There’s a lot of talented nail artists out there but here are the best from Instagram, hands down. Not only do these artists have solid style and hard skills, they know how to work their way around a photo grid. They have really creative, original, and wearable style that you’re going to want to steal.
You gotta follow ’em.
From someone who first became inspired, met her mentor, and began her nail life through Instagram, this app is a pretty big deal to me so here are my favorites. Scroll down to “ooh” and “aah” (and to read my attempted art-critiques and self-indulgent sidebars)
and #1 is me! Jk.
For jaw-dropping artwork: @ladycrappo
Holy crappo. Lady crappo is a true painter. Her feed is chock full of flawless close-ups of the most unique, involved, artful designs and her realistic style is unparalleled. These canvas-worthy looks may belong in a museum but they’re clearly designed with intention to be worn on nails. I appreciate that, because to me, nail design is about designing for the nail rather than seeing if you can recreate a tiny painting on a different medium.
The Delicate + Detailed: @flickanail
These super intricate + feminine + modern designs are breathtaking. Saori Nakagawa’s feed will make you double-take, and wonder “How long did those take??” (also how many times can I use the word “take” in one caption? answer: 3)
I used to drool over Amy’s designs and now she works with me at Paintbox and I am literally honored to be in her presence. Everything about her style is original and fun to look at. The bright designs + backgrounds pop right off your screen.
The Trendsetters: @Paintboxnails
Even if you don’t like nail art, Paintbox will make you like nail art. No one gets it better than Paintbox. They’ve got quality AND quantity, and they hustle for it. Their feed is 100% original content, painted by Paintbox artists and styled by the creative team. Each photo is artfully planned, styled, and shot by professionals. You won’t see any basic poses, boring shots, watermarks, or bad lighting anywhere. It’s not just about the nails, it’s about everything. And I have to say, they hit the nail on the head.
A Refined Remix: @ayano_129
Ayano will take an existing nail design, (something like french, marble, negative space, or geometric looks) and turn it into mesmerizing magic with a cooler, more updated, creative take. She also tosses in a few stunning shots of sunsets or NYC here and there, so what’s not to love!
The Art-Artist: @ladyfancynails
Eda Midori brings modern art to nails in a sleek edgy way. Her salon, Chillhouse, showcases designs inspired by impressionism, pointillism, architecture, etc. These looks may seem simple to appeal to the minimalist, but simple doesn’t mean easy. She’s got skill.
The Variety Show: @Sohotrightnail
This feed has everything from a sleek matte ombre to crazy glitter neon nails. The styles are really diverse, (within the realm of modern nail art on relatively natural-length nails, of course) which keeps things interesting! It’s your one stop shop for anything minimal, maximal, and everything in between.
For Creative Captures: @ToriH_toriH
Tori H Is an amazing nail stylist who comes up with the most creative videos to shoot her artwork! Her conceptual designs and photo style are truly original.
The fashion killa: @Ninanailedit
Nina is the queen of nail wraps and makes them look one-of-a-kind. She makes it look easy, and she always adds a little extra something without looking overdone.
The Nail Girl Next Door: @Karanailedit
Kara’s nailstagram is filled with cute, and charming designs in fun and chic colors. She’s also in The Essie’s competition with me! I’m thankful I have someone in this boat with me to talk to!
The Salon with Charm: @oliveandjune
This small chain of California salons has cute, whimsical and trendy nail art.
Fashion Forward: @Palettenails
This ethical modern nail studio in Australia has some really cool designs. Also, they just seem really nice and have a lot of good vibes. (and this clearly is a very professional, academic review)
The Rainbow Road: @Iscreamnails
This Melbourne studio has an electric, playful Lisa Frank – type style as well as an adorable product line with edible color names. Maybe neon unicorns aren’t your thing, but this place has their quality, style, and consistency down to a science.
Cute + Quirky: @Mrcandiipants
Candice’s was the first ever nail art instagram that I religiously stalked and copied from the beginning. Her cute combinations of florals, stripes, and patterns were so rad and reminded me of Zooey Deschanel. Sadly she doesn’t post nail art anymore, just some really cool portraits.
Small nails, big skills: @Purplenailbox
Frances Lang works at TenoverTen, which is a small chain of super zen nail studios that’s modern, beautiful, and ethical. They don’t do gel, however so all these designs were done in polish on natural nails. Frances’ artwork is so versatile, from intricate florals to minimal mosaics – and she all makes it look amazing on short nails!
Photos courtesy of Instagram