Nail Art

The Best Nail Artists in NYC 2022

Naho Watanabe; @_art_for_nails_by_naho

This past April, influencer Anthony Urbano booked an appointment at a studio near his apartment for custom Japanese-gel nail art. He got paired with Naho Watanabe, who painted his nails with smiley faces, leopard print, a checkerboard, and squiggles exactly as hoped. Watanabe now works out of a shared studio space in midtown but takes house calls with her Manhattan clients, booking her studio sessions around them, and Urbano has switched to booking Watanabe’s in-home appointments (from $90). About a week ahead, they’ll trade messages with nail-art ideas so Naho knows what to bring. “She knows my style now, so she often sends me DMs from Japanese nail-design accounts, so I can start thinking of my next set,” says Urbano, who most recently got a design with chrome drip and flames. On the day of, Naho brings a rolling bag of supplies, with polishes, a UV-light station, and brushes, and just needs a decent amount of table space to set up. (Urbano likes to use his coffee table.) Urbano’s sessions typically take two and a half hours, during which time he watches TV, listens to his Spotify stations, and gets to “chat more freely with Naho, since there are no other clients around .”