Nails

NCLA 5-Free Nails “Clear the Runway”

Fashion month will soon be upon us and deeper, darker looking days are coming.  I like vampy slicks of burgundy on my fingertips around this time…if stereotypically so be it and so what LOL.  I like the hint of a grape  undertone on NCLA’s shade “Clear the Runway”.

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Jacket: Jr. Gaultier, Pants: H&M,
Nails: NCLA Php800.00 at Nail &. Co Salon, Kensington Place, Burgos Circle, BGC Taguig.

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I had mine on in 3 coats and also used their clear top coat (wasn’t too impressed by the top coat because it took quite awhile to dry up completely) Application isn’t quite even ’til the 2nd coat but once you get it on in fairness my nails didn’t chip at all for a week, I only acquired noticeable tip wear by about the 4th or 5th day. 
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Overall pretty good value for a 5-free (toxin free) formula.  NCLA also do impressive nail wraps which I will feature eventually as well because I am way too excited about an upcoming collection they have in THAT department.  Follow @shopNCLA on Instagram and check out their polish and nail weap products and have them applied at Nail & Co. Salon, Kensington Place, Burgos Circle (fort),  BGC Taguig.

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FACE SHOP Yogurt Polish “Vanilla” | Happy Tips Ready to Light Up

When I saw this polish by Face Shop my brother and I were leaving Shangrila Mall after barkada reunions.  It made me think of Babes in Toyland (1986, Drew Barrymore, Keanu Reeves), candy speckled eggs, or rainbow cereal in milk.  All the above are happy kid memories and a nail polish like this just has to be worn to welcome the new year.

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FACE SHOP’s Yoghurt Polish in Vanilla (Php150.00) contains small and large hexagonal glitter partying in a creamy, milk white base.  I like that it screams “party” without having to be metallic.  The look is completely opaque on 3 coats (as seen above, no top coat) and a little more tender to look at with 2 coats.  Wearing this just gets me all excited for New Year.  Are you rocking any party polishes this season? Since we’re spending New Year at home with family and friends I think I’d rather rock glitzy nails than a full on makeup look, but we’ll see what I feel like tomorrow :).… Read the rest

ZOYA Dakota, the Rouge Noir Contender | Those Essential Black Cherry Nails

Zoya is probably my ultimate favorite nail brand up there along with Essie.  It’s a brand birthed by a former classical pianist turned cosmetologist and her husband who was an advanced chemist.  With Zoya they’ve released, to date, the longest wearing TOXIN-FREE nail polish formula in the market.  What I love about the Zoya formulas is, similarly to Essie, they dry over the nails but still have that ultra shiny, wet, glossed over look.  With Zoya polishes I like skipping top coat when I can…they look newly applied for days before major tip wear becomes noticeable.  I’d like to take a moment to revoke what I said a few posts back about not really being into dark ruby/black cherry nails…that was only because I hadn’t tried the nail polish Mom brought home for me from Japan (Zoya is a U.S. brand), they had Zoya over there and she got me Zoya Dakota, which is a beautiful black cherry or bloody sort ofhue.  It’s a beautiful crimson with 2 coats on, and a worthy Chanel Rouge Noir contender with 3 coat like the way I have it on below.  The point about “rouge noir” shades is that meters away your nails appear like they could be black, but up close people see that your nails are as deeply red as precious rubies.

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A close local dupe for this might be Caronia’s Pussy Red (cringes at the name) but what I hate about that is it feels like it has a brown undertone that makes my hands age, it doesn’t have the lovely ruby undertone that Zoya Dakota has.  When I’m going to go for dark nails I like having my nails shorter, just because it looks younger, fresher, and more rock-chick sort of sophisticated if you know what I mean.  Zoya Dakota’s ruby red sort of rouge noir hue really reminds me of the ruby key (yes, key, not shoes) of the evil princess in Return to Oz (1988).  If you were a strange child in the 80s as I was you may have watched that.  I loved it to bits and memorized it.  It was a general film flop because parents then thought it was too “film noir” or strange for Disney children to enjoy and Fairuza Balk as Dorothy might have looked too “crafty” to them.  My mother had many recorded and let me watch lots of movies (as long as not occult) about unusually talented, brave, strange girls (Alice, Dorothy…) who were out in dark places trying to find their way home all the time (she had a scheme obviously for the future LOL) and she wouldn’t shield me from potentially scary scenes like when the heroine is in a dark place for example, she’d let me wield my imaginary sword.  Er…back to Zoya Dakota, this is good “rouge noir” candidate that lasts longer on the nails and looks glossy for a long time. W-I-N.… Read the rest

