First things first: don’t ask about the Alchemy of Souls ep 19-20 review. It makes me ragey and I’m still not ready to talk about it.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you where I’ve been! We went to Seattle from 31 Aug – 5 Sept. Yes, I bought the new Holo Taco Dark Rainbow Collection while on vacation. I woke up early to join Cristine’s launch live stream to get a better idea of the colours before making a final decision to purchase. Now I’m waiting with bated breath for my new nail polish to arrive. I’ll probably write about it once it does.
I plan to go into greater detail about our lovely trip to Seattle but here are a few highlights:
Obviously I only ever post the most flattering photos of myself…
Remember in my previous post about Holo Taco I mentioned how I took Cristine’s advice on nail care with the nail oil and such? It actually made such a massive difference that I am now in love with the shape of my nails. Well, I mean, I like them a lot more than before. And my nails are actually able to grow out. For the first time ever, I have long nails and I like them.
I sent this before and after to my sister, and honestly I was shocked.
The ‘before’ image was cropped out of a photo where I’m cuddling my cat back in March. I literally don’t have many photos where my hands are really visible since I disliked the look of my nails. They were thin and grew out sideways or all sorts of weird directions. This was about as long as they could get before I had to cut them out of discomfort.
The ‘after’ photo was taken on 16th August, not too long after I received my first order of Holo Taco. Doesn’t it look… insanely different? My nail shape has changed, my cuticles are so much healthier and my nails are growing out in the right direction. Literally you wouldn’t believe it’s the same hand. I’m wearing a thin coat of Holo Taco’s Smoothing Base in that photo.
I’m not sure if using nail oil itself actually helped to change my entire nail shape – I first noticed it’d stopped growing sideways after I got my first ever gel manicure in early June. (That was a whole other story altogether – I have minor regrets about being upsold into it, but that’s beside the point.)
I wonder if sealing it with gel polish under the UV lights after the nail technician had aggressively filed them down was what caused it to remain in that shape? You can actually still see some of the remnants of the gel polish on my nails in the after pic.
Whatever it was, I know that using the nail oil plus changing to a glass nail file has helped a lot with my nail health after the gel started peeling off (ugh), and my nails have developed a stronger C-curve, which I feel is a highly desired outcome.
Anyways! All that is to say… I now adore my nails, and after using Holo Taco for a few weeks, I absolutely love it.
Towards the end of ep 18 was the first episode of this entire drama where I had to pause to take a breather because I was so frustrated with the events and didn’t want to watch what happened next. I went and sought out spoilers to see if I’d get angry at the plot, then came back and finished watching it later.
I explain in more detail below, I don’t want to be giving spoilers in this intro. But ultimately, after reading the spoilers and actually watching the next part, it turned out to not be bad at all, and in a way I’m a little disappointed with what I spoiled for myself because it was an excellent part of the story.
These couple of episodes felt a little slow but necessarily so. I loved the deeper exploration into Jin Bu-yeon, the character development of Nak-su and the surprise tying in of something that we saw in earlier episodes that I thought was a temporary plot device that I thought we were done with.
I also realised after I’d written my ep 15-16 review that the show was skipping a week to work on special effects. Waiting two full weeks was… hm. Actually, worth it. I can totally see why they needed the extra time and I think what they came up with was fantastic.
Jung So-min absolutely stole the show this week. I’d been disappointed in her performance before, but for these two episodes I was in awe. And I was actually, for once, finally sold on their romance. With only 2 episodes left, I’m not sure how they’re going to tie everything together neatly, and I can definitely see why they need a part 2.
I am a bit disappointed that when I finally get on board with JSM’s acting, she’s going to leave the show. Unless their previous confirmation that she won’t be in part 2 was a red herring/jk type of thing.
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.
This intro was written after watching ep 15… My unabashed gushing occurs after watching ep 16, which, due to spoilers, comes after clicking read more.
Alrighty… first things first: Jung So-min is confirmed to not be appearing in Part 2. I already made it clear how I’d feel about her being replaced by Go Yoon-jung but, I guess now that it’s been confirmed and I’ve watched a lot more of their behind the scenes/interviews, I really can’t wait for her to be out of this show.
It’s painfully obvious that she avoids LJW. I’m not sure if something happened, but the impression I get is that he’s trying his best, and she’s avoiding him for the most part. She looks far more interested in Hwang Min-hyung (the actor for Seo Yul) and it shows on screen.
This is making it difficult for me to root for the drama’s supposed OTP, and I absolutely hate it when the OTP lack chemistry because it gives me unnecessary second-lead syndrome. From a character perspective, Yul’s random longing for his first love doesn’t really make sense to me, and Nak-su has already made it clear that her heart is now elsewhere, supposedly.
Unfortunately, Jung So-min isn’t really selling the not-interested-in-Yul to me very convincingly, and she’s selling the in-love-with-Jang-Wook even less so. Now, I want to be sensitive to LJW potentially having wronged her, but I can’t help but feel it’s unprofessional for a veteran actress like her to publicly display such obvious bias against him.
It’s so awkward. He tries really hard to appease her and she just tries to ignore him most of the time. I can’t figure out if it’s arrogance or discomfort. However, there’s an interview in which they’re tasked with seeing how well they know one another, and LJW was able to answer almost everything about JSM, while JSM knew next to nothing about her co-star.
They weren’t difficult questions: what’s LJW’s birthday? What’s his IG photo? His fan club name might have been a difficult one, but even after a bunch of hints she scarcely managed to guess one correct answer. It comes across as incredibly unprofessional. If you’re going to be the main female lead, surely you’d do at least the bare minimum of research on your co-star. I felt so bad for LJW; it was really off-putting to watch.
I’ll try to keep an open mind for the remainder of this series but I’m worried that it’ll just turn crap for me now that I feel bias against her, which is a gigantic shame because I used to really like her as an actress and was previously quite enjoying the show. Either way, I’m ready to see what Go Yoon-jung can bring to the table.
We are almost at the end game of Part 1, which I think was supposed to be a complete series in its own right, but the story seems to be losing its oomph. So much is happening and yet it feels like nothing is happening all at the same time. Or, perhaps it’s just how little excitement I feel from Jung So-min these days.
Not sure if it’s the directing or otherwise, but her range of expressions is becoming increasingly limited compared to the earlier episodes. Gah, this is not intended to be a JSM-bashing post. That was not the intention. Anyways, spoilers ahead should you choose to read more!
The above intro was written after only watching ep 15. However, I have a lot more to say now because, well, ep 16 absolutely knocked me off my feet. This show is fast becoming one of my top 10. If not, my top 5. If it continues the way it does, maybe even my top 3. I’m blown away.