Getting Your Nails Done in Paris: A Guide for First Timers

by Lindsey Passaic

Like many women, I enjoy being pampered at the salon. But since the thought of going to a salon in Paris was more terrifying than relaxing, I found myself doing one home manicure after another with the same sloppy results each time. When I could not handle my imperfect polishing skills any longer, I finally braved a salon to get the classic French manicure.

Not wanting to embarrass myself beyond my already bitten and chewed nails, I spoke with a true Parisian woman (with a beautiful red manicure nonetheless!) to prepare myself for my first salon visit. In addition to teaching me basic nail vocabulary, she shared simple phrases to communicate with the nail technician.

Unwilling to pay top euro, I avoided chain salons and beauty institutes, instead searching for “mom and pop” shops with lower prices. The average price of a manicure at a full service beauty salon is between 25 and 50 euros. At a no-frills nail salon that price is cut drastically! For around 12 euros or less you can get a quick polish change and have ring-ready fingers in no time. But even for luxury enthusiasts, 12 euros may be too much (especially if you’re blessed with a steady hand and eye for color).  In Paris, like everywhere else, the cheapest and most convenient manicure is still the one give yourself. You can buy topcoat, polish, nail files, and polish remover at Sephora for a little less than 20 euros. Splurge a bit and you can find an all-in-one kit and have a French manicure at your fingertips whenever you please. Beauty Monop and Marionnaud also offer similarly priced products for creating a nail salon at home.

If you’re ready and willing to dive into the French beauty experience, here are my suggestions for getting the manicure you want:

1) Visit  Qype to search for Paris nail salons by neighborhood and price.

2) Visit Manucure & Beaute to find American-style nail salons in and around Paris.

3) Visit one of the following English speaking salons:

Stylepixie Salon
2 rue Edouard Vasseur
Ivry sur Seine 94200
Tel: 01 46 70 25 69

Artistic Nail
84 rue du Cherche-Midi
Paris 75006
Tel: 01 42 22 00 62

Vocabulary

la main, les mains hand(s)
le ongle, les ongles nail(s)
la cuticule, les cuticules cuticle(s)
la manucuresoin des mains manicurenail care
la pédicuresoin des pieds pedicurefoot care
faux onglesles ongles gelles ongles acryliques fake nailsgelacrylic
les vernis à ongles nail polish
la lime à ongles nail file
le bloc abrasif nail buffer
le bloc polissoir, la lime finaliseur nail polisher
le bloc emeri emery board
le dissolvent doux sans acétone nail polish remover w/o acetone
dépose nail removal
ongle cassé broken nail
spray sechant pour vernis drying spray
Je voudrais une manucure. I would like a manicure.
Je voudrais une French manucure. I would like a French manicure.
Je voudrais un changement de vernis. I would like a polish change.
Je voudrais des faux ongles. I would like a set of fake nails.
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4 responses to “Getting Your Nails Done in Paris: A Guide for First Timers

  1. Hio Do U know this site

    http://www.aminataparis.fr

  2. Another english speaking nail salon for you, also my favorite of all: My little cocoon (90 rue de vaugirard, near metro Saint Placid). It’s a Japanese-style salon and they do massage too. I believe here is their website: http://www.mylittlecocoon.com

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