5 Salons That Are Bringing Back Nail Art

Photographed by Dan McCoy.
Nail art may be cool again, but there was a time not so long ago when its popularity was on the brink of extinction. You can chalk its endangered status up to design fatigue, or just an over-saturation in the marketplace. (We admit it, we can all be fickle about beauty crazes.)

But decorous manicures are reemerging in a major way, and there are several salons helping to make the trend relevant again. We highlight them, along with some examples of their work, in the slides ahead. You can check the spots out in person, bring these images to your salon of choice for inspiration, or try them out at home — whatever you do, know that we are 100% behind the renaissance of this trend.
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Photo: Via @vanityprojects.
Vanity Projects
The ultimate cool-girl spot for those looking for more out-of-the-box soon-to-be-copied designs. Think: Kimojis immortalized on your digits (seen here). Or if you're looking to hop on the Rihanna pointy-nail bandwagon, that's an option, too. They're big on gel, but you can pretty much get whatever polish floats your badass boat.
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Photo: Via @vanityprojects.
We weren't kidding about pointy nails being big at this salon. You can top them off with a metallic ombré finish, like this set.
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Photo: Via @vanityprojects.
An unconventional Valentine's Day manicure you can wear way past the 14th.
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Photo: Via @vanityprojects.
I've been drinking...Well, you know the rest.
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Photo: Via @oliveandjune.
Olive & June
On the opposite, pared-down side of the nail art spectrum (and the opposite coast), we have Olive & June. The Beverly Hills salon's stunning, dainty designs are perfect for the beauty minimalists out there — sometimes less is, in fact, more. All the better when the artists don't skimp on quality.
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Photo: Via @oliveandjune.
Neutral colorblocking is a subtle entry point for nail-art newbies.
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Photo: Via @oliveandjune.
Cheetah Girls, Cheetah sisters...
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Photo: Via @oliveandjune.
A rounded shape and simple design lend a sophisticated touch to this classic, white mani.
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Photo: Via @oliveandjune.
Don't have $400 to dish on those Fendi fur balls? Get the characters on your nails as a much cheaper alternative.
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Photo: Via @marienails.
Marie Nails
With salons stretching from NYC to Japan (home to the original salon) Marie Nails has been at the nail art forefront for more than 10 years. No design is too intricate for these accomplished artists; portraits on nails and images of Givenchy-inspired Rottweilers are just some of the requests they've tackled.
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Photo: Via @marienails.
Don't be tardy to the mani-confetti party.
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Photo: Via @marienails.
Spring is in the air (and on your nails).
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Photo: Via @marienails.
You'll definitely always feel like somebody's watching you with these nails.
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Photo: Via @paintboxnails.
Paintbox
Aptly referred to as the Modern Manicure Studio, Paintbox takes classic nail art designs and updates them. Think: unconventional french manicures and negative-space nails like you've never seen before. Its Instagram feed alone provides enough eye candy to inspire any creative individual out there.
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Photo: Via @paintboxnails.
Perhaps the most chic two-tone nail we've ever seen, this creamy beige base with black tips is also one of the easiest to copy at home. Tip: Make sure you let the lighter hue fully set before letting Scotch tape guide your second hue.
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Photo: Via @paintboxnails.
This design, dubbed "the oil spill," is the only kind of pollution we support.
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Photo: Via @paintboxnails.
Subtly match your mani to your outfit.
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Photo: Via @primpnpolish.
Primp & Polish
Brooklyn-based Primp & Polish is where we imagine a majority of the designs recirculated on Instagram first emerged — as is the case with most Brooklyn shops, right? (Maybe I'm biased, because I live in Brooklyn, but show me the lie.) A prime example is 3-D art, as seen here.
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Photo: Via @primpnpolish.
Say it with us: This manicure is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s.
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Photo: Via @primpnpolish.
You don't need six arms in order to pull off this detailed octopus design.
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