Why holo everyone, it’s me, Crystina with no ‘h’ :p
You may have noticed in my Get Abs Challenge Day 12 photo that I had some nice fancy nails. The eagle-eyed among you may even have been able to identify that, yes, it is indeed Holo Taco nail polish. Allow me to tell you all about it!
Holo Taco is the brand created by YouTuber Cristine aka Simply Nailogical. I’m super late to the party, but I only found her videos in the past few weeks or so and only heard of her recently after Emily D. Baker mentioned her in a live stream at some point. In fact, I only found her channel after her most recent “I’m Not A YouTuber Anymore” video showed up on my recommended feed.
I was instantly taken with her professionalism and personality. A bunch of videos and nail oil later, I put in a Holo Taco order and waited in eager anticipation of the arrival of my new nail polishes. On Friday, they finally arrived.
I’m not the type to want holographic or bright coloured nail polishes. In fact, I barely get my nails done ever. I had a mani-pedi a few months ago but before that I don’t remember the last time I had one. I didn’t even get my nails done for my own wedding (I wore stick-ons) and, while there was a time where I went to a brilliant nail tech in LA, she retired so no more nice nails for me lol.
After purchasing some of the nail care products Cristine suggested and using nail oil, I could literally see a difference in the health of my nails. That was enough to convince me that Cristine was legit and knew what she was doing. Even if she only scored 60-something-% on the nail technician test ;)
Originally I was just going to buy her base coat and holo taco/matte taco top coats to wear as a nude polish, but out of a desire for free shipping, I took a look at the polishes available in the build-your-own bundle and fell in love with the One Coat Black with Gold Flakie Taco.
The OCB is pretty famous in its own right because Cristine wears it so much haha. But I was unfamiliar with everything else to be honest. It was a little overwhelming to browse the website as an absolute nail newbie and I hadn’t watched enough of her polish-intro videos to understand what all the cremes and toppers and holo and multichrome etc. were, but I think that was probably my error for not Simply Watching The Right Videos lol.
I’m still very happy with what I ended up with, and I’m already considering buying more! Full review below.
What I Got
- Peely Base (a peel-off base coat that comes off very easily…)
- Smoothing Base (base coat that smoothes out natural ridges in your nails. Can also be worn as a nude polish.)
- One-Coat Black (black, highly pigmented nail polish that is opaque in one coat)
- Gold Flake Taco (gold flake topper)
- Matte Taco (matte-ifies your nail polish)
- Glossy Taco (quick-drying, glossing top coat)
I placed my order on 24th July and it arrived on 5th August. It took 5 days for them to ship out my order and another week for it to arrive. I was a bit surprised that it took them so long to ship out my order in the first place, even wondering if I’d done something wrong in the ordering process at first.
That’s when I realised… I’d stupidly placed my non 3rd Anniversary Gala Collection order during the time the new collection launched. I didn’t realise collection boxes were a collectors item, or that they were limited in quantity, even though it was literally written in the name and description lol.
It took me a couple of days to finally decide what to order, and when I was first putting my cart together the Gala Collection had just dropped so I probably could have purchased it, but for someone who owned zero nail polish at the time and was barely familiar with the brand, I wanted to trial something a bit more basic first.
Either way, all that is to say: they were probably inundated with orders during that time and wondering why my dumb butt hadn’t purchased anything related to the new collection when they were shipping out the orders, lol. Anyways, no wonder it took a while for them to ship my products.
I imagine that if I were to put in a purchase during a normal time period, it’d be shipped out much faster.
Okay – first off: don’t judge too harshly. I got so excited to try out my new polishes I didn’t actually do a proper manicure. I didn’t do my cuticles, I didn’t oil properly blah blah yadda yadda. I just grabbed the Peely Base, tried on the polishes and added a glossy taco.
Either way, it wasn’t too bad:
I literally don’t recall the last time I put nail polish on my nails. I don’t actually recall the last time I owned a bottle of nail polish. The last time I remember purchasing nail polish, I am pretty sure I was still a young teenager living with my parents, and even then I’m not sure I really used it.
So given my lack of confidence in my nail painting abilities (as well as not being sure I’d like the polish), I wanted to test it on my nails first with the Peely Base. You know? Trial run before true commitment.
Turns out, I liked how it looked on my nails. A lot. Unfortunately, (or maybe sort of fortunately since it forced me to do my nails properly?) my first peely fell off within a couple of hours, and by the time I finished showering that evening, only 2 peelies remained on my nails. The rest all came off by themselves.
As such, I removed the remaining peelies and gave myself a proper manicure on Saturday. Using my Smoothing Base this time. And I managed to get this photo in far better lighting. Look at those beautiful gold flakes on top of that OCB:
I must admit, I got nervous painting on the smoothing base because it’s more permanent, so I don’t think it came out as nicely as before, but dang it’s still pretty nice, right? Credit majorly due to Cristine for putting together some truly high-quality polishes that still work despite user error.
The Base Coats
Peely Base: I was disappointed that my peelies came off literally within a couple of hours of application, and most of them barely lasted 5hrs. I knew they were supposed to come off easily, but I had hoped they’d last 3 days like the website claimed they would.
