The Lacquer Room

When you hear the words nail art, do you envision gorgeous patterns, futuristic holographic sheens, or graphic, negative space designs? Because that’s what it’s become in recent seasons. This move towards an elegant and modern aesthetic, using beautiful colors or simple nail art, has resulted in a never-before-seen level of interest in the beauty trend. And The Lacquer Room, a boutique nail salon near Liberty, is increasingly becoming known for its popular array of nail art designs, which are all custom and hand-painted.

What’s behind the shift? Designers have embraced it, sending a range of nail art looks down the fall 2016 runways, including minimalist designs (nude nails with black tips at Cushnie et Ochs), ornate ones (matte black topped with an intricate red, gold, and white brocade-like pattern at Bibhu Mohapatra), and simple art (a petite pair of red lips against white lacquer at Rachel Antonoff).

Roxanne Nguyen, owner of The Lacquer Room near Liberty. Roxanne Nguyen, owner of The Lacquer Room near Liberty.

“It gives the designer another way of expressing themselves and making his or her line stand out from other designers,” says Roxanne Nguyen, owner of The Lacquer Room. Celebrities and social media have also put a spotlight on nail art, she says. “When we see it, we want it.”

The Lacquer Room clients usually bring in pictures from Pinterest or Instagram as inspiration, and while their requests are as diverse as they are, some of the most in-demand looks are ombres (when one color gradually fades into another), a rose-gold leaf Nguyen can’t keep in stock, and a combination of royal and baby blue with the K.C. logo (because we’re Forever Royal). Nguyen also favors lace designs in neutral hues and predicts olive green will be a sought-after shade this fall.

She opened the salon—which offers a full range of nail services along with eyelash extensions, makeup application and waxing services—a year ago this month. At the age of 13, the K.C. native began watching her mom paint flowers on nails at her salon. She later honed her beauty skills in Las Vegas and West Hollywood before returning to Kansas City. After attending a nail art training class four years ago, she found her niche.

“I loved art growing up and I love creating it,” she says. What starts as a blob on nails turns into art. As for her clients? “It’s the cherry on top. The final touch to an outfit,” she says. “When they have art on their nails they just feel better about themselves.”

To see images of The Lacquer Room’s nail art and manicures, check out their Instagram page @thelacquerroomkc.