxe Lane Services” include a manicure ($48) or pedicure ($64) with a sugar scrub, wax treatment and longer massage.

3. Vicky’s Nail Boutique

1616 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

This quaint Georgetown salon, a fixture of the neighborhood since 2006, warmly greets you with its sunshine-yellow facade and adorable flower boxes. When you’ve finished with your treatment at this cozy spot, the brick steps and contrasting greenery outside the door provide the perfect rustic backdrop to show off your aesthetic manicure for your next Instagram post.


Salon owner Vicky Chung shared that she derives some inspiration from sites like Cosmopolitan and their roundups of fashion-forward fingertips from season to season. Chung and other nail technicians at her salon find additional inspiration on Instagram, where dazzling accent nails and combinations of different textures, from glossy solid colors to matte neutral tones to iridescent sparkles, come together to create chic looks.

@naility_92 on Instagram


Manicures start at $15 and pedicures at $32. Vicky’s signature pedicure service includes a hot stone massage and application of paraffin wax on the heel.

4. Sesen Spa

112 Pleasant St NW Suite A, Vienna, Va. 22180

Lisa Tep’s dream of a non-toxic, “hyper-clean” spa retreat formed when she struggled to find something between “the cheap corner chop shop salon” and “the overpriced ‘high end’ spa” to care for her swollen feet and ankles during her two pregnancies. Since 2006, that dream has been a reality at Sesen, where comfort is king.


Founder Lisa Tep summarizes most clients’ manicure requests as “understated, chic but still fun.”

“You’ll see clients still opting for an accent nail — perhaps a different accent nail on each hand. The gradient manicure (a different color on each finger but coordinated) is popular. Gold foil — a randomly placed piece of gold foil on a neutral background nail. A french manicure, but the french is a neon. I’d say the biggest trend is a custom color, achieved through layering different shades,” Tep said.

As for celebrity inspo, Tep refers to a 2018 nail moment that’s no doubt a timeless look: “Meghan Markle’s wedding look. We KNEW she had used Creative Nail Design (CND) polish, but we just didn’t know the specific shade. We are HUGE fans of CND. It was rumored to be the shade Cake Pop. But we learned (via @laurenmurdochsmith’s recent British Vogue article) that her custom color (done by DrybyLondon) was a layering of CND shades Unmasked and Negligee (2 coats). Her pedicure was in Cashmere Wrap.”

“Never Basic” manicures start at $22 and pedicures at $33.

At Vicky’s Nail Boutique: Mention VICKY2020 for a 10% discount on the signature pedicure service. Valid for the month of September.

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