There has been a shift in the nail game as of late. No longer can one rely on the generic safety of an old-fashioned French manicure, or the same color painted on all ten tips as a means of self-expression. Miami woman look beyond colored lines in search of geometric ones, and ones in the shape of Elmo, or British Flags, or maybe even Jerry Seinfeld's face. Who's judging? Whatever the wacky design of their dreams may be, the felines of our Magic City aren't settling for basic-bitch claws anymore. Because art on their nails is just as important as art on a graffiti-laden wall in Wynwood, right?
Yet despite this sweeping trend of either hand-painted nail plates or graphic wraps posing as such, for some peculiar reason, scoping out salons in the area that specialize in nail art is as difficult as stumbling across a decent paying job in Miami these days -- the struggle is real. Not to worry though, 'cause we've done the legwork for you and found a gang of trusty places around town to turn your nails from a desolate land of keratin to mini pieces of art.
Here are the best nail salons to get your nail art did.
See also: The Top Five Barber Shops in Miami
Photo by Blush Nail Salon
Within the block party of construction that only Alton has been known to give best, Blush Nail Salon awaits its clients with nimble hands, ready to paint the shit out of your beds. The salon, ran by the Ninh family, is sure to bring a tear to any girly-girl's eye with feathery and floral décor. All talk of prissy paraphernalia aside, owner Paulynn Ninh and nail artist Q are the broads to visit when lusting to jazz up your nails with glitzy mosaics, minx, 3D designs with lace, gems and foils. "Nail artistry is making waves in fashion right now," says Paulynn. "It's a relatively cheap way to make a contemporary fashion statement."
Photo by Nycole Sariol
Don't let the name fool you. Sure, hair is generally the main focus at the over-30-year-old salon in Miami Lakes, but when it comes to nail art, this hidden gem may be one of the best in the league. Its secret weapon: Veronica, one of the two prolific manicurists skillfully busting out design after design faster than you can say Britto. Seriously. Replicating Britto's cubist artwork onto tiny nail canvases is a specialty of Veronica's. The artist has even responded to how dope Veronica's miniature replicas are on Instagram.
Photo by Gloss Nail Bar
Boy oh boy do we have just the place for all you hypochondriacs out there. Let your worries of harmful nail polish toxins dispel upon arrival at Gloss Nail Bar in Coral Gables. That's right, not only do the nail artists at the spa-like nail salon fully hook you up with some decked-out fingertips, but they also take an interest in your general health with their own line of non-toxic varnishes ($10.90), jet-less, ceramic pedicure bowls, and some organic bubbly and vino to sip on mid-pampering. "You're not giving up anything if you decide to do something healthy for yourself, you're actually gaining," say salon owner, Sandra Weir. And though all the artists at salon turn out sick bed-designs on the reg, we suggest booking today's appointment with Gloss's Queen-bae of nail art, Tanya.
Photo by Nycole Sariol
2. NailBar and Beauty Lounge
Descending on the Midtown nail salon Nailbar and Beauty Lounge is sort of like stepping onto Rainbow Bright's color belt. Replete with the coolest white, Conehead-shaped pedicure seats, a towering wall awash with brightly colored jars of paint, and nail polish printed pillows, even the most cynical pessimist will leave a happy camper. As lovely as the décor is, however, its the salon's Color Kids, or nail artists, that really drive its round-the-clock business. Our recommendation is to go with Layra, one of the salon's kick-ass nail artists and master of linear precision. Don't forget to peep the salon during French Weeks Miami, when all services will be discounted a whopping 15 percent.
Image by The Nail Lounge
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It claims to have pioneered the concept of nail art in South Florida; and judging by the influx of lacquerheads huddled within it's waiting area and exterior, we'd have to agree with the Miramar nail joint. Yes, we said Miramar. But believe us when we say that this place is totally worth the field trip. Spider webs, geometric everything, even British flags proudly wave on the beds of many, but really there is no design the salon can't tackle. They do everything, and dammit, they do it well. Kim Nguyen, salon owner is the gal you want to see, despite the high level of artistry displayed by all of the artists at The Nail Lounge. And although they gladly accept walk-ins, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment ahead of time with their new app. Don't say we didn't warn ya'.