New York Magazine
For Nail Art in Under Two Hours
before going freelance, Miki Higuchi worked at the Lower East Side studio Akiko Nails, known for its custom nail art. Two years ago, consultant Katryna Howard was actually getting her nails done by another Akiko manicurist when she saw how quickly Higuchi worked on another client. “I could tell based on her intricacy and how fast she was, from manicuring cuticles to painting nail art, that I needed to book with her,” says Howard, who asked the receptionist for Higuchi’s name and returned soon after for a lightpurple cloud design on one hand and orange slices on the other (from $100). Former beauty editor Alexa Tietjen agrees, calling Higuchi, who takes appointments from her Greenpoint home, meticulous but still remarkably speedy. Tietjen has gone to Higuchi since 2016 and says that with other manicurists, getting gel removed often takes half an hour. “With Miki, this takes like 15 minutes,” she says. “You could be out of there in an hour.” Tietjen’s most recent set with Higuchi was a redandgold Dragon Ball Z design with flying nimbus tips, and the entire appointment took an hour and a half—the same amount of time, Tietjen says, it takes other salons to do one set of solidcolor nails.