Tokyo International Nail Expo 2010

I just realized it’s been a while since I posted, but here’s some wacky Japan nail art straight from the Tokyo International Nail Expo held on Nov. 29 and 30th at Tokyo Big Sight. It’s supposed to be Asia’s largest nail expo. It was definitely insanely crowded- like as in “this has to be against fire-code” crowded.  Not recommended for anyone with even a touch of claustrophobia.  It was possible to move throughout the venue but getting into the individual booths practically took a blowtorch and cutting saw.

It’s set up in a convention center and each brand has a booth or store. OPI, TiNS, Zoya, Spa Ritual/Orly, and quite a few others were there. The emphasis this year seemed to be on gel and acrylic systems rather than nail art or polish. The international brands didn’t have any new debuts- OPI was still showing the Suede Collection (!) so there were no polishes I hadn’t seen before, so that was kind of a dud. The other bummer was the insane crowding. To buy anything, there were lines that literally wrapped around block.  The shortest line I stood in was a 20-minute wait. They had special expo pricing, but it was still more expensive than buying online in USD! So while I got some fun goodies, it wasn’t a really profitable day. Regular admission was around $35 USD. Ouch. There were some live contests, a lot of demonstrations and the infamous “nail tip design contest.”

I took as many photos as I could of the nail designs, though they were hustling us along and crabbing not to take photos. I even snuck back today but they wouldn’t let me back in since my ticket was only good for one day. So, dear readers, I’ll show you what I’ve got. I think it’s sufficiently wacky. Please note these are not my work, these are some of the contest finalists for the design competition.  The theme had to do with the Zodiac, or celestial-ness, or…something. I’ll try to pinpoint exactly what it is, but for now enjoy the crazy nail art that Japan has become famous for.

I love the colors and the celestial detailing, plus Swarovski dangly bits.

Amazing anime-themed art- check out how fine those lines are! I’m not sure which way is up on these. Still amazing work, but don’t pick your nose while wearing these. Don’t pick your nose anyway, it’s gross.

Cute rocket ships with attached stars and…rainbows? Why not?

Words almost fail me on this one. Fantastic painting skill. Is it Megadeth+ Ancient Egypt? Looks like an album cover for some early 90s metal.  This is some of the finest painting I’ve seen and takes a tremendous amount of skill. Like it or not, this type of painted art takes talent and a lot of patience.

Some scuptural nails. The actual nails are black and have these Swarovski crystal filigree detailing sitting about 1cm above the nail. I’m sure these would be very dramatic in real life! They were really long, around 3inches or 8cm.

Some funky airbrrushed nails in cheery 80s colors. Anyone remember those Lisa Frank stationery goodies? These reminded me of that. Also, I think those attached things are either UFOs made of ice cream or fried eggs on LSD. Trippy and very fitting for the theme.

Why not wear some nails on your nails? Tiny painted acrylic hands, Swarovski swirls and amazing handpainted red and black detailing. It’s hard to see in the photo but it was beautiful- looked amost like batik.

These don’t have the crazy 3-D aspects that some of the others do but this handpainting is amazing. I can’t imagine how bad the hand cramps must have been after painting these!

Ah, here’s that crazy 3-D.  Giant zodiac symbols attached to each nail. I would have liked to have seen these on- w here the heck does the crab go?

So that’s part one of some crazy nails from the show- I’ll be back with some more soon!


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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8 Responses to Tokyo International Nail Expo 2010

  1. Wazzra says:

    Loving the rockets ones, their are so over the top!
    Not that the rest isn’t, hehe

  2. Zara says:

    Wow, they are all just incredible!

  3. Kathleen says:

    Wow~! How amazing is that! They were all awesome and you were so lucky to see them ^_^ Thanks for sharing!

  4. Arie says:

    Awesome!, you lucky girl !! :).

  5. Jin says:

    Amazing nail art! Wished I was at the Expo too!

  6. Lucy says:

    Must have been a fascinating expo. I couldn’t stand the crowds but would love to see everything. I can’t imagine having the Zodiac symbols on your nails. The painting skill is beyond amazing. Thanks for including these photos in your blog.

  7. fal says:

    Hi, interesting blog! I am hoping to go to the nail expo this year, never been to Japan before and dont know where to start! Would you recommend the expo for finding new trends and products and to improve your skills? Did you do any nail courses out there?

    Sorry for all the questions! lol

    Fal x

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Hi there, the expo is in November this year, I think. There may be some courses but all will be in Japanese, sorry I don’t have any specific details. I hope you will have a wonderful time here in Japan!

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