It was on a rainy weekend in November 2016 that we glimpsed the future of nail art, and yes, WAH Nails is behind it.
The London nail art pioneers, led by founder Sharmadean Reid, have opened a flagship store in the heart of London’s Soho that allows customers to digitally design and trial their own creations before committing to the looks.
Reid’s ambitious and eclectic nail art designs sparked a beauty revolution back in 2009, when the Central St Martins graduate set up her feted shop in Dalston.
WAH has since held pop ups in central locations, including Topshop Oxford Street and Selfridges, but Saturday’s opening in Soho marks the entrepreneur’s first permanent residency in Zone One – and naturally this isn’t any old nail salon.
The swanky space on Peter Street comes with its own cocktail bar and looks more like a nightclub than a mani-pedi pitstop.
Customers can let their imaginations run wild on the salon’s computers and trial their virtual manicures before committing to a look.
And why Soho for the nail art guru’s flagship location?
“Soho IS London,” says Reid. “I went to uni there, I had my first job there, I went raving there.”
The 32-year-old designer has launched the salon with eight new nail art looks that celebrate her eight favourite Soho hotspots; Palace, Wardour News, China Town, Supreme, Bruno's Café, Sex Alley, Walker's Court and WAH Soho.
Read more: Meet the succulent plant manicures
Come and see the range...
More WAH looks we love...
And for those who want to create the looks at home without the faff, there are press ons:
WAX X ASOS Princess Diana-inspired
Sharmadean shares her top insider tips on nail care with stylist.co.uk:
- The best way to file nails is in long strokes in one direction – this prevents flaking and keeps them strong
- I really believe that good nails, like hair, start from within. Check your diet; are you getting enough iron and keratin rich foods?
- Gently buff any peeling bits off then rub Vaseline onto your nail bed to seal your nails. Vaseline is good for everything!
- Regular manicures are the only thing to sort your cuticles. You can buff them off slightly but it’s tough to cut them yourself
- For nails that curl at the top, I would try and keep them short or perhaps try an acrylic overlay which will work as a brace to keep your nails straight
- If your nails are discoloured from nail varnish then you must use basecoat. I’d recommend lemon juice on cotton wool to get rid of the discolouration and then sweep over again with acetone
- On when to give your nails a break from polish: It just depends - you know your own body, you know your own nails. If they’re weak and peeling then yes, give them a breather. But if they’re strong and tough then they can handle the polish
- On nail art: Practise, practise practise is all I can say. The more you do nail art, the better you get.