With its exquisite interior design, luxurious nail salon EightyEight can be considered a temple to the perfect manicure. Stephnie Shek – not Stephanie – is the refined maven who founded it. “I’ve always loved art, especially nail art,” she says, “just like all the ladies out there who love getting pampered.”
After graduating from Central Saint Martins in London and returning to Hong Kong in 2014, Shek noticed a gap in the market for intricate nail art carried out professionally and in a high-end setting. A year later she founded EightyEight on Wellington Street – and in the process upped the city’s entire nail game.
She clearly wasn’t joking. EightyEight soon gained more than 47,000 followers on its carefully curated Instagram feed, and it’s safe to say that Shek has nailed it. From bling to delicate stickers, French manicure to marble art, the sky was the limit for EightyEight.
After just one year in business, the entrepreneur opened BusyBee in Mong Kok, a nail salon aimed at the younger generation, followed by another BusyBee in Lee Gardens and a second EightyEight in Landmark, which specifically promotes green beauty and wellness. “Unlike the others, the Landmark shop sells organic products handpicked by me, and we only use NCLA nail polish and gel, which is known to be non-toxic, free of formaldehyde, 100-percent vegan and cruelty-free, so it’s safe for pregnant women and children to use.”
And Shek is not yet finished. “We’d like to start education [programmes], since there’s a lack of prestigious beauty schools. People often categorise beauticians as high-school dropouts and we’d love to change this stereotype.”
As for where you can find this busy bee, Shek says, “On a regular day, after I check and respond to all my emails and texts, I’ll go to the gym or maybe get pampered. After that I’ll have a quick lunch and then I’ll run errands or do store visits.” But if you think her biggest fear is nail-related, think again. “I have a sweet tooth, so not being able to eat desserts would be a nightmare!”
Jumper and belt: Loro Piana | Skirt: Iris & Ink at The Outset | Necklace: Versace