Male Nail Artists in Japan, Turning Heads and Flipping Preconceptions

Typically, when you want to get a manicure, pedicure, or you just want to “pretty yourself up” you’re greeted by women who will help you on your journey to beautification. However, in Japan, there has been a steady rise in male beauticians who will assist those in need. They’ve begun appearing in all fields of beauty such as cosmetics, hairstyling, and even running beauty parlors.

Male makeup artist in Osaka. Japan Times

It’s not as strange an idea as it might sound. Male beauticians are basically the next step from being a host (from a host bar) as they not only pamper their customers and “make them feel like princesses”, they provide a different perspective from a typically female-dominated industry. This goes beyond the typical male hairstylist and the like and directly into a field where many men are unfamiliar with, the black magic that is makeup.  Japanese makeup company, Shiseido, has been recruiting men as beauty consultants since the early 2000s and 16 consultants out of their 10,000 are now men.  While it seems like a drop in the bucket, it’s still a budding profession for men and there is plenty room to grow.

Another field of beauty that men started being a part of is the ever-elusive nail art industry. At Tokyo Nail Expo 2012, male nail artists are becoming more and more prominent. One nail artist notes his designs are drastically different from female designs as it evokes a sense of “coolness” that’s the polar opposite of your typical “cutesy” design. One beauty parlor by the name of Voler provides the “male touch” to beauty and follows this philosophy. With its staff of male nail artists they provide nail art that is a fusion between “cool” and “cute”. Here’s a sample of their work:

With the interest that is shown in these male beauticians and cosmeticians, their popularity has nowhere to go but up and soon world of beauty will expand in ways that were unthinkable before (well, maybe only in Japan at first).

Source: Japan Times, Kawaii-i

Image source: Kawaii-i

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