The 3 Most Popular Gel Nail Art Styles (Japanese Gel Nail Fundamentals Series #07)

One of the main reasons Japanese gel came about and, most importantly, became so popular is its versatility in creating nail art with it.

So much of Japanese gel nail popularity has to do with nail art styles, and there is a style for everyone’s taste.

Do you like nuance, elegance, embedded designs, or all-out 3D? Today we’ll be going over the three most popular nail art styles when using Japanese gel.

Let’s Begin.

Before diving into today’s episode #07 of the Japanese Gel Nail Fundamentals Series, I wanted to let you know about my upcoming certification training. It will be delivered live and online.

If you haven’t yet joined in Japanese Gel Nail certification… they are super fun and, yes, a little intense, but this allows you the opportunity to challenge yourself! I’ll drop the link HERE so you can check out all the details. Alright, now to today’s topic.

If you could believe this… when gel polish became a thing here in the US, I don’t know why, but we couldn’t manufacture a black or white gel color opaque enough to draw detail line work. 

This problem gave a big lead way for Japanese Gel Nail companies to make their mark as high-quality, incredibly highly pigmented gel nail formulas. They ran ads making fun of our inability to pigment our black and white gels enough. To our credit, we have grown by leaps and bounds! 

But either way, Japanese gel stuck, especially with me, as their formulas also have excellent adhesion to the natural nails and enhance the overall look of the natural nails.

Just one more thing before we dive in… 

Japanese gel companies take their color creation so seriously. Take, for example, a Vetro Gel Pot.

Do you see the stars on the lid? This star system defines the texture you can expect while painting the gel on the nails. A 3-star texture is highly pigmented and should be used only for line work or small pigmented detail work.

While trying to paint a whole nail with a 3-star texture, you’ll notice that you’ll be a little slower at doing so since it does not have the same buttery consistency as a one or 2-star. A 1-star is the sheerest, and 2-star gels are of medium opacity.

All Japanese gel brands I’ve worked with indicate the opacity level of the color on the catalog or jars. Pay close attention when choosing and buying your colors.

But today, we will specifically focus on Japanese gel’s art success, so let’s begin with the first popular style.

Popular Nail Art Style #1: Nuance.

According to my search query on Google, nuance is a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound. Similar to word expressions are shading or gradation.

I want to say that gradation (or what we so often call an “ombre” effect is where the nuance nail evolved from. After gradation, I think marbling was the next stage before ending up here with nuanced art.

If you’ve taken any of my Japanese Gel Nail Certifications, they all have a gradation lesson. Knowing how to fade lines while creating gradients ensures your possibility of creating nail art is endless!

Popular Nail Art Style #2: Embedding, Layering, and Texture.

I went ahead and looked up the definition of embedding for ya; here’s what Google provided…

“To fix (an object) firmly and deeply in a surrounding mass

The ultimate queen of these styles is Ageha. The girl is amazingly talented, and if you’ve followed this channel for a while now, you know I had the opportunity to take a class with her here in the states. She now has her product line, and her products are crafted for techs wanting these types of art styles.

So one of my favorite looks ever created by a Japanese Gel Nail instructor was the wool effect.

Nowadays, we can cheat ourselves into this pattern by using Kokoist Tap Brush; I’ve learned how to create classic flannel looks utilizing this brush. I teach this technique inside our Kokoist Course…

…By the way, I may have one more training this year. I’ll drop the waitlist link HERE if you want more info on the next Kokoist certification.

Embedding can also consist of curing layers in between to get a dimensional look. This is kind of basic but take, for example, the tortoise design. The best ones have one or two cured layers in between.

The last type of embedding is my favorite. You can use this one in combination with any other style mentioned earlier.

Ready for the big reveal… stickers!

I know, so simple, but seriously Japanese nail stickers are the best! And you can instantly upgrade a set of nails with them.

Japanese gel nail companies craft some of the thinnest high-quality stickers, often hard to distinguish between hand-painted work. My favorite source for Japanese Gel Nail Stickers is Daily Charme. The stock stickers from Japanese Nail Artist Amaily. Her designs are such a timeless and low commitment. She releases a new design every month. Otherwise, Clou is another Japanese Gel Nail Brand Daily Charme carries… super dreamy they all are. I’ll link you in the description box.

Popular Nail Art Style # 3: Dimensional.

Suppose you are super adventurous and not afraid to try something new or commit to things on your nails. Then 3D is your style.

You can be as dimensional as you want to be. One sort of 3D item I don’t necessarily mind on my nails is a little cluster of crystals, and neither did my clients. We usually like them to the side of the nail where they wouldn’t snag and just made you feel a little sparkly throughout the day.

While those dainty little pieces of Jewelry can be enough nail jewelry, there’s something about a large cluster of stones that I do not necessarily hate.

Now, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and playful, check out these hand-crafted gummy bears created by my gal pal Yuka. Yes, she hand-crafted these things.

Lastly, you can go all out and put multiple 3D items on your nails or increase the volume of your creations using acrylic. I think this trend is more common in Japan, and boy, talk about commitment!

SO I know you may be a plain Jane like myself and opt-in for a couple of crystals or maybe a few nail stickers to complete a set. I want to hear from you! Which of the three popular Japanese nail art categories is your favorite. The one you are most likely to wear?

Again, the three popular nail art styles are …

  • #1 Nuance
  • #2 Layered Dimensional
  • #3 Full-on 3D

Sound Off in the comments section!

I’ll link you to any free resources and current active promo codes here:

If you missed the topic about the best efile bits to use when working on Japanese gel nails, make sure you take a peek. 

I’ll see you next week for our last episode, Episode #08 of this Japanese Gel Nail Series all about pricing your Japanese Gel Nail Services.

Until then!


Content written by Paola Ponce

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