Beauty

HAIM Nails

When Mei Kawajiri moved from Harijuku, Japan to New York a year and a half ago, she didn’t speak a word of English. Fast-forward to the present day and Mei is one of New York City’s most requested freelance nail artists, catering to stars like Lana Del Rey and Hannah Bronfman, and is easily the warmest, most talkative manicurist I’ve ever encountered.

In honor of our June/July music issue (on stands now!), we asked Mei to create a HAIM "The Wire"-inspired mani you can recreate at home. Check out the slideshow to get a closer look and a step-by-step guide!

You can check out Mei’s work on Instagram using @ciaomanhattan2012 and #nailsbymei and book an appointment with her at nailsbymei.com

*Disclaimer: Mei used gel nail polishes, but since they are not typically home-accessible, we substituted them with a few of our favorite lacquers. 

PREP

1. Cut and file nails.

2. Use cuticle remover (Mei likes CND's SolarOil) and push down cuticles using a cuticle pusher.

3. Buff nails using a nail buffer. This will make the nails smooth and polish-ready. **This is especially important if you use gel nail polish, as it will not stay without this step.

4. Wipe nails with alcohol along the cuticle and cut cuticle using a cuticle nipper.

5. Wipe with acetone.

6. Apply a clear base coat.

**Always finish with top coat once the nails are fully dry, or else they will smudge. 

PINKY

1. Apply two coats of nude polish. Let dry.

2. Create a white football-shape in the center of the nail. Let dry.

3. Thinly line the white shape. Add black pupil. Then draw a thin eyebrow above the eye. Let dry.

4. Draw blue dripping "tear shape." Let dry.

5. Add white dots in the center of the pupil. Thinly line the tear drops.

RING FINGER

1. Apply two coats of the same nude polish. Let dry.

2. Dip your nail art paint brush into black polish and write "I [leave space] U", then write "FOREVER" underneath. Let dry.

3. Dip your nail art paint brush into red polish and draw a heart between the "I" and "U."

MIDDLE FINGER

1. Apply two coats of the same nude polish. Let dry.

2. Dip your nail art paint brush into black polish and draw the outline of a square face.

3. Create short strokes on top of the face for hair. Let dry.

4. Create glasses by drawing two upside down half-circles across the face and attaching them with a line. Let dry.

5. Add eyebrows on top of the glasses, a nose stemming from the glasses' bridge, a small lip shape, and a line for a chin. Let dry.

6. Add two white dots in the glasses for the eyes. Let dry.

7. Outline the eyes with thin black lines and create the pupil. Let dry.

8. Dip your nail art paint brush into red polish and draw two hearts on the side of your "man."

POINTER FINGER

1. Apply two coats of baby blue polish

2. Using your white polish, draw a pentagon with a sharp point on the bottom. Let dry.

3. Thinly outline the shape with black polish and add detail, making into a diamond. Let dry.

4. Add a thin black band at the bottom of the diamond.

5. Create two small dashes on the side of the diamond, making it "shine."

INDEX FINGER

1. Apply two coats pink polish. Let dry.

2. Dip your nail art paint brush into red polish and create two halves of a broken heart. Let dry.

3. Dip your nail art paint brush into black nail polish and create dashes on top and bottom of the broken heart.

MIDDLE FINGER

1. Apply two coats nude polish. Let dry.

2. Dip your nail art paint brush into black polish and draw the outline of a heart-shaped face. Let dry.

3. Add two white dots for eyes. Let dry.

4. Dip your nail art paint brush into brown polish and create eyebrows and a nose. Let dry. 

5. Using your brown polished brush, draw hair.

5. Outline the white eyes, creating short strands for eyelashes if possible.

6. Dip your nail art paint brush into red polish and draw lips. Let dry.

5. Dip your nail art paint brush into black polish and draw a line to separate the upper lip from the lower lip.

6. Using your black polished brush, add detail and dimension to the hair with a few thin lines.

7. Create a neck and add two triangles for shirt.

RING FINGER

1. Apply two coats white polish. Let dry.

2. Make three nude colored dots on the nail. Let dry.

3. Outline nude dots to become heads.

4. Add hair using black polished nail art brush. Let dry.

5. Add eyes, eyebrows, noses, and mouths. Let dry.

6. Add blue dots to the center of eyes.

7. Add red hearts wherever there is space.

PINKY

1. Apply two coats nude polish. Let dry.

2. Dip your nail art paint brush into black polish and write "N", then put a caret underneath, and then write"FOREVER" underneath.

THUMBS

1. Apply two coats of bright white nail polish. Let dry.

2. Dip a nail art paint brush into black polish.

3. Carefully write "HA" on your upper right thumbnail and "IM" on the upper right left thumbnail.

4. Dip your nail art paint brush into a bright blue polish and write "the Wire" in script.

5. Once dry, apply top coat.