What do you get when you cross a nail salon with a gallery? Curator/licensed nail technician Rita de Alencar Pinto's downtown space, Vanity Projects, is a high-end nail art atelier that brings video art programming before a captive audience. VP touts a holistic nail care ethos, and a salon menu that ranges from basic mani ($18)/pedi ($30), gels and extensions (starting at $40 and $60 respectively), and nail art ($30 and up) to custom nail art starting at $100 and up depending on time, detail and embellishments. Pinto collaborates with international curators and artists to offer a rotating series of video artist and a "nail artist-in-residence" program that has included mani-art celebrities like Virginia native Regina Rodriguez and Miku Tsutaya from Tokyo.
The decor is spare and soothing: light walls and blonde wood. Clients (including celebrity, editorial, fashion and advertising) go to Vanity Projects for the outstanding and innovative nail art, but if you want a little pampering too, try the VP Signature soak–a specially blended essential oil pedi bath, skin brightening orange peel treatment, lavender scrub, paraffin wax wrap and a ten-minute massage ($80.)
Vanity Projects also offers their expertise for special events, children's birthday parties, weddings and private, in-home appointments.
Basic manicure $18, basic pedicure $30, gel manicure $40, gel pedicure $60, and nail art $30 and up.