If you've ever gotten a manicure only to immediately ruin it within minutes, do I have a story for you. Fashion consultant Ambie Stapleton — who has worked with Rick Owens for the past decade — is no stranger to this problem. After discussing the issue last fall with her friend and East Village tattoo artist Christian Boyd, the two experimented with a more permanent solution: tattooing the nails. And with that, Needle Nails came into existence.
The duo spoke about their pop-up business to Vogue, where they explained how exactly their tattoo process works. Like all tattoos, Needle Nails's are also permanent, with just one caveat: they last only until your nails grow all the way out. “Knowing that you have this permanent thing that’s not actually permanent — it’s a little bit of a safety zone,” say Boyd. Due to the limited scale of his canvas, Boyd's tattoos veer toward the abstract and the minimal — letters, lines, morse code, and petite drawings like anchors or the Playboy Bunny symbol make the ideal semi-permanent adornments.
Beyond being seriously low on the commitment scale, Needle Nails also has the perk of being pain-free. The needle never penetrates the nail and only grazes the surface, an experience Stapleton compares to the hum of a massage chair. We're in.