In The VIP Chair: Classic Nails 117 E 41st St #1, New York, NY

You know the saying never judge a book by its cover? Well, that rang true with my salon review at Classic Nails on Lexington Ave in New York City. I walked into this rather small and cluttered salon and judged. Not enough to turn around and run out the door, but enough to make me think twice about continuing to choose my color.

Let me paint the picture for you, in the corner was a wide variety of colors (many needed to be replaced) stacked in rows making it near impossible to choose. Although they did have some colors stacked in a way you could see, strangely only the OPI brand. My eyes then diverted to the outdated decor, chairs, seemingly clean pedicure baths (I use that word loosely) and three rather friendly nail technicians chatting around one of the manicure tables. They seemed to be enjoying their casual chit chat so much that I felt bad interrupting them. After taking it all in and spending an embarrassing amount of time choosing my colors I once again went with my favorite – OPI’s Big Apple red for both my fingers and toes.

So here I am in a pedicure massage chair – minus the massage component, I mean if you like a chair that sounds like an airplane taking off in a hurry then this chair is for you. Not my cup of tea, and all I wanted was some down time. So I took a moment to look beneath the cover so to speak and started speaking with my nail technicians who were actually doing a brilliant job prepping my fingers and toes. They took such great care of cleaning up my cuticles and laughed with me when my ticklish feet sent their instruments flying across the room as I kicked it during my “fight or flight” moment. I didn’t hesitate when one of my nail technicians asked if I wanted a 10-minute massage for an extra $12. I had just started to close my eyes and relax a little when my manicurist asked if I wanted to pay. After a stressful mix up with the bill my massage was over, hmm timing wasn’t great and I felt a little annoyed about it. Hint to said manicurist when a customer is in the middle of a very relaxing foot massage leave her be for a few minutes to enjoy it before asking for money.

This annoyance quickly disappeared when the owner arrived from running an errand and immediately came up to me to apologize for the bill mix up, thanked me profusely for my business and proceeded to tell me how tough it is to run a small business in New York City. She has been running the salon for 23 years and loves her customers. As she spoke about her business, you could see the passion in her eyes. Her whole goal is to keep offering quality service at an affordable price. I was sold, despite the quirks of this salon that could have you running for the door the story behind it coupled with the amazing service and immaculate polish job would have me running back here. The owner was even open to a little business advice from this VIP columnist despite all of her experience. A good reminder to never judge a “salon” by its cover.


Until next time,

Ruth Shelling

Ambience: The radio was playing softly and for the majority of my treatment I was the only person in the salon. Not relaxing but not stressful so somewhere in between. They were super quick and did a great job so a perfect salon if you are after quality in a hurry.  

Cleanliness of salon: Cleanish, the pedicure bath wasn’t as clean I would have liked.

Polish: Manicure and pedicure OPI’s Big Apple – Retails $8-$10.

Polish job & chip factor: immaculate polish job, fingers lasted 5-days and my toes a full 2-weeks

Color range: Vast range of polishes, Essie, OPI, CND and OPI GelColor.

Customer engagement: Friendly, engaged and offered great customer service.

Price range:  Manicure and pedicure special: $26.99, regular pedicure $20, regular manicure $11, 10-minute foot massage $12 and callus removal $10.

Ruth Shelling

As the Publisher for, Ruth has 20-years of media, marketing, and sales experience. Currently, she writes the quirky and funny column In the VIP Chair with Ruth Shelling that is all about the crazy salon experiences she has throughout Manhattan and New Jersey.

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