These are the best nail salons in Sydney

As someone who has sat on both ends of the spectrum, i.e. chewed up fingernails covered in dirt to bulbous thumb-long talons with 3D art, life seems a lot more easy (and more put together) with a cool manicure.

Of course, there are times when I curse the impractical length. It’s mostly when I try to peel the sticker off an apple. These are the times when I think of acrylic as the equivalent of intentionally putting a dog cone around your neck. But then I wonder, “what would Cardi B do?” And get rid of it immediately. After all, is there anything that makes you feel like a hot girl more than the obnoxious tapping of your fingernails on your phone screen? There’s a reason it’s such a popular trigger in the ASMR world.

Anyway, I digress. What I’m trying to say is that nail art is a far cry from the days of drugstore French presses. On Instagram, the creativity of female nail technicians is impossible to miss, with celebrity manicurists creating followers to rival stylists and makeup artists – as they should.

These days, if you want things to be kept short and sweet, you have plenty of options. Likewise, if you want to step up your nail game – be it color, extensions, texture, volume, nail shapes – there’s no better time to visit your nail tech. Speaking of which, here are our favorite nail salons in Sydney, to help you on your nail journey.

1. Jocelyne Petroni

Where: Woollahra

Meticulous nail care is what you’ll get at Jocelyn Petroni – an official Chanel nail expert and a longtime favorite of the RUSSH crew. Petroni’s eponymous clinic aims to improve on what’s already there, and much of your appointment will focus on nail health. After all, as Jocelyn Petroni said RUSSH “A manicure is never as good as the health of the nails on which it rests”. Petroni uses Chanel Le Vernis nail polish to achieve simple yet classic and long-lasting manicures.

2. Mannequin hands

Where: Saint-Pierre

Chances are you already know Mannequin Hands. Its owner, Victoria Houllis, is a weapon when it comes to nails, and her work is always fun, experimental, and edgy. Besides being good at micro-designs, you’ll find interesting 3D styles, as well as eye-catching chrome and airbrush detailed sets. Although you have to love them from afar, Mannequin Hands is notoriously hard to get an appointment with books closed to new clients. However, reservations sometimes happen when customers cancel, so turn on story notifications to catch one. Alternatively, you can secure snaps, as well as cuticle oil and decals on his website.

3. The waterless manicure

Where: East Sydney

When RUSSH Editor Jess Blanch sends you her nail link, you listen. Based in Eastern Sydney, Tulin comes to you for perfectly private luxury nail care. She uses Hermès polishes exclusively and preps your hands with a list of top skincare names; think of Augustinus Bader, Chanel and Sisley.

4. Sets by Onyx

Where: Sydney

If you’re a fan of LA-based nail tech caroline cotten and Mei Kawajiri, nail artist in New York, then you’ll want to get into Claudia Spirou’s STAT books. Working on natural nails and also offering gel extensions, Spirou’s work is a colorful assortment of airbrushed nails, studded with jewels and gel-based texture. We can’t look away.

5. Saikou Nails

Where: Town Hall

Conveniently located a stone’s throw from Town Hall station, Yuko has over 10 years of experience creating Japanese gel designs. Her portfolio includes fruit soda jelly sets, gummy candy inspired nail art, anime riffs and hand painted miniature designs. I can’t stop watching this mermaid manicure which takes Hailey Bieber’s famous glazed donut set to new heights.

6. Bridget’s nails

Where: Haberfield

Gel queens, meet Bridget’s nails. Also touting ‘Builder In A Bottle’ options, get inspired – even, say, a nail still from Maddy in Euphoria — to Bridget and she’ll whip up your dream manicure every time. Her Instagram is a trove of hand-painted mismatched designs, from checkerboard patterns to flames, stars, cow prints, smiley faces and butterflies. Her books are currently open a month in advance, so try your luck now.

7. Zydi Nails

Where: Paddington

For those who love minimalism. Zydi Nails in Sydney’s Inner East is all about delicate nails, preferring to file only natural oval shapes. Open Wednesday through Friday, this outpost is run by Anna who regularly posts her delicate creations on Instagram. If you want by Betina Goldstein job, Zydi Nails is for you.

8. Lily the nail lady

Where: Blacktown, St Peters

Splitting her time between Blacktown and Mannequin Hands’ studio in St Peters, Lily specializes in gel, BIAB and Russian manicures. While you can be sure you’ll leave her studio with the freshest ensemble, know that Lily is unwavering in her commitment to taking care of your nails, too. The transformation photos speak for themselves and if you trust the process, it can bring even the most anxious back from the brink.

9. Miss Betty Rose

Where: Glebe

With over 2o years of experience under her belt, Miss Betty Rose has attracted a list of high profile clients including Lizzo and Nicole Kidman. If you book here, be sure to take advantage of the nail artist’s steady hand and attention to detail. We still think about her Basquiat and hentai inspired sets.

10. Nail makeup by Julie

Where: Ramsgate

Every few weeks, our Director of Content, Elyssa Kostopoulos, comes to the office with a shiny new pair of nails. Every week, we are in awe. It turns out Julie Dovolis is behind those claws — which currently look like a Hailey Bieber-esque frozen snack. This nail salon is for girls who know what they want, and what they want is clean and classic.

Once you’ve booked into one of Sydney’s best nail salons, here are some spring nail trends. Otherwise, take a look at our nail shape guide.

Stay inspired, follow us.


Sets by Onyx: A & Of them

Saikou nails: Three

Mannequin hands: Four & Five

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