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January, 2013

  1. MUG SHOT: The washi tape chronicles (or what happens when obsessions collide)

    January 20, 2013 by pam

    I started hearing about washi tape a few years ago. During trips to Hong Kong, I’d spot them at City’super – rolls of Japanese rice paper tape in pretty colors and patterns.


    It happened several times – I’d pick up a few packs, go around City’super but because that place is just packed with awesome stuff you can buy, I’d eventually end up returning the washi to the shelves and buying something else. Next time, I kept telling myself. It was Jill who ended up buying a few rolls during one of those trips, using them for wrapping gifts and for handwritten notes.

    Another big washi tape fan is Miss Bun, who has been covering her polish packages for me with washi love. In 2010, she also sent me a few rolls which I’ve been saving.

    Last year, Uniqlo came out with their MT Masking Tape collaboration. I liked the scarves. Sadly, they only gave out limited edition MT tapes in Japan.

    Some weeks back, another friend, Le, asked me to help her figure out where else she can find washi tape here in the Philippines. We spent a considerable amount of time googling, finding some pretty good options.

    Tatin is also another washi tape addict, hoarding rolls from online sellers and bringing washi home from her trips to Korea and Bangkok. The incredibly artistic Fozzy is also another friend who is in love with washi.

    And now you can say that their washi obsession has rubbed off on me. Because last week, I suddenly felt the urge to finally break open those packs of tape Miss Bun gave me and I washified my planner.


    I had so much fun doing that that I realized I wanted to play with washi more. And that meant I needed more tape. I ordered washi from Hey Kessy, Bee Happy Crafts and Hobby Depot. Then I went to Heima to buy more.




    This is my stash from Heima, Hey Kessy and Miss Bun. I really need to pick up the rest of my tapes from my office.


    Because I wanted to keep track of which tapes I already have, I put swatches in my planner.


    Yes, I’m crazy.

    In the middle of my manic washi hoarding, I decided I wanted to create washi-inspired manicures. And funnily, the very next day, Miss Bun posted the same thing on my Instagram – she was challenging me to create washi-inspired nail art.

    At my grandma’s 75th birthday party, my aunt and I were talking about washi (she’s cool, she gets me). I was showing her the awesome things people have done with it and she said, “Why don’t you wear it on your nails?”

    My original plan was to recreate washi tape designs using nail polish. And because I suck at nail art, there was only one design I knew I could pull off – the polka dot ones. But my aunt was right. I could use the actual washi tape and wear it on my nails. Washi is sticky – it could work like a nail sticker.

    So last night, I stared at my rolls of washi and tried to figure out which ones would work.


    My nail beds are tiny so I decided to use the ones with smaller prints and patterns.


    This was my first attempt, which I Instagrammed.


    But now it’s time to show more photos of that mani and the other washi tape manicures I did.

    It was relatively easy, I just used washi tape, scissors and a top coat.


    The tricky part is cutting the washi tape to the exact shape of your nails.


    But you’ll get the hang of it.


    I suggest watching TV while doing your nails so you’re entertained while cutting.



    This is how it looked with a top coat.


    The only problem with the top coat is it makes some washi tapes curl up at the edges. It doesn’t happen with all washi tapes though – I noticed that the MT ones weren’t affected by the top coat at all. If you use non-MT tapes for your washi tape mani, I suggest using a sticky base coat or a top coat as a glue of sorts before applying the washi tape. Make sure to apply the tape while the base coat or top coat is still wet so when it dries, it can keep the tape in place.

    The second washi tape I used was this math homework design which I think is really geeky cool.


    I like this washi tape, I really do, but it may not be the best choice for a washi mani. I wish the lines were a little more obvious.


    Sigh. Maybe math and I really just don’t mix.


    Here it is with top coat.


    I love this next washi tape mani, using MT tape from Japan.


    My favorite washi tapes are the ones with the weird mix of patterns like this one.


    And I love how well the pattern translated onto my nails.


    Super cool.



    With top coat.


    This one had no problems with the top coat. There was no lifting, no curling up at the edges.


    I really like it.


    I especially love the metallic elements.


    I have one more mani to show you.


    This is one of the washi tapes Miss Bun gave me.


    I love how well this worked too.


    It almost looks like I applied lace onto my nails.




    This is how it looks with a top coat.


    This washi tape didn’t have problems with Seche Vite either.


    I had so much fun doing these manicures that I could have gone on and on. But I had to stop when I realized it was almost five in the morning.

    But this isn’t the end of the washi chronicles, I can promise you that. I have more washi coming and that only means more washi manicures.

  2. MUG SHOT: Dior Cruise Collection 2013 – Mango, Lime and Pasteque

    January 16, 2013 by pam

    Yesterday, included Polish Police in its list of 15 blogs worth following. It’s an honor, absolutely, but it also felt like I was being rewarded for being naughty.

    Thank you to everyone who sent me messages, tweets, e-mails. It’s a new year, I’m back and I’m ready to rock.

    I will not bore you with the many reasons I haven’t updated in over a month (but yes, you can blame Santa Claus!). Instead, I will get to what I know you want to see: nail polish.

    Let’s start the party with the three bright colors from Dior’s Cruise Collection 2013. My friend Le spotted them for me in Taiwan and sent me a message asking if I wanted them. She bought them before I could even reply. She knew my answer was going to be “Hell yes!”

    She returned with this tiny Dior bag in the middle of Christmas craziness.


    And inside were these three beauties.


    Love love love.


    When I first saw promo pics of these colors, I was most excited about Lime. It always thrills me when my favorite brands release greens. But I ended up loving all three shades.

    Let’s start with Mango.


    Dior describes this as “a deliciously fruity and radiant yellow.”


    I may have been excited about Lime but Mango also holds a special place in my heart. After all, that is the Philippines’ national fruit. And it should be. Our mangoes our incredible.


    This shade is a tad more orange than the mangoes I’ve been eating since I was a child but I still like it.


    It’s such a fun bright color.


    The formula of Mango was the thickest of the three but it wasn’t problematic like your usual yellow. I used three coats.


    Dior Pasteque is another fun and bright color.


    Dior describes this shade, which was named after the watermelon, as “a rich and voluptuous high-shine pink.”


    And that’s what it is.


    In fact, it’s so rich and so shiny that it drove my camera crazy.


    My photos don’t do it justice but it really is a gorgeous pink.


    Fantastic formula too. I used two coats.


    And now, my favorite: Lime.


    Dior describes this as “sparkling, acid green.”


    Yup, that’s pretty accurate.


    Lime is a beautiful green.


    I was wearing this when I started to wrap my Christmas presents and I loved how it matched my wrapping paper.


    I really love it.


    I can’t wait to wear it again.


    The formula was great too. A little thin but it flowed beautifully. I used three coats.


    I think it’s crazy that high-end brands don’t release green nail polish more often. Seriously, nail polish fairies, look beyond pink. We need more green polish in the world.