Although the staff here at Bling Up will meet with fellow Japanese nail artists within and all around Japan for meetings and socializing, I (the only male member of Bling Up), personally, have never seen how a professional Japanese nail art salon operated until our most recent trip to Japan this past May. With the only comparison being nail salons based here in the U.S., I was in for quite an education.
To be upfront, this education of mine was not one that was scheduled, nor was it one that I was particularly looking forward to when I found out that I would have to “endure” what I assumed was to be an hour of sheer boredem. However to my surprised, I was told that not only were we going to attempt a 2 hour nail art set in 1, but that it would be the head artist herself that would be doing the work.
By this point, I was curious and stopped staring blankly at the LCD TV that was quietly playing the typical Japanese drama.
It began with a quick consultation, asking questions about the color of the base, design, what type of coating, and so on and so forth. And of course, to make things interested, the owner of Bling Up (who you see here getting her nails done) decided to do a combination of 3 of their standard designs, which again, would’ve normally taken 2 hours.
Once everything was confirmed, work began quietly. And I do mean quietly.
No chit chat about the weather or questions about one’s personal life. No equipment clanging, squeaks or glass clinking. Not even shoes squeaking on the floor when walking back and forth to cabinets to pick up supplies or pieces. I do realize that this is one of the cultural aspects of many Japanese businesses, but it was quite a contrast from what I’ve seen in the various nail salons here in the U.S. The turned down TV was the only ambient noise that one could hear aside from my own squeaky shoes on their floor.
There would be the occasional instruction given from the head artist to the 2nd artist who was helping, but it would be short and quick, and again, quiet. Different pieces that needed to go on were hand made, and then adjusted either on or before they were placed on the nails. Movements were quick, fluid, and with no hesitation.
The hour went by quick,… and they finished within minutes of the hour time limit. Like everything else that one sees in Japan, efficiency is the order of the day.
If one speaks Japanese, even in limited form and enjoy Japanese nail art, I would highly recommend trying it out. I certainly wouldn’t go in near closing time as it would stress out not only the nail artists, but yourself. We made the trip down to Osaka because all of the manufacturer of nail art supplies and artists have their head offices, and flagship stores there, but there are nail artists all over Japan and all have various designs for you to choose from.
And if you’re a guy who finds yourself among excited nail artists and clients, you can always take a walk around the neighborhood to find interesting things to wonder about…