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Fashion at your fingertips: Paint'd nail studio

Fabiola Divins and Aimee Sedky open a studio on Magazine Street

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Fabiola Divins and Aimee Sedky joke that they had zero experience in the nail industry before opening Paint'd (1581 Magazine St., 504-309-2311; www.paint-d.com) in May. It's true, but the success of their nail salon belies that fact.  Both women began their fashion journey in men's accessories. During a casual yet fateful conversation last October, they decided to go into business together.  "We're really excited to dive on in to all things girly," Sedky says.  Sedky's time in New York City after college exposed her to nearly every fashion industry spinoff, including manicure-only boutique salons. You won't find acrylic or gel nails at Paint'd — only hand-painted, natural nails are on the menu.  "We don't want the space to feel like a nail salon," Sedky says. "We want you to come in and feel more like you're hanging out at a cool bar and lounge."  Upon entering, clients are escorted to a consultation area to select a nail design and colors. Customers are offered a drink and shown to the tables, where technicians give hour-long, waterless manicures with products that are vegan and cruelty free (such as New Orleans' own Mini Native polish) and free of most of the harmful chemicals present in lacquers and polish removers.  Style capsules such as "Rose All Day" (metallic-accented warm blush tones) and "Black & Gold" (a "hand"-some way to show you belong to the Who Dat Nation) balance national trends with themes and color schemes dear to every New Orleanian's heart. The "Foxy Lady" seasonal capsule premieres this month, inspired by fall colors and the fashion and pop culture trends of the 1970s. Paint'd also offers holiday and bridal collections, and the salon can be booked for parties (for which clients can create custom designs).  "I love how when people come here, they come together — it's an experience, like a mom and daughter, or two best friends or two sisters," Divins says. "They set aside a special time together and they choose to have it here."

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