Apr 29, 2013

Japanese Gel Manicure at Atlas Studio

Everything is better in Japan. Food, fashion, cosmetics, cartoons, music and nails. I love (mostly) everything that comes out of Japan (I draw the line at this, though). So a while ago, I went and got a Japanese Gel manicure from Atlas Salon in Costa Mesa. The Japanese Gel manicures can be a bit more expensive than your usual gel mani, but the quality of the products, technique and designs (I believe) are much more superior.

Atlas Studio is in a small shopping complex in Costa Mesa (Orange County CA), next to the Marukai Japanese grocery store. It is super clean, light and airy inside and although it isn't huge, it feels spacious.

Atlas Studio, interior

Atlas Studio, waiting area
Aaaaand, it just so happens that my BFF Mai of Rainy Nails works there! She was doing a trial period with them, where she showcased her skills using a model, so she asked me to come in. We decided to make a girl's day out of it and have dinner and a massage after she finished up for the day.

Mai and I! :)
Selection of gel colours

Japanese manicures are much gentler on your hands, as they don't cut your cuticles down or grind your nails down paper thin. They have a nice selection of shades to choose from at Atlas, and Mai can basically do any kind of pattern or nail art you can think of. Her designs are sooo varied and all really beautiful! I had a hard time deciding what I wanted, but eventually went with something simple and a little edgy, black and glitter half moons with rhinestone accents.

Freehand painting my half-moons

Half-moons with glitter and rhinestones.

I am in love with half moons, they look so cool. I do kind of wish I had gotten another colour instead of black, since it seemed a little dark for everyday wear. The gel lasted a SUPER, super long time. I actually started getting annoyed with how long it lasted, because I couldn't swatch the new nail polish that I bought, or try out any nail art. I'd say they lasted a good 3 weeks before I got them removed and there were no chips or peeling at all. As I said before, the quality of Japanese gel manicures are so good when done right!

Here are a few more designs that Mai has done at Atlas Studio:

Gotta promote my BFF a little! If you're around the SoCal area and want to get a Japanese gel manicure/pedicure, go and ask for Mai at Atlas Studio! ;)

Atlas Studio
2971 Harbor Blvd  Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 429-1048

I love doing my own nails, but sometimes it's fun to get pampered a bit and I really love the Japanese style manicure; the designs are always so pretty and intricate. I only wish I could get my nails to be oval shaped, every time I try to file them oval, they end up breaking. I am doomed to have squoval tips forever. Anyone have any tips on maintaining an oval nail shape?


  1. You should! She can do intricate designs on short nails too :) If you do, I want to see pics!

  2. They look so pretty! I love the designs. Mai is very talented! :)

  3. I love that they don't grind your nails down like regular manis do. I'd love to get a mani in japan someday!

  4. Beyond amazing. Love the effects you got!

    - Jane
    Gel polish kit

  5. Wow! The design she did for you is really cool. I love that this isn't as harsh on your nails. That's why I stopped going to the salon!

  6. I would draw the line at THAT too, lmao, thanks - love the mani!

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