When it comes to nail art, we're not the hearts and flowers kind of girls. We prefer quirky, asymmetrical designs, graphic shapes or edgier styles and say a firm no to tacky bling and typical, hand-drawn roses. Some of our biggest inspirations are Japanese nail art magazines, the international catwalks and Pinterest. Here are five Singapore nail salons that do the freshest trends well and even have some novel ideas of their own.
Because its top manicurists like Gwynes Tang work on editorial magazine shoots, the nail art at Manicurious has a fashion edge to it (check out the Kenzo-inspired eyes above). Nail art can be pricey, but you'll love the hipster-ish ambience — think vintage-inspired armchairs, a wide selection of magazines and specialty teas. Nail art starts at $5 per nail.
41 Beach Road, 6333-9096 or visit them here
2. Caplus Nail @ Branché Hair & Nail
If what you're after is Japanese perfectionism and no price is too high, this luxury salon is the place to visit. Nailist Safori Asai, spends as much time preparing her 'canvas' as she does meticulously handpainting each nail. A full set of clear gel polish (they used Japanese brand Paragel) starts at $110, and that's before you've factored in any nail art. But what you leave with is nothing short of perfection.
#B1-33 Capitol Piazza, 6499-5599 or visit them here
3. The Nail Artelier
While we haven't yet had a chance to pay a visit to this up-and-coming nail salon, we were impressed with the range and quality of nail art showcased on its Instagram account. From edgy designs to an picture-perfect rendition of The Little Prince, it seems there's nothing the nail artists here can't achieve. Dubbing itself an "art-centric" nail salon, its original location is in Haji Lane, but the salon has another branch in Kembangan to cater to the "hipsters in the East," according to its website.
666 North Bridge Road, 6298-8028 or visit them here
4. Daisy Nail Shop
Tucked away in one of the many hidden corners of Far East Plaza is this cosy nail salon. Don't expect über-posh surroundings, although the salon is clean and spacious compared to many of the hole-in-the-wall offerings in Far East. What we love? The manicurists are able to replicate any design we've given them, your nail art won't burn a hole in your pocket, and they have a fair selection of Japanese nail art magazines. Typically a set of nail art costs $20-$35 per 10 nails in addition to your basic manicure, depending on the complexity of your chosen design.
#03-86 Far East Plaza, 8454-8523
5. Kiyone + Lim
This is the second Japanese salon on our list and with good reason. Head nailist Natsumi Iwamuro and her dedicated team, do a stellar job in creating the cutesy and girlish nail art that you see in Japanese nail magazines. Located within Pact itself, the quirky decor of the salon seems to reflect the aesthetic of the nail art here. Expect lots of detailed, hand-drawn designs, that are sparsely dotted on a clear base. The salon specialises in whimsical themes, and these can be personalised and dreamt up on the spot. But as expected, a one-of-a-kind manicure doesn't come cheap. A basic, clear gel manicure costs $60 for ten fingers (and this does not include any cuticle-shaping) and nail art prices start at $2 per nail stud.
#02-21/23 Orchard Central, 6834-3193 or visit them here