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Wah Nails Launches a Book of Nail Art DIYs

It's safe to say nail art would've eventually found its way from the corner to the catwalk, but stylist Sharmadean Reid's Wah Nails in East London certainly sped up the process.

With the Central Saint Martins grad (and ASOS stylist) as head B-girl in charge, the storefront shop churns out one neon leopard mani after another, loading fingers up with multicolored crystals, tiny fruits, Chanel logos and enough glitter and gold studs to bedazzle a jacket. The results are as head turning as they are fly—even Topshop has taken notice, installing a mini Wah in their London flagship.

Unsurprisingly, the Japanese nail art obsessive never expected to gain such a rabid following. “I [thought] it would be just me and my mates sitting around getting our nails done,” says Reid of the early days of Wah when she could hardly even find a nail blog to check out.

But word got out, and it wasn’t just her and her mates for long—600 people showed up for the opening night party, forcing the celebration to the street.

While Topshop eventually made its way to the States, we've only had the rare Wah NYC pop-ups to satiate us. But with the launch of Reid's The Wah Nails Book of Nail Art, anyone with a little patience can have a little East London flavor on their fingers.

In the shop, “The music is right, the girls look like you and they know what you’re about,” say Reid. It’s that vibe that she wanted to translate into the book.

She also tried to keep the perspective of a small town girl poring through a stack of magazines because, as she says, “You can be cool anywhere.” So it’s no surprise the photo-heavy tome is user friendly enough to make even the shakiest of hands feel at ease drawing ice cream drips and abstract De Stijl styles.

Each of the 25 projects is modeled by one of Reid's cool girl friends. And there are even a few full-sized blank hands in the back to practice on, or come up with your own Wah-worthy designs.

Read on for a lesson from Reid in pop-art inspired nails, which will definitely make you look cool. Anywhere.

Image courtesy of Rizzoli USA


How to Give Yourself the Perfect Pop Art Mani:

Reid currently loves getting Keith Haring-inspired pop art manicures and you can get a pop art look of your own with this Roy Lichtenstein-inspired POW! nail. The look is easy to achieve, just follow along with the steps below:

1) Grab five different nail polishes, a white nail art pen and a black nail art pen.

2) Paint each of your nails with a different base color and let dry completely.

3) Paint a white “explosion” (see photo) in the bottom corner of each nail using the white nail-art pen.

4) Paint white polka dots uniformly over the top half of the nail.

5) Once each explosion is dry, use your black nail-art pen to write POW! CRASH! BANG! WHAM and any other comic book words you want inside.

6) Outline the explosions with your black nail-art pen and finish with a glossy topcoat.

Image courtesy of Rizzoli USA

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