Nails in November | Cutting it Close…

It really is cutting it close isn’t it?  It won’t be November anymore tomorrow so I’ve highly decided to take advantage of the fact that it is still November today and I can very well make use of the title.  By the way, cutting it close just doesn’t have to do with the date.  There’s just an uplifting sense I get when I get my nails trimmed and hands exfoliated for an overall clean.  I had to form the regular “mani” habit by myself because as a freelancer in-salon manicures just really add to monthly expenses and also because as a makeup artist my hands always have to look pristine and worthy of handling other people’s faces, not to mention my own.

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Cure Natural Aqua Gel, HURRAW Lemon Lip Balm (Cold-pressed, vegan), CLINIQUE A Different Nail Enamel in “Do Not Disturb”, Trim Mani Kit (Dad got from S&R) Apostrophe Nail Cutter, Trim Nail File (forgot to include my body lotion here, LUSH Celebrate)

I’ve quite outgrown (pun intended) the need for long nails and while my nails will never be kindergarten short I’ve recently been always keeping the length close to the nail bed, not too far out.  My nail growth sadly is in an awkward upward angle, not a lovely forward and downward sort of growth…one lovely example of which is YouTube Jen/frmheadtotoe’s fingertips, she can grow them long and they won’t splay and snag.  So anyway I cope with what I have and learn to enjoy them.  Recently I’ve updated my manicure steps with 2 FACIAL products that do the job with flying colors and just really aid in keeping my fingertips polish-worthy in a more gentle way.  Read more to get the full feature on how I clean my nails, what 2 new current products I use and how I use them.  Click more to make the jump.… Read the rest

REVLON Nail Enamel in “Whimsical” | A unicorn sort of shade for Php225

I first spotted Revlon’s Nail Enamel in Whimsical over a year and a half ago on Jen’s (frmheadtotoe.com) nails.  It’s one of those nail polishes you cannot describe to someone in one sentence.  It’s not boring but not too loud either, it’s a cute party in itself but not sickeningly so, and when I say it’s a unicorn sort of shade I only mean to say it’s one of a kind.  The blue and pink flecks (large and small) suggest a perfect baby shower-esque polish for someone having twins of both sexes (what a stretch, obviously my mind is on a conveyor belt in the other room).  Have you ever eaten multicolored marshmallow cereal and had the milk change into a murky indescribable shade?  That almost…almost hits the nail on the head.  It’s more like a murky powder blue…that’s almost grey.  All photos are shot with 3 coats layered and no top coat except for the one shot where I indicate “2 coats”.  Did I forget to mention that this is an almost spot on dupe for Deborah Lippmann’s “Glitter in the Air”?

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What’s nice about Revlon “Whimsical” is its sheer milky finish, but you see a significant build up in coverage with each coat you add.  On the first coat it looks completely transparent, on the second coat you already get a  nice milky wash, the third coat almost makes the the nail edge disappear.  The especially cool thing with the large and small glitter flecks is that (as you can see in the close up in the bottle) with each layer the glitters on the topmost layer remain most visible and the glitters in the layers underneath diminish softly giving extra depth.  I bought this for Php225 from the nail bar over at SM Aura’s Beauty Section in the department store.  They’ve still got the NEW stickers on BUT be aware that these are from a collection released almost 2 years ago (bottle is marked Revlon 2011) so the stock isn’t completely new meaning you’ll need a fresh good quality top coat to finish this properly.  The polish itself is still okay it’s just that it needs a bit of help for staying power.… Read the rest

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