Laqué Opens Nail Bar in Beverly Hills

<p>Me (left) and NTNA Top 9 competitor April Ryan.</p>

Laqué Nail Bar is a salon of mythical proportions. With nearly 2 million Instagram followers thanks to a celebrity clientele and unmistakable décor (black, white, and yellow accents) this nail bar is as much of a tourist destination as other Hollywood landmarks. Recently, Laqué opened its second location in Beverly Hills and NAILS had to check it out. Adding to the allure of the Beverly Hills location was the fact that Laqué had hired season 3 NTNA Top 9 competitor April Ryan. Eager to meet someone whose work everyone at NAILS admires, I made an appointment to get some Halloween nails to die for.

 <p>Laque's cool exterior</p>

Laqué, though popular, does accommodate walk-in clients. I made an appointment to be safe and was pleasantly surprised by how low-key the salon was on a Tuesday afternoon. There’s no missing Laqué from the outside, as yellow polish bottles dot a chrome wall. On Robertson Blvd. alone I counted five other nail places, but this one definitely makes the most use of color in its design. The space inside is huge, complete with brick and signature yellow accents. The blinged out white furniture also rang familiar from social media as did the enormous polish wall. Laqué virtually carries every polish line from professional to boutique, even sporting high-end gems consumers who love luxury look for, like Louboutin Beaute and Marc Jacobs. The salon is known for extensions, but I opted to keep my nails short and natural. Guests are offered complimentary beverages (including champagne or a mimosa) while a nail tech gets to work. This location employs 14 techs so far but is looking to add more to meet Laqué’s high demand. Hair services and brow threading can also be found at Laqué Beverly Hills.

 <p>Just one of Laque's polish walls. This one holds the likes of Marc Jacobs, Dior, Azature, and Louboutin Beaute.</p>

Watching April work up-close was one of the highlights of the Laqué experience. Judging NTNA involves watching a lot of video and step-by-step tutorials, but watching someone hand paint Casper and the Ghostbusters logo in-person is a whole different experience. Had I not seen April do the work myself I may have thought the finished results were decals. In total, April used CND Shellac, stamps with Konad polish, Swarovski crystals, Essie gel-polish, and gel paint (including some from Ryan’s native Russia)  to complete these intricate Halloween nails. Even though they are for a specific holiday, I actually won’t be removing them come November 1. Nails this good deserve to be worn out as long as possible.

 

On my way out I got an understanding of why Laqué’s social media is successful. Clients are stopped at checkout to get pictures taken of their nails for posting. The cashier then refers to the photo and the tech’s ticket to price out the set. In fact, while April was hand-drawing Casper, a Laqué employee snapped the process for their ever-growing Snapchat audience. While finished looks are a no-brainer for posting to social media, salons should take note that the nail art process as well as contests and salon events (like Laque’s Spectre event the night before) are extras that will keep social media coverage on the cutting edge.

 

By the time I walked out the door I was already dreaming of going back. Laqué offers a true luxury experience in a place where you would expect it most — Beverly Hills, Calif. With a staff that can make any nail art dream a reality and an endless list of accoutrements (large screen TVs playing music videos, a beverage bar, a hashtagged lit-up sign), Laqué is a number of photo opps waiting to happen. The social media appeal plus the celebrity-style treatment is what keeps clients coming back to get laqued.

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