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L.A. Nail Salons Go Design Crazy

LOS ANGELES — Lil’ Kim sported nails varnished with $100 bills; New York’s Buff Spa had ladies lining up for fabric pedicures using a hacked-up Celine blouse, and even Christian Dior is offering logo’d press-on transfers at...

LOS ANGELES — Lil’ Kim sported nails varnished with $100 bills; New York’s Buff Spa had ladies lining up for fabric pedicures using a hacked-up Celine blouse, and even Christian Dior is offering logo’d press-on transfers at their boutiques this season.

Still, when it comes to the art of the flashy nail, a few innovative salons have got it hands down.

A favorite of the rock ’n’ roll set, CT Nails in West Hollywood has been dressing the tips and toes of everyone from the Osbournes and The Red Hot Chili Peppers to Shoshanna Lonstein and Leeza Gibbons. More than star power, it’s their expert airbrushing that keeps people coming back for more.

Brothers Peter and David Huynh share airbrush duties at the family-owned salon and note that many women start simply. The Shadow French mani-pedi for example, in which tips are airbrushed in color as opposed to classic white, is a recent favorite, as well as the Ombre that starts a deeper shade at the cuticle and morphs to a pure white. But the most requested styles for summer are flames (Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne), skull and cross-bones (The Chili Peppers), camouflage, animal prints, stars and designer logos (Carmen Electra chose Louis Vuitton’s LV’s). “The rock crowd,” said Peter Huynh, “tend to have all of the nails decorated, but more conservative types will do just the pointer finger or big toe. It’s still fun but a little more subtle.”

Across town in Beverly Hills, producer Lili Zanuck and jeweler Loree Rodkin are among the fans of Dusty Flemming’s technician Narine Egiazarian and her glitter nails. After giving patrons a classic manicure or pedicure in their choice of color, Egiazarian shakes a little star power — via powdered glitter — onto still-wet nails, then finishes with a glossy topcoat.

Another popular spot, revered for intricate hand-painting is Beverly Hills Nails. Manager Lisa Nguyen said summer favorites include elaborate florals, American flags and the flashy rhinestone French manicure.

Lest we forget the boys. British soccer star David Beckham (husband of Posh Spice Victoria) reportedly sent nail polish sales for men soaring after being photographed sporting a handful of perfect pink. Out on the West Coast however, the lads prefer a harder edge. Heavy metal band Crazy Town visited CT Nails before a recent photo shoot requesting black with graffiti. Musician Dave Navarro also stopped in to score a dozen LV’s to match fiancee Electra’s. When the salon was out of the traditional Vuitton brown polish, he opted instead for a black mesh-like effect created with the non-flowery section of a scrap of lace.

LOS ANGELES — Lil’ Kim sported nails varnished with $100 bills; New York’s Buff Spa had ladies lining up for fabric pedicures using a hacked-up Celine blouse, and even Christian Dior is offering logo’d press-on transfers at their boutiques this season.

Still, when it comes to the art of the flashy nail, a few innovative salons have got it hands down.

A favorite of the rock ’n’ roll set, CT Nails in West Hollywood has been dressing the tips and toes of everyone from the Osbournes and The Red Hot Chili Peppers to Shoshanna Lonstein and Leeza Gibbons. More than star power, it’s their expert airbrushing that keeps people coming back for more.

Brothers Peter and David Huynh share airbrush duties at the family-owned salon and note that many women start simply. The Shadow French mani-pedi for example, in which tips are airbrushed in color as opposed to classic white, is a recent favorite, as well as the Ombre that starts a deeper shade at the cuticle and morphs to a pure white. But the most requested styles for summer are flames (Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne), skull and cross-bones (The Chili Peppers), camouflage, animal prints, stars and designer logos (Carmen Electra chose Louis Vuitton’s LV’s). “The rock crowd,” said Peter Huynh, “tend to have all of the nails decorated, but more conservative types will do just the pointer finger or big toe. It’s still fun but a little more subtle.”

Across town in Beverly Hills, producer Lili Zanuck and jeweler Loree Rodkin are among the fans of Dusty Flemming’s technician Narine Egiazarian and her glitter nails. After giving patrons a classic manicure or pedicure in their choice of color, Egiazarian shakes a little star power — via powdered glitter — onto still-wet nails, then finishes with a glossy topcoat.

Another popular spot, revered for intricate hand-painting is Beverly Hills Nails. Manager Lisa Nguyen said summer favorites include elaborate florals, American flags and the flashy rhinestone French manicure.

Lest we forget the boys. British soccer star David Beckham (husband of Posh Spice Victoria) reportedly sent nail polish sales for men soaring after being photographed sporting a handful of perfect pink. Out on the West Coast however, the lads prefer a harder edge. Heavy metal band Crazy Town visited CT Nails before a recent photo shoot requesting black with graffiti. Musician Dave Navarro also stopped in to score a dozen LV’s to match fiancee Electra’s. When the salon was out of the traditional Vuitton brown polish, he opted instead for a black mesh-like effect created with the non-flowery section of a scrap of lace.