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.
You can paint your nails yourself at home, which is relaxing and fun. But sometimes it’s best to hire professionals. It’s okay to be wonky. French tipsThe classic and the new ‘different colour on every nail’ look don’t always cut it in the Nail art in its golden ageThis is the world we live in.
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Scroll down 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 salons around Sydney and Melbourne.
It lives up to its promise ‘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. You can book appointments 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. It is all about colour, creativity, and skill. You might even remember some of the most amazing moments. lava lamp maniThat brought attention to Richmond nail technicians a few decades ago. Gel polish extensions can be booked by bookings ‘Builder In A Bottle’You can add between 20 to 120 minutes of nail arts onto manicures in order to realize your most creative ideas.
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 offers a full range of wearable art. 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. It combines new trends and original ideas at the Richmond salon. 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 is a label that creates bizarre, borderline-alien, gel nail sets. It has a strange and delightfully wild aesthetic. You can expect a lot metallic touches and charms as well as 3D elements, piercings 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. Every customer walks out of Buff with great nails and the education they need to maintain them. The staff are constantly trained to stay on top of their craft, so that they can bring the latest designs to life with precision. See the Camberwell, Brighton and other locations.
Sass Nail Artistry
Viki, a Sass nail technician knows the art of making colours pop. Studio based in Essendon offers nail art on a basic pay-per-5-minutes basis. This allows you to request as subtle or bold as you wish. 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 in Brunswick East is a gel-based home studio that offers a wide range of styles. 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 is well-known for her work on the nails of celebrities such as Dua Lipa, M.I.A., and others. 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. This brand offers custom presses-on sets that can be customized in a wide range of shapes and lengths. You can also order them via Instagram DMs. 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.