Photography via Instagram/nail_unistella

Meet the Korean Nail Artist Behind Shattered Glass Nails, Bracelet Nails and Diamond Nails

You may recall that #glassnails and #braceletnails took over your Instagram feed last year, and inevitably launched thousands of DIY recreations. Well, meet Park Eunkyung, the genius South Korean nail artist behind those double tap-worthy designs.

It’s hard to believe Park has already been in the industry for 15 years, but with the power of Instagram and her Internet-breaking designs, which also include negative space nails, prism nails and pom pom nails, the 33 year-old Seoulite has taken the beauty world by storm, one fingertip at a time.

“Since I was young, I wanted to do something that’s related to beauty so I begged my parents,” Park recalls. “I first started learning makeup, but then I came across nails…” And well, the rest, as they say, is history.

Since her first-ever design (it was a 3D ribbon, btw), she has consistently pushed the limits with her badass nail art skills. Apart from conjuring up endless inspo for everyone from minimalists to the OTT beauty geeks on the regular, the precision she puts into each design on micro canvases is mind-blowing. Just watch our Facebook live stream below and you’ll see what we mean.

Her talent has clearly not gone unnoticed. On home turf, she has probably worked with everyone in the K-Pop and K-Drama world (like Jun Jihyun, BlackPink, Sistar – to name a few) and has loyal followers like Aimee Song, Jenn Im and Irene Kim visiting her nail salon, Unistella, in the ritzy Cheongdam-dong. Even Victoria Beckham is said to be a fan. But aside from an A-list heavy clientele, she’s also teamed up with Korean nail polish brand Modi to roll out nail stickers. Oh, and did we mention she was also the official nail artist for the Creatures of Comfort Fall 2016 show? Yep, she’s going global.

But when you look at her extensive repertoire, you can’t help but wonder where her ideas come from. Unsurprisingly, inspiration is literally all around her. I still remember her wandering off to take photos of cool logos and designs in window displays and alley ways while we went shopping in Garosu-gil.

“I don’t necessarily think of specific things to get my inspiration, but I tend to choose designs that are difficult to express on nails,” says Park. “I always think how certain things would look on nails.” Her most recent diamond nails are a clear example of her talent.

Even though she’s one of the most sought after nail artist in Seoul for editorials and Fashion Week, one of her biggest challenges is feeling under-appreciated in the fashion and beauty industry.

“I enjoy working with all of the [designers] and feel very honoured to have the chance to work with them,” Park says about her previous collaborators. “But among them, there aren’t many that think nail art is really important.”

Sure, nails may not be that visible on the runways, but for the average person (including me!), it’s the best place to go a little a crazy in the beauty department.

“From my point of view, nails are located where it’s most visible to your eyes,” says Park. “With just a bit of care, you gain confidence – kind of like wearing high heels or a red lipstick.” Preach, girl.

I had the pleasure of visiting the cool girl in her nail salon in Seoul to talk nail inspo and learn how to recreate her Insta-famous designs. So if you’re looking for your next DIY project, you’ve come to the right place. Watch our Facebook live stream below to get a step-by-step guide on how to create shattered glass nails, bracelet nails and hanji nails at home this weekend.

And in case you want to try other designs, scroll through the gallery to see a sample of her most mesmerizing designs.