Merry Christmas 2014!

A very merry Christmas to all those who are celebrating!

Here’s some nail art for the day (click to enlarge):

Nail Art Holiday 2014

Hope everyone is having a joyous, peaceful day with your loved ones. I’m off to Cambodia for a little holiday adventure, but I’ll see you when I get back!

Posted in NTMG Original Nail Art | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Tokyo Nail Expo 2014 Art Tip Award Roundup

Howdy, everyone. I’m currently down and out with what I think is the flu (gross question: can flu include vomiting on top of respiratory symptoms/fever/chills/fatigue/body ache?) which is a bummer but has allowed me to do a few critical things: look through my junk drawer and find a missing camera memory card and sort through my hundreds of Nail Expo photos. Plus I had time to make some photo collages, otherwise this post would have been  unbelievably long.

It’s been a December to remember…came home to plumbing that decided to start leaking while we were out of town, broke my poor iPad while knocking it off a shelf, then getting the flu. No Christmas tree this year, I’ve been too laid up to do any decorating. :(

Anyway, back to the nail art! The Tokyo Nail Expo Art Tip Award features 5 nails that are pre-made before the contest by various artists. The theme this year was “Otona Punk,” which can be translated as “Grown Up Punk.”

I’m not going to mince words. I am totally disgusted with most of the entries. Some were more skilled than others, but many of the contestants just totally disregarded the theme and did butterfly nails. Or flowers. Or geishas. Or…whatever they wanted, which, on reflection, is kind of punk. But I’m pretty sure that wasn’t part of the rationale.  Hearts and flowers are pretty, but I’m so tired of artists relying on that and using them *whatever* the theme may be. If it was up to me, it’d be an immediate disqualification.

Here’s a montage of some not very punk nails entered in the competition. Click to enlarge. I’m really not sure exactly what was going on when some of these were made! Though some of them are very nice work, Hearts.And.Flowers.Are.Not.Punk.

This Is Not Punk 2


This Is Not Punk 1

Then, we sort of had an interpretation of punk that seemed to be Punk= Gothic/Halloween. Not exactly, but at least a little closer than butterflies, flowers or geisha.

Halloween Is Not Punk

At least there was some effort, even if it looks more like Halloween.

And some things just got bizarre, like adorable kittens, leopards and flamingoes. But at least there was some plaid in there.


And this one. At least it has a Union Jack and some chains to offset the giant neon flowers?


And while punk is on my mind and it’s December 20, check out Billy Idol singing “White Christmas.” Yes, Billy Idol did a straight-up album of holiday tunes. How weird is that? And I like it! His version of “Frosty The Snowman” is the only one I can handle. However, even Billy Idol can’t save my all-time unfavorite Christmas song, Santa Baby. I heard a Chinese version here. It was even more unbearable than English.

I will try to get some holiday looks up but as of now, I’m so achy I can hardly even sit up, let alone paint nails.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful end to 2014, whatever you might be celebrating, and looking forward to more wacky nail wonder in 2015!

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Tokyo Nail Expo Part 1

Hi guys, I do apologize for the delays in getting this up! I’m away for home until next Tuesday and my iPad is not playing nicely with my camera, so I can’t show all the photos I wanted to. But I’ve got a few pics and review of the Tokyo Nail Expo 2014 to show now. Sorry in advance for typos and weird formatting- trying to do this on iPad and wonky stuff usually happens.

First of all, it was a frenzy as usual. This year, I didn’t see Zoya or a lot of Western brands represented. There was a tiny China Glaze/Seche booth there, but not much in the way of New or upcoming collections. As usual, it was very heavy on the gels. Lots of companies, especially from other Asian markets like Korea. I do use gels, but have a few brands I stick with and know are cruelty-free, so I did not partake in that. I did get a lot of cool decoration stuff, like stickers, studs and rhinestones galore, though.



It’s just as well I didn’t go crazy with the polish, since I found out that the Japan Post now bans nail polish shipment even by ship. I tried to send a box of it and got a serious lecture that nail polish could cause an explosion and sink the ship, accompanied by the shame-inducing side eye that only post office staff can do. I desperately wanted to ask exactly how nail polish gets distributed around the world if there’s all these freighters blowing up, but wisely kept my mouth shut. Don’t mess with any post office staff who has tasked themselves with saving the world.

Now, onto my favorite part: the Nail Tip Art Award! Artists get a theme to work with and make 5 nails in any style, length and design they choose. The nails are made in advance and then displayed during the Expo. The attendees vote on the winner by individual ballot. This year’s theme was “Otona Punk,” which literally translates to “Adult Punk.” I think a better translation to capture the theme would be “Grown Up Punk.”

