Sharmadean Reid is a multi-tasking crazy pin-wheel. In between being a new mum, consulting for beauty brands, operating her WAH Nails empire that now spans locations in Dalston and concessions in Topshop Oxford Circus and the newly opened WAH Nails in Stratford's Westfield AND working for Nike, she has also managed to put out a book to celebrate all things WAH and amazing that have happened in the last four years. I salute her for more reasons than one but mainly because Sharma has really brought nail art to the accessible mainstream, when previously it was hidden in more obscure nail salons in London or existing in fashion editorials through the work of brilliant manicurists like Sophy Robson and Marian Newman. WAH, in London and the UK at least, has done much to encourage the DIY use of nail pens so that intricate patterns beyond a plain French manicure can be created without too much trouble and despite WAH trading as a business that paints people's nails, they're actually all for people having a go at WAH classics like the leopard print or the Aztec Tribal stripe at home themselves. Hence why we have a book that primarily centres around 25 nail art projects for you to mess around with.
Before I delve into the book though, I went to the ridiculously lush n' plush penthouse suite at the W London Hotel where WAH antics have been going on all day and will go on late into the night. I've never seen a freestanding double basin island in a hotel bathroom before but this facilitated the WAH girls to set up a mini nail salon, complete with an MTV Cribs-style jacuzzi in the backdrop. I'll be disappointed if people don't take advantage of the tub and end up there with geysers on full blast and champers flowing.
Four W Hotel naisl have been designed for the occasion that are basically fancy zig-zag stripes.
I've now got my own set of Models Own WAH Nails art pens so I can have a stab at doing those leopard squiggles.
Two seconds into the WAH Nails Book of Nail Art and immedately, The Cheap Date Guide to Style by Kira Jolliffe and Bay Garnett, which I reviewed back in the early days of Style Bubble, comes to mind. It's all no frills cut-and-paste layouts adorned with stickers, inspirational girls that people can relate to, Sharmadean-approved iconography such as references to Clueless, mixtape lists and it's very much in the spirit of WAH Zine, which exists as a Tumblr and in physical form. At the core of it, it's pretty much like a nail art recipe book, that sums up the creative DIY, not-afraid-to-mess-up spirit that WAH represents.
What was my WAH recipe for the day? It stemmed from my trusty Tsumori Chisato cardigan, which I'm well aware that I overwear, an Elio bag by the brand Boyy in turquoise and python and the slick yellow body of the K-01 Pentax designed by Marc Newsom, which is making me waver from my my normal DSLR.
Shades of Models Own Aciiied (a colour that Sharmadean designed herself for the brand), Bluebou, Lemon Meringue and Grey Day were used to recreate the Tsumori Chisato cardi pattern, and it was the lovely Simona, one of WAH's first nail technican, who painted my nails.