Time Out Melbourne

Pretty up your digits with Melbourne's top nail artists

We love Shellac, we love OPI... and we're really coming around to creative nail art. Some customers like to get cute with animal or food graphics; others opt for pretty patterns and shapes. The best thing is that a skilled technician can create a custom design for you. We rounded up five pioneers.

Miss Fox Melbourne

What are your customers' most common requests?
'Moon' or 'pin-up' manicures with different coloured or blank moons. Very Dita Von Teese and Lana Del Rey, but still passable in corporate environments. We did rapper M.I.A's nails once with a variation on the moon manicure theme and we get so many requests for that same design. It was gold metallic nails with pastel moons in different colours. She said they were dope.

What do you offer that other salons don't?
We offer a huge selection of fashion-forward nail finishes – from metallic Minx veneers to durable gel polishes. We also take custom nail art requests for anything (anything!) We've done 4th of July nails, tribal themes, rockstar glitter, six-inch black claws for a fashion show, even a hand-painted series based on magazine covers. We only work with natural nails but can paint or veneer them, add amazing hand-painted detail, or dress them up with materials like studs and gems if desired. We have a nail-art 'play box' full of tools and paints and arty goodies to rival most salons in Australia!

What do you, as a nail artist, enjoy doing yourself?
I love anything that catches the light, like glitter and metallics, and anything fluoro is very on trend. We have some pretty cool clients and I love when they give us free reign to do something spectacular.

Victoria Fox, director

Trophy Wife Nail Art

What are your customers' most common requests?
Lately there is a high demand for geometric shapes and patterns, but I get a lot of requests for fruits! The watermelons in particular have been very popular.

What do you offer that other salons don't?
I offer very custom nail art. I love getting unusual requests for pictures – just yesterday I did a Ken Done-inspired set, and have done things such as hot air balloons and the Air Jordan logo. I can also make decals of whatever you want... maybe your face if you like. Another service that I offer that most salons don't, is house calls. I can come to your house and paint nails for you and your friends while you drink wine and get ready to go out (or stay in).

What do you, as a nail artist, enjoy doing yourself?
I mostly love the unusual requests, I like to be challenged with ideas. It's so exciting and inspiring for me when people are so willing to try something they haven't seen before but think would look amazing. Apart from that my favourite thing to paint (well this week, anyway) are pineapples and bananas.

Chelsea, owner

Tsumiki Designs

What are your customers' most common requests?
Customised fashion-based nail art. Current prints, trends, artists inspire them – and me as well. They come in with an idea/inspiration and i expand it for them on their 'little finger canvas'.

What do you offer that other salons don't?
We offer customised nail art, from the hand-painted flat illustrative art, to the extreme Japanese Harajuku-girl style 3D nail art, we carry hard-to-find embellishments (nail art culture has only pretty much just hit Australian shores so it's quite rare to find interesting nail accessories) and a huge range of mediums to create many different effects and all sorts of nail art. You can pick almost anything from a nail magazine and we'll nail it.

What do you, as a nail artist, enjoy doing yourself?
I enjoy accepting challenges from my clients, especially when I take on work with fashion labels for events and I create nail palettes influenced by the theme of the event. The thirst for that satisfaction and pride coming from creating visually stimulating nail art is addictive and insatiable.

Clara, nail artist

First published on . Updated on .

By Kristie Giblin   |  

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