It’s been kind of amazing to witness the evolution of New York’s manicure nail art game. What started back in my junior high days as super thick acrylic French tips dotted with simple floral brushstroke designs has progressed into an entire nail art culture. Now specialty salons charge upwards of $200 for insanely intricate sets. A trend that traveled over to the US from cities like Tokyo and Hong Kong, these days there’s pretty much no end to the aesthetic possibilities with calgel: chain piercings, 3D sculpting, fine painting, lace application, glitter gradation. If you request it, the skilled technicians can make it happen.

Here are several styles created with motifs that cater to our specific interests, like paisley rags, cartoons, gold, and old english A$AP lettering. Welcome to TIP$ET.


Photos by Sally Griffiths and Natalia Mantini
Nails Technician: Michina Koide