How Next-Level Nail Art Became this Season’s Must-Have Accessory


For Brooklyn-bred nail pioneer Honey, they’ve by no means not been a thing. “Girl, I grew up going to the nail salon,” she tells me with a shrug as she rifles by pots of glitter at her petite, appointment-only studio around the Brooklyn Navy Yard. As she factors out, for many girls of coloration, prolonged ornate nails are almost nothing new. Decades right before she was obtaining title-dropped as a person of the vogue industry’s most ground breaking nail techs, Honey was tagging along with her mom on her weekly pilgrimages to their regional East Flatbush salon. “That’s wherever all the girls in the community hung out, obtaining their sets carried out. And just, chatting about almost everything,” she recollects.

“What we’re looking at nowadays is the cross-pollination of a number of developments,” points out Suzanne E. Shapiro, a New York–based vogue historian and the writer of Nails: The Tale of the Fashionable Manicure. “On the a single hand—no pun intended—there’s the ongoing mainstreaming of hip-hop aesthetics and the rise of celebrity society, with individuals like Cardi B emerging as ambassadors for the maximal nail. And on the other, there are these huge improvements in nail engineering, mainly coming out of Asia,” carries on Shapiro, that have eased the process of acquiring prolonged, embellished nails like the types Flo-Jo made internationally well-known at the 1988 Olympics. One particular such advance is the Aprés Gel-X extension, which has awakened new opportunities for the variety, according to New York–based nail artist Mei Kawajiri. “You can in shape them to any nail, and they are just not as tricky to do the job with as acrylics,” she notes of the slender, malleable suggestions created in Japan. Comparable to the gel that’s in polish, it is fast to utilize and soaks off with no a great deal fuss—one motive, Kawajiri says, that “with the Aprés, it’s far more like, you can participate in.”


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