Okay, so the Japanese practically invented nail art (although some say it was the Italians, God knows why). Flip through any Japanese nail art magazine and you’ll be greeted by some of the most gravity-defying, embellished nail designs you’ll ever see. They have a fondness for bling, pearls, baubles, sequins, not to mention cutesy motifs – Hello Kitty is a perennial favourite (see below).
Known as Japanese 3D nail art, these designs are not only expensive but can take a whole day to complete. These designs have been so popular in Japan, Hong Kong and Korea over the past decade that they’ve even reached the shores of US cities like California, where 3D nail artists are setting up shop.
I’m not about to question the Japanese penchant for all things kawaii/bling – they have their own style and they rock it. It’s just that these designs are not really, how should I put it… practical for daily life. In fact, I don’t think I would even be comfortable with a fully blinged out phone cover, much less 10 mini ones on my fingertips.
But I must admit that I truly adore Japanese nail art – when it’s done well (and not too over-the-top), it can truly be considered art.
Here’s some of my favourites: