Day in the Life: Eleanor Langston, Paintbox Founder

By  June 05, 2014

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It’s just one of those little quirks of the industry: Beauty editors might not always have on a full face of makeup, but they are never, ever caught without the perfect manicure. So it only makes sense that the latest (and greatest, honestly) nail studio to open in New York is helmed by a veteran beauty journalist. Eleanor Langston spent almost a decade at magazines including Cosmopolitan, SELF, and Fitness before launching Paintbox, a salon that seeks to elevate the entire manicure experience, from providing seasonally edited look books, to a bar stocked with champagne and coffee, to iPhone charging docks at every station, to the actual nail art being created. GLAM caught up with Langston at the sophisticated Crosby Street spot to get the lowdown on what her day looks like in her newest role: CEO.
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7:00 AM: Rise and shine! We have a 19-month-old son named Miles, and he usually wakes up every morning between 6:30-7:30 AM. Today, he woke up at six but luckily my husband Brad got up with him. They bonded by going to get smoothies, coffee, and then brought in my WWD newspaper when they came in to wake me up. It’s our little routine, and it’s the best thing in the world to see a smiling happy baby rounding the corner bringing you your morning paper in bed. (Although, he immediately says “Mama Up”!)
7:30 AM: Say goodbye to Brad. Make my son’s lunch, make myself into a semi-presentable state for nursery school drop-off, and get the dog [French bulldog, Elvis] fed.
8:45 AM: Drop off Miles at his nursery school. Some days he cries but today he blew me a kiss and waved bye (always a good feeling).
9:00 AM: Run back home to finish my beauty routine and put on makeup and style my hair for work. Elvis wants to play but no time.
9:45 AM: Jump in a cab and head to Paintbox! Meet with Lindsey, our studio manager, to go over scheduling and staffing for the day and chat about the details of our upcoming neighborhood party. We’re having hotel concierges and nearby store managers pop by for manicures, so we are figuring out those logistics.
10:30 AM: Meet with Julie Kandalec, our creative director, to go over our plan for recruiting more manicurists and our calendar for finalizing the nail art designs that will be in our fall lookbook. Julie has had a three-day shoot for Cosmopolitan this week, so it was great to reconnect and catch up.

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12:00 PM: Pop by The Smile To-Go on Howard Street (my home away from home when at Paintbox) for an iced coffee and light lunch. I ordered two side salads—one kale and the other a bow-tie pasta with walnut pesto. Delicious!

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1:30 PM: Back at Paintbox, Julie and I want to test out some new looks and experiment with fun color combinations. Saroya, one of talented manicurists, had a break in her schedule, so she practiced these color combos on my nails—a lucky perk of owning a nail studio! I love being in our manicure hall to observe client relations, and I’m always incredibly impressed with the artists’ talent. I’m continually blown away by their work!
2:30 PM: Run back to my Tribeca apartment to change quickly and pick up my stroller. I need to be in comfy clothes for hanging out with an energetic, full-of-fun toddler.
3:30 PM: Meet my friend Grace and her daughter Olivia at NY Kids Club in Tribeca for a music class. Quite a juxtaposition to go from brainstorming creative nail takes on fall runway looks to suddenly singing “Old Macdonald.” Miles has a blast though and is high-fiving everyone by the end of class.
4:30 PM: Back at home to play more with Miles while also calling the studio to check in about the day. Lindsey says everything is going really well and the girls are loving our Photo Box for their post-mani photo snap. I quickly check our Dropbox to see all of the nail looks from our Photo Box. I pick the “Mani of the Day” which I send out to all of the manicurists daily. Today’s winner was manicurist Julie Ventura’s perfectly executed Paint Ball in bright red.
5:30-7:00 PM: Dinner, bath, and finally bedtime for Miles. Right after I put him into the crib, our babysitter rings the doorbell, and I’m out the door within five minutes.
7:30 PM: Take an Uber to the Mondrian Hotel to meet up with Brad as well as Shira and Stephanie of Figure NY. They asked to take us out to drinks as a congrats on our launch! They were instrumental in our branding process, so it was super fun to catch up with them. We all got very nostalgic about how a year ago we had our first meeting, and now we have a fully-operating storefront on Crosby Street. They introduced us to many key people throughout the process (our graphic designer, marketing manager, web developers, architects, and photographers), so they were very eager to hear about the opening. We shared a couple of flatbread pizzas and had a few glasses of yummy Malbec.

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9:15 PM: Brad and I go to Paintbox (only two doors over from the Mondrian!) to help close the store. A couple clients were still there, so we had a great time complimenting their manicures, showing them the Photo Box, and getting to know them a bit better. It’s so rewarding seeing clients leave happier and with more confidence than when they first walked in the door—it’s my favorite part of the experience!
9:45 PM: We have an impromptu meeting with Julie and Christina Quercia, our assistant managers. We chat about products we need refills of, topics for the Paintbox blog, and a couple pending press requests. It’s really hard to have meetings during the day because all of the girls are back-to-back with clients. Our impromptu meeting was a great way to boost productivity!
10:45 PM: Brad and I head home and relieve our babysitter.
11:00 PM: We both catch up on emails, watch a tiny bit of Jimmy Fallon and The Soup, and then go to bed around midnight. Long day!