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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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!