No matter what you call it, some artists faithfully went with the theme and others just pulled out the old standby of flowers and butterflies. Technically, I guess ignoring the rules regarding the theme would be punk in and of itself though. ;)

In the past couple years, I have been very disappointed with the artists who don’t bother with the theme. It’s pointless. I think those nails should be totally disqualified. It’s not the Hearts And Flowers contests, it’s punk, I wanted to scream after seeing the fifth kawaii floral entry. It’s  the default of Japanese artists. This is a problem that plagues a lot of nail art contests, but it’s particularly bad in Japan.

OK. Rant over. Putting aside the folks who paint flowers on everything no matter what (boo!), a lot of people apparently kind of figured punk was a cross between Halloween and the Wild West.

Checking out the Nail Tip Art Award contenders.

Checking out the Nail Tip Art Award contenders.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Not. Even. Close. Is there a connection between punk and butterflies that I'm missing? If so, tell me.

Not. Even. Close. Is there a connection between punk and butterflies that I’m missing? If so, tell me.

A geisha with a Mohawk made out of a fake eyelash. Awesome. Not sure what the clown is doing there, but why not?

A geisha with a Mohawk made out of a fake eyelash. Awesome. Not sure what the clown is doing, but hey.

Spider webs, zombies..hmm. A little heavy on the Halloween side but still has some spikes and watch gears. Hallowpunkoween?

Spider webs, zombies..hmm. A little heavy on the Halloween side but still has some spikes and watch gears. Hallowpunkoween? 

Pastel teddy bears are generally the first image in my mind when I think of punk. Lots going on here, maybe there's a little punk in there somewhere.

Pastel teddy bears are generally the first image in my mind when I think of punk. Lots going on here, but at least there’s some plaid and a tiny rockin guitar.  I guess that cancels out the flowers.

Aargh! BUTTERFLIES. Gorgeous work, but why? Stretch your imagination and do a nail without florals, butterflies or hearts. I dare you.

Aargh! BUTTERFLIES. Gorgeous work, but why? Stretch your imagination and do a nail without florals, butterflies or hearts. I dare you.

Spikes n chains, getting closer!

Spikes n chains, getting closer! But they still added a flower. I think it’s a form of OCD. There MUST be a flower on every manicure.

Yes! Famous folks I. Punk, amazing artwork...these are some of the best in show. And not a kawaii butterfly in sight!

Yes! Famous folks in Punk, amazing artwork including a tiny hand painted Sex Pistols album…these are some of the best in show. And not a kawaii butterfly in sight!

There’s a peek at a few selected entries for now, will come through with more over the next week!

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Getting Ready for Tokyo Nail Expo 2014

Yes, it’s getting to be that time of year again- when nail artists and nail product supplier from all over the world come to Tokyo to show off what’s new and wonderful! If you’re a nailaholic in Tokyo, it’s a great chance to stock up on hard-to-find brands in Japan like Zoya. Tickets for the general public run around 3000 yen and you cannot have a hint of claustrophobia to make it through the scrum of bargain hunters, though. Recommended for addicts only- you have to buy a good deal of polish to offset the 3000 yen admission cost.

I’m jetting off tomorrow for Japan- looking forward to some crispy cool weather, authentic Japanese food, and just soaking up that crazy atmosphere that can only be found in Tokyo. As always, I’ll be doing some detailed coverage of the Nail Art Award painting contest, where artist compete by sending in original painted nail tips. They are judged by skill, composition, theme and originality. Last year, the art was stunning, as always, but most of it had absolutely zero relevance to the theme. Instead, they just relied on that boring old standby: florals on everything. We’ll see what this year has to bring.

I’ll always have love for Japanese nail art- after all, that’s where I got my start in nails and still remains one of my primary inspirations. I love it best when the insane creativity is out in full force. On the technical side, the Japanese nailists can paint lines, sculpt 3D features and make the best looking gel nails in the business, but it’s when they let their weirdness out that things get really amazing. Technical skill is critical, but so is creativity. When they come together, crazy things happen!

With that in mind, here’s some wacky stuff that could only come out of Japan. I was originally going to call this post “Crap the Japanese Decorate,” but that didn’t really show the affection I have for Japanese creativity and love of blinging anything that won’t run away. ;)

First up: Lighters. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend several hours worth sculpting acrylic onto to a 75 cent lighter? I’m really afraid she’s going to melt off her nails in the picture below. At least there are lots of strawberries and flowers to ease the pain.

Lighter 1

And who doesn’t need a lighter with tons of pastry products stuck on it? If you’re not into gluten, there’s a totally deco’d out Christmas lighter on offer as well.

