Shibuya, Tokyo - RounGe Nail Salon - Gel Nails

This was my first visit to Japan and first time getting 'gel nails'.  Now, I had heard of gel nails, but was beyond excited to be getting my nails done in the epicenter of the global nail mecca -- Shibuya!  This is RounGe nail's flagship location, so to speak and after having my nails done here, no other salon in the U.S. could compare.  I loved them so much I seriously considered flying over to New York to vacation (who am I kidding, I'd mainly go for the nails!) just to have my nails done by such skilled nail techs as RounGe's.  I ran across their company while perusing another blogger's post on having her nails done here (she was an American transplant living in Japan) and quickly became obsessed with the creativity, 'chicness', and just sheer beauty of their nail designs.  Visit their site (you can view it in English) and you'll agree with me when I say that their designs are simply 'to die for'.  I can't wait to tell you more about my nails and show you how they came out!

Firstly, RounGe is considered one of the best nail salons in all of Japan, although there area handful (less than a dozen) other well-known companies, I only had the opportunity to visit RounGe near the end of my trip.  It was easy enough to make an appointment online after registering for an account.  Their system is so advanced, they keep track of your visits, you accrue points much like Starbucks Rewards, a photo of your completed nails is uploaded to your profile after your appointment, and you can even upload a photo of the nails or inspiration you want them to use on you!  The location was a bit hard to find, as is most every store/restaurant in Tokyo, and it took me nearly half an hour to walk from the nearest metro station and locate the building -- it's a big no-no to arrive late, so I had to make triply sure I could find them before my appointment.  Once inside, I was greeted, offered to have my coat hung up, and asked to wait for my nail tech.  After about 5-10 minutes or so, I was escorted inside the narrow salon and sat down at my seat (each 'station' is separated by two black curtains on either side; wall with TV in front, open corridor at back) and offered hot tea or cold water in cute, broken English.  Then, the tech showed me the photo I uploaded and asked me if I wanted to make any changes -- my husband had already spoken to the receptionist who explained that due to them being unable to 'plan or discuss' a deviation or different design from the upload, I had no choice.  This was totally fine by me since I loved the design anyway.  The whole process took about an hour which is quite lengthy if you are prone to antsy-ness, but totally worth the wait!  After I was done, I couldn't stop smiling and was deathly afraid of smudging my nails.  I was offered a choice between several scented cuticle oils and had my nail close-up.  After settling the bill (I did give a tip even though this is not a tradition, culturally), I was thanked and escorted to the elevator by a bowing receptionist.  Little did I know, I had nothing to worry about in the smudging department since their gel formula is like a rock.  Forreal.  These babies didn't even lift at the edges, scratch, or fade for almost 2 months!  Without further ado:

French bulldog ring and scarf from H&M; coat from Zara

I'd be in such big trouble if they ever opened up a location on the west coast...  After about two months, my nails just grew so long that filing them down just wasn't cutting it and I couldn't stand my nails tapping away at my keyboard, hindering my typing.  Just don't ask me how I got these babies off, though -- that's a whole other post for another day.
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