West London artist spends five hours painting designs on nails and has worked with R&B star SZA

By SWNS

11th Dec 2023 | Local News

The nail technician from Uxbridge can do designs from 4D poison dart frogs to characters from Spongebob (credit: SWNS/ Steve Chatterley).
The nail technician from Uxbridge can do designs from 4D poison dart frogs to characters from Spongebob (credit: SWNS/ Steve Chatterley).

An artist spends five hours painting intricate designs on nails, charges £95 a set and has even included a real butterfly's wings in one design.

Chii Paris, 22, has been painting the stunning designs for just 12 months and already has celebrity clients on her roster after doing American R&B singer SZA's nails.

She took up the job after deciding to combine the artistic skills she learnt during her fashion degree with working at her mum's nail salon in Uxbridge, West London.

She spends up to five painstaking hours on each intricate design - which includes 4D poison dart frogs, Spongebob and Winnie the Pooh.

Clients pay anywhere from £50 to £95 to have their nails sculpted with sculpting gels - which Chii calls the nail version of "Play-Doh."

After deciding on a design and starting the initial sculpture, Chii then cures the nails in between each component.

She then finishes off the nails by painting the sculptures with multiple layers of gel polish.

Her most complex design came when a customer with a love of taxidermy asked her to put real butterfly wings into their nails - which took her a staggering three and a half hours.

Chii Paris, an artist from Uxbridge creates abstract nail designs for her clients (credit: SWNS/ Steve Chatterley).

Chii, from Uxbridge, West London, said: "That one was a challenge.

"It was great fun though and I like doing things that I haven't done before, that was the craziest one.

"I don't actually have a favourite one - I've been so lucky to do so many different ones.

"But I enjoy doing the sculptures ones the most - it's the closest to me being an artist rather than just a nail tech.

"A lot of the sculpture stuff is super last minute - I don't really know how others work but I'm able to just look at the picture and think I'll be able to figure it out.

"I don't do a lot of prepping in that sense, for materials and vision.

"It can be tricky, of course, but when you've done similar stuff you can re-apply it."

Chii launched her business just over a year ago after graduating from WHERE with a fashion marketing degree.

Having already developed her painting skills through her degree, Chii decided to swap the canvas for nails.

The nail artist has recently worked with American R&B singer, SZA (credit: SWNS/ Steve Chatterley).

She said: "I think that's why I leant more towards nail art - it gives me an opportunity to showcase my art.

"The style itself was easy to do but going from a canvas to a nail bed wasn't easy."

Chii's designs have proved incredibly popular, with people telling her to up her prices.

She said: "I thought maybe I was underselling myself.

"My perception, considering how long I've been doing it, is it's a bit higher than usual.

"It's nice to know your work is of value.

"I try to be fair and be considerate and I think it's something I can charge in the future.

"I need to have a bit more confidence in myself.

"I've had thousands of people telling me I could charge a lot more."

Chii Paris studied fashion at university and now works at her mom's nail salon (credit: SWNS/ Steve Chatterley).

Chii's work has even caught the eye of celebrities, with American singer-songwriter, SZA paying for a set.

"She was on tour in London, and one of her dancers wanted her nails done," Chii said.

"But then her manager messaged me 48 hours later saying that SZA herself wanted them done too.

"I'd only been doing nails for a couple of months so it was very unexpected and more so for myself I thought maybe I was good at this.

"They were super block colour, 3D chrome nails.

"Really colourful, every nail was a different colour combo with airbrush contrasting colours."

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