We have blow dry bars, oxygen bars and fancy salons, so it was about time that someone created a nail bar to put us at ease from all the horror stories you hear about fungal infections and missing toes- as a result of the $40 mani/pedi you get from the local salon. We spoke to Monika from The Nail Lab, who has created a premium nail salon based on what she and other customers wanted in a nail bar. Here she dishes on nail trends, her own range of nail polishes and industry tips to keep nails in tip top shape.

Monika from The Nail Lab
Monika from The Nail Lab

On Nail Trends of the Year 

Nails are a good way to stay on trend without investing in pieces you’ll never wear again: “My wardrobe is monochrome and so I experiment with fashion trends with my nails. I don’t have neon in my wardrobe but I’d definitely try it on my nails – same with half moon manicures. Cut out dresses and crop tops weren’t for me but they work nicely on my nails” says Monika. 

The 'Squoval and Half Moon Trend
The ‘Squoval and Half Moon Trend

When it comes to nail trends, celebrities also have a lot of say in trends: “There are a lot of requests for coffin shaped nails -pretty much influenced by Kim Kardashian. 

Other popular nail shapes? We also get many requests for stiletto and almond shaped nails – a classic. Like all trends, coffin and stiletto shapes will come and go and we will see the squoval (square with rounded edges) with a nude or classic shade making a come back

Almond Shaped Nails

On Launching a New Range of Nail Polishes

Living on this side of the world means we are the last to get access to trends and collections. It’s the reason behind the launch of the Nail Lab polishes: “We love OPI but found we were always delivering a season out. We wanted to be the first one to bring in the trends and created a range of our own. Quality was a priority – we wanted to create a range that was comparable to the OPIs in the industry.”


How to DIY the Nail Trends at Home 

Monika’s Mani Must Haves

  • Fine grit file for natural nails (try for a 180 grit)
  • Wooden orange stick (to push cuticles back)
  • Base coat (to protect nails from lacquer staining and to provide an even surface for lacquer)
  • Top coat (for extra shine and increase longevity of the life of the lacquer on the nail)​
  • Cuticle oil (to keep the cuticles hydrated and speed up the drying process of the lacquer at the end of the mani)

How to re-create the trends at home

  • Scour You Tube (thousands of Step by Step How to Guides)
  • Buy a book of Nail Art basics how to guide (We love ‘Nails, Nails, Nails’ by Madeline Pool available on shop.thenaillab.com.au)
  • Look to social media for inspiration #nailart

Monika’s Tips On Caring For Your Nails and Cuticles – and why you should always use a base coat: 

  • Don’t cut your cuticles, push them back instead
  • Look for salons who certify their staff
  • Buff your feet when they are dry and stay away from scrapers that peel the skin back, it’ll only promote growth and thicken the skin 
  • UV lights from gel manicures can be harsh for your skin, opt for salons that use LED lights instead
  • Use a base coat. Everyone assumes nails need time to ‘breathe’ when they go yellow but it’s because they aren’t using a a good base coat


See more beauty articles from Iona Yeung here or follow her blog on Twitter or on Instagram @iona.y

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