I just got the manicure of the future—and it’ll change the way you do nail art forever


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Photo: ManiMe

My new manicure was 3-D printed, and looks like a more disco version of The Rainbow Fish with rainbow colored metallic scales that I can’t take my eyes off of. The futuristic design was created by the brand ManiMe, which is here to change the mani game by using 3-D printing to make nail art more accessible than Trader Joe’s latest it-food.

The process began with me taking a photo of my nails held up against a card so that the computer could judge the size of my nail beds. I then got to choose from 26 (really cute) nail art options—including minimalist designs, solid colors, and different takes on the French mani and glitter and chrome—before the manicure-making robot 3-D printed my choice into a customized, laser-cut, fitted manicure. It came out on a thin card, from which you peel off the design and stick it to your nails. Et voila: I had my very own personalized manicure within minutes.

It’s literally the manicure of the future The Jetsons would be impressed. The mani that’s printed is technically a gel, but unlike the usual gels you find in the salon it’s 10-free, cruelty-free, and cured onto itself rather than your nail, which means your nails don’t get damaged in the process. It lasts for roughly 10 to 14 days, and comes off without taking your nail along with it.

And the best part? You can do everything online, and your new manicure will ship in three to four days. Once it arrives, you just peel off each nail from the sheet, stick it onto your nail beds, then file off the extra for your Insta-ready manicure, which is easy to peel off and swap for a different design whenever you want. Which means no sitting in a salon for hours or waiting for polish to dry. And the whole thing only costs $17, and even comes with extra nails in case you somehow wreck part of your mani.

Founder and CEO Jooyeon Song always wanted the practice of getting your nails done to be less of a chore. “It was really challenging for me to have some time to go to the nail salon,” she says (same). So she tried to 3-D print her nails instead, partnering with painter David Llopis and tweaking the technology for two years before introducing it to (very happy) customers. . “There’s really no company in the huge nail industry that really speaks to the new generation of customer who’s always on the go, so I think we’re tackling a huge market with a cool product,” she says.

ManiMe hopes to collab with nail artists on more designs, making them really accessible, and possibly subscription boxes too. “We really want to elevate nail art and use a digital solution to reach more customers,” says Llopis. My mani game is about to get really chic.

Oh, and here’s how to stop biting your cuticles so that your manicure looks better. And these are pro tips on how to strengthen your nails so they stop breaking all the time. 

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