Best of Boston

2009 Best Manicure

Val Chiaradia, The Loft Salon and Day Spa

Perched in an uncomfortable chair, your hands bound (inevitably, an itch) while a stranger picks at your cuticles, you cant help but wonder: Is a speedy, painless, and long-lasting manicure out of the question? Not when youre sitting across from the Lofts Chiaradia, who narrowly bested Jeanne Lee (formerly of Salon Trio, she almost had us with that add-on reflexology treatment). Chiaradias polish work was flawless and superquick, and didnt chip for nearly a week. Hate small talk? Youll appreciate the option to catch up on your E! podcast of Speidi and Glambert gossip as she overhauls your nails in silence.

207 Newbury St., Boston, 617-536-5638,