Olivia Thirlby’s Quest for the Ugly-Cool Manicure

Photo: Getty Images

Remember Ellen Page's blue slushie—slurping partner in crime from Juno? Olivia Thirlby played a cheerleader in that role, but in real life she’s more like a Juno: intelligent, smart-ass, and prone to dressing as if she’s a 17-year-old high-school outcast. Jada Yuan met up with Thirlby for New York’s Summer Issue (she’s promoting The Wackness, an awesome comedy about pot, hip-hop, and psychotherapy that comes out July 3), and loved Thirlby's mustard-yellow manicure. Alas, the actress got it done in Seattle, and she noted how impossible it was to get fun colors painted around here. “I actually have been fantasizing about getting my nails painted yellow, but the place that I go has, like, the shittiest selection,” she said. “But I’m trapped going there because I have this little card. If you get ten manicures there, you get one free, and it’s my goal to get a free manicure. I’m hell-bent on doing it. So I end up just going and getting, like, pink. I can’t get the manicure of my dreams!” Other colors that interest her? Boston-lettuce green and a French manicure in pale blue with white tips. Well, the Cut is here to help. We compiled a list of five nail salons that stock a few “tacky-cool” colors. Olivia, consider your dream fulfilled.

Top row: Yellow Fever, Purple Haze, Concrete Jungle by Rescue Beauty Lounge; Hey! Get in Lime! By O.P.I. Bottom Row: Solar Power by China Glaze, Parrot Green by Color Club, Shooting Star and Eggshell Robin by Dashing Diva.Photo: Courtesy Rescue Beauty Lounge; OPI.com; China Glaze/Color Club from Head2ToeBeauty.com; Dashing Diva


Valley NYC

48 Orchard St., nr. Hester St. (212-274-8985); Tues.–Sat. (noon–7), Sun. (noon–6), Mon. (closed)

Price for manicure: $22


Ask for: Valley’s a one-stop shop for apparel, waxing, and smoothies, but they’re known for their nail art. If you want to tone it down to one color, stop in for a mani and ask for Solar Power, the mustard shade by China Glaze.

Jeniette New York Day Spa
58 E. 13th St., nr. Broadway (212-529-1616); Mon.–Fri. (10–8), Sat. (10–7), Sun. (noon–7)
Price for manicure: $11; Buy the bottle: $7.50
Ask for: O.P.I.’s “Hey! Get in Lime!” shade from the Brights Collection satisfies your need for green.

Rescue Beauty Lounge
34 Gansevoort St., nr. Hudson St. (212-206-6409); Tues.–Fri. (11–8), Sat–Sun (10–6), Mon (closed)
Price for manicure: $30; Buy the bottle: $18
Ask for: You can count on Ji Baek of Rescue Beauty Lounge to create wacky colors you’ll love, like Yellow Fever, a lemon-y shade. Or, for a twist on pastels, try Purple Haze, a pastel violet hue, and Concrete Jungle, a soft gray.

Just Calm Down
32 W. 22nd St., nr. Fifth Ave. (212-337-0032); Mon.–Wed. (11–8), Thurs.–Fri. (noon–9), Sat. (10:30–6), Sun. (11–6)
Price for manicure: Starting at $25
Ask for: Tara Oolie’s salon features cool themed manicures like Wisteria Lane and the Grape Gatsby, but for the basic mani, try Parrot Green, their bright-emerald gemstone color by Color Club.

Dashing Diva
Click above to see its seven city locations.
Price for manicure: $15; Buy the bottle: $8
Ask for: Even though you’ll be surrounded by Dashing Diva’s overwhelming bubble gum—pink decorations, don’t overlook their great selection of pale blues. Try Shooting Star, a soft pastel shade, or Eggshell Robin, a deeper aquamarine hue. Mix with white tips for a modern French manicure. —Jada Yuan and Sharon Clott

Related: Olivia Thirlby Spurns Pot, Embraces the Munchies [NYM]