Lighter 2

If smoking’s not your thing, how about a blinged out USB memory stick with nails to match?  The dog memory stick is mere 20,000 yen (around $200, it’s yours!) I’d personally go with the nautical version below at 15,000 yen because I think it’s got a bit more pizazz.

USB Memory Stick

For a more adorable option, here’s a cat with lots of bows and a random engagement ring. But if you really need maximum deco goodness and feel like blowing around $600, there’s a teddy bear in an adorable prop plane with tons of glitter. I don’t even really have words to describe this one.

USB Custom Memory Stick 1

So there’s some wild and wacky Japanese decorations for today! We’ll see what the Nail Festa has to offer. Over and out for now until the show starts on the 16th.

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Happy Deepavali! (Hindu Festival of Lights)

Though I’m not Indian, I have a deep appreciation of sparkles, just like the good folks of India. They like sparkly things almost as much as I do, which is saying a lot! I collect Indian textiles and decor items because I just can’t resist the bling. I hope to someday learn how to sew and make some fabulous clothes from my ever-increasing textile collection.

Here’s some nails (and shoes!) I’ve made to go with my textiles:

Deepavali 2014

The shoes are Swarovski rhinestones in Crystal Volcano. I made them for last year’s wedding anniversary. Instead of paper and clocks, I think there should be a Rhinestone year.

Here’s another set of nails to match:

Deepavali Nails 2

Mr. NTMG will head off to India for work in the next couple months. I may just have to go with him and acquire more shiny joy. Indian markets = bling overload! I have been to India before, but my trip was ruined by some rather severe gastro-illness (not just the usual Delhi Belly). I did lose 10kg, but by the end of the trip, I could hardly move around. It’s making me hesitant to go again, but the lure of sparkly trinkets may be enough to overcome hesitation. ;)

Happy Deepavali for everyone celebrating- and hope you enjoy the sparkly nails even if you’re not! :)

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Early Fall Nail Art

Everyone- I am still alive and well- just really busy and letting the blog go to the dogs. I do apologize for being neglectful! Everyone can still get their daily dose of nail art on my Facebook, in case you’re in need.

Here’s a mishmash of what I’ve been up to: tweeds, foils, teeny Jack Daniel’s bottles, pirate-inspired treasure box nails, and some fall-inspired Pucci nails. I’ve got some Halloween designs coming up too.

NeverTooMuchGlitter Early Fall Nail Collage

It’s kind of wrecking my design groove to leave in a place without seasons. Fall is my absolute favorite, and it just doesn’t exist on the equator. It’s hard for me to get inspired when it’s not autumnal outside, but I’m doing my best to keep on making weird and wonderful nails. I miss crispy days, pumpkins, foliage and the scent of falling leaves, but I’ll be back to that eventually. For now I’ll just try to enjoy where I am, even if the only jack o’lanterns around will be on my nails!

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China Glaze Paper Chasing Frankens

With my nail polish stash numbering in the 4 figures (even Mr. NTMG doesn’t know exactly how many there are…mwa ha ha), I’ve been sorting through and culling the stash a bit. I find I rarely use sheer polishes, except in occasional nail art where I need a transparent look. I don’t like straight-up translucents very much, since I think they look incomplete, somehow. Just my personal taste.

With that in mind, I decided to do one of my favorite things: add glitter and franken those sheer polishes to add some new life to them. Today’s hardly-ever-used sheer polish is China Glaze Paper Chasing, a sheer nuclear green that falls just short of neon. It’s pretty old- from the Kicks Collection in 2009.











Here it is on its own, with three rather thick coats. It’s still streaky, but I was running out of patience. It dries pretty slow, but does have a nice gloss on its own, unlike some more neon-y greens.










Here are the various goodies I added. I used MAC pigments which I bought back in the day before MAC was purchased by Estee Lauder. MAC is no longer cruelty-free after this acquisition, but I’m using up my existing stash of MAC glitters. There are lots of dupes for these particular pigment glitter from cruelty-free options like Coastal Scents, TKB Trading, and Fyrinnae.

Paper Chasing + Blue

















I just added a small spoonful of glitter to a silicone baking cup, then added some Paper Chasing and mixed it up. All swatches below are 2 coats, no topcoat.

Paper Chasing + Gold


















Paper Chasing + Pink

















Paper Chasing + Silver















Paper Chasing + Silver Glitter
















And finally, a shot of all the colors together, with Paper Chasing as-is on the top. Just goes to show what a little glitter can do! ;)


What do you guys think? Are you fond of sheers, or find yourself not reaching for them very often?

Posted in Greens, Mixed Colors (Frankens), Nail polish | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments