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This is a past article published in Hiragana Times. Each Japanese paragraph is followed by its English translation or vise versa, and furigana are placed above each kanji to make Japanese study even easier. [Magazine Sample] [Subscription Page]

Young Women into Gel Nail

[From July Issue 2013]

201307-3

Recently, “gel nail” is trending, especially with young women. Gel nail is a type of gel applied to nails and hardened with a special light. Lasting from three weeks to a month, simple to intricate designs with a decorative element can be enjoyed.

The appeal of gel nail is that it can be done at home, dispensing with the need to go to a salon, and lasts much longer than a conventional manicure. “Even if you’re doing housework such as washing things with water, you do not need to worry about it coming off,” says KOBAYASHI Misaki, an office worker who has been into gel nail for about a year. “They are not only fashionable, but also strengthen the nails of people with thin nails and correct misshapen nails,” she adds.

Nail salons charge upwards of 5,000 yen for one visit. But self gel nail kits can be purchased online for approximately 3,000 to 10,000 yen. Kobayashi says, “Until you get used to it, it is difficult to apply the gel with your non-dominant hand (left hand if you’re right handed), but after repeating it a number of times, you get better at it.”

Once you’re done, nobody will have exactly the same nails as you. Because there are so many lovely colors and designs, the overall effect is stunning. Kobayashi says she is encouraged when people admire them saying things like: “it’s pretty,” “it’s stylish,” and “it’s feminine.”

However, nails that are too long, or designs that are too flashy do not necessarily go down well with family members and men. In addition, compared to conventional polish, it is slightly more difficult to remove, taking about an hour to shave the gel off with a nail file and remove with a special liquid.

Even so, on the plus side it’s fun to apply it while watching TV at home, listening to music, or casually together with friends. In addition, coming up with an original design and creating it oneself delivers an enjoyable sense of achievement and pleasure, which is why many women are captivated by it.

Women enjoy adapting their clothes, hairstyle and makeup according to the season or mood, and in the same way they enjoy changing up nail designs as part of their own style. In addition, caring for one’s nails is an essential part of personal grooming. 

Text: TAKAHASHI Reiko


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