Getting your nails done is a borderline holy experience – part paint job, part self-care and part creative outlet. From the compliments you’re showered in when you’re sporting a fresh set to the satisfying tippy-tap of acrylics or extensions on your phone screen, a trip to the nail salon can leave you feeling like a whole new person.
While nail art can be a relaxing and enjoyable hobby, it is not advisable to do so at your own risk. Don’t get too wonky! French TipsBoth the traditional and modern ‘different colour on every nail’ look don’t always cut it in the Golden age of nail artWe live in.
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Scroll on Through Instagram, it’s hard not to be blown away by the creativity and talent local nail artists possess. Nail trends come and go, but there’s always someone clever on our feeds making our jaws drop and our wallets cry out for a bit of exercise.
Whether you’ve got a big event coming up or you’re just due for a self-care dayThese are our favorite nail art salons around Sydney and Melbourne.
Accurating its mission statement ‘horni nails for horni humans’This private Abbotsford workshop creates unique, textural nail designs that are totally original for creative people. You’ve got the choice between gel extensions and custom press-ons, all with a focus on unexpected colour combos and 3D design elements. Bookings can be made via Instagram DMs.
Lili Taylor Nails
Locking down the signature style of Lili Taylor Nails is a tricky thing, with so many eye-catching and drastically different designs littering the studio’s IG page. There is a common thread: creativity, colour and an incredible level of skill. Perhaps you even recall the incredible lava lamp maniThis brought a lot of attention to Richmond’s nail technician a few years back. Book gel polish and extensions when booking. ‘Builder In A Bottle’To achieve your creative best ideas, nail art can be added to manicures for between 20-120 minutes.
Naya’s Beauty Bar
The nail art offering at Naya’s Beauty Bar covers everything from French tips and chrome finishes to hour-long ‘advanced’For big-brain creative ideation sessions ‘surprise’For the persistently indecisive, appointments are available. A Windsor salon offers one-on-one masterclasses for nail technicians who are looking to get started in this industry.
Peachi Nail Bar
Peachi Nail Bar is the place to go for wearable, full-on masterpieces. We’re talking hand-painted character portraits, 3D psychedelic patterns and intricate, tattoo-like designs on your nails. The salon uses Gel X to create its mind-blowing sets and doesn’t shy away from big ideas or fun pop culture references.
Trophy Wife Nail Art
Whether you’re looking for cutesy summer florals, bold geometry, dreamy aura nails or something classic and understated, the team at Trophy Wife is ready to make it work. This Richmond salon combines the best trends with innovative ideas. It’s based in Richmond but if you’re not a local, don’t give up hope. Pop-up nail bars can be found in many cities throughout Australia.
10110.com Nail Studio
Accepting the whole of it is important ‘wearable art’Brunswick salon 10110.com, a brand of Brunswick nail art, creates unusual, alien-looking gel nails sets that have a bizarre and wonderfully wacky look. You can expect a lot metallic touches and charms as well as 3D elements, charms, and recycled materials. In addition to nail services, they also sell a selection of press-on manicures that you can order via Instagram DMs.
Buff Nail Studios
Buff nails salon is changing the way we think about nail care. The salon offers memorable and educational experiences that leave customers with wonderful nails and the knowledge to help them keep looking great. To keep up with the times, staff continue to learn so they are able to deliver cutting-edge designs with precision. You can visit the Camberwell and Brighton locations.
Sass Nail Artistry
Viki, a Sass nail technician knows the art of making colours pop. This Essendon studio provides nail art services on a pay per five-minute basis. You can ask for anything as simple or as elaborate as you like. If you’re looking to learn the basics yourself, Sass also regularly hosts workshops where you can soak up Viki’s hard-earned expertise.
Beauty Biatchee Nails
Beauty Biatchee, a Brunswick East gel-based homestudio with many styles to choose from, is called Beauty Biatchee. This is where you can achieve your next nail design, from subtle French tips to bright neon prints to 3D glitter explosions. To book, just slide into the salon’s DMs.
Run by renowned nail artist Victoria Houllis, Newtown-based nail studio Mannequin Hands is the kind of place that’s thrillingly hard to get an appointment at. Victoria Houllis has made quite a reputation for doing nails on celebrities like Dua Lipa or M.I.A. If you’re looking to enjoy one of her technicolour, incredibly artistic nail sets yourself, we suggest habitually stalking her Instagram until the books open up or buying a set of press-ons from the Mannequin Hands online store.
Shura Beauty is an exclusive gel-only Glebe salon, specialising in eye-catching colours and graphic motifs such as flames or flowers. If you can’t decide, get a touch of everything for a colour-coordinated mix-and-match effect. While you’re in the salon, you can go full pamper mode and book a facial and some eyelash extensions, too.
Slower Hands might not be a salon or in-person studio but when the nails are this good, we can’t leave them off the list. You can order custom-made press-on sets from the brand via Instagram DMs. They come in a range of sizes, shapes, and really cool designs. You can also grab a pre-made set at Fitzroy North’s Error404 store if you’re in the neighbourhood. There’s also a promise of nail services coming sometime this year, so keep an eye out for that.