Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Trashy or Flashy?


Images from Sanriotown

I have a confession to make. While I was in Japan I discovered the local obsession with Nail Art, and I am smitten. Usually I have a very strong aversion to anything that purports to be nail art, as it conjurers up images of some rappers girlfriend waving lethal talons around slapping me down for my lack of pizazz. But the Japanese version of nail art was all together different. While many of the techniques and supplies remain the same the outcome is something sparkly, cute and innocent.

Usually my nails are simply clear coated, as although I love a red nail, the manicure just doesn't stand up to my lifestyle. But Japanese style nails just might. The trend is to cut off your own nails and replace them with glass like press ons. Rather than working with a French Manicure or a coloured base, one of the most popular styles works with this clear base and uses sparing adornment to create a sort of Cinderella look. The 3D nail art I found was just delightful. I know that there are lots of cons to this sort of work, but I think it is just so pretty!



So am I just having a moment of bad judgment, or do you see the kitschy cute value I do? Either way, I'm off to paint my nails with glitter and stars.




Further reading on the subject if it takes your fancy.

She Finds asks - Trendy or Tacky?
Buzzfeed gives you more pictures videos and links
Hello Kitty Nails How To on You Tube

27 comments:

Fashion Hayley said...

My housemate's girlfriend in Japan was a nail artist and she always had amazing crazy nails (she is a fan of nail piercings which I find kinda gross though). She was nice enough to do mine for my wedding and how she did it was amazing. She used like a puffa paint to make heart shapes in red and white, it looked so cute and as she promised it did last a week.

Heather said...

I LOVE those, makes wanna see someout here because I would totally wear them!!!

Amy G. said...

Well, you know I'm a classic/preppy dresser myself, so the clear nails are almost part of the uniform. Then you go and show me THESE and I absolutely think they are the cutest nail styles ever! There's no kawaii in the American east, and we are poorer for it. :(

Kristen said...

I think it would be very impractical for me. But dang - Hello Kitty? I'm a sucker for that little thing.

Kelly said...

I think I'll be the lone dissenter here. Usually I love every single bit of your taste and style, but any "nail art," whether the rapper's girlfriend variety or cutesy, just seems a bit tacky to me...

WendyB said...

I think it's funny and kitschy. On the right person with the right attitude, I love it.

Scribbles said...

I have to agree with WendyB! My lifestyle isn't conducive to even regular nail polish though, but it could be fun for a special occasion!

Robyn said...

lol I love Japanese nail art! We recently hosted a Japanese student and she gave my sister and I a Japanese fashion magazine, and it had a little mini magazine with all this crazy 3D art. I could never wear it myself as I play guitar and have to keep my nails quite short but it would be fun for a special occasion.

PorcelainBlonde said...

Nail art is tacky, but so are many fun things!
If anyone could pull it off and actually suit it, as opposed to looking trashy, I truly think you could.

My better half hates it with a passion, he always comments negatively when he sees a woman wearing it...so I wonder what will happen when we go to Japan, because after seeing these pics, the magpie/5 yr old in me knows that I won't be able to resist the pull of their nail bars! It still looks gaudy and too busy but you're right, it has that element of cute kitsch wheras ours seem more brash and hard?

Maybe I'll say, "When in Japan..." haha!

Post pics if you can, I'd love to see you wearing them :)

Zelda Rose said...

I'm sorry, but nail art just looks bad to me. But then I'm the one who goes for the darkest polish in the rack, too.

cybill said...

This is actually quite a hard question - giving in to ones inner girl or maintaining ones outer lady.
Part of nail art is the attitude, as a fun expressive and occasional (i'd underline occasional if I could) thing, I think its fine. Just don't pair them with a gingham dress and pantaloons (damn, now I've given you the idea!).

Doll legs said...

I just discovered your blog and I'm very happy,I love it!!we have a few common tastes and I'm a mom too.:).About the topic of the nails, i hate it when they are too large, but the first look quite cute to me(love kitty).I think it depends of the design.I hate when they have glitter or swarowski.

enc said...

I think it's kind of cute, and if any girl should do it, it's you, SKM!

Milkberry said...

Hmmm the ones you posted look cute and decent! Some of the j-girls here like to over-embellish though, and I always find it well, too all-over-the-place. I love the last image! Looks so dainty!

Danielle said...

i do sort of like the rose. you could pull it off. it's a style thing for certain - you can either rock it or you look like crap. you could rock it.

i actually like it as a style accessory for an urban hip hop look, gold bling and all. it reminds me of my school bus driver - ms. ransfer. she was one fiesty lady with 3inch long nails and pearls in her weave. she could drive a bus like no woman, or man, i've ever seen

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

On the right person nail like that look great in a kitchy way.

I spent some time on Bali ages ago and therea girl painted my nails with flowers using a toothpick, polish in different colours and glitter. That was cute! It stayed longer than just basic coating since the flowers were on the middle of the nails... It was quite easy to do myslef (even though the reslut wasn't as fine done with my left hand...) Nowadays I jsut stick to thebasic red but maybe now I got a little inspired to do some flowers again.

