Image by Jenny Tarbell

Image by Jenny Tarbell

words by DIANA CAO • Beauty


Sandal season is in full swing so why not try some fun and fresh nail ideas. From simple designs that require little more than a polish change to the attention-commanding creations dipped in glitter and adorned with rhinestones, nails are the perfect canvas to express your style and mood. Check out these inspiring accounts before heading to your next mani-pedi.


The success story of the Kyoto-born, New York-based nail maven Mei Kawajiri proves that you can have the world at your fingertips (pardon the pun) with hard work and immense talent. Devoting herself to nail art since the age of nineteen, she is now one of the most sought-after creatives. Hit the “Camp” note this summer a la Demna Gvasalia with whimsical snippets of American mega-brands like Starbucks and McDonald’s.


For those who would like some bling but shudder at the thought of all-over chunky rhinestones, consider a small sprinkle of Swarovski crystals, clustered like stardusts (a-la Gigi Hadid). The architect behind this subtle yet luxurious look, Mary Soul Inzerillo, possesses an unparalleled sense of nailing (pardon another pun) imaginative eye candy. Don’t miss the futuristic ice queen stunner she created for Elle Fanning (above) for the Met Gala.


If you prefer long and lean shapes, Nails Boom will surely put a smile on your face. From the seriously cool marble print to a simple and sleek ombre effect, the possibilities are endless. This summer, play with texture by choosing various finishes within one color scheme. The result is anything but monochromatic.


A former beauty editor with over a decade of experience, Eleanor Langston knows the beauty industry inside out. Her Soho salon, Paintbox Nails, reflects the trendsetter status with its seasonal lookbooks. The salon even features a mani-cam for your impromptu photoshoot after your hour-long session. Tempted to try but nowhere near the Big Apple? Consider the salon’s latest offering: three carefully curated color duos with long-lasting sheen and 10-free ingredients.


What do Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, and Ezra Miller have in common? Well for one, their spectacular nails for the Met Gala were all designed by Naomi Yasuda. It is no surprise that the stars have flocked to the Japanese nail artist to complement their internet breaking looks. Her jaw-dropping creations ranging from cherubim to dollar bills will definitely encourage you to channel your inner diva.


The British nail care label and its range of vibrant and versatile shades need no introduction. The brand’s Instagram page, featuring no-fuss designs in luscious color palettes, is the perfect destination for DIY inspo. Need to cool down amid the summer heat and blazing sun? Opt for mismatched nails in sorbet hues like “Hyde Park Place” and “No-tox.”


At this point, it is a proven fact that Rihanna can start any trend. From neon green to a lavender marble print, the nail art inspiration stemming from RiRi’s fingertips keeps us on our toes. For more ideas worthy of a celebrity following, head to the account of Jenny Longworth, the English nail artist who is behind not only Rihanna’s finessed finger-tips but the dazzling mani’s seen on the Gucci runway.


Whether you’re a nail art novice or a seasoned mani-creative, Nails Beauty can inspire any and all of us. They are particularly great to follow for their video instructions.


You know you’ve made it when Pulitzer-winning journalist and The Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan dedicates an entire article about your history-making, MoMA-worthy nail creation for Lil’ Kim. Bernadette Thompson is the mastermind behind the infamous “money nail”. Channel the 90s with your iteration or match Bernadette’s polish offerings with sharp shape.

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