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My experiment with Minx Nails: Hotel Chelsea

To be honest, when I first heard the term Minx Nails I thought someone was referring to an animal. “There’s an animal called Minx and you’re trying to replicate its nails?” I asked, and immediately got a series of chuckles from the manicurist who probably thought I was the most clueless beauty editor in history.

I didn’t realize how beautiful the effect could be: stunning, bright metal-like looking nails (my husband calls them “fingertip headlights”) and I initially manicurists melted precious gold and platinum in their furnaces and painstakingly painted them on the nails in highly coveted, secret salons.

minx nails

I got my nails done….

And then I started hearing several complaints from friends I met who’ve had their nails done: “They never stay on…they peel right off…never go to Bliss, etc. etc.” And for a procedure that can cost north of $50, those who had received less than perfect Minx manis had every right to be as irate as Martha Stewart when she saw a cupcake with imperfect frosting.

I was very lucky. I had my treatment done by the charming Tracylee from the famous Suite303 at the Hotel Chelsea. My friend Kristin Booker had got the treatment there first and then raved about it, and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. Plus, my nails were chipping and were starting to look slightly mangy and rat bitten.

If you have not been to the Hotel Chelsea, it’s well worth a visit. History lives here and the hotel has seen famous artists like Bob Dylan reside in its rooms (you can still rent rooms here). Suite303 is quite famous, and offers everything from haircuts, styles to manis and pedis.

minx nails

Tracylee took one look at my toes and offered me several choices of Minx patterns. They looked like stickers I could purchase at the Hallmark store; most of them solid gold or silver, but others with very interesting flowery patterns that reminded me of Woodstock and A Young Person’s Guide To the Flowers of the North East, fourth edition.

minx nails

….and my toes…

I chose a leopard silver print that would make my toes look and feel sexy and feline. Fierce, I thought.

Tracy carefully put a Minx sticker over each of my toes, cut them to size and filed the tip with a crystal nail file by Essie (if you don’t have one, race to the nearest Essie.com and purchase them…they’re a recent offering, but make traditional nail files seem as old- fashioned as a the VS bra without the push up).

The stickers have to be carefully tailored and pressed under a hot lamp so wrinkles and be smoothened etc. It’s not as easy to do as it looks…in fact, Tracy told me of several botched Minx applications she had done while she was training; it took her a while to get them perfect and that’s why she’s a pro. She applies them in a way that the manis and pedis really last, so that they don’t chip.

At the end of my session, I felt like Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot….minus the blonde hair, of course. Minx nails are very satisfying and by the time I had walked half a block to the subway, an army of six or seven women had stopped and interviewed me Charlie Rose-style on where/when/how/why I had my nails done.

You’ll get your 15 minutes of fame, for sure.

Manis and pedis, $50-$65 at www.suite303.com at the Hotel Chelsea on West 23rd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues) in New York.

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