There's something about 'beauty firsts' that really sticks in my memory. Like the first time I got my nails painted in a salon – I was 6 and had tagged along with my mum to the local beautician. While she had her nails painted with Chanel 'Rouge Noir' (THE colour of the 90s thanks to Miss Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction), I had a Barbie pink shade applied to mine. Oooohh boy, did I think I was fancy or what!
Six-year-old me would be amazed then to see how the nail industry has exploded in recent years. New colours, new finishes, new celebrity collaborations (Kardashian Kolor or Mariah Carey for OPI, anyone?) – it's all happening and shows no signs of slowing down. The latest craze is nail art, whereby you can literally get anything and everything painted on your talons, from patterns to prints, cartoon characters to fruit bowls. Need some extra bling? Some salons will even incorporate mini crystals in their designs.
Creative in a way you never thought possible, these are the best places for nail art in Melbourne. Go on, go get your fancy on!
Put simply, Chelsea Bagan is an icon in the world of Melbourne nails. Founder of Trophy Wife Nail Art, Chelsea is a fingertip connoisseur with no design too difficult for her to master! In true Melbourne fashion, Trophy Wife Nail Art started off quite undercover but once people caught wind of her genius creations, business started booming. Chelsea works out of a studio in Richmond but can travel for private bookings. Don't expect the nail art to extend to your feet though, as Chelsea has a 'no toes' policy. And for good reason – why waste her beautiful work on feet that generally get covered up?
Trophy Wife Nail Art | Level 1, 54 Bridge Road in Richmond | 0422 052 874
I scream, you scream, we all scream for I Scream Nails! Combining their love of nail art with Melbourne's love of anything 'pop-up', the team I Scream Nails, led by the super creative Celia, travel all over Melbourne popping up in different places to paint and bedazzle the nails of their many fans. They've been found everywhere from the Myer Bourke St windows, to suburban shopping centres, designer boutiques on Chapel Street, and parties galore. While I Scream Nails has a salon on Langridge Street in Collingwood, we suggest following them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see where they'll pop up next – you never know, it could be near you!
I Scream Nails | Suite 6, 60 Langridge Street in Collingwood | 0405 511 431
Not too long ago, sisters Rohani and Rosalie Osman faced a dilemma – they had an intense love of nail art but couldn't find a salon or business in Melbourne that did it justice. What's a girl to do then? Well, if you're anything like the Osman sisters, you start The Super Rad Nail Sisters. Using skills developed from working in fine art and illustration, Rohani and Rosalie stocked up polish and set about changing Melbourne's nail art scene with their bold, bright, eye-catching designs. Want in on the nail art action? You can visit the sisters at their Brunswick salon or book them for your next event.
The Super Rad Nail Sisters | Rear of 18-20 Michael Street in Brunswick
If there's one thing that Erin Margrethe loves, it's nails. Long nails, short nails, plain nails, blinged out nails – you name it, Erin loves it. Blonde Tiger was born from this passion and pledges to make people happy 'one nail at a time'. Working out of Fluff Hair on Smith Street in Collingwood, Erin's 20 years of expertise is put on show with customers coming back time and time again. While she loves a traditional French manicure as much as the rest of us, Erin really loves to flex her creative muscles with nail art – after all, a little bit of glitter never hurt anybody! Pay Blonde Tiger a visit next time you need your nails done – you'll be very glad you did!
Blonde Tiger | 46 Smith Street in Collingwood | 0498 474 287
No one does nail art like the Japanese, so our roundup wouldn't have been complete without the brilliant Poni Tokyo Nails. Located on Little Collins Street in the CBD, the team at Poni Tokyo use the highest quality products and techniques from Japan to create incredible gel nail art. There's an easy-to-use booking system online, so pick your time and a design from their extensive gallery (or submit your own design), sit back and relax. With new customers receiving 10% off, excluding shellac, you'd be silly not to go.
Poni Tokyo Nails | Room 2, Level 3, 313 Little Collins Street in Melbourne | 0434 245 588
Why should adults have all the fun when it comes to nail art? Funky Fingers Nail Art, the brainchild of Melbourne-based beauty therapist Mandy, specialises in nail art especially for kids and teenagers. From glitter to crystals, stickers to foils, Funky Fingers Nail Art has it all. Mandy also caters for children's parties and, with special packages and party bags on offer, it's the perfect entertainment for your child's next birthday bash. Oh, if only Funky Fingers Nail Art had been around back in the 90s, six-year-old me would've LOVED it!
Funky Fingers Nail Art | 0402 357 953
Image Credit: Trophy Wife