Nail artists Maddie Wheeless-Hoff (left) and Sarah Kane (right) were gracious hosts for my friend Alison Ewing (second from left) and me.

Nail artists Maddie Wheeless-Hoff (left) and Sarah Kane (right) were gracious hosts for my friend Alison Ewing (second from left) and me.

Opened in December 2012, Sugarcoat Nails places its focus on natural nail care. Owners Sanaz Khanbolooki and Rebecca Farrah both have a healthcare background so they’re sticklers for is cleanliness and sanitation.

Services offered at the salon follow the sweet candy theme and include the Sugarcoat Signature Mani/Pedi (with the salon’s signature vanilla and brown sugar scent), Sugarcoat Sugar-Free Mani/Pedi (using lemongrass and lavender-scented products for those looking for a less sweet sensory experience), Hard Candy Mani/Pedi (gel-polish service using CND Shellac), Sugar Rush Mani/Pedi (quick polish changes), Sugardaddy Mani/Pedi (for men), Sugarbaby Mani/Pedi (for little ones), and several specialty pedicures.

The salon is spacious and clean with a great accent wall in the back.

The salon is spacious and clean with a great accent wall in the back.

I first happened upon new nail tech Sarah Kane when NAILS was doing a story about nail art bloggers who had gotten their licenses and turned their hobbies into careers. Once I found out she was in Austin, where I spend the holidays, I booked an appointment for myself and my friend Alison. Kane and fellow nail tech Maddie Wheeless-Hoff worked their nail art magic on our fingers with a combination of CND Shellac, acrylic paints, glitter, and gold leafing. Kane, who got her license just a few months earlier in October, started interning at Sugarcoat last July when she was still a nail student.

The nails-only salon also has a great retail area upfront in the reception area, selling cards, candles, jewelry and other boutique items.

The nails-only salon also has a great retail area upfront in the reception area, selling cards, candles, jewelry and other boutique items.

The salon, which is equipped with eight pedi chairs and six mani stations, caters mostly to professional women in the downtown area of Texas’ capital. There aren’t many nails-only options in the area and Sugarcoat has a lower price point than spas. There are 8 nail techs who are trained to perform all of the salon’s services. About 10% of Sugarcoat’s clients opt for nail art, and both Kane (@atxlacquerista) and Wheeless-Hoff (@maddie512) are active on Instagram posting pictures of their creations to showcase their work.  

Nail art is displayed on tips and in albums for clients to peruse. Nail art starts at $10 over the service price depending on how detailed it gets.

Nail art is displayed on tips and in albums for clients to peruse. Nail art starts at $10 over the service price depending on how detailed it gets.

I love these canvasses where clients can sample the different polish colors. After the canvas is full, it’s displayed around the salon as art.

I love these canvasses where clients can sample the different polish colors. After the canvas is full, it’s displayed around the salon as art.

You can check out Sugarcoat online at www.sugarcoatnails.com.