If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my time in Japan, it’s that the Japanese know how to take a trend and push it to the limit. Take fingernails for example. A visit to the nail salon is like stepping into another world. You don’t just get a standard manicure, your nails are transformed into an art gallery. Every imaginable design can literally be at your fingertips. As an artist, I could appreciate the meticulous work that's done on a daily basis in the nail salons of Japan. And I was determined to get a gallery of my own.
Midori, my constant partner in crime, suggested we try a salon she read about in Nail Up magazine. (Yes, they have a magazine for everything in Japan.) She promised to treat me if I let her pick the design. We headed out to the trendy town of Shibuya to a salon called Bling Bling Nails. If the sign was any indication of what was inside, I was in trouble. I didn't know if I wanted Toucans dancing across my nails in tutus.
The salon was sleek and modern like a high-end hotel. We sat down in the plush leather chairs and I had to admit I was a bit nervous. Giving myself over to Midori could be as dangerous as eating blowfish.
She patted my hand. “This going to be fun. So glad you are letting me pick your nail art.”
My mouth went dry. What had I agreed too? Midori’s taste and mine were light years apart. “I trust you.”
“Good, then close your eyes.”
She gave me her best innocent little girl smile. “You are in good hands.”
I gazed around the salon at all the women oohing and ahhing over each other’s amazing nail art and decided to play along. I closed my eyes. “Go ahead, surprise me.”
The nail artisan worked diligently on my nails as the time dragged on. And that wasn’t all that dragged. My fingernails felt like she was gluing on little weights.
The woman let go of my hands and pronounced, “Beutiful.”
Midori squealed with delight. “Oh Anne. You are going to love what she’s done.”
I opened me eyes and blinked twice. My nails were covered with the most hideous thing on the planet. “How could you do this to me! You know how much I hate Hello Kitty!”
She gave me the little girl smile again. “I figured if you had to live with Kitty every day you’d learn to love her.”