The last decade has seen nail art take a huge leap forward, but Eichi Matsunaga takes it even further than that. “My philosophy is that detail is everything,” said the Japanese nail artist in an interview with Dazed Magazine. “There is a direct connection between my work and other cultural Japanese traditions in Japan, and the overarching theme is the careful attention to each stage of a process.”
Originally from Tokyo and currently based in New York, Matsunaga admits it was his sister who inspired him to treat nail painting as an art form. “She was working at a nail salon when I graduated from high school and I used to help her prepare nail art samples for the salon at her apartment,” he recalled. “Through this, I discovered that nails were my calling, and I enrolled in a nail art school soon after that.”
His designs aren’t contained to the nail surface alone. Rather, the whole hand serves as a canvas on which he incorporates custom made pieces, either translucent or made of metal. The finished result has a futuristic appeal to it, transforming his clients into fantastical beings, half robots, half human.
“My nails usually verge on the futuristic but I am still very interested in traditional methods and want to incorporate them,” says Matsunaga. In the meantime, his original designs can be seen sported on celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Mandy Moore, Lorde, and Mindy Kaling. You’ll want to take note.