Pampering yourself doesn’t come much better than a sleek set of nails. A touch of sparkle and a pop of colour on your tips is the perfect way to add a touch of cheer to your outfit, or to your day. From hidden nail bars to world-class home salons, Aucklanders are so very lucky to have a fabulous selection of nail artists and salons at our very (well-manicured) fingertips.
Whether your cuticles are in serious need of a spruce up, or you fancy treating yourself to a touch of glamour—here's where you can make your mani-pedi dreams come true.
So in no particular order, let's take a tour of the best nail salons in Auckland.
Wander into this sleek Grey Lynn grooming spot and head downstairs to Society's hidden nail area for one of Auckland’s best—and most retreat-like—manicures. Decked out in industrial chic-meets-cosy-coastal decor, you’ll find both a manicure bar and a couple of pedicure loungers, perfect for a double pedi date. There are stunning gel and regular polish tones to choose from, and we hear the therapists paint a seriously chic tortoiseshell pattern. With a full-service array of hair and beauty treatments at your literally, well-polished, fingertips—there’s everything you need to settle in, sip your artisanal tea, and make a full day out of the pampering.
Auckland CBD’s most hidden nail bar also happens to be one of the best in the city. Up above the bustle, just off Queen Street, is where you’ll find this haven of all things kawaii. Hana Nail is all about the more is more approach, and we’re here for it—just like the team is here for cutesy 3D decals and plushies to adorn your talons, alongside statement bling, confetti glitter and playful 3D piping. As for the nail art, you’ll be treated to exquisite painting that covers everything from marbling to fades, character portraits to cutesy designs. See, the Hana Nail duo really do it all.
With a killer selection of colours—displayed in a neon wall statement—Dune Nails is easily one of Auckland’s best destinations for a sleek, bright and bold nail look. More of a natural tone lover? You’ll find neutral selections aplenty here too—no more having to choose from the corner of the gel builder book. Of course, we can’t go past the myriad of other incredible looks an appointment with Tabitha will set you up with: chrome and dew 3D droplets, intricate hand-painted designs (anime characters are a solid favourite), and beautifully almond-shaped extensions, that are long and elegant enough to make a Disney villainess swoon.
The Studio by East Day Spa
Award-winning East Day Spa is keeping up its lucky streak with another luxurious beauty offering. This time, it’s a slice of paradise devoted entirely to nails. Nestled away in the glimmering lobby of the Sky City Grand Hotel, The Studio by East Day Spa is one of Auckland’s lesser-known inner-city nail bars. In keeping with its big sister spa’s legacy, guests are treated to a glamorously Zen space to unwind in, world-class treatments, and superb service—with cups of herbal tea here and there. Their signature mani-pedi treatments offer everything from a 15-minute file and paint, right through to 75-minute nail rituals. Better yet, you can grab a glass of wine from Gusto at The Grand next door to sip away on for the ultimate in manicure indulgence.
The Nail Story
Every kind of nail service can be found at this salon tucked away in Victoria Park markets, however, the shining jewel in The Nail Story's crown is the European, aka Russian-style manicure. Much like a jewel, this type of manicure is hard to find in Auckland—but when stumbled upon, spoils you with the most polished, robust and luxurious results. It’s a more intensive and precise take on your deluxe mani: where the cuticles get expertly shaped, dead skin cells are thoroughly dealt with, and your nail strength is gently built up over time—not to mention, it runs circles around the lifespan of any other gel application. Oh, and preening-focused busy folk will love the option to get your mani-pedi done at the very same time. Minimal time and maximum glam, how’s that for premium preening?
The Beauty Merchants
As the little sister beauty bar of hairdressing hotspot Frenchie + co, you can be sure that The Beauty Merchant is one of the very best places to get your nails done in Auckland. Stepping inside this oh-so-pretty pink and white studio will make you feel like you’re in a marshmallow-hued beauty dream—and, of course, have you leaving with a sweet set of nails. The nail services on offer at this salon are short and sweet, focusing on classic shellac services. A shellac manicure here will see your nails filed, buffed, moisturised and painted to perfection, as will their pedicure, which also includes a relaxing foot massage. With waxing, massages, lash and brow treatments also on the menu here, consider The Beauty Merchants a one-stop for all your primping and pampering needs.
Nails By Brooke Hunter
Olio Studio, Newmarket
Dopamine dressing? More like dopamine manicures with Nails By Brooke Hunter on the scene. Colour and pattern reign supreme in Brooke’s world, there’s no such thing as a boring manicure. But don’t take our gushing words for it, hop on Instagram and have a peep at the psychedelic, swirly, checkerboard, rainbow french-tipped, cherry, smiley and flame-filled designs she expertly churns out. You’ll find Brooke inside Newmarket’s freelancer beauty commune, Olio Studio.
Adding to East Auckland’s incredible destinations for the best manicures is Savage Nails. Here, your bold, fabulous and downright extravagant alter ego can come alive at your very fingertips. Seriously, everything from intricate nail art to full-on metallics, rhinestone-encrusted creations to glitter galore. It’s not just beautiful gel works of art that Natalie churns out here; monumental sculpted acrylic extensions, killer points embellishments and 3D creations are all fabulously a go here.
