High school in a whole new light.

Nail Art Returns to PBA

February 06, 2013

The first time Miyuki Otake, wife of Japanese Instructor Loren Otake, held a nail art workshop on campus, over a dozen students attended the first-semester event. Last week, Miyuki returned for another workshop and virtually the entire Japanese classroom was filled with energetic attendees.

While the first nail art tutorial revolved around the standard French tip design, the second workshop was a bit more advanced. Miyuki, who studied nail art for two years in Japan before becoming a teacher at Sendai Beauty Art Technical School, taught the students how to master the complex water marble nail technique.

For sophomore Candis Imanaka, Miyuki’s appearance could not have come at a better time.

“Every time I tried doing marble at home it didn’t work out,” she said. “I didn’t know how to do it, but now I know how. You have a cup of water and then you drip in some nail polish and then you have a toothpick and then you make a design.”

What makes the water marble technique particularly difficult is that individuals have to possess both speed and precision to create an aesthetically pleasing design.

“When you throw a rock in the pond, it has a rippling effect,” Imanaka explained. “Marble is like that, except the colors stay there and it dries really quickly so you have to make your designs really fast.”

However, once mastered, there is no limit to the color combinations that can be created. By the end of the workshop, Imanaka had decorated her nails with a variety of swirls, stripes, and background colors.

“I got all kinds of designs,” she said proudly. “Purple with orange stripes, white with purple stripes, red with orange stripes.”

The workshop turned out to be therapeutic for Miyuki, too. The Otake family recently welcomed a daughter into the world and Miyuki’s time at PBA gave her an opportunity to reconnect with one of her passions.

“I think it was good for her because she’s been at home with our daughter, so she’s always excited to get out and do something that involves nails now,” Loren said. “I told her that the kids were asking about it again and she felt like she was comfortable doing it again.”

And just as students like Imanaka will remember the workshop for the lessons learned, Loren will remember the day when his wife settled into the teaching position.

“The neatest part was watching my wife and a group of students be involved in a classroom setting,” he said. “Usually my daily life is being the role of the teacher or being in the classroom. For me to get to observe and watch their interactions was great.”

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