Before I went to Japan I was fully expecting to come home with a suitcase full of nail polish, a couple of days into my holiday however, I realised it wasn’t to be. The reality was that I jut couldn’t find much to get excited about. Japanese ladies love a manicure, but the style tends to be quite ornate with loads of glitter. They especially love a French manicure with a glitter tip, I also saw a lot of toes with glitter tips which to me looked like wearer had some kind of fungus, but each to their own. So yes I saw a lot of glitter, but not much that struck me as unique or difficult to get at home – I also had to bear in mind, that unlike when I get huge hauls in the US, the exchange rate did not work in my favour.
I did pick up one or two things though. First up the Japanese brands:
The first two are a brand called “pa” and yes, they are black glitters! I don’t recall ever seeing a black glitter outside of the indie polish world. The third is by a brand called Homei and it’s a bottle of red and blue hearts suspended in a clear varnish.
From the bottle I had no idea what these are called, but I found the website for the pa polishes – http://www.dear-laura.com/english/pa/tsubutsubu.html and I have Blue Hawaii and Lemon. I did a mini swatch of these two on a couple of the nails I managed not to break during my travels.
This is two coats of Blue Hawaii and three of Lemon. Blue Hawaii is on the border between jelly and cream and is rather thin as a result, but it is a dream to apply. For a yellow, Lemon is also great, it’s more creamy and as a result the glitter hides as you add more coats, but I love it all the same.
Next time my non-Japanese Japan haul…
Now, I had every intention of coming home and slavishly writing paragraph after paragraph on the wonders of Japanese TV, but not only did I not see that much of it, what I did see was exactly the way you’d think it would be.
Everything in Japan, well Tokyo at least, is bonkers. By which I mean it’s loud and bright and brash and in your face. All the time. Forever. The telly is no exception. It’s also very pink. You don’t tend to see much pink in advertising or on shop fronts in the West unless they’re specifically aiming themselves at little girls. But then adults in Japan to tend to mirror the tastes of young girls elsewhere in the world, not that’s necessarily a bad thing, obviously I find Hello Kitty endlessly fascinating, but there’s only so many times you can hear “kawai” (cute) being screeched by grown ups without wanting to slap them.
I spent a good half an hour watching three men and a lady each tasting some food and then laughing at each other. I got the impression that it was some kind of gameshow where one of them was playing pranks on the others, but I could be completely mistaken. Then in another round they each spoke and then revealed identical looking plates of pasta from a silver salver, there seemed to be some suspense about this pasta, but in each case a man in a wacky jumper seemed to be telling them they’d chosen correctly.
For some respite I also spent a while watching Japanese QVC. It’s still called QVC (but don’t get me started on the way they appropriate English for their own uses, yet don’t speak it. I don’t need everyone in the world to speak English, but if you can’t then please stop walking around wearing t-shirts bearing nonsensical English slogans. It’s like British people getting tattoos of words in languages they can’t even read. I’ll stop now.) QVC was reassuringly familiar, and predictBly they were selling a BB Cream – they really are huge over there. Watching this I think I learned where I’ve been going wrong, the lady doing the demo spent an extraordinarily long time applying it. Then again if I have to do that in a morning before work then it’s a product that isn’t going to work for me.
Disappointingly I didn’t have the stomach for any Japanese gameshows, but I did watch and listen to lots of terrible music. I have a new favourite song, and here it is. Enjoy!
I know it looks like I’ve given up already, but I’ve just been on holiday.
During my holiday (Tokyo = amazing!) I managed to break all my nails, so you won’t be seeing those for a while, but I did pick up some fabulous things that I’ll show off as soon as I can.
And just to prove I was in Japan her I am with Essie Lapiz of Luxury, Color Club Jingle Jangle and a beer…
So I needed to find something to do with my hands while watching the Wimbledon Mens Final. I started with a base colour of Milani Yellow Whiz (tee hee!) This is my only Milani and the best formula on a yellow I’ve come across. Here it is in sunlight…
But on a Sunday afternoon with time on hands I couldn’t leave it at that, so here’s what I came up with:
I’ll get the excuses in first, there is no way I will ever learn to photograph my right hand, in fact I think I’ve given myself claw hand just by trying. These were taken after a full day of wear at work, so they’re showing a bit of tip wear and suffering from me picking around the cuticles. But I did fool at least one person into thinking I’d picked up some new nail strips in New York – I did of course, but these are not they.
The greeny turquoise is Bourjois So Laque in Bleu Model. I picked this up on a whim in Waitrose of all places a few weeks ago. I feel like the yellow is making it look more green when it would otherwise look a bit more blue.
Well this was by no means perfect, but it was certainly my best ever attempt at a tape mani, I am proud!
So these are a couple of manicures I did whilst I was away last week. I didn’t have all my tools with me, so please excuse the appalling cleanup jobs.
Both of these were done by applying a base colour, allowing it to dry, then painting on a single thick coat of a different colour and dabbing at it with a piece of cellophane wrapper from whatever I’d eaten that day.
I liked the chocolatey goodness of the first one so much I did it again in green. (I also did the same in orange, but didn’t get any pictures before ruining it with an aborted stamping attempt.)
Unnamed Color Club from a set in TK Maxx with OPI Wooden Shoe like to know
Color Club Feelin’ Groovy, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Grass Slipper
I really loved wearing these and they were so simple, definitely something I’ll be doing again.
Before I get started for real, I have some camera phone nail pictures that I need to dump somewhere, so what better place to put them. Incidentally, you have no idea how difficult it was to transfer these from my two years old HTC Legend to my new ipad, those things did not want to talk to each other.
Because these are crappy camera phone photos I didn’t want to post them as is, so I’ve messed about and run them through some filters first. I wasn’t intending to make a habit of that sort of thing, but I had so much fun doing it, you never know. Some of these are quite old, so the labelling is if my memory serves me correctly.
Essie Pink Parka and Barry M Crackle in Black Magic
Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Girl Flower
Sinful Colors Savage with flowers to hide the chips in Max Factor Viva Violet and OPI Fiercely Fiona
I think this was Essie Sweet Talker with a whole bunch of other colours dotted at the tips
Sponged stripes in I think Essie Nice is Nice, Essie Mint Candy Apple and OPI Fiercely Fiona
And this ones just a whole load of brightly coloured splatters!