I’m a woman who usually likes to save money on self care.
Every other weekend I take an hour or so to break out my Essie polish, nail file, and q-tips and I give myself an at home D.I.Y manicure. It usually turns out pretty cute! The left hand usually turns out better than the right, and there’s always a smudge or two, but I love giving myself a manicure because it forces me to be mindful and patient. As someone who has a hard time sitting still, this is important quality time for me.
However, this week after watching the reality show Teyana & Iman that is centered around the life of Teyana Taylor and her family, I decided to drop some dollars at the singer’s new nail salon in Harlem. It’s a train stop away from where I live and I’m always down to support black owned businesses.
I walked into JunieBee Nails, located between 137th and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.
If you’re like me and born before 1988 then salon will give you a blast of nostalgia. It’s 90’s themed complete with wall graffiti, old issues of Vibe magazine, and a staff that look like they came straight out of an SWV video. And while I get it, the 90’s were a fun time for most of us and it was an era that evokes Black creativity and coolness, I think the salon takes the whole 90’s thing too literally. After an hour I did get a little tired of listening to the Jodeci Pandora station. 90’s overkill aside, my experience at Junie Bee Nails was great.
I had a woman named Coca as my manicurist. I explained to her that I don’t usually get a full set and that I usually pretty mild sauce when it comes to my nails, but she helped me pick a nice neon green that complimented my skin tone and helped me break out of my conservative nail aesthetic. As she did my nails, Coca told me about how she had been doing nails for 15 years before partnering with Teyana to open this nail shop. You can understand how she then shocked the shit out of me by telling me that she is currently only 21! At 21, I was praying I had enough credits to finish college and hiding my leftovers from roommates. This chick has a full blown career and a business. I mean, fuck my work ethic, right?
Junie Bee Nails has a very laid back, chill environment.
Every nail tech is your homegirl and just wants you to leave looking flyer than when you came in. As I sat getting my nails done, the conversations around me covered everything from Astrology signs that ain’t shit to Cardi B.’s pregnancy. I felt more relaxed that I’d ever felt getting my nails done and it was very much a young, hip, Black beauty salon in every way.
All in all, I love the way my nails turned out. I will definitely go back to Junie Bee Nails and I highly recommend you check it out if you’re in the area. You can see more of their nail portfolio on their Insta page or their website, JunieBeeNailz.com