Times Square. The Statue of Liberty. Central Park. Sure, you can visit the typical tourist destinations in NYC. But as a Salon Fanatic, you must venture a little off the beaten path to see the newest hotspot in The Big Apple: Vanity Projects, a nail art salon and video art gallery all in one.
Not living in New York myself, I did the next best thing. I went to one of the salon’s pop-up locations in Los Angeles. On Saturday night at International Art Objects Galleries in West L.A., I got to meet the art-curator-turned-salon-fanatic who started the whole thing, Rita Pinto (on the right, with me, in the photo). “I got to do events on both the East and West Coasts for International Nail Art Day,” effused Pinto. (International Nail Art Day, for those of you who are wondering, was a stroke of brilliance by another NYC tech, whose idea went viral. The day was August 3, and let’s all cross our well-manicured fingers that it takes place again next year!). On the East Coast, Vanity Projects official salon (at 99 Chystie St., 2F, New York 10002) did brisk business, while on the West Coast, devotees like myself waited in lines to get our nails done by some of the nail art industry’s best.
“Let’s have them battle each other,” Pinto said, when I told her I didn’t know which tech I wanted to deck out my digits. Don’t worry; there are no casualties in these beautiful skirmishes. Britney Tokyo (shown above) and Nail Swag complimented each other’s work as they each did five fingers on my hands. (Britney’s nails are the ones with the purple base; Nail Swag’s are the minty ones.)
I suppose it is fitting that my first in-person experience with Vanity Projects was at a roving nail party. That was how the brand started, after all. Pinto has been hosting these pop-ups since 2010, well before she had a permanent salon space. “It has been interesting to note how open women become in this setting, and I hope to encourage a dialogue within my client base so we can connect and exchange ideas and resources organically,” Pinto said.
Pinto showed me photos of her minimalistic NYC space while we were chatting. It is just my style, and I’ll be making a stop there on my next visit to the Empire City. I encourage you to pop in as well.
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