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Former restaurant manager—and Manolo collector—Ji Baek was constantly searching for the perfect pedicure. As a self-confessed germophobe, she couldn’t stand the lack of cleanliness at the corner nail place, while at fancy spas, the mani-pedi seemed like an afterthought. So Baek headed to beauty school, and in 1998 opened Rescue Nail Spa, a style-conscious nail house offering spa-quality treatments coupled with a hospital-grade attention to hygiene and sanitization (no razors or blades). The fashion crowd quickly followed—Vogue called her "Manhattan's chicest manicurist"—and so did expansion; the entrepreneur closed her first location to open two larger ones in 2000 and 2002. Though the menu has grown to include waxing and facials, the two salons (outfitted with plush suede banquettes and a Mediterranean color scheme, and now dubbed Beauty Lounges) still reserve a prime spot for their MVP, the mani-pedi. With services both quick (the signature manicure with in-house cuticle oil) and indulgent (the La Mer Manicure and Pedicure with—you guessed it—Crème de la Mer), bachelorettes, editors, and the occasional Wall Street gentlemen frequent the warmly lit salons. In addition to Baek's own line of nail polish, both lounges also carry stylish staples like flip-flops, jewelry, and Shu Uemura cosmetics in the front waiting area.Bridal
Ji Baek’s popular spa has private rooms that fit four—the perfect hideaway for friends to indulge in manicures (from $30) and pedicures (from $50). It also offers bikini waxes (from $40).
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.