If you follow the world of nail art, you know that there are a lot of weird manicures going viral on the internet. From creepy AF molars to gorgeous, leafy succulents, it seems like there's no end to what people are putting on their nails. While most of them are totally impractical — there is no way you can type an email or zip your zipper with those manis — the latest nail art trend is actually super wearable. Like, you can quite literally wear it right on your finger (and then take it off if you don't feel like wearing it anymore).
This is what Eunkyung Park, more commonly known as Unistella, tells me inside the Olive & June nail salon in Beverly Hills one afternoon. Park is arguably the most famous nail artist in Korea, maybe even the world, and she's responsible for starting some of the most sought-after nail art trends, including shattered glass nails, wire nails, and using negative space to create incredibly imaginative designs. While the rest of the world is still catching up on so many of her internet-breaking manicures, Park continues to challenge herself to come up with new ways to disrupt the nail world. Her most recent innovation could be her biggest one yet.
In May, Park created an Instagram account for Unistella Jewelry, revealing her latest project: nail rings. "My idea for my a nail jewelry line has been in the works for a long time. I've been thinking about this idea for a while and have been contemplating on the best way to create nail jewelry," Park shares. If you follow Park, you know that she's a fan of minimalist style, and the gorgeous pieces in her new line definitely reflect that aesthetic, as well as the wire nail designs she made famous last year. Although she isn't the first person to create nail jewelry or make "nail bling" popular, Park knew that she wanted her pieces to stand out from the rest.
But it wasn't easy for Park to translate her nail art into nail jewelry. It was a lot of trial and error. "I used line tape to test the look and feel of what the jewelry would look like on my hands, then I took wires to shape the rings that I wanted to design." After a year of testing and creating her rings, Park finally released her first collection with Barney's in Los Angeles at a weekend pop-up last week. The gold and silver rings were a hit — they completely sold out, unsurprisingly, as fans traveled far and wide to not only purchase them, but to meet Park in real life.
Park, in humble disbelief, tells me that followers of hers traveled all the way from Hawaii to see her pop-up and get their hands on one of her limited-edition rings. Each of the rings have to be custom-fitted to your nail, so Park spent hours with her pliers, twisting and turning them to fit everyone perfectly. For this reason, Park is not selling the jewelry widely just yet. "I'm working on launching a more versatile and upgraded collection of new jewelry that will launch this fall."
I was lucky enough to snag one of Park's rings and she custom-fitted it to my nail after creating a bejeweled rainbow manicure using Olive & June's latest nail stickers. Watching Park work is like watching a true artist create a masterpiece — she moves her hands quickly, but thoughtfully, to create something beautiful out of almost nothing. Just when you think she's going to place a jewel or a sticker one way, she takes her scissors, snips it half, and voila — a design you would have never even known was possible.
While I'd like to say I know what Park's next ring collection will look like, I can't because I don't. But I can guarantee the rings will be elegant, ingenious, and all over your Instagram feed.