Nailspiration: Naomi Yasuda's Outrageous, Art-Inspired Designs

Nail artist Naomi Yasuda shares her favorite designs, including tributes to Basquiat, McQueen and "Jem and the Holograms."

11 photos
Naomi Yasuda
Catherine Blair Pfander
Known for her intricate designs and unusual inspirations, Naomi Yasuda is changing the way New Yorkers think about nail art. Eager to see more of her work, we asked the artist to show us her 10 favorite designs—the concepts behind which may surprise you.
Naomi Yasuda
At first, we thought we were looking at a graffiti-art nail concept, but these colorful scribbles were specifically inspired by the work of Basquiat. "He is one of my favorite artists," says Yasuda. "I thought it would be so cool to try a Basquiat nail."
Naomi Yasuda
The art world seems to provide ample inspiration for Yasuda's work. We were blown away by this colorful and shockingly detailed manicure inspired by Georgia O'Keefe.
Naomi Yasuda
Even Renaissance-era art is fair game for Yasuda, who used miniaturized images from "The Last Supper" to create a nail-art homage to Leonardo da Vinci.
Naomi Yasuda
Yasuda isn't afraid of working with unusual materials or decals, like the ones used for this super blinged-out "stud" manicure. "I love silver-gold-black nails because they go with everything," Yasuda explains. We love the long segments of gold chain and tiny crystal details.
Naomi Yasuda
Nothing looks quite as summer-ready as a manicure inspired by fresh fruits. " I loved this because each finger was a different fruit," says Yasuda. "[The result] is very colorful—perfect for the summer."
Naomi Yasuda
Yasuda's ingenious tattooed nail concept gives the wearer a taste of tattoo culture (without the permanent ink). "I don't have any tattoos, so I decided to get a tattoo look on my fingers," Yasuda explains. "It's very simple but bold." The top mani reads "Brooklyn" while the bottom says "Thug Lyfe" in an old-fashioned tattoo script.
Naomi Yasuda
Eighties babies will appreciate Yasuda's splashy tribute to "Jem and the Holograms," complete with tiny painted portraits of the Misfits.
Naomi Yasuda
At first, the geometric detail and jagged shapes in these neon yellow nails have an almost alien look. "I got the inspiration from a beautiful yellow and black McQueen dress," Yasuda tells us. "I think I did good job getting the details of it."
Naomi Yasuda
Yasuda's interpretation of sunset in a the desert took inspiration from "Arabian Nights." Ombre pink and purple capture a moody night sky, while turquoise beads (ringed in gold glitter) feel especially Princess Jasmine. To see more of Yasuda's outrageous nail art, visit
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