Japanese Nail Art Fascination

There was a time when nail art was thought of as something trashy and ghetto. The posh lady would shy away from such a riot of designs, sticking to the minimal French manicure for her lunches and charity dinners. If she would ever wear something a tad flashy, it would have to be the classic red nails a la Marilyn Monroe. Looking at her long red nails would leave her feeling a bit naughty after wearing prim pastels for the day.

Secretly, however, Ms. Posh may have been casting her eyes towards the other side of the tracks, and envying the kitschy talons of the ladies who brought their washing to the Laundromat, cooked while cradling babies on their hips, and screamed instructions at the top of their lungs. She wouldn’t be able to manage stepping into their non-Prada shoes for the experience, but she’d definitely like an hour or two of getting a manicure in their talons. How they managed to do anything in inch-long nails is beyond her. Here she was with her own house-help and she occasionally breaks a nail.

It is no surprise therefore that when the Japanese started the Kawaii (cute and adorable) and Himegyaru (princess look) nail trend, it took a mere 2 years for the trend to hit the U.S. with an explosion. Edgy, big name music artists, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry started sporting the eccentric designs, and nail art suddenly became acceptable, if not coveted. Recently, nail art attained 3D dimensions with everything from beads to bows to tiny chains affixed to acrylic nails. Before we go through the current nail art trends in the US; let’s take a look at where it all began – in Japan.

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