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Hayley: Oh I remember puffa paint! Back in the 80's we were always customising T-Shirts with that stuff. I wonder if it is still around?
Heather: There are lots of supplies on Ebay for the DIY version.
Amy G: So you see my point then, they aren't your average nail art, and they somehow seem so much more pretty and sophisticated.
Kristen: They are hugely impractical for me too, but they have the added benefit of encouraging me to wear gloves while washing so it saves my hands too.
Kelly: Yes, there is a certain amount of tack, but I think done in just the right way it might work. It is a fine line to walk but I'll experiment with some nails and outfit combinations and post them up soon for critique.
Wendy B: You've hit the nail on the head. It is all about the right attitude and wearing them with a little irony I think.
Scribbles: I don't think I'd have the time to do them for everyday either.
Robyn: That's the great thing about those press on nail, all the glitz with so little of the fuss of real or acrylic nails.
P.B: You are so right. A little bit of tacky can be fun when done correctly. And it is the 5 year old in me that loves them too. I think these ones work as they are either clear or very light pastel colours, and they are SHORT. I could post pages of examples of the kind I hate, as there are many, but to me these are like little cupcakes for your fingers.
Zelda Rose: Yes, most of my nail colour choices run from Black to Navy then Red, but I think it is the way these look like confectionery that appeal to me. I don't go in for the talon style of nail with dark multi colours and nail piercings.
Cybill: Ah the beauty of a well orchestrated contradiction. I do consider myself a lady, but then on the other hand I do indulge the whims of my inner girl too as it makes me happy. But I'll stick to buying cute pins, dolls and indulging in tea parties rather than those bloomers. Although I am rather partial to a good pair of knickerbockers....
Doll legs: Welcome! I think I know that you mean about the sparkle, although I am wearing a little light glitter as I type this, but it is the subtle kind intended for 4 year olds so I'm cool with it. I'll be posting pictures of my nail experiments some time next week.
Enc: Yeah, what the hell. I'm off to eBay for supplies.
Milkberry: Hi and thanks for coming on over! It is such a fine line and there were so many I saw when looking for images that were just too much. But I loved these little cupcakes. :)
Danielle: Thanks, I'm going to give it a try and see if it works, or if I just look like a sad piece of work.
Freelancer: That's it, it is all about the kitsch factor, which is a difficult thing to define. I love my red polish too, but with my lifestyle it just doesn't last, which is why I though giving these clearer looks a go might work. They won't show the chips as badly!

Hammie said...

I think I would give them a go. Might encourage me to reach for the gloves when doing the myriad of things I shouldnt do with bare hands. (disposable gloves, I hate stinky rubber gloves and NEVER wear them)
I am not sure if they would suit your sophisticated vintage style though Super mama?
xx
ps, thanks for the lesson in Youtubing. Ronan, Keith and co are all bopping on my page now. Swoooooon.

ShopDownLite.com said...

I love most things Japanese - but these are a bit too much for my tastes.
Stef
http://www.ShopDownLite.com

Lady Melbourne said...

Mmmm, I discovered very similar in Hong Kong and had my nails done pronton! Flashy in my opinion!!
LM
x

Gladis said...

I (personally) don't like it...

Give me a French, dark red, hot pink, or metallic peach any day, tho.

Lil Midget said...

Hmmmm...
Maybe a little too much...But then I have simple tastes :) They look cute tho x

Too Many Shoes said...

the Hello Kitty ones are just sooo cute!

But I could never wear them. Apart from not being quite my style, I have enough problems keeping a single colour good for more than a day!

They are the ultimate in statement though, don't you think? A woman wearing elaborate nail art says "I don't do anything that requires manual labour like housework".

Each to their own. I'm just happy to be part of a world where such things (and people willing to wear them) exist!

TheSundayBest said...

Those disturb me.

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Hammie: I'm a shocker for forgetting the gloves, but having fancy nails seems to be a great incentive.
Shopdownlite: Hehe, you should have seen the ones I thought were over the top!
Too many shoes: I have the same chipping problem, which is why I think the clear tips are a great idea, they don't show the chips! And if I can dream and pretend I do nothing all day, I'm for that.
The Sunday Best: Yes, somewhat jarring and perhaps it is because they are so bad, that I see the good. Oh the irony of it all.

Lisbeth said...

i absolutely love a good bit of nail art! during my high school years i grew a collection up to 200 colours in size!! i had stick on decos, glitter, those little rub on letters... i even used to find cute little pieces of wrapping paper or even rice paper, and cut them out myself!! my fave was to cut out butterflies... if you backed them with enough clear gloss or first set them on a piece of overhead projector sheet and then glossed them onto your nail, you could have them half on half off your nail as if it just landed there. Unfortunately the world of working has limited my scope for trying out my designs. but i'm a double thumbs up, go crazy!!

Ash said...

I think they're super cute... Might even try something like that out.

http://ashfairley.blogspot.com/