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Men and women around the globe have been painting their nails for centuries. But it wasn't until the '20s and '30s that the modern manicure made its way into beauty canon thanks to the invention of polish actually designed for use on the nails (before that, car paint was a common substitute). From there, nail aficionados have experimented with different shapes, textures, and trends from the tame (French manicures and minimalist designs) to the outlandish (fur nails, weed nails, and snow globe nails).
Lately, enthusiasm for 3-D nail art has increased thanks to a hoard of celebrities and fashion designers embracing the style. I've always admired these nails from afar, gazing fondly at Cardi B's bedazzled acrylics all while wondering why anyone would subject themselves to three hours of nail prep just to be inconvenienced by claws with charms. In an attempt to understand the trend, I decided to experience this nail art trend myself. I called up Mei Kawajiri, an editorial nail artist who's worked with fashion houses like Balenciaga and Tom Ford, and her friend Gia Kuan, a fashion publicist who's been rocking 3-D nails for over a year, to show me what all the buzz is about. Feast your eyes on the most extravagant nails I've ever gotten in the video above, and then stay tuned to see me attempt to live my life with them.