I’m not going to pretend like I’m super adventurous with my nail color choices. I’m usually a nude, pink, or classic red type of gal, but lately, I’ve been feeling inspired to step outside of my comfort zone. That’s all thanks to celebrity nail artist Mei Kawajiri. She has fast become one of my favorite nail artists to follow due to the fun and bold works of art she has done for celebs such as Gigi Hadid, Rosalía, Dua Lipa, and more.
After combing through her Instagram, I’m now armed with a fresh inspo board of design ideas along with some seriously cool nail color combinations I never would have thought to pair together. Yep, you heard it here first—mismatched nails are the next big thing, and Kawajiri’s stunning work is the proof. Luckily for us, Kawajiri was kind enough to share the inside scoop on her favorite colors to mix. For all her picks, keep reading below.
“Because Y2K is trendy [right now], I’ve been adding more shades of brown into my work. I love to mix and match chocolaty and blush shades to make the lighter one really pop. Also, nail art is all about self-expression, and that’s why brown shades are a 2022 trend—they’re a neutral that comes in a diverse range of shades so everyone can indulge in nail art.” — Mei Kawajiri
“Another nod to the ’90s and Y2K trend, pastels are one of my favorite color combinations for summer. While I normally gravitate toward brighter, neon colors, pastels can curate a beautiful, classic, and chic look. If you want something more eye-catching, opt for accent nails or a pastel French tip!” — Kawajiri
“I love color so much. It’s been an inspiration to me in Tokyo and in New York, so hot pink is one of my favorites. It also works so well with other polishes and is a perfect accent to clear polish, lighter blush tones, and deep, rich browns.” — Kawajiri
“For a vibrant and more-is-more design, lean into complementary color [combinations] like green and red, blue and orange, or purple and neon yellow. I’ve recently loved playing with brighter blues and oranges, using my brushwork techniques for a tropical ’90s summer vibe.” — Kawajiri
“Since I am often inspired by Japan, OPI’s Exotic Birds Do Not Tweet and Alpine Snow are another fun combination that reminds me of food—specifically a Tamagoyaki omelet.” — Kawajiri
“[These] pink shades mimic a raspberry swirl. [Hot pink] along with a blush color are two on-trend shades that really pop when put together in a swirly, ’70s aesthetic.” — Kawajiri
“Jinsoon’s color choices are really good. [There’s] a see-through white called Tulle, which is typically hard to make with regular polish. I also love to mix it with a deep black for a chic, modern look.” — Kawajiri
Basically, I’m obsessed with this combination of deep teal and seafoam green. Mixing two hues of the same color just really does it for me.