Mongolia + Manicures

Well, we rolled in from Mongolia late Saturday…it was quite a trip. Fantastic, but not at all relaxing! Horseback riding, lots of driving across the endless steppe, and horse milk, horse cheese (dry and fresh types!) and horse milk liquor.

Mongolia is only a 5 hour flight from Tokyo but it seems to be another planet. It’s so open and vast, especially when compared to Tokyo.  We went to see the Naadam Festival, with wrestling, archery and horse racing. Amazing and definitely worth seeing. The opening ceremony had parachuters (one crashed into the traditional dancers performing on the ground), a stretch Hummer limo, a famous Mongolian rock band (?) singing a song about Ghengis Khan, some trick riding, and an appearance by Mongolian wrestler who was famous as a sumo wrestler in Japan. All in all, it was quite a spectacle.

But besides the amazingly open spaces and endless sky, one  major highlight was definitely our driver. (Foreigners can’t drive in Mongolia, which was just as well, considering the insanity we saw on the roads). If  there’s too much traffic, drivers just swing into the oncoming traffic lane. When oncoming traffic comes head-on at them, they just go right off the road and drive on the shoulder. The cars are imported from Japan and Korea, mostly, so everyone’s steering wheel is on a different side.  Also, any vehicle maneuver is acceptable as long as you blow the horn first.

Our driver, Mr. Degi, was a craggy Mongolian guy who didn’t speak a word of English, was probably about 50, and looked like he could lift a truck single-handedly. He was solid. He was driving us around in an old Hyundai sedan,  which he man-handled down 45 degree banks, through fields, and around monstrous, hungry potholes. I’d be afraid of what the man could do with a Land Cruiser.  He was just so….Mongolian. Awesome. Actually, even the tiny kids there were able to ride a horse, lasso stray animals, and milk any domestic animal, plus they live in gers (also known as yurts, but that’s the Russian word) when it’s -40 Celsius.  We did spend most nights in a ger and it was pretty nice, but I can’t imagine it in winter.

Horseback riding by the Kherlen River.

One of the gers we stayed in.

On the cultural side, we visited a nomadic family, saw some Mongolian throat singing (you must hear it to believe it) and saw some amazing contortionists, which are popular in Mongolia. It was quite a trip!

Anyway, you knew nail polish was going to creep in somehow, so here it is, done on medium length nail tips:

Mongolian Manicure, with the flag on three fingers:

My mani is more color accurate to the flag than the image above, the blue was actually medium dark. I did the yellow image (called the Soyombo) with a nail art pen I got on Ebay. Don’t waste your time, those things are the dickens to use.

Here’s the rest:

Some blue sky on the pinkie with fluffy white freehand clouds, and here’s the thumb:

A galloping horse, courtesy of Fauxnad.  Notice my hands aren’t ghostly white? The sun was pretty intense, despite my wearing sunblock even on my hands. Now I look more like a lightly toasted marshmallow, rather than an uncooked one. Simple but fun manicure- my first one in a couple weeks. I actually saw quite a few manicures in the capital city but didn’t have the chance to score any Mongolian nail polish. I thought I saw some OPI in the department store but  I couldn’t see the price.

I hope everyone is having a fun, safe summer! Oh- and my Etsy shop is back online- with a 20% off sale on all items excluding custom orders and glue.


About nevertoomuchglitter

Nail artist. Wanderer. I'm a color-holic, in fact, it was my love of color that brought me to the nail art world. Well, that, and the fact I was too cheap to pay crazy Japanese prices for nail polish while living in Tokyo, so I had to start mixing my own. That's how NTMG began.
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19 Responses to Mongolia + Manicures

  1. Laynie says:

    That sounds like such a fabulous time! I love that you got to experience some Mongolian culture, instead of sticking to touristy spots. A friend of mine has been to Cambodia twice, and I loved seeing her photos she’s brought back.

    Not that the areas are at all similar, other than the driving. 😀

    I also missed your Etsy shop. Your nails are so fun to look at, and your tutorials here have inspired me no end! I actually made the most bland, unassuming dusty pink shimmer polish with a powder blush I got free with a purchase from Ulta! I have no idea why it hadn’t occurred to me to use my powdered cosmetics for polishes!

    Also, those Manly palettes are sold by several US companies as well, so I’d hope they aren’t filled with lead? *crosses fingers, considering she’s got one similar!*

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks Laynie! Don’t be discouraged- failed expermiments are a part of frankening! I can’t tell you how many truly gross colors I have made!

      Those Manly palettes..I just don’t know. I’m thinking of buying a home lead-testing kit, or something. That yellow is so bright I’d be surprised if some cadmium didn’t sneak in. Anyone out there have a lab to help us makeup fiends out? 😉

  2. April Brooks says:

    Great post! Sounds like an amazing trip and you nails are fabulous!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks April! It was a great trip, though I’m never eating horse cheese again if I can help it.

  3. Zara says:

    Wow, this sounds like an amazing trip! Also, your nails are awesome, as always. 🙂

  4. impyroghea says:

    Whoa, what a fantastic trip!! Horse milk liquor? Well, Mongolia sounds fascinating on all accounts. Wish it was just a 5 hr flight from the US. 🙂 I’m glad you’re back, and I love the Mongolian mani.

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks- I’m glad you liked it! Mongolia is quite a trip, but flying there from the US is really tricky and expensive, so I thought it best to go while I was based in Asia. However, I do see why there are very few authentic Mongolian restaurants overseas. Can you imagine a horse-milk liquor bar?

  5. Lucy says:

    So glad that your back safe and sound. Wat an amazing trip to take. Like the accommodations. Much more interesting than staying at a hotel. The driver sounded fascinating. Did you take a picture of him? The scenery is beautiful. How was the taste of the horse milk?

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Hi Lucy! The driver was definitely fascinating, and I did get a photo of him. I actually miss him, which is odd, considering we couldn’t speak a word of each other’s language. Still, it’s interesting how we can connect with people, isn’t it?

  6. GEREL says:

    Well, thank u for doing that beautiful nail art with my country’s national flag, it’s so beautiful. And glad that u’ve got such great impression and comments about Mongolia 🙂

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it. Mongolia was wonderful and I’d love to go back again someday. I’d like to travel all across the country by motorcycle on my next visit.

  7. sarnai says:

    That nail art is just fantastic, i am going to show it to my manicurist to make similar one to my Naadam holidays! thanks! btw, naadam is just next week

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Have a wonderful time at Nadaam- it was a great time for me! Mongolia is such a fantastic country!

  8. mandy says:

    I love what you did, Such a great idea. I would love to post about you and the manicure on my blog if that’s okay with you. I just started my blog recently and I want to include everything I see and love.

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