The Requisite Mint Nail Polish | The FACE Shop’s GR501

Here we have no sweet name, no hype, no promise-laden formula, no fancy brush.  You just get the delight of that bright but non-neon and still pastel sort of mint that high dives off your fingertips EVEN WHEN backlit (you need that this summer).  This is FACE shop’s regular polish in GR501.  This is actually an eensy-bit more green in person, just a very tiny bit.  I’ve already stopped fussing trying to get the real live shade right in the photo with color balancing, and I’ve checked on 3 different screens, my laptop, my Samsung android, and my Apple ipad.  In general I’ll just tell you it’s a pop bit more green in person.  There was only so much I could do to try to get the shade right across all 3 platforms.  With the different warmth and calibration on various mobile screens and desktop monitors it’s quite a tricky and slightly elusive shade to photograph.  You’d have to offer buy me dessert to really see what I mean LOL.

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There are a gazillion brands that do this sort of on-everyone’s-market mint shade but sometimes the hue doesn’t have that spot on x-factor like this one does, sometimes they’re either too muted or too neon, this for me is spot on.  Here’s what I mean by it still being a standout shade against the light.  When you were young did you ever hold your hands and fingers up against the sun to space out on the red glow between your fingers?  That’s how I believed I was a bloody human being LOL, I was not really convinced whenever I got wounded or scratched.

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Here’s where this happens to be an absolute gem, I bought this polish over two years ago after seeing it on Sam’s (aka @yosameti) toes, she only had praise for the FACE Shop’s polishes then as did I since they were one of the first brands of polish I bought when I first began the blog.  She said this one was really nice and she consecutively repainted her toes with this two years ago.  Against darker skin this is even more of a popping hue and it’s gorgeous.  The last time I opened this bottle was a year ago, you’d think I’d have to bin it by this time, but no it is still so good.  I gave this a shake, after two years it is neither watery nor gloopy nor forming any ugly yellow oil.  It’s still uneven on the first coat like it always was anyway, but always perfect on the generously brushed on second layer.  Price point?  About Php200+ at the most if I recall correctly.

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NCLA Nailing Hollywood Nail Wraps | Late Night Filing

Why did I do this at half past one in the morning?  My thoughts exactly…but doing nail wraps when you’re supposed to be doing something else gets you…stuck, the ultimate fun being you get perfection without the mess.  I didn’t even plan on blogging, but they turned out nifty-looking.

Processed with VSCOcam with a2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c3 presetI’m not feeling very wordy at the moment but all I’ll say is they were easier to apply than I thought.  Take the appropriately sized nail wrap as you would a sticker (they advise base coat first but, nah I didn’t) and align the rounded top to your cuticle and nail edges, stretch the excess over the nail edge then slowly file the extra off.  You can choose to apply a glossy top coat to give the effect of it being perfectly polished instead of wrapped.  You can find the details of where I got this in my introductory NCLA nails post linked here from last year.  Told you I was lazy, goodnight.  These nails are perfect for a personal event tomorrow.

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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”.


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


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. 

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.To full post & COMMENTS...

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 :).… To full post & COMMENTS...

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.







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.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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.



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.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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 ( 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”?








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.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Color Club Nail Polish 740 “Frills | Just the Right Bright

Not another milky coral!  As if there weren’t enough invading your screen online.  Yes, another one, one that matches me perfectly.  Best described as a pomelo or ripe guava pink, Color Club’s Pro Nail Lacquer in 740 is actually a terribly streaky formula (you didn’t see that coming did you…) but this was a case wherein the color was so darn perfect I’ve justified dealing with that to wear it.  I’ve adjusted it only a little by pouring some Bobbie white in to thicken it, because the formula was too runny (possibly Color Club stock that was left on the shelves for too long), after my quick mix it settled and worked better, the color didn’t change too much, hardly noticeable lighter difference. It’s just a little bit more bright in real life vs. these photos, I think a close match (and probably better formula) would be Orly’s Pixy Stix.

Camera 360

Camera 360

The special thing I noticed about this particular shade, when worn against fair to medium skin, is at night the color amps up miraculously.  It isn’t a true fluoro, neon, glow-in-the-dark or any of that jazz…something about it just naturally amps up visually come nighttime.  So it’s a sweet shade during the day, but somehow at night…and I really don’t know how, it’s an optical effect, artificial lights hit this and it’s ready to party.

Camera 360

Color Club polishes are everywhere locally, they’re at Bench pharmacies like PCX and First Aid and also in SM Watsons beauty floors.  The quality isn’t consistent per color so this is probably one of the OFF ones that’s been sitting there too long.  What I’ve also found in trying to make this streaky Color Club formula work is that Caronia’s Nail Hardening Base Coat works just as many wonders as a top coat…funnily enough even better than their actual Top Coat (which bubbled up on me…annoying).  The Caronia base coat used as a top coat even made some fingerprint and small nick accidents after application disappear.  The only catch is the base coat is not as fast drying as a true top coat so you have to wait longer but patience pays off. It can help well loved shades with ugly formulas work for you.  Color Club “Frills”  also a deadringer for Benefit Cosmetics’ signature coral-ly pink, that’s the most familiar color comparison I can give I think.  Color Club Frills cost under Php220 from PCX Alabang.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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