Acording to reports, to date there have been 300 million selfies posted to Instagram. That’s a lot of time dedicated to finding the optimum angle, light and nude lipstick, and that’s all before you even get to the trauma of having to choose between Mayfair and Valencia.
Of course, here in the Middle East, we live in a culture where not all of us necessarily engage with social media in the same way – some of us being more conservative than others in how we depict ourselves online. Enter the nelfie – the nail selfie, obvs – a burgeoning trend where all the above is rendered completely redundant.
At the forefront of this new-wave manicure movement is Dubai-based salon and art gallery SoH, whose intricate portraits of clients painstakingly painted onto their nails is more than just another vanity project, so to speak.
“This is a culture where, for some people, it might not necessarily be a social norm for you to showcase your face or beauty on social media,” SoH owner Sally Soheili says. “Why Emirati women, and Arab women in general, prefer to have their faces painted on their nails more than other nationalities has something to do with the
culture. [It’s about being] able to showcase your beauty on your nails when you don’t necessarily have the
means of putting your face on your Instagram,” she continues.
While many women are opting for an O.G. approach to a nelfie, there are also those bringing in pictures of their other half, their children or a full-on family portrait to be decorated on their digits.
“This is a trend which we started in the UAE and has become extremely popular with our clientele, especially those from the region,” Sally tells Grazia. “We’re dedicated to keeping up with the latest trends in order to make sure we always stay ahead of the game.”
SoH Art + Beauty, Galleria Mall, Dubai. (+971 4 344 4147)