Mei Kawajiri: @ciaomanhattan2012

When Mei Kawajiri left her nail salon in Tokyo’s Harajuku district for New York City, her talent for seriously intricate nail art came with her. See: the Yeezy-inspired nails for client Hannah Bronfman and a Beyoncé/Hillary Clinton mani that Clinton reposted. Her tool of choice? “A tiny brush from Presto Gel!”

On why we can’t get enough nail art… “With advancements in gel and other products, it has become possible to create intricate, meaningful designs. So women are excited to express themselves through their nails as they have traditionally done with hair colour, makeup and tattoos.”

On finding inspiration… “I pull inspiration from all over: music, fine art, fashion, architecture, travel, pop culture. Right now, Snapchat is blowing up; its filters are so creative – I’m addicted! I try not to do the same design twice; I want to create something new and unique for each person.”

On keeping a steady hand… “I try not to think about the fact that I’m painting tiny art! Real talk: I drink black coffee about three times a day, so a steady hand is probably in my genes.”

On the next big thing… “I’m excited to see more 3-D nail art coming into the mainstream. And I’m hoping to get more men rocking nail art. Even just one nail is awesome!”

Lindsay Veling: @nailthataccent

An art-therapy course inspired Toronto sales rep Lindsay Veling to start posting her nail art on Instagram. Four years – and a career change – later, she has 73,000 followers on her account.

The shape of the season… “Square nails used to be really big, then we were into oval and then we saw some ridiculous, crazy stiletto that nobody could really pull off unless you’re a celebrity. Now the shape is the ‘coffin’: a little bit square on the top but still pointed. It looks good on almost any nail.”

On summer trends… “We’re saying goodbye to all the crazy glitter and embellishments. Simple and elegant is more fashion-forward now. Negative space is still a huge trend. All the spring/summer nail polish collections range from bold colours to light pinks.”

On mastering the #nailfie… “Keep your hand as relaxed as possible; don’t grip the bottle too tightly.”

Nail-art hacks… “There are so many tools – from nail tape to stamps – that make nail art accessible. Snail Vinyls is a company that produces sticker nail stencils. I would also recommend using a fast-dry topcoat. You have to make sure your nail is 100-percent dry before applying any stickers.”


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