Million $$$ Mani


Wednesdays are reserved for adventures.

Last week, I sat myself down and said “Paige, get it effing together”. Classes hadn’t even started yet and I was already a mess. My eyebrows were on another level of bad, my nails were far from presentable, and my laundry (all 15 pounds) was just sitting there. Good thing I had absolutely no time to do any of the above. *Insert smiling-whilst-crying-emoji here*. I decided it was time to start rectifying my very petty problems.

When Chris and I shot Crosby St. for our very first #StreetXStreet article, I took note of Paintbox’s nail design studio. I recognized the name because it was basically Lo’s home away from home and her go-to nail salon. I was in dire need of “me time” so I went to and booked myself a mani. Snatching the last remaining time slot, I booked an appointment for the day of which also happened to be the only hour I was free. Meant to be right? I thought so too.


Walking into Paintbox, I felt like a more refined, expensive version of myself. I ordered green tea from the woman who sat me in the waiting area because I like to think that that’s what people who have their life together drink. The same lady proceeded to hand me a nail look book from which I took half an hour to pick a design. I’m indecisive like that, but whatever.

Paintbox doesn’t do just colours, they do full blown looks. Every season, they curate a set of nail designs that are based on current trends in the fashion industry. I eventually settled on a blush colour with a vertical line of gold confetti dots.


As I sat sipping my green tea gazing at the orchid on the table, I was so effing zen. I was also snapping pictures of the set-up, trying to get the right angle. The woman next to me thought I was real funny. I explained to her that I was writing an article and swore that I was not Instagram-obsessed. I mean, I am but she doesn’t need to know that.

Guess who I ran into while there! Lo and her mama! It was such a fun surprise and her mom was the sweetest ever.

The manicure itself was honestly insane. As I watched my manicurist cut the shit out of my cuticles, I was mildly terrified but also extremely pleased with how prim and proper they looked in the end. She clearly had skill…and, very high-end tools. 

Anyone who’s ever gotten their nails done with me knows that it takes me a solid four minutes to describe how I like my nails shaped,”Not round, but not square, but also not pointy, kinda in between all of that.” I later learned the name for my absurd description is “almond”. So, to every manicurist in Montreal where I grew up, I sincerely apologize for taking up those four extra minutes of your day every week.

After shaping and prepping my nails with a base coat, she applied the colour to see if it was up to par. I obviously loved it and gave her the go ahead. When it came time to place the gold dots, she took the teeny-tiniest toothpick I’ve ever seen and, with an insane amount of concentration, placed them in an impeccably straight line. Magic.


I could not have been more pleased with my nails at the end. My nails were too short to be truly almond shaped so I settled for round this time, but still, they were honest-to-God perfection. While the price is steep, it is well worth it if you’re a nail art type of gal. I’m typically not, but felt it was appropriate for the occasion. Next time, and there definitely will be a next time, I’ll go for a regular manicure. The atmosphere alone was divine.


Thank you, Paintbox, for making me feel slightly more put together. Until next time!

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