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Holo Taco: The Nail Polish Brand of Your Sparkliest Dreams

Several years ago, I discovered a fairly small, nail art focused YouTube channel. One day the YouTuber posted a funny video about how she attempted to layer 100 layers of nail polish on her nails. Little did either of us know that this would rocket her channel into so much more than just a fun hobby.

Cristine Rotenberg has been spreading the joy of her nail art hobby on YouTube since June 2014, under the channel name Simply Nailogical. She began this channel by posting nail art tutorials, but her channel slowly evolved to much more. You may recognize her as the accidental originator of the “100 Layers” challenge that went viral on YouTube in 2016. One of the hallmarks of her channel in the current day is her collection of 2,000+ nail polishes all displayed on custom shelves, gracing the background of nearly every single video. Cristine has a particular affinity for more out-of-the-box polish finishes such as multi-chrome, iridescent and, of course, holographic. These finishes, while stunning, are quite expensive for nail polish companies to produce. This is due to the pigments and glitters that are used to create the desired effects, so Cristine set out to create her own nail polish brand that produces high quality special effects nail polishes. The brand’s name, Holo Taco, actually started as an inside joke with herself and her YouTube audience. She often tops off her nail art with a holographic, or holo, top coat. This adds a layer of beautiful rainbow glitters that shift in the light. However, whenever she would say “add a holo top coat,” her fans would joke that it sounded like she was saying “holo taco.” She eventually started actually saying “taco” instead and the name stuck!

Holo Taco’s first collection launched in October 2019, and Cristine has been releasing smash hits ever since! Each collection has featured unique effects from the classic holo to metallic, multi-chromes, iridescent and even super pigmented solid creme polishes. The most recent collection was a rainbow of pastel linear holographic polishes released on April 17th. The pastel rainbow color story was a play off of their vibrant rainbow linear holo collection from last summer. You may be wondering what linear holographic polishes are. “Linear” is a variation of holographic nail polish that contains very fine holo pigments that shine in uniform lines when painted on the nail. Holo polishes can come in many other forms. Along with their popular linear holographic formula, Holo Taco has you covered with their full coverage glitter holo formula and three different holographic toppers.

The toppers, or “tacos” as the brand lovingly calls them, come in three variants of holo glitter: linear, scattered and flakies, as well as a spectrum of iridescent flakies, all suspended in a clear base to layer on top of your favorite base! Scattered holo will give you a bit more of a subtle look, holo and iridescent flakies both yield a more jagged and random look, and linear adds those aforementioned brilliant, sparkly lines to any base polish. No matter your taste, there are countless combinations to try with Holo Taco polishes and toppers!

While the special effects polishes are fun, it is definitely worth mentioning their more basic polishes. Their solid color creme finish polishes are incredibly pigmented and are very quick to dry, as are the rest of their polishes. Their “One-Coat Black” is particularly impressive, as it truly lives up to its name. It is completely opaque in just one coat! Say goodbye to streaky, translucent manicures! Holo Taco only has a few color options in their creme formula at the moment, but Cristine is always hinting at new projects. Some eagle-eyed viewers even spot when she wears an unreleased polish on her own nails in a YouTube video or Instagram post. 

Cristine not only wanted to supply high quality polishes, she also created a line of base coats to protect the nail. Another recurring bit on her YouTube channel is her bag full of what she refers to as “nail peelies,” which are previous nail art manicures she has created on top of a peel-off base coat. This base coat allows her to peel the polish off in a sort of “shell” to preserve the art and save her nails from the damage of nail polish remover. This led her to create her own version of the peel-off base coat, as well as the long lasting and smoothing bases for those who have other #nailgoals.

To top it all off, Cristine always recommends “a nice thick coat of glossy taco.” Of course by now you will know to assume that “taco” actually means “top coat.” And Holo Taco’s top coats do not disappoint! They have three options of clear top coats to seal in your manicure: “Glossy Taco,” “Matte Taco,” and “Super Glossy Taco.” “Glossy Taco” is a classic, smooth top coat that dries faster than anything I have ever used. “Matte Taco” creates a chic, seamless, and velvety matte finish. “Super Glossy Taco” is that formula amped up a bit, drying down to almost a gel-like hardness without the need for a gel curing UV lamp!

Over the years, I have wanted to get into nail polish and painting my nails but it was always too much of a hassle. All of the polishes I tried weren’t very pigmented and they took forever to dry. I am so glad that I decided to give nail polish a second chance when trying Holo Taco. They are super user friendly, and of course, they’re full of sparkles!

Madison Crull

Illinois State '23

Hi! My name is Madison Crull, I am a Junior at Illinois State, and I'm majoring in Interpersonal Communications with a minor in Music! As a writer, I aim to use my voice and platform through Her Campus to share fun, engaging, and relatable content.
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