Konichiwa! 25 Awesome Japanese Nail Art Designs


One usually never thinks about Japan as being an island, but in reality, it definitely fits the bill. It’s a fascinating place, whether you’re in Tokyo or a small and secluded fishing village. If you’re a fan of Japan, then one thing you must have a look at (if you haven’t already) is their style.

Japan is one of the most fashionable countries in the world, though their style is vastly different from what we would consider to be the “norm”. But it doesn’t matter! Fashion in Japan is really unique and cute. It is generally described as “street fashion” and it follows Western trends, but only to a certain extent, then their own flair is added. This usually means very colorful and often mismatched attire that actually look amazing together are worn, albeit sometimes it may seem over the top. Whether you are a fan of Japanese fashion or a Japan lover in general, this is for you!

Nails are no exception when it comes to being stylish in Japan. Nails often complete an outfit, but in Japan, nails stand out just as much as the whole ensemble does. This is mainly because the Japanese style for nail art favors very long, fake nails that usually sport some type of 3D art. 3D nail designs are intriguing and definitely something different that will make you stand out. They are actually really simple to do, even though they look very complicated. They aren’t for everyone though, as they are rather delicate. They basically consist of 3D stickers that are placed on the nails, and they can be simple to more complex. Some are studs, bows, and flowers, or miniature cartoon characters, dangling things, and shooting stars and fairies.

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Best Colors To Use

Typically, when considering painting/designing your nails to reflect a Japanese style, the colors you will be working with are pastel-like or bright. They can be classified as very “girly”, and therefore lots of pink shades are used.

There’s also another option if you aren’t feeling the cute Japanese styles, and still want to show your love for Japan. Try painting your nails white and putting a red dot in the center of the to make a copy of the Japanese flag. Or, just make the flag on one fingernail on each hand and think of something creative for the others, like poke-a-dots.

You can do red and black Japanese flowers, or a setting red sun on a background of white. Your imagination is the limit!

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Possible Designs: Only the Best!

  • A huge Japanese emblem is Hello Kitty. If you aren’t already familiar with Hello Kitty, she is a cartoon cat that can be found on all different types of products for both adults and children. Painting her on your nails looks super cute. There are all types of different designs you could try using Hello Kitty and her family.
  • If you decide to use 3D art, then make sure to choose figures that are the aforementioned colors, mainly pink, with a combination of white, baby blue, and yellow.
  • A cool idea is to lookup or learn some Japanese characters and then paint them on your nails. It’ll definitely impress your friends!
  • Japanese flower designs also work great, especially if you don’t want to get into anything too showy.
  • Using glitter and rhinestones in the right places (for example, everywhere!) can really accentuate the Japanese look you are going for.

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As you can see, Japanese style nails are generally big and flashy. If this is the route you are going to choose, then you will want to decide on what type of fake nails you want: probably either acrylic or silk wraps. Both are delicate and can be difficult if you maintain a very active lifestyle, but silk wraps are more fragile than acrylic nails. Do a bit of research into both to see which is best for you.

Then you need to choose a shape. Rounded tips are favored, but in the end it is up to your preference. Stiletto nails are probably the most common, and are even a bit controversial. They are definitely daring, but they look awesome. The long, pointed tip really helps give your nails that “over the top” look that the Japanese are so well known for. Add some 3D art to them and you’ll be styling!

Of course, I have already mentioned that your nails don’t have to be long, fake, and showy for you to show some Japanese spirit. Here you can see all different types of examples, and one is bound to catch your eye. Don’t wait to try it out! You can either do them yourself, whether you are a beginner or a professional, or take it easy and go to your local nail salon. If choosing the latter, you may want to call ahead to see if they have the materials you are looking for if you plan on having a more complex design. It’s always a good idea to bring a picture with you so you get exactly what you want!


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