5 Japanese Nail Artists To Follow On Instagram | CoolJapan

Nail care in Japan is a two billion yen industry. This covers nail-related services like nail art, products, and getting a license to become a professional nail artist/technician. This is because aside from nail art being an avenue for self-expression for both students and office ladies (who sometimes still have uniformed jobs), it’s also a significant part of some of the country’s rich fashion subcultures.

Compared to Western nail art which mostly makes use of acrylics, Japanese nail art uses gel polish. Japanese nail art designs are also often freehanded with embellishments like fake rhinestones or jewels added depending on the preference of the wearer. This makes almost every nail art unique, instead of it being a copy of a popular nail trend at a certain time.

Ready to learn more about the craft? Here are Japanese nail artists on Instagram to follow.

Mei Kawajiri (@nailsbymei)




Mei Kawajiri is the go-to nail artist of Gigi Hadid, Hailee Steinfeld, and many other Hollywood personalities. She’s also worked with fashion brands like Moschino and Balenciaga to dress models’ nails. Her style ranges from simple and wearable to exotic The looks are freehanded by Mei. She’s also usually seen sporting eccentric nails herself’ the designs sometimes feature weirdly shaped tips or nails decorated with — wait for it — piercings.

Naoko Takano (@takano_naoko)




If flowers are more up your alley, follow the queen of pressed flower nail art, Naoko Takano. Naoko, who is known for her intricate flower nail art design, also creates some of the most beautiful small-detailed nail art styles. Her work has graced Elle Japan and Vogue Japan’s pages. Most of her designs feature elegant earthy and jewel-toned colours.


Miho Okawara (@mihonails)




Curious which nail artist is caring for Beyonce and Lady Gaga's tips? It’s Miho Okawara. Miho’s style is a mix of experimental and wearable. She usually uses elegant accents to create a 3D effect that’s good everyday wear. While Miho’s also known for doing freehand nail art, her preferred technique is a combination of multichromatic base coats and foiling which is seen in most of her Instagram posts.

Naomi Yasuda (@naominailsnyc)




Naomi Yasuda is also another Hollywood A-list nail artist on Instagram. She’s behind some of Madonna, Saweetie, and Rita Ora’s awe-inspiring nail art. While she usually experiments with a lot of bold colours and textures, one of her most-used designs combines marble-like bases with freehanded 3-D embellishments.


Yoko Sakakura (@nails_by_yoko)




Are pressed-on nails more your style? Yoko Sakakura’s custom fake nails are the one to check out. She’s famous for hand-painting press-on nails using gel polish to create long-lasting personalised designs. These can easily be glued on and removed unlike acrylics or direct-to-nail polish application. She’s also an expert in creating designs for various lengths, from natural-shaped ‘tips to longer, stiletto-like nails. Some of her works are found in magazines like Vogue and L’Officiel as well as runways and campaigns for Moschino and Gucci.

(Cover photo from: Stephanie Ho via Pexels)

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