Nailing it: 5 innovative nail artists you need to follow on Instagram right now

From extravagant sculptural creations to cute creature art and even minimalist patterns, these 5 nail artists use Instagram to show off their incredible designs.

These five nail artists who use Instagram to show off their incredible designs
These five nail artists who use Instagram to show off their incredible designs

Following Balenciaga’s nail art pop-up at Parisian concept store Colette earlier this month, where artist Mei Kawajiri was on hand to provide free manicures, fancy fingernails are firmly in the spotlight. From extravagant sculptural creations to cute creature art and even minimalist patterns, these five nail artists who use Instagram to show off their incredible designs, have built up a loyal following of celebrities and fashion designers looking for something more than the classic file and polish.

1) Mei Kawajiri (@nailsbymei): After running a successful nail salon in Harajuku, Tokyo for several years, Mei Kawajiri left her native Japan for New York City, where she’s lived since 2012. Specializing in intricate hand-painted designs and incredible 3D ‘nail sculpture’, Mei has worked for designer brands, such as Balenciaga, Givenchy and Stella McCartney, as well as an array of celebrity clients who she visits in their homes.

2) Chelsea King (@chelseaqueen): Based in Los Angeles, California, Chelsea King grew up as a self-confessed tomboy who never painted her nails until her mother took her for a manicure before her high school prom. From there, she began posting her own designs to social media and her career – as well as her Instagram following – took off. Chelsea was appointed as Revlon’s first-ever Nail Expert in 2016, and her work has been featured in magazines such as Elle, Harper’s Bazaar Japan and Vogue Italia.

3) Alicia Torello (@aliciatnails): Dividing her time between editorial projects, fashion shows and celebrity clients including Jennifer Lawrence and Kendall Jenner, Alicia Torello’s nail designs are simple and modern but still very striking. With an emphasis on cool, negative space designs that allow the natural nail to show through, Alicia offers a pared-back alternative to the kitschy, over-the-top designs that dominate the nail art scene.

4) Britney Tokyo (@britneytokyo): Born and raised in Tokyo and now living in Los Angeles, former actress and TV personality Britney Tokyo has over 150,000 followers on Instagram, and counts the likes of Kim Kardashian, Rita Ora and Ariana Grande among her fans. Britney’s designs are bold, colorful and unique – think shiny foils, pop art motifs and 90s icons such as trolls and smiley faces.

5) Madeline Poole (@mpnails): Named as Sally Hansen’s Global Color Ambassador in 2014, Madeline Poole has travelled the world working on fashion shows and photoshoots, and has worked with brands including Prabal Gurung, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Kenzo. The New York-based artist’s signature design is a minimalist ‘evil eye’ nestled into the cuticle, leaving the rest of the nail bare for maximum impact.


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