The not-so-humble nail has come to the fore in fashion over the past decade, from the Catwalk to the High Street. This spring, fashion sees the return of the neon nail, with Creative Nail Design’s Jan Arnold revealing that this season “it’s all about colour”.

Jan also revealed that “really vibrant, really noisy” nails added the perfect je ne sais quoi to any outfit, and are a must for any savvy fashionista wishing to keep up with spring’s colour blocking trends.

…while I myself couldn’t help feeling rather smug…

Always one for a challenge, I decided I’d experiment with my own nails, combining colour blocking and SS12’s tribal trends to create what I hoped would be some statement nail art. I should probably have guessed that such an idea, conceived as it was in the small hours of the morning and after a night out, would not end especially well. However, after one and a half hours of applying, removing and then reapplying a host of different nail polishes to my fingernails, I had my end result.


My results


I received a range of mixed reviews, from “your nails make you look like a five-year-old” (thanks Dad) to some very positive feedback from my lovely boss. And while I myself couldn’t help feeling rather smug when I looked down at my lovingly polished digits, I could not help but feel that my nail painting skills paled in comparison to those of the incredible Sophie Harris-Greenslade, founder of The Illustrated Nail.

With celebrity clientele including the likes of M.I.A. and Jaime Winston…

Never has there been a better time to go all out on your fingernails, and Sophie’s amazing skills in this department are something to be reckoned with. Having graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Illustration and Animation, and encouraged by her nail technician mother, Sophie went on to found The Illustrated Nail in 2010 and has never looked back since. With celebrity clientele including the likes of M.I.A. and Jaime Winston, and with an increasing public demand for extravagant nail art, Sophie is on the up-and-up.

Prices start at £25 a hand, and you have the added luxury of Sophie coming to your own doorstep to paint your nails for you. Perfect as a gift, or better yet as a treat for yourself, I can’t think of a better way to be bang on trend this season!


About The Author

Currently studying English at UCL; interested in literary, music and fashion journalism.

2 Responses

  1. Liz Graham

    Think Illustrated nails are amazing, especially the tribal ones! I live in Scotland how could I get mine done?



  2. Debjani

    I can’t speak for Sophie but unfortunately I don’t think she’d travel as far up as Scotland for a custom job!

    However, I would recommend taking a printed copy of some designs that you like to your local nail salon, or a salon that comes recommended: a good salon should be able to create something similar if they have a template to work on.

    Sophie uploads most of her designs to her tumblr – so you could check them out for some inspiration!(You’ll also find all her contact details there).



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