Ever since I was little, I always played the violin so I could never grow my nails out, let alone have any type of real manicure. So after I moved to Japan, my violin days had ended and I started to get my nails done–and soon I was hooked!! Yesterday, I finally got my nails done again–for the past 2 months I was giving my nails a “break”.
So first off, when you go to the nail salon you choose whether you would like sculpted acrylic nails (スカルプ “sukarupu”) or gel nails (ジェル ネイル). 1. Sculptured nails are made with the help of a foil that is attached to your nail. Then acrylic nail powder is laid on top, after 20-30 seconds it sets and the foil is removed. 2. Recently, more and more ladies are choosing gel nails, as it overlays on your real nails. Or if you are looking for more length, you can put the gel over plastic tips attached to your nail bed. The gel helps to strengthen your natural nails and can last up to one month! It dries with a special UV light machine.
I chose to do extended gel nails (長さ出し ジェル ネイル nagasa dashi gel nails). As I have done my nails for a long tine, my nails had become thin and weak, so every once in a while I decide to take a couple months break. While I was giving my nails a break, some of them broke off or chipped off, so I needed to put the plastic tips on to give my nails extra length.
Your nails are cut short and prepared for tips (チップ chippu). 1. First they find plastic tips that correctly fit the width of your nail and trim them before so they fit correctly before attaching them to the tips of your nails. 2. After the tips are glued on, you must decide on the length. As I often use the computer, I didn’t want my nails to be too long. The longer they are the harder it is to type on my computer and cell phone. They use a special cutter to cut all of your nails the same length.
After choosing the length, you decide on the shape of your nail: oval, round, sqaure, square-off (squoval), point /almond
1. Before I used to like sqaure, but i realized that it made my fingers looks stubby, so now I usually choose oval. I think this shape looks classy and elongates the finger. The nailist then shapes your nail with a file into your desired shape. 2. After shaping your nails, they file the down your entire nail so that the gel will properly overlay.
This is the hardest decision, choosing a color and design. Here are some of the colors they had available. They include matte colors (ツヤ無しマット tsuya nashi matto), colors with pearl in it (パール入り), glitter (ラメ) and hologram colors (ホロ).
There are so many designs to choose from. I chose a design from one of their books. When you choose a created design, you have the option of changing the colors (カラーチェンジ). I decided to change the colors to peach-ish pink and white. I kept the silver glitter lines and I liked the stone art, but I didn’t want the blue stones added. You can change the stone shape, color and size.
Some easy designs. 1. French (フレンチ) 2. Backwards French (逆フレンチ gyaku french) about 3/4 of your nail is colored 3. One Color (ワンカラー) 4. Glitter Gradient (ラメグラデ) 5. Color Gradient (カラーグラデ)
1. Now its time to paint on the first gel coat–which is a clear base coat. After they finish one hand, you stick your hand in the UV light machine to dry. 2. They they begin with the design. The nailist painted on the pink portion first–is 3/4 of the tip of my nail. My nails are like wider version of french nails.
1. After the pink portion was dry, she painted on the white portion on the remaining 1/4 area of the tip of my nail. Then it was back under the UV light. 2. With a really thin brush she outlined both the pink and white areas with silver glitter (ラメ ライン ra-me line). Of course this needed to dry under the UV light. On my right hand my pointer finger (人差し指 hito sashi yubi) and ring finger (薬指 kusuri yubi)have extra lines, and on my left hand only my ring finger has extra glitter lines.
When my nails were dry, it was time to add stones (ストーン アートstone art) to the three nails with extra glitter lines on them. A small layer of clear gel was put on the area where the stones would be. Then It was set to dry. And finally the top coat, a thicker coat of clear gel was added. After it dried they felt my nails and smoothed out any rough edges. The last step was dabbing cuticle oil on my nails.
After about 3 hours my nails were finally done (this took way longer then usual )!!
I love getting my nails done. To me, its like getting your hair cut, it makes you instantly feel good!! So, what type of nails do you usually get? Do youhave a specific shape and length you like?
ms fancy pants tokyo & wedding nails (circa 2010)
- March Nails Shibuya (マーチ渋谷店)
- 2-10-14 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku Tokyo
- 7F Aoyama Alpha Bldg
- Mon-Fri 10:00-21:00
- Sat-Sun/Holiday 10:00-18:30