My prayers have been answered - there’s finally a Japanese nail salon in Manila! Kiyosa Japanese Total Beauty specializes in intricately designed Japanese gel nails that can last up to 3-4 weeks. They’ll also be offering Japanese eyelash extensions soon.
I’ve always been a firm believer that nails, apart from hair and make-up, play such a huge role in achieving a perfect, put-together look. Japanese nail technicians are some of the best in the world, and some of these “nailists” (as they are more commonly called) even have to pass an exam to get a license to do other people’s nails.
Nails are definitely serious business in Japan! There’s such a thing as annual Japanese nail awards that are given to celebrities with the best nail art. Past winners include stylish artists, idols, models and talents such as Koda Kumi, Hamasaki Ayumi, Masuwaka Tsubasa, Nakamura An, Rola, Itano Tomomi, Nishino Kana, Tsuchiya Anna, etc.
What I love about Japanese nail salons is that they always emphasize that proper techniques are needed in order to keep nails healthy and in tip-top shape. It’s not just about making your nails look as pretty as possible, but also making sure that your nails won’t turn out bad in the long run. Sound familiar? Japanese skin care products more or less have the same goal. Short term, temporary solutions and “cover-ups” to beauty problems are a big no-no! Treat your nails like skin!
I found out about Kiyosa while my boyfriend and I were driving around the BHS area. I never got around to try it until now, but I’m glad I found time to do so a few weeks ago!
So reminiscent of the nail salons in Japan. Clean and modern interiors with good lightning.
Here are some of the designs that they can do. Everything is perfectly hand-drawn.
Love this set! The simple, light-colored ones are so me!
They have different options (which they call courses) for their customers, depending on the desired result.
The most basic course is called Course 60 (because it would take around 60 minutes), which is only one color, french or gradation. I got Course 75, glitter line or stone art on a simple base. Course 90 is simple art on a sophisticated base, while Course 120 is 3D art on a luxury base.
You’re not just limited to the designs they have on display. They have the latest Japanese magazines if you need any more references. You can also show them a photo from the Internet, but customize the colors according to your liking. The Kiyosa experience then becomes a collaborative effort between customer and nailist.
Sometimes they would give you special discounts and extras (like foot baths and massages) if you get a particular design done on your nails. Right now, they have a sunflower and fireworks set to celebrate the summer season in Japan. I would’ve loved to get the set price, but the rainy day designs were too sparkly for me, lol.
Most of the time, you can also get discounts if you bring a friend with you, or post the results and tag them on Facebook or Instagram! I can already see myself bringing my mom or Crissey here for an afternoon pampering sesh.
Some of these wedding nails are my kind of nails, especially the one above the picture on the left. You can definitely have these done even if you’re not getting married any time soon!
Nail art for your toes! They’re still promoting their S/S designs, thus the bright and pastel colors. Can’t wait for them to come out with a different display for F/W!
They use acegel, a popular Japanese brand that specializes in gel nail art. The brushes they use are also acegel.
These are the two colors that I chose! Can I be any more predictable? The white-ish color has the prettiest gold speckles in it!
My nailist, Kawachi Haruna-san! She is the best!
She made drawing the houndstooth pattern look so easy. All the lines were so precise!
The final result! Peach-pink and gold-white with ring finger houndstooth accent and square nail charms. I originally planned to go gingham instead of houndstooth since I’m still not over EMODA’s Pin Up Lady concept, but my love for houndstooth reigned supreme.
You know how some nail salons’ gel nails peel at the base/cuticles after a few weeks? No signs of damage and dryness here even after 2 weeks. My nails look exactly as they were when I first them done. The nail charms are still perfectly in place, and even if you try to remove them on purpose, you can’t, lol.
Japanese nail salons charge a hefty price compared to regular nail salons, but you’ll be able to save a lot in the long run because of the wonderful quality and total time saved. I always get gel nails when I know I’m going to be busy for a while. If you’re always on the go, I recommend Japanese nail art!
Kiyosa can also do designs as complex as these. Talk about real nail art. These are manager Shimoji Rie-san’s nails. They still look perfect after almost 3 weeks!
With the Kiyosa staff! If you plan to drop by any time soon because of this blog post, please let them know I said hi!
Kiyosa Japanese Total Beauty (+63-2) 805-8888/0939-9158888 Ground Floor, F1 Hotel, 32nd Street. cor. Lane Q, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
If you’ve been following my Instagram for a while now, you’ve probably heard of this place a couple of times. It’s the only place I go to for my nails.
Prices are very affordable, and the location is convenient for me as I live near Eastwood Mall in Quezon City. So near that I am always tempted to change my nails every week even when they’re not even chipped yet! What a problem to have, eh?
Anyhow, I dropped by last week to have my nails done because I haven’t had time to do my own nails, Christmas rush, Taiwan and all.
Since the festive season started, they’ve been promoting their nail charms! Been so obsessed that it’s already my third time to have charms put on my nails.
They also do caviar manicure which looks super interesting but just not my personal style.
I’ve watched a ton of movies on this screen, lol. They usually show movies like Legally Blonde, Mean Girls and Pitch Perfect to keep you from getting bored.
One of the reasons why I keep coming back to I Do Nails is their massive collection of nail polish brands and colors. And an updated collection at that. They have about 4 more giant trays worth of nail polish in the store so you’re bound to come back and try everything.
They also have a copy of my book in the store so you can browse it there if you don’t have your own copy yet!
Gel nails! My go-to polish when I’m traveling!
