Nails of New York: Diana Yen

We interviewed (and sat down for lunch with) Diana Yen, Paintbox regular and owner of multi-disciplinary food styling and cooking studio The Jewels of New York. As always, we asked:

Why do you paint your nails?

I always feel more put together when I have painted nails–it’s especially nice when I have a meeting with a client. I don’t wear very much jewelry. Because I work with my hands, accessories can get in the way. The nice thing about having a manicure is that I’m really mobile and still feel blinged out.

Do you have a go-to color, or favorite Paintbox manicure?

My friend gave me a bottle of Chanel Peridot, and I got really hooked on it. I love how the color changes from gold to a beautiful greenish color–it reminds me of beetle wings. I had actually been doing my own nails for years until I became a Paintbox regular, so being pampered is very exciting for me. I’ve also become a gel convert. It’s incredible how gel stands up against the wear and tear I put it through in the kitchen.

Diana wrote, styled, and photographed her new cookbook, A Simple Feast.

Diana's Bermuda Triangle gel mani atop her copper desk, discovered and purchased at Brimfield.

Diana's collection of plates and styling props and her angora rabbit, Miss Cleo (with her very own salad).

Diana's gel nails stand up to daily wear and tear in the kitchen.

Where do you find inspiration?

I’m always inspired by visiting farmer’s markets, especially while traveling in other countries. My favorite thing to do is to rent out a little apartment with a kitchen, visit all the local markets, cook with the best produce, and experiment with interesting spices. Luckily living in New York gives me access to every kind of cuisine and visiting shops like Sahadi’s, Kalustyans, Eataly, and shopping in Chinatown gives me my fix when I’m here.

Fresh herbs for a sweet and savory pizza.

Read more about Diana and The Jewels of New York here and bring The Jewels into your own kitchen with Diana’s recently published cookbook, available here.

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