If fashion is wearable art, nail art is wearable graffiti. The art form, which has exploded over the past few years, is high-end clothing's much more accessible, ubiquitous cheaper cousin. Unlike shelling out for a pair of ornate designer shoes, or the It Bag of the month, styled manicures are a trend you don't have to invest in forever—but they can add just as much to your look. Navigating the booming nail industry can be a dizzying experience—figuratively, literally and design-wise. To help you find artists near you, and get inspired, we've rounded up the best brands, salons and artists of the nail world.
Instagram may as well have been invented just for nail art because on the social platform, you'll find an endless well of inspiration. Of course, with all of those possibilities, comes a range of expertise. But if you follow the accounts below, you'll be gazing at the top of the class.
@hannahbronfman 's music themed nail is never tired ❤️ my favorite is snoop dog face finger 👍💕 #nailsbymei #handpainted #gelnails #nailart #nail #meisfavorite
A photo posted by NAILS by MEI (@ciaomanhattan2012) on
Come visit me tomorrow at the opening of the new 5th avenue @topshop !!! from 12-8pm thanks @nikitakesh my model extraordinaire luv u
A photo posted by Madeline Poole (@mpnails) on
Can't get enough of @essiepolish in "Chills and Thrills" and "Who Is The Boss"
A photo posted by Alicia Torello (@aliciatnails) on
SPRING is in the air w this fun set inspired by the amazing @onnu_nail If you don't follow this impressive Korean nail artist..get ON THAT!! With any luck we will be seeing her stateside soon!! #handpainted by @macokwsk #Maco #gelnail #nailart #Vanityprojects 😍👏🙋🇺🇸🇰🇷
A photo posted by Vanity Projects (@vanityprojects) on
Inspired by Vintage Chanel scarf design💅🎨✨ #nailart #Fashion #BritneyTOKYO #LA
A photo posted by Britney TOKYO 💅✨ (@britneytokyo) on
yazbukey٩꒰ ´ᆺ`꒱۶ #jillandlovers #nail #ネイル #nailart #paragel #パラジェル #yazbukey @moegi_matsumoto
A photo posted by Jill&Lovers (@jillandlovers) on
#camo #nail #nails #nailart #ny #nyc #wintercamo @girlswholikebeuys
A photo posted by Elina (@elina_nail) on
You never know where inspiration will come from. @Bout2Blaze found different platter designs in @foodandwine and brought them in to translate to nails. Before all the comments flood in, yes, we planned for the pinky and thumb nail [not photographed] to be longer. Inspiration to keep them growing and art...because we said so. 😆
A photo posted by Ashley Crowe 💅 (@astrowifey) on