Yayoi Kusama nails

As I said in my London post I’m completely enamored with Yayoi Kusama and her work. Just buying some of the goods from her show wasn’t enough so I decided to do a selection of nails inspired by her paintings. Professional nail artist Boom Nails actually did sets for the Tate Modern exhibit. But I wanted to try my own novice hand at it and pick some different works. :happydance:

My happy Yayoi Kusama nail wheel

Close-up of some of the nails

Selections of artworks (paintings, sculptures, installations) and the lady herself that I drew my inspiration from.

There’s some I’d like to perfect but overall I really liked doing this wheel.

Actual Nails

Since I love wearing nail art I had to do my own nails of course. These were made with a combination of gel and polish like Wah Nails did for me. Although I use a softer more temporary gel, they use a hard gel. Even with my amount of non caring and thrashing about they last around a week and a half before peeling. They don’t chip.

Spotted Pumpkin Nails

A bit of yellow enjoying the outside.

The inspiration for those nails was her pumpkins. I love the way she uses dots with depth.

Infinity Installation Nails

Kind of like a galaxy. They look out of focus, but that was the painting style I was trying to accomplish.

The nails are based on this photo of one of her Infinity installations. They’re really amazing and very mood changing to be in. I tried to create that surreal quality in the nails.

I forgot how rewarding and fun it is to wear something that inspires you. More than just parts, but something you can look at and it makes you happy.




  1. April 11, 2012 / 10:26 am

    Fantastic work!! :makeup:

  2. April 11, 2012 / 11:02 am

    The infinity installation looks *amazing*. I think I like the pumpkin-inspired nails better, though!

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 10:04 am

      I’m lately in love with yellow so I agree actually :)

  3. April 11, 2012 / 11:07 am

    I love how you did your the infinity installation nails :3 plus her original design is amazing <3

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 10:03 am

      Isn’t her design so cool! It’s really amazing to be there :)

  4. April 11, 2012 / 11:17 am

    Mitsu! I absolutely adore you for doing an homage to Yayoi Kusama. I want to see her installations at some point in my life.

    Totally stealing some ideas haha :busy: But I just love that you do it on real nails as well. So it gives me some hope. UvU;;

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 10:03 am

      YAY! Another fan!!!!! :)
      Oh it wasn’t hard at all! Especially if you use a dotting tool or even a bobby pin edge. Just something that will give you dots without painting them per-se :)

  5. dollilashes
    April 11, 2012 / 12:03 pm

    WOW Mitsu! Your nails look amazing and you did them with such clean lines!
    I also loved how you hands placed in different backgrounds to have the art pop on your nails.
    Very inspirational and creative! :love: :yayyay:

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 10:02 am

      Oh no I think my lines need serious work D:

      Hehehee I just like taking nail pictures outside for better light (on my iphone still LOL lazyblogger) D:

  6. April 11, 2012 / 1:08 pm

    great idea for nailfashion :3

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 10:01 am

      Thank you!! :)

  7. April 11, 2012 / 7:15 pm

    These are wonderful! And now I’m super curious about this artist. I’ve got to check her out!

    I know you consider yourself a novice, but I’d love to read a general “How-to” post about DIY nails :)

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 10:01 am

      Please do! She’s an artist who is easy to enjoy and makes works that make people happy :)
      Oh no I couldn’t possibly. I really think I’m a complete novice. I’m also using things that require a bit of money to first accure (gel and LED/UV light). Although maybe one day I’ll do a fun how-to off painting a skull or something. :)

  8. April 11, 2012 / 7:39 pm

    I love those nails, they’re so fun and playful! You really did an amazing job :wink: Once in high school, I heard a pupil’s presentation about Yayoi Kusama and I absolutely loved her work, her colourful dot artworks are just darling :heart:

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 9:59 am

      Thank you so much for thinking so!

      Isn’t she such a cool artist :)

  9. April 11, 2012 / 8:49 pm

    I can really see the inspiration translate onto the nails and I’m really impressed! I especially love the infinity one

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 9:59 am

      Oh thank you! That was my favorite as well :)

  10. April 12, 2012 / 9:11 am

    Your applications look great Mitsu!! I can tell a big difference from your 1st set of home-made gel nails!

    Are you still using Gelish?

    Is that yellow shade a nail polish or a gel polish? I want it!! Such a gorgeous shade of yellow +w+ I don’t know if any of my clients would wear it, but I totally would!! WANTWANTWANT!

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 9:57 am

      I’ve been trying! Lately I’ve been using Shellac top coat and base instead since it doesn’t require buffing and such. Although I buff a little.

      I was using the Sephora x Betsey Johnson collab and their tiny set of nail polishes. Tiny nail polishes have been so helpful to collect shades for a novice like me and not have a bunch of giant colors I won’t use as much wasting away :)

      • April 16, 2012 / 5:50 am

        So you’re using Shellac base coat, then apply a layer of regular nail polish, and then Shellac top coat? I never tried mixing a gel system with regular nail polish as I worry it will chip and peel easier. Have you been having any problems? I really want to try that yellow now, it’s crazy beautiful!

        By the way: I use Gelish and rarely ever buff my nails or the surface of Gelish when needing to remove and I haven’t had any problems. It’s not necessary you buff your natural nail plate before applying Gelish, as long as you use some kind of dehydrating solution over your nail before the application. I used CDN’s Scrubfresh, but Gelish’s PH bond seems to work fine too for others. I started with Shellac but the bottles are so small for a higher price than Gelish, that I converted to Gelish and haven’t looked back since. Also I found Gelish has been a lot more resistant and longer lasting. Having used both, do you have a preference?

  11. April 12, 2012 / 11:00 pm

    omg it really give me kinda lot of inspiration of nail >.< thankqu for posting it

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 9:56 am

      Happy to share :)

    • Mitsu
      April 15, 2012 / 9:54 am

      Thanks! Good luck on your blog :)

  12. April 15, 2012 / 3:07 pm

    Mitsu girl, you are TALENTED!! :hands: Please come be my manicurist, haha!
    Such an awesome & interesting post :hearts2:

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