clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Meet the LA Artist Behind Hollywood’s Wildest Nails

Photo: @simihaze

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Britney Tokyo is a former actress and TV personality from Japan. Over the last year, the inventive LA-based talent has taken Hollywood by storm by producing some of the zaniest nail art we've ever seen, from Kimoji nails that even Kim K herself flaunted to flashy Coachella nails for FKA Twigs. Celebrities like Rita Ora jump at the chance to get the Britney treatment, and notorious nail art fiends like Kylie Jenner tap Britney to make frequent appearances on her app.

Fascinated by the fanfare, we sat down with the artist — who has more than 125k followers on Instagram, by the way — to learn more about her rise to fame. She also reveals exactly what nasty nail art habits she wants us all to break ASAP.

What is your earliest memory of nail art?

In elementary school, I didn't even know what nail art was but I was drawing on my fingernails during class!

Kimoji Nails for @kimkardashian ✨ #tb #kimkardashian #nailart #LA

A photo posted by Britney TOKYO ✨ (@britneytokyo) on

Tell us a little about your career path — how did you get to where you are today?

It all started after I begun to post my work on [Japanese Social Networking Service] SNS. Even now, I receive most of my business inquiries through my Instagram! I've always been surrounded by art, and loved to draw since I was a little girl. I went to nail school, but it's only been like three years since I've really sunk into the nailist world. I started during the same time that nail art started to become a thing. I've always been lucky with timing for a lot of things, so I'm very thankful.

What's it like working with celebrities? Do you get nervous?

My first time working with a celebrity was a house call for Vanessa Hudgens. She was originally my friend's friend, so I wasn't nervous. I usually never get nervous for any celebrities I do nails for. I am a freelance nailist, without residing in an agency, so usually the celebrities contact me directly. Since they already know my work that makes it easier for me to work on them. Keyshia Cole and Rachel Platten are my most loyal celeb clients.

What is one thing you want girls to stop doing to their nails?

I never want anyone to peel off their gel or acrylic nails! By peeling off, the original nails can get severely damaged, and very thin. Having nails done are not bad for your nails, but incorrectly removing them can lead to damage. Please always remove by soaking into nail removal acetone. Also, never bite your nails.

What celebrity would you love to do nails for and why?

Beyonce, because her visual album Lemonade was so great! I would really love to do full nail art on her, instead of just a one-color manicure.