I’m still in my noisy hotel (complete with a rich variety of nighttime activities) and have no goodies to show, so I’ve looked through my favorite Japanese nail art salons to find some pictures to try and cheer myself up a bit.
In general, Japanese nail art seems to have gotten a bit more “respectable” with the introduction of gel polishes. Natural nails in shorter lengths seem more in fashion, as opposed to those amazing go-go 2-inch Shibuya-style tips with every bit of the nail covered in giant 3-D sculpture. There are still salons doing those crazy 3-D deco nails, but the trend seems to be on the wane for now. That, and it’s darn hard to go about daily life with humongous rhinestones stuck to really long nails.
So here’s some pics until I get myself up and running again. All credit goes to the listed salons, not to me.
Gradation with gel marbled hearts- these have been very popular for quite a while. Note most Japanese nail art is upside down to the wearer- I always do my hearts in the opposite way, so they’re facing upwards. I have no idea why, I just prefer it that way. Nail Design, Tokyo.
A clean white gradation (this is VERY difficult to do well) with rhinestones and confetti of various sizes and colors. I really like this look- it’s a lot of fun without being too over-the-top. Nail Salon Blisst.
A beautiful handpainted set with pastel marbling and black highlighted detail. Someone has a very steady hand! Nail Design, Tokyo.
And for those wacky nails we all know and love, some art from Nail Salon Dear. These are photos from the 15,900 yen course, so these designs will set you back around $180 USD. But hey, this is classic Japanese 3-D nail art!
My Melody Japanese nail art on long, pointy nails. This is the shape of choice for deco nails now, rather than the square or flats. My Melody is not quite as well-known as Hello Kitty, but still has its followers.
And…some Hello Kitty action! Not quite as dramatic as MM above, but certainly kawaii enough to cause a meltdown. The very fine silver chain is an interesting touch.
This photo is a little dark, but I’d say these have it all: bows, engagement rings, giant Swarovski crystals and crowns. Wow. I’d say this gal got her money’s worth, because that is a LOT of bling going on.
So if anyone’s looking for a classic over-the-top 3-D manicure, I’d advise you to head to Nail Dear Salon in Tokyo. I have never been there, but the pictures speak for themselves. Just be sure to bring plenty of cash and a lot of patience, since these can take several hours to complete.