That being said, I hadn’t yet watched this video about how to make your Peely Base manicure last longer, and absolutely did not take any of the right steps yet did plenty of the wrong ones, so once I’m done with my current manicure I’ll probably use some of these tips and try again.
Smoothing Base: I used the smoothing base coat with a glossy taco for my toes and I love it. It’s the perfect nude colour. Literally after using it, I felt like this was the look that I was hoping for every time I went for a manipedi lol. I’d have used it on my fingernails too but I still had some of my gel polish left over from my previous manicure (shhh).
Regretfully, the gel polish peeling off has damaged my nails, so for now I’m using this polish to cover up the damaged tips. It applies a little unevenly but once you let it dry, it actually evens out very well. I really like this base coat and absolutely plan to get it again once my current one runs out.
The Polish & Tacos
One Coat Black: It dries very quickly. Being the nail polish n00b that I am, it actually started drying before I was even able to finish applying the first coat properly lol. I either wasn’t able to get the right amount of polish on the brush, or I had too much polish on the brush and it was running into my cuticles/skin. It does live up to its name though: opaque in one coat.
I only used one coat in my photos above and you can see how dark it is. Hopefully this one lasts me a while!
Gold Flake Taco: Gold flakes are absolutely packed into this topper. You can see how dense it is in my photos above – I only used one coat! If I’d used a second coat, I’m not sure there’d be any space left for the black to poke through. I’m loving this combination and the polish itself.
Glossy Taco: It’s not as glossy as I thought it’d be given the videos and website photos, but perhaps why there’s a product called Super Glossy Taco and maybe that’s the one Cristine mostly uses. I’m happy with the level of gloss that it has though!
I wouldn’t want it to be any glossier, and it was indeed very quick-drying. In fact, it was drying so fast that there were some thin wisps of drying polish on the applicator brush itself when I worked too slowly, heh heh whoops. Within minutes, it was dry to the touch.
Within 30min, I felt confident enough to change clothes and go out and about without needing to be too careful. Within an hour, I was eating with my hands as if my nails hadn’t only been painted shortly before that. I was out for the whole afternoon, eating bread dipped in olive oil, pizza and ice cream, holding my husband’s hands – basically just doing everything as normal as if I wasn’t wearing nail polish. I didn’t need to worry about damaging my nail polish at all.
In fact, I was so unbothered that I’d literally never paid my nails a fleeting thought because the Glossy Taco sealed that manicure in so well and dried so quickly. Honestly I don’t really recall much apart from at one point thinking, “Wow, my nails look so nice,” and that was about it.
I think that’s a testament to how great the product is, to be honest.
Matte Taco: I haven’t used this one yet… so no comment yet, but if it’s anything like the rest of the products, I’m sure it’ll be amazing.
One thing I noticed when the polishes arrived is that they were a lot smaller than I was expecting. I don’t know if it’s just my previous memory of owning nail polish being when I was much smaller so the bottles appeared larger, but I felt like these polishes were quite small, which increases the $/ml.
That said, these polishes really are very high quality and all of the ones I purchased only need one coat, so they should last a while… unless I just keep using the Peely Base, lol. I love that Cristine uses her own polishes – you can tell she put in a lot of love, care and thought into her brand and her products and I am very pleased with how they’re looking on my nails.
I’ve had compliments from basically everyone who’s seen my nails so far, and I’ve never had compliments on my nails before, even when I got them done professionally. Plus, my nails have never looked so healthy (aside from the gel-damaged tips). So, thanks, Cristine!
I can wholeheartedly recommend these products and I’m already planning to purchase more! They may be pricey, but the price is worth it.
Update 12 August 2022
Alrighty I felt like I needed to come back with an update. A week after doing my nails, they now look like this:
Above you can see the state of my left hand nails. My right hand actually started chipping at the edges and ends on day 4, despite wrapping the ends. I touched it up and wrapped the ends again. However, it’s already chipping again. It was actually painful when my hair started getting caught in the ridges of polish when I was washing my hair last night, so I had to remove the polish entirely from a couple of fingers.
Now that all my nails are chipping like this, I think it’s time to just redo my nails entirely. I like to brush my hair out of my face with my fingers, and every time I do, more hair gets trapped on my nails. I don’t want to keep accidentally pulling my hair out.
I actually put in a new order of Holo Taco last week, and this time it shipped literally the next day. So that’s good I think. Unfortunately, UPS says delivery will take a full week this time, so I won’t be able to do my nails in a new colour any time soon.
I am a bit disappointed that the polish started chipping so soon. I’ve been careful to use gloves when doing cleaning/washing (apart from in the shower). I do cook a lot and wash my hands frequently because of it though, so perhaps that affects it. But Christine has shown images of her manicure lasting a week without chipping while using the Peely Base — how, girl??
I’ve noticed that, despite wrapping the ends of my nails in polish, it wears of very quickly. I do use my hands and I guess I haven’t quite figured out the art of protecting my nails from chipping. Perhaps I’ll improve with time.