Since 2019, there has been a surge in global demand for nail treatments, with the pandemic encouraging individuals to keep their hand hygiene to a high standard. From abstract designs to acrylics, the nail industry is set to register a growth of 4.5% by 2024 and rise to 8.7% by 2027. With male manicures also on the rise, the want for nail treatments is at an all-time high, with both customers and technicians taking to social media to share their latest sets. As online platforms alone continue to be a driving factor behind the increase, users of apps such as Instagram are becoming inspired by what they see and are heading to the salons. Here's Instagram's nail technicians worth noting, selected by BeautyMatter.
As the creative director for Palm Beach nail company Valentino Beauty Pure, nail artist Noodle (Leah Candiliere) does not hold back when it comes to experimenting with new and out-of-the-box nail designs. Popular for long, stiletto-style nails, the artist has shared a variety of looks to the app. Showcasing the likes of statement reds to abstract 3D designs, most recently with acrylic versions of popular sweets perched on the end of the nail, there is never a dull moment when scrolling through Candiliere's feed. As part of her work for Valentino Beauty Pure, the nail artist holds events in LA such as acrylic and gel art classes, during which attendees are required to bring along their tools and spend the day learning new skills and polishing up the knowledge they already have. For daily nail inspiration and behind-the-scenes beauty business content, Noodle's page is the place to be.
The creator behind the door hinge nails trend, San Sung Kim paves the way for Instagram nail trends. The artist presents her work as "minimalistic to editorial & everything in between" and "hand-painted nails with a twist," which becomes evident with one view of her Instagram feed. At first glance, some of Kim's designs may seem casual and pretty, but it becomes apparent that things are not the way they appear upon second look. A few recent standouts from the artist include 45-degree angled shaping of the nail's tips and 3D water droplet effects, as well as piercings on individual nails with jewelry wired through. Choosing to post creations to her grid with no captions, the artist's Story highlights are where the main communication with followers comes from, with Q&As, tips, and product advice regularly added.
Another Florida-based nail technician, @nailz_by_dev, aka Devin Strebler, creates nails full of '90s nostalgia. As the owner of Nail Addicts, a salon that pays homage to classic '90s-style nails, including prints of iconic '90s characters and colors as well as modern twists on designs from the past, Strebler's work is one to keep an eye on. From coffin-shaped nails displaying intricate portraits of celebrities such as Doja Cat to stiletto-shaped Disney designs, it seems there are no limitations to the artist's work, with customers' requests always met. If the outstanding finish weren't enticing enough, the salon owner also posts short reels showcasing the process of creating such complex artwork on singular nails, with no single stroke of varnish left out of place. As well as displaying inspirational looks, Strebler often takes to the comical and carefree side of social media, sharing reels of her family getting involved in her business. The artist recently got her son involved, asking him to rate a random selection of designs she had created, leaving her followers laughing and thanking her for the raw insight into her everyday life.
Far from boring, @couldbeyournails2 goes by the mantra of "No one color or simple sets," rendering every creation produced unique and fun. With all designs hand-painted, the artist has produced a range of beautiful work, from tarot card paintings to Bratz dolls and bold gems. As well as sharing her famous creations, the technician divulges essential information, including tips to keep manicures in top form, using the strapline "Your nails are jewels, so please don't use them as tools." Since her first post in April 2020, the artist has gained traction, working with various high-profile names,most recently applying the nails for musical artist Sanela's music video, a medium length with a hot-pink base and flame-red tips.
They say anything goes, which is explicitly clear when looking at @designingwithsophia's outstanding creations. From gold-weighted teddy bears through to Vivienne Westwood–inspired orbs, there seems to be nothing the nail artist won't attempt to adhere to an acrylic. As well as nails, the artist has a talent for tattoos, offering this additional service to clients. The in-depth, detailed designs created by Sophia are offered to all customers, with the opportunity to present desired ideas as a work in progress. Several inspiring looks are shared across her feed, with various trendsetting ideas sure to inspire other artists, from sweet kawaii embellishments to pop-art–inspired portraits. While experimenting with different lengths of extensions, the artist doesn't hold back when it comes to lengthy looks. Think of the longest nails you've seen and double them. That's Sophia's style.
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