Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Part 1

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.

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art Tip Award

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:

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 1

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.

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 2

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.

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 3

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!

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 10

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!

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 9

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!

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 8

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.

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 7

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?

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 6

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.

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 5

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!

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 4

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.

Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Nail Art 11

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:















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.
This entry was posted in Japanese Nail Art, Nail Art and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Tokyo Nail Expo 2013 Part 1

  1. Brooke Bacon says:

    OMG!!!! A Barbie booth!? I must know, what did they have at that Barbie booth? I NEED to go to this some day and see this in person!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      There were Barbie decals and a full line of Barbie gel polish. There are also (branded) Barbie wedding dresses. I have a picture somewhere that I have to send you. I was thinking f you’re old enough to get married, you might be too old to wear a dress with a giant butt bow that has “Barbie” stamped on it, but then I remembered this is Japan. 😉

  2. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I’ve been looking forward to reading this post. It’s very interesting to see your photos and to hear about the Tokyo Nail Expo. Strange theme! 🙂 First, my favorite was the one with the flowers and strawberries, but now when I’ve looked at the nail art several times I can’t decide. I hope you had a nice time back in Japan! 🙂

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      I had a wonderful time- I didn’t want to leave! I have tons more nail photos to show as there were over 100 entries in the competition. I’m editing the photos now and will have them up in the next couple days. I’m not sure of the winner yet since it was announced after I left but I will check in Nail Max magazine which comes out in January. 🙂

  3. OMG, so intricate!!!!
    My fav is the fruity one, and yay for pretzel apple wheels : D

  4. Lisa says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for over two years now, and I always really look forward to your coverage of this event! My dream is to actually go one day, but until then I appreciate being able to see it through your eyes! xox

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