On some days, you can find the gorgeous owner, Monica Maceda, in the store. We actually came from the same high school but we never got to meet until after college! We also happen to be neighbors so I always joke about how fate really wanted us to meet no matter what, haha.
I Do Nails started out as her thesis in school before she decided to turn it into a full-blown business.
Check out her party nails! They totally match her shoes!
My time for a manicure! I can never be as bold as Monica to pull off bright, fancy colors. As expected, I went for something clean and feminine.
I’m slowly going back to my ultra-girly style since I dyed my hair back to brown. I swear my whole lifestyle seems to change depending on hair color. Same with nail polish - I tend to match my clothes and make-up with my current nail color. If I go for black polish, expect me to wear edgier-looking clothes until I decide to remove it!
Here’s the final look - SpaRitual Idyllic with Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow. Kawaii spring style nails! I don’t know any Japanese nailists here in Manila so this is the closest I can get.
If you want the same nails, just show the I Do Nails girls this photo so they can easily replicate it. Sometimes I show them photos of the kind of effect that I like so they can recommend the best nail colors to help me achieve it!
#justgotcharmed at I Do Nails! Rings not necessary when your nails are blinged out enough. You just have to pay something like P5 each for the small round charms, but the special charms (like the bows) can go up to a much higher price. About P150. The bows stayed on my nails for a week before they came off - I forgot about them and combed my tangled hair with my fingers. Whoops.
The bows are still with me and I can have the nail salon reattach them whenever I want!
Much thanks to Monica and I Do Nails for always taking care of my nails! Love you girls so much! Please don’t ever leave Eastwood because I don’t know what I’ll do without you!
1) Black and white konad nail art thanks to I Do Nails in Eastwood! I’ve been going to this nail salon often recently because it’s super near where I live, plus I usually hang out in this mall with my friends!
2) Topshop silver polish, Etude House giant glitter polish and Tony Moly teal polish. Felt a little creative with this one.
3) Etude House CPP501. Cute pale lavender for spring.
4) Chanel Beige + konad nail art stamps thanks to I Do Nails
5) Orly Frisky thanks to Polished in the City. I will always be a sucker for blue nail polish. My friends have called certain blues as “Tricia Blue”s as I used to sport different shades of blue polish back in college!
6) CND Guava thanks to Dashing Diva. Went warm peach this time.
7) Chanel Rouge Fatal thanks to I Do Nails again. I love their selection of Chanel polishes!
8) Chanel Emprise thanks to Polished in the City
9) Chanel Inattendu with white houndstooth Konad stamps! And yes, I used Solanin as a bg, lol
10) Orly Gumdrop thanks to Park Jun’s in Glorietta. Had a sudden urge to have my nails done while waiting for my hair to be dyed. Same day I bumped into Camille who was dyeing her hair red for the third time!
11) Current nails! Orly Cotton Candy and Chanel Gold Lame thanks to I Do Nails.
I changed my nail polish 11 times since the start of the year. Talk about being fickle. To celebrate the start of May, maybe I’ll change my nail polish again tonight…
I can’t seem to get this color out of my mind. Such a classy and clean color with that trademark Chanel formula. When I paint my nails something other than this wonderful milky coffee, mannequin-ish color, I often find myself removing it soon after, and replacing it with Chanel Beige at the end of the day.
Literally. At the end of the day. There is no other top coat than Seche Vite to do the trick. It dries nail polish completely and instantly like a charm, and has that creamy, gel polish-like effect. All in a matter of 5-10 minutes. I can sleep immediately after and there are zero pillow marks or random streaks! Thanks to Polished in the City for introducing me to it! IN LOVE.
1) OPI Thanks A Windmillion (current nails)
2) Beauty & Butter Art Pro Nail machine printed nails (I chose the mode-inspired design of course!)
3) Chanel Pearl Drop and Topshop dark red polish from their A/W 11 collection
4) Mixing metals! Cutex and Topshop nail polish
5) OPI Don’t Pretzel My Buttons
6) Topshop AW11 pale green base with Topshop SS11 metallic green diagonal tips (used tape!)
7) Beauty & Butter gel nail art that I kept throughout my Indonesia trip last November
8) Beauty & Butter blue-violet polish with tiny stones
9) Nail polish that my friend Tracy gave me from the US
10) ORLY GelFX Prisma Gloss SIlver base with White Tips glitter top coat which I kept throughout my Hong Kong trip last October
11) Zoya Kristen (which is such a perfect shade of blue!)
12) Etude House PK014 and Tony Moly PP04! Pastel goodness!
13) Nail Bistro's early Christmas gift! ORLY Crawford's Wine
I change my nail polish faster than the weather!
So what’s the reason behind all these erratic nail color changes? One of my ultimate pet peeves is chipped nail polish, and I absolutely cannot stand looking at nail polish that have already chipped but strangely haven’t been completely removed by nail polish remover. Seriously, if I had all the time in the world, I’d bring nail polish remover with me everywhere and remove people’s chipped nail polish myself! Get it together, girls. It just looks… well, unkempt and unclassy. *cringe* If you can’t keep up with proper nail care, just opt for no polish at all. Personally, I *have to* remove my nail polish at the first sight of imperfection, especially if I had my nails done professionally and don’t have the color used in my own household. Talk about obsessive-compulsiveness! I admit I can get quite clumsy at times, so you can just imagine how fast my nail polish chips… but this is why I absolutely *love* gel polish once in a while. I’m still crossing my fingers for Japanese hard gels to be available here though. That would be such a dream. T_T