The WAH Nails Book of Nail Art by Sharmadean Reid was published recently and it’s captured the spirit and look of WAH absolutely perfectly – but I wouldn’t expect anything less from the woman who brought WAH Zine, leopard talons and the LA Gear aesthetic to the masses. The book is a how-to guide for 25 of the Dalston/Topshop/The World salon’s most popular designs, but it’s also a tribute to the girls who make up team WAH and a scrapbook of their story so far.
There are no models here, just very cool London ladies showing off their neat nails in mini-interviews and profiles. In between the how-tos there are WAH mixtapes, do-your-own design templates plus a sticker page that’ll have you torn between pillaging its cuteness and keeping it intact for posterity.
There’s no question that nail art can bring a bit of easy style and instant joy into one’s world and the fact that dressed-up nails are more popular than ever shows that this bit of quirky grooming is going to be around for some time to come. The experience of getting yr nailzdid at WAH, a business run by women (mostly) for women where you’re surrounded by retro magazines, Barbies and 90s-grrrl paraphernalia is an east London girl’s dream.
These are my favourite designs from the book: the classic leopard print (above) and lips (below, which I’ve never got done, but will do next time).
The ensuing days of visual happiness that just glancing down at your vibrant mini-canvases gives you is a worthwhile treat once in a while that costs the same as half a haircut or a couple of posh cocktails (if your hands aren’t steady enough to DIY-it!). You can buy the book direct from the salon and get your copy signed by WAH boss Sharmadean herself.
Below are my own 2 best WAH nail designs so far – some JUNGLE RED zebra stripes and then a multi-pink leopard which loudly compliments my holey tights and raggy 80s dress. Why would you EVER let your nails go bare when they could look like this??
Want a copy of this marvellous book? Of course you do. Just tell us in the comments section below about the coolest look you like to do on your nails and we'll pick the most inventive as our winner.