In The VIP Chair: Portofino Nails Salon Review

In The VIP Chair salon reviews

My sweet baby girl was about to turn 5 months so I thought I would try once again to take her with me on a salon review. For those first time readers, go back a few months and read the column where I took her with me at 5 weeks – it was a poop explosion debacle. Oh and we cannot forget that I was a new Mom and had no idea what I was doing, let alone how to settle an infant while my footsies were being pampered. I like to think almost 4 months later I have this Mom thing down pat. Well, at least I know how to calm her if she decides to cry hysterically in the middle of my pedicure, however dealing with a poop explosion is another story. Anyhow we made our way to Portofino Nails in Downtown Jersey City on what I think was the hottest day of the year. We arrived hot and bothered (my little cherub was in a front pack, and let’s be honest neither of us needed the extra body heat that came with that on a hot and humid day) and thankfully were greeted in a friendly manner by the owner who told me my baby girl was beautiful (like her Momma, she liked that).

Given I had a weekend in the Hamptons and a wedding coming up, I choose OPI’s ‘Red’ mostly because I love it and it is a color that goes with everything I had intended to wear for these special occasions. Yes, I know my outfits that far in advance. I mean, what else am I to do while nursing my baby every two hours but organize my life at the same time.

The salon was cozy with 5 pedi and mani stations. My nail technician Elie was brilliant! She prepped my nails to absolute perfection and interacted with my little darling who was nestled on my lap while sucking for dear life on a teething ring (did I mention she is an early teether – my baby girl, not my nail technician). Since pregnancy my feet have been so dry and cracked, and have the start of a few ingrown nails – yikes!! Elie saw to it that my ingrown toenails were taken care of while my heels were soaked in paraffin wax. The massage was incredible and finished with a hot stone – my absolute favorite. My baby girl was on her best behavior and didn’t fuss or cry once; I think we may have turned a corner. Overall, despite being a basic salon it was a great experience and I would definitely return to have Elie do my nails. You know she even helped me get my sweetheart back into the front pack – pretty sure that is a first, talk about great customer service.

Until next time,


PORTOFINO NAILS – 1 2nd Street Jersey City

• Ambience: Friendly and relaxing, although the salon chairs were outdated and the massage component didn’t work well.
• Cleanliness of salon: Clean
• Polish: Pedicure: OPI’s ‘Red’. (Retails $8-$10)
• Polish job & chip factor: Elie did a meticulous polish job that lasted two weeks
• Brands they stock: Essie, OPI, CND, Vinylux, Ruby Wing & Color Club
• Color range: Good color range
• Customer engagement: Owner greeted me with compliments about my gorgeous baby girl – always a good sign☺
• Price range: Manicure $10, French Manicure $15, Spa Pedicure $23, French pedicure $28 and Shea Butter mani and pedi $38

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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