Last Updated on July 15, 2022
Over the past few years, we’ve seen nail art rise through the ranks in the beauty industry. Long gone are the days of a french mani being about as exciting as it got on the nails front.
If you’re anything like us at Wear Next, you’re obsessed with nail art and are constantly screenshotting inspo images to show at your next appointment. We always like to have something new, fun and colourful to try.
It seems like there’s a new nail art trend every week. You can quite literally have anything you want painted on your talons these days, from simple geometric shapes to a realistic painting of anything just about anything your heart desires (Hokusai’s waves, anyone?). Keep reading if you don’t believe us.
What is it about newly painted nails that can make you feel so confident and polished? The only thing that makes it even better is when you can sip on a glass of champagne while you’re having your talons preened to perfection.
Having tried and tested many spots around London, we’ve rounded up the best nail artists and coolest salons in London for when you’re in need of some new nails.
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AMA the salon
Where: 340 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8QH
Why it’s worth visiting: Based in Brixton, The salon’s founder, Ama, has worked with some of the of the biggest names in showbiz, from Adele to Dua Lipa to Solange Knowles, to name but a few. Her work has even been featured in campaigns for Celine and Saint Laurent.
The salon itself is divine with smooth comfy leather chairs, beautifully empowering art, neon signs and embroidered Missy Elliot quotes, it’s a feast for the eyes.
Ama focus on natural nails and only stock brands that are 90% natural, vegan and cruelty-free. You must try negative space nails when at the salon, this is where you incorporate your natural nail into the design with a clear or natural-looking base and usually a geometric design over it.
Where: Buspace Studios, 5 Conlan St, London W10 5AP
Why it’s worth visiting: NUKA nails was founded by previous WAH nail technicians, Anouska Anastasia and Kadimah Aaliyah who have made a name for themselves off the bright, bold looks, which pull from Y2K and streetwear references.
They’ve expertly hand painted everything from Barbie characters to Takashi Murakami’s infamous flower motif on nails so if you’re looking for a detailed nail art design, look no further than Nuka.
The DJ booth and a custom-fitted bar in their studio attest to their Twitter bio in which they state NUKA is “a whole damn vibe!”. Who doesn’t love a cocktail while having their nails done?
Where: 146 Kensington High Street, London W8 7RL
Why it’s worth visiting: This salon is the latest in Townhouse’s growing portfolio of dreamy nail bars. It’s a super plush experience from start to finish.
The lounge bar space is filled with white and cream interiors, boho rattan lampshades and comfy chairs to sit back and enjoy your pampering session.
The salon is filled with high tech gadgets from selecting your nail colour from digital library on iPads, easy self-book kiosks and cuticle oil station. Oh and did we mention they even give you a complementary glass of bubbly. Heaven on earth.
This salon is for you if you love beautiful delicate nail art and being pampered in a dreamy salon.
Where: 450 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AE
Why it’s worth visiting: In the middle of bustling Dalston you’ll find this beautiful calm and quiet oasis, who pride themselves on giving a service that leaves their customers feeling the best they can be inside and out.
The salon is a cruelty free, natural and vegan nail salon and uses Gel Bottle gel polish and Kure Bazaar.
If you’re looking for intricate creations look no further than senior nail artist Emmi Virta, just look at those intricate blue waves and delicate fern leaves – they look impossibly real.
They also welcome a challenge so simply send any image you want and they will advise on the best nail artist who can recreate the look.
Where: 13 Cleve Workshops, Boundary St, London E2 7JD
Why it’s worth visiting: In both salons in Shoreditch and Dalston, Shoreditch Nails is all about creative, fun and detail-focused nail art.
They always have the latest trends and edgy nail designs so whether you’re more of a holographic fan, prefer a shattered glass look or simple geometric shapes they’ve got you covered. Nothing is too much.
The treatment menu actually includes a wide range of nail art designs, from diagonal dips, confetti tips and inverted V’s to half-moons, which really takes the hassle out of trying to explain exactly what you want. What’s not to love.
Where: 74 Mortimer St, Marylebone, London W1W 7RZ
Why it’s worth visiting: DryBy London is the salon for you if you like your nail art nude and understated.
They specialise in minimalistic and chic nail art with neutral colours, intricate embellishments all provided in a stylish atmosphere.
Our favourites are the rose gold accents, intricate lettering and hearts and the pearl embellished nails.
They also have a special bridal menu to choose from if you’re getting married, which Meghan Markle chose to avail of when she chose DryBy to do her wedding nails. If it’s good enough for Meaghan am I right?
Where: 2 New Union Square, Embassy Gardens, London, SW11 7AX
Why it’s worth visiting: This is where you go if your nails need some TLC, It’s like a little luxury nail rehab.
They focus primarily is on your nail health, attention is paid to the condition of your nails before any work is done and they use natural, vegan and cruelty free polishes.
They offer IBX strengthening treatments if your nails have been damaged and weakened by repeated acrylics or gels and the polish and nail art is kept clean and simple. Serious heart eyes for the little Swans.