I’m back from the Tokyo Nail Expo with some glittery fabulousness to share with you! I spent tons of money, took hundreds of photos and generally just had a fantastic time enjoying all things nail-related in the birthplace of crazy nail art.
The highlight of the show for me is always the Nail Art Tip Award contest, where contestants go crazy making nails according to a designated theme. There are also live contests where nail artists have to do a total fantasy fashion makeover (hair, nails, costumes, etc.) according to the theme. This year, the theme was quite odd. It was “Fresh Flesh,” which seems to really have confused some of the contestants, but there’s some interesting designs to be seen! Most artists interpreted it into fruit-based art, but there was some zombie action and creepy fetus nails too.
The nails are displayed in clear plastic boxes with numbers under each, and the audience votes on the winners. There were a lot of different skill levels represented (I’m trying to be diplomatic here!)
Here’s a selection of some of the art:
A nice literal interpretation of the “Fresh Flesh” theme, with Adam and Eve. Note the nicely textured 3D snake and the stained glass “apple” on the left three nails.
I don’t know what’s going on here. Is that a dead baby? Nice detail work on the roses and dress, but I’d have to classify these as Nightmare Fuel.
A fruity interpretation of the theme. Check out the happy tree, the super detailed textured banana, and the teeny worm in the apple. Too cute!
Very 20s retro feel to these. I’m not sure what this has to do with the theme, but check out that fantastic handpainted lace detailing!
An extremely stern looking rabbit, a purple cat, some cute birds, and an ambiguous chipmunk/squirrel, plus tea (rabbit flavored?), sweets, pretzels, cupcakes and macarons. I’m not quite sure what the artist had in mind with this one, but a very Japanese set nonetheless!
Grapes, stained glass, and a kawaii blonde girl. Is it Eve? Are these nails about fresh grapes? Not sure, but look at that outrageously fine detail.
Complete mystery as to what this is- any Japanese folks out there know what this one may represent? It reminds me of a woman sitting alone in a train carriage but there might be a story behind it that I’m not familiar with. Anyone?
Another literal interpretation of the Fresh Flesh, complete with 3D happy parrot, caterpillar, butterfly, and bumblebee on top of a fruit salad. Nice and colorful.
An explosion of butterflies, roses and some strawberries. Nicely crafted, but I think these have just a bit too much going on and it’s hard to appreciate the work. Then again, this is also Japan, the land of over the top nails!
A giant eye complete with fake eyelashes, two hands and a 3D nose and lips. I think I’d run if I saw anyone in these, but it’s got some flesh in it, so it’s in line with the theme, right?
I have lots more nails to show you, but this is already getting very picture-heavy, so I’m going to split it up over several days. Just a couple more pics for today.
Here’s the winner of the “Natiful” (yes, it’s “nail” + “beautiful”) contest, where the artists have to design a whole costume around nails. These were pretty outrageous to say the least! I haven’t seen anything this extreme in daily life in Japan- this is really a ‘competition only’ kind of look.
And a few random scene shots: