Meet Nika Pascua, Psychology major from Ateneo De Manila University and self-taught nail artist.
There’s just something about getting your nails done and having a long set of nail extensions that can give that extra boost of confidence. From a diverse range of nail shapes and lengths, to bold designs and shiny embellishments, it’s not a surprise why nail extensions are all the rage nowadays. While growing out your nails can be an option, many find that getting a manicure by a technician can be considered as #selfcare.
Polygel and Softgel are very common materials used by nail technicians to achieve the perfect set. But for psychology major and self-taught nail technician Nika Pascua, acrylic nails just hit differently. Known as Localbebot, her over-the-top, western-inspired designs are what makes her stand out from everyone else in the local nail community.
Nika Pascua is doing it all, and she’s changing the local nail game one client at a time. We’ve got an exclusive interview with the college student and nail technician who will surely inspire you to embody your inner baddie with her unique nail extension sets.
Just like anyone else during the beginning of the pandemic, Nika had a lot of time to rediscover herself. While scrolling her way through social media, she stumbled upon a video on how to create nail extensions with Polygel. Shocked to have found interest, she began doing research and started practicing on her own. But it wasn’t easy, and she found that the materials she started with were harder to manipulate and took a lot of time.
Soon after, she discovered acrylic nails. After testing it out, she immediately fell in love. “Acrylic nails are so versatile, it dries quickly, which has its pros and cons, but it challenges me to work faster,” says Nika. Localbebot started when Nika took her hobby seriously. She would practice on her own, but because of her friends and family’s support, she was encouraged to practice on them, too. Soon after, she decided to turn her hobby into a business.
If you’ve come across her Instagram, Nika applies western techniques to her client’s nails. Chrome powder, airbrush, rhinestones, pearls, large and small embellishments, name it, and she can deliver. Her unique designs are heavily inspired by local and international nail artists and enthusiasts such as Eli of EliNails, CJ of Social Climber Nails, US-based nail artist Karen Jimenez, and Kay Agbayani. Check out some of her work.
HALLOWEEN INSPIRED NAILS
LONG SILVER ALIEN SET
FLORAL SUMMER SET
Thinking about booking an appointment? Here are a few things you should know before getting acrylic nails: One, it’s a long process that takes 4-5 hours, so make sure you wear comfy clothes. Two, have fun with the design. Nika is open to all sorts of designs from airbrush to hand painted nail art, and she offers free-style as well. (You can give her the creative freedom to create the coolest nail designs.) Lastly, know that nail extensions don’t last long. Acrylics follow the growth of your nails and usually last up to six weeks if you follow her aftercare instructions.
While she definitely doesn’t claim to have started acrylic nails in the Philippines, she is one of the very few who offer her kind of nail services in the rise of Polygel and Softgel. To this day, Nika continues to hone her craft and experiment with different techniques and nail trends while also juggling her studies as a college student.
Nika Pascua is a big example that you can do the things you love and be good at it. With a little bit of encouragement and practice, you can be unstoppable as long as you set your mind to it. If you’re thinking about starting your nail journey, there’s no better time than now. But if you’d rather sit and let the magic happen right in front of you, set an appointment with Nika of Localbebot. She’ll make sure your nails are always on point.
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