HOME These are the Hottest Nail Trends Coming Out of Tokyo for 2018
These are the Hottest Nail Trends Coming Out of Tokyo for 2018

These are the Hottest Nail Trends Coming Out of Tokyo for 2018

Date published: 28 November 2017
Last updated: 5 December 2017

Walking around Tokyo, it’s no surprise that the Asian metropolis is one of the fashion capitals of the world. Men and women are dressed to the nines, and their nails are on unbelievable. On November 12th and 13th, Japan’s hottest nail salons and nail artists gathered at Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center in Odaiba to show off the newest trends and techniques hitting the streets this season. The Tokyo Nail Expo, the largest in the world, attracts nail artists and enthusiasts from all over the world and features shows, demonstrations, classes, and more! Here are six of Tokyo’s biggest nail trends to look out for:

Pink is the New Black

Pink is the New Black
▲Pretty pinks in soft shades are the go-to this season
▲The feminine hue pairs perfectly with flower nail art

Nothing is more feminine than pink, and this season you can expect to see this girly fav all over the place. The Japan Nailst Association featured all different shades, from bright fuschias to orangey corals, but the season picks are the softer shades of diamond pink, flamingo pink, spiritual pink, and shell pink.

3D Design

3D Design
▲3D flowers made of acrylic are a popular motif
▲Jewels and gems are the perfect accent to finish off any manicure

Tokyo has long been known for their 3D nail art, and you’ll definitely see plenty this season. Continuing with the feminine feel, nail artists are adding detailed flowers as well as gems and pearls. This season is seeing a bit more modesty, and 3D art is used to accent two or three nails rather than all five as you might’ve seen in the past.

It’s all in the Details

It’s all in the Details
▲Detailed anime character illustrations are one of the hottest trends seen at the Tokyo Nail Expo 2017
▲Knitwear-like texture is a super sophisticated and totally trendy

Nail art this season is a lot more intricate with illustrative motifs seen throughout the Expo. Flowers, foliage, and even anime characters are trending! And knitwear-inspired patterns like houndstooth add that extra texture this season.

Set in Stone

Set in Stone
▲Everything looks more classy in marble, including your manicure
▲Add color and linework on top for a more playful interpretation of the stone trend
▲Add gold foil on the quartz design and add a few accent stones for a bit of bling

Bring the minimalist/Scandi aesthetic to your mani with stone-like designs this season. Nails that looked like marble, quartz, and agate were all over the place. Metallic gels or gold and silver foil bring a bit of bling to an otherwise zen design.

Make it Magnetic

Make it Magnetic
▲Magnetic manis let you quickly throw on and take off magnetic accessories like this pom pom

One cool and new technology at the Nail Expo was a magnetic nail manicure. This gel nail mani has magnetic particles that allow you to clip on accessories! So, you can have a more understated manicure at the office and then pop on a few magnetic accessories for cocktail hour! It’s the ultimate way to change your mani when you have no time. Be on the lookout for this up-and-coming style!

The Airbrushed Look

The Airbrushed Look
▲Airgel manicures give the most beautiful ombré nails
▲Get precise and even artwork with this new airbrush technique

Get the airbrushed look on your nails with the latest airgel technology. This exciting new technique uses an airbrush to create perfect ombrés and precise designs using a special gel formula. Best of all, airgel offers a faster way to gorgeous nails!


The Tokyo Nail Expo 2017 introduced exciting nail designs and techniques for the upcoming season. Make sure to visit Tokyo for cutting-edge manis, and try one of these trendy styles the next time you visit the salon.

Written by:

Delilah Romasanta

Delilah Romasanta

Delilah is a Tokyo-based freelance copywriter, content creator, and artist. Published online and in print, she helps brands communicate with engaging visuals and quality copy. When she's not working, this New York expat enjoys spending her time discovering new places with her husband. You can find out more about Delilah and her work on her website (www.fleurdelilah.com)

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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