As if summer beauty trends couldn’t get any better, we’ve discovered a new way to show some seasonal flair that combines two of our favorite categories — nail art and tattoos. That’s right, fingernail tattoos are majorly trending, thanks to the Instagram account Needle Nails, started by fashion consultant Ambie Stapleton and tattoo artist Christian Boyd.
Stapleton tells Brit + Co that in January, just before heading to Paris Fashion Week, Boyd mentioned the trend to her, and she wanted in immediately. “He drew ‘love’ in free-hand script [on one of my hands] and I was obsessed,” she says. “Everyone loved them in Paris and in London. They’re a conversation starter.” Once she was back in the US, Boyd drew morse code on the fingers of Stapleton’s other hand, and Needle Nails was born, offering fingernail tattoos by appointment (Boyd and Stapleton are based in New York City, but they travel to Los Angeles).
Now, we know what you’re probably thinking: Getting a fingernail tattoo sounds like it’d be painful, and do you really want something on your nails forever? Well, worry not. Stapleton says fingernail tattoos are painless AND they’re not permanent. “The design grows out as your nails grow out,” advises Stapleton. “For me, it took a little more than six weeks for it all to disappear, but I have a friend who did anchors on her nails, and at seven weeks it’s halfway grown out.” Think of it as a souped-up version of a gel mani — except you won’t be peeling polish off after two weeks.
An appointment with the Needle Nails duo can last anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours and includes discussing the design you want and the application. “The actual tattoo breaks through the nail bed,” says Stapleton. “The ink is set, leaving that portion of the nail engraved with ink. It’s definitely something that should be done by a professional who is aware of how to treat the nail, because it’s different than working with skin.”
Here are nine fingernail tattoos from Needle Nails we’re totally crushing on right now.
1. L-O-V-E: It doesn’t get sweeter than this design rocked by Stapleton, which launched it all for the brand.
2. Anchors: These minimalist anchors are the perfect way to rep your beach love this summer.
3. Artsy Accent Nail: You don’t have to get fingernail tattoos on every digit. Pick just one for a pretty accent nail.
4. Diamonds and Donuts: Now you can show off your love for the two important words that start with the letter D.
5. Mehndi: This gorgeous, intricate design was inspired by mehndi, a beautiful form of body art from India.
6. Dots and Dashes: We’re drawn to these lines that leave plenty of negative space.
7. Morse Code: Send an SOS with these little squares and dots reminiscent of Morse code. Think about how cool this design will look once they reach the tips of your nails!
8. Snoopy: We just can’t resist this adorable Snoopy fingernail tattoo. Really, isn’t it cute?
9. Lashes and Eyes: Bat those lashes (well, at least the ones on your fingers!) with this whimsical design.
Tweet us your favorite fingernail tattoos @BritandCo!