By Dom Galeon
Photos by Nelwin Uy
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Nails are, perhaps, considered by many to be one of the most ordinary parts of a person’s body. Most of us neglect them, we chip them, we dirty them, and we expose them to every possible activity that requires us to be more hands on. Literally. For the women behind Extraordinail Salon and Skin Care, nails are the bread and butter of everything they do. That’s especially true for Extraordinail owner and CEO Veronica Resurrecion, who recently opened a new branch at the Bonifacio Global City, with business partner and long-time friend Love Marie Escudero, more popularly known by her showbiz pseudonym Heart Evangelista.
Nica, as she’s known among her friends, has been obsessed with nails “since the days of Jolina,” she says referring to the ‘90s, way before she opened her first nail salon in Greenhills back in May 2014. Since then, she now has had several branches of Extraordinail opened, including a nail salon “on wheels” to cater to clients living outside the metro. But it was before putting up her own shop that she met Heart, who started as a fan of Extraordinail and later on became the brand’s image model, a job she did all for the love of nails.
“I became her image model. I didn’t have a talent fee, that’s how much I love her salon. All I wanted was just to get free nails,” Heart recounts with a smile. Almost five years later, Heart is now part-owner of Extraordinail BGC. “I always wanted a branch at the Fort. It took [Nica] a while, but she promised me that once she opened a branch at the Fort, that I would partner with her. So yeah, it all worked out and I’m so happy. It’s my very first business venture.”
It was a relationship built on the tip of their fingers, so to speak. Both Nica and Heart loved pampering their nails, frequenting other nail salons before Extraordinail. Together with that love for nails, both are also artists in their own right. Heart, who is featured in the second volume of Manila Bulletin lifestyle photographer Pinggot Zulueta’s Filipino Artists in their Studios, is also a painter, her medium mostly oil on canvas. Nica, on the other hand, has been designing nail art for quite some time now. Nails, she says, are her canvas.
No stranger to designing nails herself, Heart used to paint her fingernails before. “I used to design nails also for my friends. I would do it before as a hobby,” she says. Extraordinail became an avenue for the two women to collaborate and design unique and stylish art for nails. Right now, she and Nica “are thinking about coming up with a design that I can put my art in,” Heart adds.
“I’ve always wanted my own nail salon. When I was a little girl, I used to go with my mom to get her nails done, and that was in San Francisco. A lot of people loved nail extensions, and when we got back here, there wasn’t really a place to go to get nail extensions. When I got a bit older, there was this one place called Le Shermont, I think. So sila lang yun (It was just them). I used to get my nails done there and then I would just paint on top of them, because there was no other place. Back then Japan and Hong Kong were the only places that had nail art, styled with Swarovskis, etc.” Heart says. She recounts how this love and fascination for nail art ultimately led her to finding out about Nica and Extraordinal. “And then when I met Nica, she was also addicted to it. When I saw her Instagram, I was like ‘oh my God, where have you been?’ and she just started at that time.”
For Heart and Nica, taking care of their clients and making sure that they get what they deserve is an important part of that extraordinary service their nail salon provides, alongside getting their nails styled in ways only Extraordinail can do. “We have a café here and we serve really good coffee. And it’s just really about pampering yourself. I think that’s the main thing,” Heart says about the BGC salon. “We all work hard. We all have our problems in life and sometimes you just want to go to a place where you can relax and feel pretty. And this is something that will instantly make you feel good about yourself, by putting paint on your nails.”