Meet Tak, our resident and adored HBFIT nail artist. We’re obsessed with his unbelievable nail art, so we decided to sit down with him and ask him all about his experience. You're originally from Japan. What are the nail trends like there? How are they different from what is popular in NYC? Women in New York are really getting into expressing themselves through nail art. I see a lot of musical references, pop culture, politics, humor. They don't take it too seriously because it's a temporary, fun way treat yourself! In Japan, maybe because nail art has been mainstream for longer there, I think women are mostly focused on making their nail art manicures last longer. A lot of the gel used over there is stronger than what we have here in the States, so it may stay on for 5-6 weeks or longer! As a result, the art is a bit more minimalist and reserved. What is your favorite kind of design to make? What have been some of your favorite trends in nail art? I'm really into anything cheerful and colorful at the moment, like cartoons and street art. A big trend that I love is chrome. Negative space and geometric shapes are very in right now and always look chic. What are your tips if you're new to nail art? How should clients come prepared to their appointments? No preparation needed! Clients are welcome to bring pictures or other items for inspiration, but we can also just chat and figure it out together. What should one expect with gel and nail art? The great thing about using gel for nail art is the consistency. It's thicker than nail polish and easier to control, so I can create tiny, precise details with just a brush stroke. Clients should expect gel manicures to last longer than a regular polish manicure. Depending on how active they are, it can last up to about three weeks before the new nail coming in is noticeable. What's the best way to maintain one of your stellar designs? There are two things you can do to help your gel mani last longer. The first is to keep your hands out of the water as much as realistically possible. It’s a great excuse not to do the dishes! The second is to apply cuticle oil before you go to sleep. Try to make it a part of your nightly routine! Is there anything else we should know about Nail Art 101? There are two things that are important to know. First, I constantly hear women say that gel damages their nails. Some brands of gel may dry your nails out, but for the most part the damage and weakness they're experiencing isn't from the gel, but how it’s removed. I have clients and friends who have been wearing gel back to back for years and when they take it off, their natural nails are strong and healthy. Also, for a while there was some concern about UV rays from lamps used for gel manicures. Most reputable salons only use LED lamps now, and there are no UV rays/no side effects from LED bulbs. If you're not sure what your salon uses, just ask. Thank you Tak for the run down. Check out more of his insane designs here!