Whoa, it has been a loong day! Today was the first day of Asia’s largest and craziest nail show. There are nail art contests in categories ranging from French tip sculpture where the judges get out calipers and protractors to check angles and curves (tip sculpture is very technically difficult, but I find it a bit dull) to nail art fashion shows, complete with crazy costumes and hair, plus a bunch of other judging of qualifications for nailist licensing. On top of all this, there’s a trade show. It is incredibly busy. Sort of like the county fair, except instead of livestock, there’s nails, nails and more nails. I much prefer this- no critters are stressed out and it’s more glittery. 😉
There were the usual Western companies represented, such as OPI, CND and Zoya. I didn’t see China Glaze or Seche this year. I could have missed them in the craziness, though I don’t think I did. Usually, Mr. NTMG comes along and helps carry the bags and takes photos, but he was stuck working at his real job this time. Boo. It’s harder to navigate without him, but I think I managed to get in the whole show.
The highlight for me is the Nail Art Tip Award, where artists produce 5 nails according to a set theme. They are done before the show, not on site. There were some amazing entries, some questionable ones, but the artists did better with the theme this year than the previous year. 2014 was “Adult Punk” and people were still doing cutesy-poo flowers and butterflies. I guess maybe ignoring the theme was somewhat rebellious and therefore qualified as punk, but I’m pretty sure it was more of a case of everyone just painting flowers no matter what the theme calls for. I think everyone was a lot more comfortable with the theme this year- “Happy Kawaii (cute).” I will be editing and collaging the entries randomly to show everyone in the next couple days. I was going to show my top 10 and the bottom 10 picks, but I really hate to pick on other people’s work. But some were quite obviously slapped together, while others are truly works of art. Stay tuned!
For now, some snapshots of Day 1. This just shows a few of the wacky and wonderful Only-in-Japan moments, including a giant floating pot of nail gel (this particular one has made an appearance for the last several years and always manages to crack me up, for some reason), a Barbie car for girls who never stopped playing with dolls, random vaguely racist Native American outfits with feather headdresses, and my own nails for the show. Being the theme this year was Happy Kawaii, I went for matte turquoise with hot air balloons, clouds and retro-inspired suns. I was listening to a lot of rockabilly driving music before I left for the show, so I think some weird Route 66 vintage gas-station images kind of subconsciously crept into my work. I blame Roy Orbison. On top of my nails, I added lots of gold rings and metallic tattoos. Sort of a weird vintage hippie mix, but it felt like the way to go.
Also of note: a table of glitter as far as the eye can see! And folks of Japan, what the heck is a Studium?
I will be back shortly with some more updates as I get the photos sorted and edited, so check back soon!