Nail Tattoos Are A Thing Now & They Guarantee A Smudge-Free Mani

by Summer Arlexis

There's nothing worse than successfully doing your own nails just to smudge them immediately. Scratch that. There's nothing worse than actually shelling out cash for a manicure and ruining it within minutes. If you're familiar with the struggle, then the fact that nail tattoos are a thing just may raise your eyebrows.

Finally, there's a solution for the madness that is trying your hardest not to nick a fresh paint job— and it's likely nothing you've ever considered before. These days, needle and ink aren't just being reserved for adorning the body with artwork. Bringing new meaning to mani art, there's a pop-up business now inking minimalist nail designs onto extremities.

If there are DNA tattoos that put genetic cells into ink or tats made from cat hair, then surely stamping the nails with a needle gun isn't super far-fetched. Sure, it seems a tad scary to think about permanently staining your nails. But it has to be worth it if it wards off the threat of not getting at least a week out of your fresh mani. Plus, this unique approach to nail art makes for such beautiful micro tattoos that are guaranteed to amaze with every flick of your wrist.

A concept birthed by fashion consultant Ambie Stapleton and Manhattan-based tattoo artist Christian Boyd, nail tattooing is about to become a major thing. Stapleton, like most manicure lovers, was all too familiar with messing up coats of polish just after getting the service done. It's an annoying experience she discussed with Boyd just a few months ago, according to Vogue, leading to their experimentation with nail tattooing— and thus, the duo's business Needle Nails was born.

Browse Needle Nails' Instagram and you'll find a black-and-white feed showcasing nails decorated with simple line and dot designs, mini letters, delicate drawings, and abstract artwork. Given that they're being inked onto a tiny canvas, there isn't much room to get crazy with the designs. Regardless of their simplicity, the minimalist aesthetic still draws you in.

Even if the thought of a needle touching your nail bed makes you cringe, you can't help but be intrigued by every tattooed digit. Luckily, the pain would only be in your head. As it turns out, nail tattooing doesn't hurt. No, really!

Unlike the process of getting a tattoo stamped onto your skin, the needle never penetrates below the nail. It simply grazes the surface, a feeling that Stapleton likens to "the hum of a massage chair". Sounds like a dream.

If you thought a pain-free experience was great, then the fact that nail tattoos require a relatively low commitment is the icing on the cake. Sure, it's a tattoo that'll last for awhile, but only until your nail grows completely out. In other words, these nail designs aren't as permanent as you think, perfect for those who can't commit to an adornment for life.

“Knowing that you have this permanent thing that’s not actually permanent—it’s a little bit of a safety zone,” Boyd told Vogue, and it couldn't have been said any better.

The painless experience and temporary nature of the designs is enough to make nail tattoos the next big beauty trend. Currently, Boyd takes appointments at his East Village studio and if not there, the tattoo doctor makes house calls.

Hardly noticeable with the hands in motion and easily mistakable for actual polish, these nail adornments don't feel nearly as serious as a real deal tattoo. So, it's likely they'll be a hit amongst those considering getting a tat just as much as they'll appeal to the mani rockers who dread having their polish disturbed. Clearly a win for everyone, nail tattoos are all that and a bag of chips.