The Nail Artists We’re Currently Stalking on Instagram
These aren’t your grandmother’s manicures.
Nail art has come a long way from the tropical flowers and gemstones of the ’90s and early aughts (although we still love a glorious throwback design every now and then). Over the last few years, artists have emerged across the globe with skill levels rivaling those of contemporary fine artists. Their designs range from eerily accurate reproductions of Monet’s water lilies, to abstract color blocking with neon lacquer, to streetwear-inspired flames with glittery accents. Basically anything you can dream, these artists can make happen. And best of all, they’re easier to find than ever before, thanks to social media, where their high-fashion manicures allow for hours of blissful scrolling. Below, the eight nail artists we can’t stop talking about to inspire your next trip to the salon.
If fantastical, irreverent nails are your thing, then Korean-based Park Eunkyung might be your new must-follow artist. Her designs swing from punk to high femme with ease, and since she’s a part of the Unistella brand, she typically pairs them with killer jewelry for a true feast for the eyes. These white flame nails are one of our favorites, but there really seems to be no limit to what this artist can create.
You might have caught Gracie J’s stunning handiwork in our recent bridal nail art editorial, but the New York artist has been steadily making a name for herself as a rising star in the fashion and beauty world. In addition to her seemingly limitless design skills (just look at these technicolor star jelly nails) she’s also an outspoken advocate regarding the numerous contributions black artists have made to the world of nail art over the last 30-plus years. We recommend booking an appointment with her stat, while you still can.
Natsumi works out of cult-favorite Vanity Projects in NYC, and her abstract designs are fast becoming an industry favorite. Whether it’s marbled nails, faux water droplets, or miniaturized landscapes, she’s elevating nail art with her painterly expertise. Her unexpected color combos, like this moody fall design, keep her work feeling classic and, dare we say, chicly grown up. We’d happily sit for an hour while she blesses our nail beds any day of the week.
Barcelona-based Violetta is taking the nail art world by storm with her bold, eye-popping color work and fantastical designs. She’s a master of anything from individual pastels (one of our favorite nail trends for fall) to Picasso-esque freeform lines, but everything she creates is decidedly fun, feminine, and just plain pretty. Worth a trip across the pond? We certainly think so.
If you want to uncover some of the most innovative nail art in the world, then look to this Japan-based artist. Omiki is our latest discovery and obsession for her jaw-dropping three-dimensional designs. Some look like an artist palette midway through painting a masterpiece; others look like the surface of a lake with a dash of gold leaf. We’re not sure how she does it, but we know that we need her designs on our nails ASAP.
You know when you just really want an exact replica of a van Gogh painting on your nails, and nothing else will suffice? Well, meet the artist who can make that happen. Risa Oomori painstakingly paints miniature reproductions of classic artwork for her clients, and the results are truly mind-blowing. We doubt there’s a single portrait in the world that she couldn’t transfer to her nail art. She even does pedicures in the same style. Skill level: 1000.
Betina’s elegantly minimalist designs have launched her into the fashion stratosphere this year, with credits in basically every blue-chip editorial in the U.S. and Europe. She also has A+ hand-modeling skills and a dainty jewelry line to accompany her drool-worthy manicures. We’re partial to her restrained use of crystals and negative-space designs, but truly, any of her work would make our hands very, very happy.
Bold geometric designs are artist Alyssa’s specialty, which might be why she has such a dedicated following of clients in her native Canada. If you want your nails to catch even a passing stranger’s eye, or be the envy of all your coworkers, her nail art is guaranteed to make that happen. Remember, life is too short to have boring nails.
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