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 because of its versatility to create nail art with it.

So much of the Japanese Gel Nail popularity has to do with nail art styles and there is definitely a style for everyone’s taste.

Do you like nuance elegance, embedded designs, or just all out 3D? In today’s video we’ll be going over the 3 most popular nail art styles when using Japanese Gel.

Let’s Begin.

Hey there! Welcome, back. If you are new here I am Paola of and I help current and aspiring nail techs become thriving independent stylists by mastering gel nails using soft gel only. If this sounds like a niche you’d like to continue exploring then do considering subscribing.

Now before diving fully into today’s episode #07 of this 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 in the description box below so that you can check out all of the details.

Alright, now to today’s topic.

If you could believe this… when gel polish became a thing, and I mean a BIG 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 actually gave a big leadway for Japanese Gel Nail companies to make their mark as high quality and especially highly pigmented gel nail formulas. Like they literally 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 great adhesion to the natural nails, and enhance the overall look of the natura 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.

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

All Japanese gel brands I’ve worked with detail the opacity level of the color either on their catalog or jars, so pay close attention when choosing and buying your colors.

But today we will specifically be focusing on the art success of Japanese Gel, 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. And similar word expressions are shading or gradation.

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

If you’ve taken any of my Japanese Gel Nail Certifications, all of them have a gradation lesson. You see, 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 own product line and her products are literally 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 kind of cheat ourselves into this pattern which I so enjoy till the day, by using Kokoist Tap Brush, with it I’ve learned how to create classic flannel looks,  and I teach this inside our Kokoist Course (We may have one more training this year, I’ll drop the waitlist link down in the description below 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 2 cured layers in between.

The Last type of embedding, is my favorite and you can use this one in combination with any other style mentioned earlier.

Ready for the big reveal… stickers!

I know 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 most thinnest high quality stickers, often hard to distinguish between hand painted work. My favorite source for Japanese Gel Nail Stickers is Daily Charme. They stock stickers from Japanese Nail Artist Amaily. Her designs are so timeless and low commitment. She releases a new design like 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

If you are super adventurous and not afraid to either try something new or committing 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 by the way. 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.

Now while those little dainty 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 definitely playful. Check out these hand crafted gummy bears created by my gal pal Yuka. Yes she hand crafted these things.

Last but not least 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 definitely 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 3 popular Japanese nail art categories is your favorite. The one you are most likely to wear?

Again, the 3 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 down in the description box.

If you missed last week video all about the best efile bits to use when working on Japanese Gel Nails make sure you to watch it. 

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!

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