“Kawaii” Nail Art is a Celebrity Favorite Trend
- “Kawaii” translates to “cute” in Japanese and refers to an aesthetic in its culture.
- Recently in the United States, “Kawaii” nail art has become trending, thanks to celebrity fans.
- “Kawaii” manicures often feature cute 3D objects like gummy bears and hearts or hand painted designs.
More often than not, the beauty trends we follow start elsewhere and reach us months (sometimes years) later. Recently, “Kawaii” nail art has popped up on Instagram and TikTok, and although its fame in the United States is relatively new, the manicure trend has long been a favorite in Japan.
“In Japanese, we sometimes use the expression [“Kawaii”] to mean ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’, “New York-based celebrity nail artist Mei Kawajiri told POPSUGAR.” I would define Kawaii as a Japanese style that is cute, cool, awesome and unique in its sound. kind.”
It refers to a whole aesthetic in Japanese culture of adorable and charming items. The term is not exclusive to manicures or even the beauty category, but to the endless possibilities it offers to make it a particularly popular nail-art trend. You’ll find popular characters like Hello Kitty, Pikachu, Sailor Moon, and Minnie Mouse included in the manis, but it doesn’t end there. Kawaii also features playful designs and objects – often in 3D – like hearts, rainbows, bows, and even gelatin bears.
“Kawaii nails are colorful and an eye-catching design,” said Britney Tokyo, famous Los Angeles manicurist. There are no rules when it comes to Kawaii nail art which is what makes it so fun. Her favorite way to wear the style is with gelatin bears or hearts cut out of the nails. There is a long list of celebrities who love the trend, including Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, Rosalía, Kim Petras, Billie Eilish, and Rita Ora (many of whom are patrons from Tokyo and Kawajiri).
Whenever she gets the chance, Kawajiri loves to create hand painted and “super detailed” Kawaii nail designs. “For me, the Kawaii style is not the same style as someone else,” she said.
Coming up, check out examples of Kawaii nails and get inspired for your own manicure.