4:Pretty Things: gel nails

Hey guys! Happy late Thanksgiving!

It’s almost December, which means it’s almost Christmas time, which means it’s almost the most kick-ass, joyful time of year! Yay!

In Japan, it seems like we totally just kind of skip from Halloween to Christmas season, though. Literally, we go from Halloween party to Santa time before your Halloween party hangover is even gone! But dang I miss Thanksgiving dinner and pie and football…but mostly pie. I hope all of my US friends had an awesome Thanksgiving with their loved ones and that you all stuffed yourselves silly!


To get myself in a festive, almost-Christmas season mood, I asked my nail tech (nailisto/ネイリスト in Japanese) to make my hands all pretty and not-quite Christmas-y!


But seriously, she outdid herself this time! How freaking cute is that snowman face??

This brings me to today’s topic: Gel Nails!

People have differing opinions when it comes to any type of manicure, from acrylic to gel to plain old nail polish. The fact is, with both gel and acrylic, it’s not good to continue for long periods of time without letting your nails breathe. Seriously, all sorts of gross things can happen: mold (gross), bacterial growth (freaking eww), and nail brittleness (not fun).

But for today, I just want to focus on gel nails.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons (yay lists!!)


  • long lasting (I go every three weeks)
  • polish is more natural than acrylic
  • the polish causes minimal damage to your real nail
  • it’s pretty (I realize this isn’t a valid pro, but it’s true!)


  • gel has to be cured under a UV light (sensitive skin beware)
  • expensive (I spend between 6500 – 9000 yen ($70-$100) when I go)
  • nail does need to be filed before applying; this could cause brittleness
  • see above for the talk about mold (ew)

For me, the pros outweigh the cons by a long shot. My hands always look put-together and ladylike without me worrying if my polish is chipped. I’m sold on polish not chipping alone, much less lasting for three freaking weeks. What can I say? My time is valuable and the less time I have to spend on nail polish (only to have it chip and piss me off) the happier I am!

So much happy!

In all seriousness though, the nail game in Japan is freaking insane.

Where to go

I love, love, love my nail place. There is no way I would go somewhere else! I love my nail tech, she is freaking hilarious and I swear part-time counselor, lol. For real, she probably knows more about me than my mom at this point. It takes about 2.5 hours to finish up a nail set, so we have plenty of time to talk, ya know?  Her name is Emi. She rocks.

Here is her Instagram page. She posts a lot of nail pics.

I use the app Nailbook to find a design I like, or color scheme I like, show Emi and she makes the magic happen!


I’m a gel nail fan.

Time saver? Check. Pretty? Check. Long lasting? Yup.





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