If I'm in a rush or just need a quick and convenient polish before a shoot, I'll pop in pretty much anywhere but I just ask that they don't cut my cuticles. Cuticle oil and pushing back the cuticles will do the trick 99% of the time. I really only ever get my cuticles cut when I'm with a manicurist I completely trust and there is actually something to cut off - I find that people love to cut into cuticles that really don't need to be cut.
Anyways, as for my actual recommendations, here are a few of my favorite (and hand model approved!) nail salons:
For a basic manicure and an amazing spa pedicure - Polaris (20 E. 22nd St.)
Polaris is great for standard manicures; they are really careful and make sure your nails look perfect. They take their time and the end result is always consistently good. They have a solid assortment of colors to choose from and their polishes don't chip off right away. If you want to treat yourself to a great pedicure, I highly recommend their spa pedicure!
I have had the pleasure of working with Jin Soon on various hand shoots, not to mention for her own line of nail polishes, so it was fun for me to check out her salon. I have long been a fan of her polishes - from the packaging to the formula, it truly is great polish!
Her salon is equally nice. I love the milk and honey hand and foot treatment. Complimented with your choice of essential oil, the milk and honey treatment is ultra hydrating and relaxing. There is wide selection of designer polishes and Jin Soon's namesake polishes to choose from. As I said, I am a huge fan of Jin Soon's polish, I love the colors and that it last so long!
Pro tip: make sure you get the citrus tea, its so delicious!
Paintbox is a curated nail art salon in SoHo that does exclusively manicures. I have also had the pleasure of working with the Paintbox team as a hand model so I have personally tried a variety of their nail art looks - I'm partial to anything with negative space but they offer seasonal looks so there is always something new to try! I really appreciate the quality products that they use like the Deborah Lippmann cuticle cream. The paintbox salon itself is just a lovely place to be in, they offer great coffee or prosecco to make your experience even better and the staff are some of the nicest people in New York! It's a great experience and the paintbox mani cam is the perfect way to take a "nailfie" after your manicure!