As usual I browse beauty.hotpepper.jp for nail appointments in Japan and was amazed to find a nail salon doing proper original style. Since Disco Nails Shibuya (post 1 | post 2) seriously took off and Nagi Coco has been doing interviews for documentaries on nail art and full page spreads in nail magazines and even traveled to London recently to do a demonstration. They changed locations and their prices (understandably) skyrocketed. I’ve been trying to find another salon that does awesome work but still well priced.

Finally Ava-Rice Nail Salon to the rescue! Their new salon is in Harajuku and is just two women doing great nails in a quiet setting. My nailist Aya Yoshida (instagram) was one of the nicest nailists. I got my nails done the day after I landed and she was so kind to my jetlagged language blunders and was so happy to chat about anything or just relax and sit back. Beyond her niceness her nails are solid. Recently even Momoko Ogihara called out her outstanding skills.

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Some of their recent work. Fabulous, right? :wink:

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Exploring all the popular nail art trends for Spring fashion through gyaru shop staff’s nails. Over 40 pictures of nail sets from popular gyaru stores. Popular nail art colors for the season and designs. I did a post last Spring showing of gyaru nail art trends and most of those are still going on. I also did a previous post of gyaru short nail art inspiration in case you’re needing more ideas for your nails. None of these pictures my own, all found on the shop staff blogs of each store (Liz Lisa, MA*RS, Titty&Co, Monkey Bite, Sly and Lip Service).

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Lip Service shop staff showing off parts variety and yellow along with floral flat art as a popular gyaru nail style for Spring. I’d say these nails are the essential trends in Spring.

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Colored french along with some color-blocking for Lip Service. Color blocking seems to become more popular for Fall. RTW Western designers are trying to push color blocking again this coming Fall, unsure how much it will go into gyaru for Fall.

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More simple parts on Lip Service shop staff. Along with yellow, the french triangle style I think is a growing trend.

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Lip Service showing again that floral flat art done two ways is all the rage mixed with a Spring pastel color.

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Sly shop staff are really into colored french styles.

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Osaka OPA (previous posts) has some of the best gyaru shop staff in Japan and I always love spending too much time there and taking their pictures. Not to mention as a nail art freak I’m even more happy to take pictures of these girls amazing hard gel nails.

Osaka OPA – Fig & Viper

I need to talk more about Fig & Viper and I plan to, but for now just look at these two amazing shop staff. Adorable, great color mixing and fabulous short natural hair.

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These two were so sweet as well. They took pictures with me and Atashida to put on their personal blogs as well.  I just love their color mix coordination. Something I’m going to talk about in an upcoming blog post:dotbow:

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Mexican sugar skull, cat and glitter hard gel nail art.

When I was back in Japan in June I had to get some gel nails done. I do like doing my own, but there’s something so indulgent about the best nailists in the world working on your hands. :loveword:  I ended up picking Mariju because their designs on hotpepper mixed with their price was a great deal. Their price was 6300 yen (around $75) for full art gels at the time including removal. In Tokyo that price is hard to beat  :dotbow: Hell in America that price is hard to beat!

 

Mariju website: http://www.mariju.jp/
Mariju blog: http://ameblo.jp/mariju2012
Mariju on Hot Pepper: http://beauty.hotpepper.jp/kr/slnH000222944/

Their place was almost equidistant from Shibuya and Harajuku train stations in a quiet edge of Yoyogi Park.

Mariju had a usual gel set-up place where you get a lap lamp and your own tv. You just watch what they have on. I was watching during the day so they had a big news program to the retirement of a Kabuki actor and his son the successor taking over. Made me want to go see Kabuki  :cheery:

The screen to keep distance from the other client. Also you can see how she’s put out the gels to work with. Just on a paper towel.

The salon was a bit hard to find, but I was greeted by this cute nameplate.

My nailist’s awesome eyelashes and nails. I loved her eyelashes so much. She said she bought them at Donki and forgot the brand, but I loved them! Her simple white nails were quite lovely.

 My nails! She really impressed me with her sugar skull (Calavera) art.

This is the picture I found for reference. I think she did pretty amazing with it! I really love how sugar skulls are designed so I was happy to get one on my nails. Skull shapes really lend themselves towards the oval shape of nails, so it’s very fun to play with them.

She asked what kind of cat I wanted, since I didn’t bring a reference so I just said whatever she felt like. She also owned a cat so she was happy to do them.  :peace:

I liked the cosy atmosphere of Mariju. Only 3 seats so it was very intimate. Their prices are so good I might go back. $75 for full art including removal is really hard to find. :lovecat: