On The Road: Sugarcoat Nails

Located just a few blocks from the capitol building in Austin, Texas, this chic nail salon specializes in manicures and pedicures with a dash of nail art thrown in.

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

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.

<p>The salon is spacious and clean with a great accent wall in the back.</p>

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.

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

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.  

<p>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.</p>

<p>I love these canvasses where clients can sample the different polish colors. After the canvas is full, it&rsquo;s displayed around the salon as art.</p>

You can check out Sugarcoat online at

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