Because we could all use a little inspiration right now.
In our eyes, nail artists might as well be wizards. It’s definitely not something the average person thinks about on a daily basis, but the way they can turn ten itty-bitty blank canvases into full works of art — sometimes with only minutes to spare — is always on our minds. And the professionals who work behind the scenes of designer runway shows, red-carpet events, and editorial photoshoots have endless inspiration to share. Because when you do nail art for a living, you rack up a lengthy portfolio of work pretty quickly.
So we asked some of our favorite nail artists one dire question: What is your favorite nail-art design that you’ve ever created? The answers range from the simple and approachable to the painstakingly elaborate. They also involve just about every manicure tip and trick you could ever conceive.
Below, nail artists like Miss Pop, Gina Edwards, Tom Bachick, and more discuss the nail-art looks they’ll never be able to forget — plus some of the products and tools that made them possible.
According to nail artist Gina Edwards, the three-dimensional butterflies she created for Alice + Olivia’s Fall/Winter 2019 runway show took around two hours to complete on a base of Kiss press-on nails.
“[The] wings were made separately from the body and a blend of acrylic color powders were used,” she explains. “Crystals were added to the body and then the antennas.” Unsurprisingly, these little insects were incredibly delicate, so Edwards applied them to models’ nails at the very last minute before they walked the runway.
“I loved this look because it completely allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and make something ethereal that worked beautifully into the presentation,” she recalls. “Quite a process, but so worth it.”