Luxe Spa at The Pullman
In what world can a manicure also grant you entry into one of the most sumptuous and vast wellness experiences? A spa mani or pedi at Pullman’s Luxe Spa, that’s what. The experience is really in the name: a 60-minute nail appointment here grants you full pre and post-treatment access to their indoor pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and wellness facilities. That’s not the only luxurious thing about the experience: your hands and/or feet will be treated to one of the most thorough rejuvenating treatments there is by top-of-the-game beauty therapists, and finished off with a touch of polish.
Fitted with plush peachy-pink, black and gold décor, Inco Studio is the perfect place in Auckland to treat your nails (and eyes) to a little TLC. If that TLC goes a bit beyond a quick lick of varnish, their re-balance manicure—designed to restore the health, structure and look of your nail—is where you want to look. As for their gel polish manicures, they’ve got everything from classic manis and pedis right through to four tiers of nail art: basic, simple, detailed and intricate, as well as BIAB hard gel extensions. Plus, there’s even a free from toxins polish manicure on the cards for something a little more natural, without skimping on the chic.
As the name might suggest, Petal Boutique is home to some of the most impossibly pretty manicures known to Auckland. Take a seat in the corner nail bar and settle in as Hailey works fun, feminine magic atop your nails. There’s intricate hand-painted nail art like snowflakes to all kinds of florals, sparkles, strawberries and even seasonal doodles to tickle your fancy, alongside glitters, sheens and sparkles galore. One thing's for sure, you’ll walk out glowing all over—even if it’s just your nails that have seen some TLC.
The Nail Studio
Treating yourself to a well-deserved manicure is always a feel-good moment. It’s even better when the polish (and every product) on your fingers is 100% cruelty-free. Enter The Nail Studio: a nail haven dedicated to caring for nails holistically. Here you won’t find just any nail products being used. From the hand lotion to the nail varnish, owner Mardi Smith has handpicked a range of top-of-the-line products that are completely vegan and free from chemical nasties. As well as classic shellac and polish applications, you’ll find rebalancing rituals to structurally support your nails and natural colour enhancements on the treatment list. As for the toes, a Deluxe Spa Pedicure is the ultimate treat—complete with Lalicious bubble bath to soften, whipped sugar scrub to exfoliate and ultra-hydrating body butter foot and leg massage.
You haven’t seen nail art until you’ve seen Tanya Barlow of Hello Tanya's nail art. As the queen of the local nail art scene, her home studio is one of the best places to get your nails done in Auckland if you want claws that scream coolness and creativity. Pet portraits, cartoon characters, tiny food paintings—you name it, she’s hand-painted it. Not afraid to shy away from creative nail art requests, Tanya’s all about working her magic to create a set of claws that are truly unique to each client—using all sorts of fun colours, chromes, glitters, decals and accents as she goes. Not only can you trust her to just doll up your hands, but she’s also a qualified hair and makeup artist with more than 10 years under her belt.
Nails by Chubs
Home Salon, New Lynn
The chances are, fellow manicure enthusiast, that you’ve stumbled upon and fawned over the intricate, Asian-style nails that have been taking over Instagram. You know the ones; a different style on each tip, a touch of texture, 3D moments, soft gel and all bound together in a curated colour scheme—oh, and ever-so-pretty. At New Lynn’s Nails by Chubs you’ll find exactly this. Her Kawaii style features everything from pretty bows and 3d acrylic characters through to pops of metallic embellishments and of course, the skillfully painted gel to top it all off. Trust us when we say that even the most pared-back nail lovers will be converted by nail artist Carmen’s designs.
Home Salon, North Harbour
We all know and love K-beauty, so let us introduce you to its nail-centric counterpart: Korean-style nails. Each and every style and taste can be indulged, K-nail style, at Calla Nail. Opt for your classic favourites or branch out with jelly nails, endless glitter gel blends, mermaid powder, holographics and impossibly fine glitter. Your nails are a blank canvas, after all, and Calla Nail’s Mandy is nothing short of an extra artist.
The Nail Lounge
Another of Auckland’s best manicures can be found in the chic little nail studio that is The Nail Lounge. Hidden away in ‘The Salon’ Queen Street in Queen’s Arcade, this sumptuous little space is where serious nail magic happens. This nail bar is an urban retreat for city-dwellers (who are lucky enough to score an appointment) who need a splash of glamour thrown in to their nine-to-five grind. From a classic manicure to more elaborate nail art, every moment spent at the hands of nail guru Debbie Walsh and her 30-plus years of experience is sure to leave you with impossibly pretty nails.
Not only is this boutique beauty destination one of the most coveted spots to get a fresh tan or eyebrow spruce up, but Verdo is also one of the best places in Auckland to get your nails done. If you’re short on time, their 30-minute mini-manicure is the perfect glam-on-the-go option. If you fancy splashing out a tad more, their 60-minute Deluxe Spa Manicure—complete with a coconut sugar scrub, paraffin wax treatment and an arm and hand massage—is utter bliss for both your claws and paws. Lads treatments aren’t left off the menu either as Verdo offers a short and sweet men’s manicure, with a cuticle cut, shape and tidy.
Extend your pamper sesh with a visit to one of Auckland's best day spas.
Image credit: Dune Nails, Society, Dune Nails, The Nail Story, Nails By Brooke Hunter, Inco Studio, The Nail Studio, Calla Nail.