I’m not going to front, I’m a hardcore nail biter.  I’ve been one since Jesus was a baby (slang for a real long time). But I’m going to try my damnest to not bite so I can hop on some ill ass nail art courtesy of Japan because it is now all about Japanese nail art.

Japanese nail art goes way beyond rhinestones and your BF’s initials, it’s a huge part of Japanese culture and fashion that spans back to ancient times.  Once a year the Nail Expo in Tokyo attracts nearly 50,000 visitors and the  Japan industry grosses about 200 million yen annually and includes  tons of Japanese publications, websites and online videos dedicated solely to the craft of nail art.  The creative possibilities with Japanese nail art are endless:  The designs are very intricate and come in 3-D, real lace, jewels, fruit, and miniature figurines.

If you haven’t  noticed, the trend has gotten hold of a lot of celebs.  Lady Gaga, Jordan Sparks, Amanda Lepore, Keri Hilson, Kid Sister have been rocking nail designs that aren’t your ordinary French manicures.

Solange with Minx nails

A set already designed and ready to be glued on will be around $60 and a custom pair done in a salon will put you back $100+.  That’s rather expensive, so if you’re a BBB (Bitch on a Baller Budget) like me, I would try out Minx Nails (minxnails.com).  Minx nails are extreme nail art on a thin film that adheres to nails with heat.  They come in a variety of patterns and metallic designs and would work perfect for a base if you wanted to go all the way and get your 3-D design.  I personally don’t know of  any nails shops that are doing Japanese nail art or even minx nails, but  two artists that I want to shout out are Melinda Mann Rivera in LA and Naomi Yasuda in NY.

Melinda Mann and Erykah Badu

Melinda Mann has her own nail shop in LA called HER nails and this nail extraordinaire even cut up a Louie bag to bring her vision to life.  Now I don’t know if I would have gone to that extreme, but she’s my hero for even doing it!  Her client list includes Cassie, Erykah Badu, and J Davey.  Her up and coming projects for 2010 are re-launching the HER nails website and designing pre-made event nails to be sold in boutiques.

Pre-made event nails by Melinda Mann

See the Louie Bag!-by Melinda Mann

Naomi Yasuda

Naomi Yasuda is actually from Japan and moved to New York City in 2007.   In such a short time, she has grabbed the attention of Lady Gaga, Amber Rose, and Kim Cattrall.  Naomi works out of the Hello Beautiful Salon in Brooklyn and can create any look you want! Her  up and coming projects include working on the new Sex and City movie.  Can’t wait to see  which S&C girls will be donning some dope nail art.

Designs by Naomi

If any of you Couch Sessions readers out there have the privilege of going to LA, NY or anywhere for that matter-to get some ill designs, send me a twit pic at finchyking@twitter.com.  Just might shout you out!

Melinda Mann:



Naomi Yasuda: