Anyone who knows a thing or two about nail art has already stumbled across the artist Mei Kawajiri – or Nails by Mei, as she is known on Instagram. Mei’s nail designs are all the rage right now: At the Met Gala a few weeks ago they could be seen on almost every celebrity, while big fashion houses like Balenciaga or Alexander Wang regularly book the Japanese artist for their campaigns and runway shows. 

Born in Kyoto, Mei’s journey first brought her to a beauty school in Osaka where she learned classic manicure techniques before moving to New York in 2012. Her own designs, however, are far from classic: picture the most eccentric nails you can imagine, encrusted with chunky crystals or pierced with gold hoops just like Janet Jackson did in the 90s. Even beauty minimalists take one look at Mei’s work and instantly want to have their nails done by the artist. We caught up with her for a quick chat. 

Clash de Cartier 18k Rose Gold Ring by ​CARTIER, Moonsun Cocktail Ring Rose Gold by ​SWAROVSKI, Clash de Cartier 18k Rose Gold Ring with Diamonds by ​CARTIER, Arachnophobia 18k Rose Gold Ring with Diamonds and Orange Sapphires by ​NGHI

Emoji Necklace in Gold Brass by ​CHLOE

Anouk Bracelets in Palladium Brass by ​CHLOE, Anouk Bracelets in Gold Brass by ​CHLOE, Emoji Necklace in Gold Brass by ​CHLOE

Juste un Clou Bracelet by ​CARTIER, Love Bracelets by ​CARTIER, 602 Wife vs Secretary Lipstick ​GUCCI

Aero Silver and Rock Crystal Ring by ​NGHI, Arc Palladium and Colorless Diamonds Ring by ​NGHI, ​Love Ring by ​CARTIER, Tigris Cuff Silvershade by ​SWAROVSKI




Text and Interview ANNA BOK