“Have some fun before you die” has long been the tagline for Cristine Rotenberg’s YouTube channel, Simply Nailogical. It is something her channel has been living up to for the past few years, amassing over 7 million subscribers. She started the channel in 2014 to show her short, voiceless nail art tutorials.
However, after showing her face on screen and adding voiceovers, her videos became something much more exciting and personal. Her personality is infectiously witty and fun, giving all her videos a quirky twist. Now she’s taken her YouTube success and used it to create her own line of high-quality nail polishes called Holo Taco.
This nail polish brand is many years in the making, with Rotenberg taking the time to create something she felt was worth selling. While many other nail polish brands have approached her in the past, she ultimately wanted something that was all her own. Over the years she’s created a few collaboration polishes with brands she likes, but her fans never stopped clamoring for a Simply Nailogical nail art brand.
Rotenberg originally began not as a YouTuber but as an Instagram account with short nail art videos and pictures. However, she soon decided to create short YouTube videos instead in order to accommodate for longer videos.
These first videos were quick nail art clips with no voiceover — just music and text. Her goal was to make short, educational videos that wouldn’t get bogged down or distracting with her talking. Eventually, that setup would change, beginning to lead Rotenberg down a completely different path for her videos.
Technically her first appearance in a video is from a collaboration between online nail artists called “S—t Nail Artists Say.” But her first voiceover appearance is her nail art video “Pretty Pink Leopard Nails-With Glitter!” After this, people began asking her to continue to voiceover her nail art videos.
While still feeling hesitant, Rotenberg eventually jumped in and her online persona began to poke through. Her sarcastic brand of humor when painting her nails gave her viewers the feeling of having a chat with a fun friend while getting a manicure.
Rotenberg slowly started to come farther out of her shell as Simply Nailogical was born. People came for the nail art but stayed for Rotenberg herself. Soon, Rotenberg also began to reveal her face in her videos with “American pride nails & MY GAY KITTEN” and “How to Pretend You Can Paint for Nail Artists” being two of the first ones.
Her channel began growing as her niche persona as the funny nail art YouTuber began to bring in more viewers. However, in 2016 her success was about to go viral and change Rotenberg’s channel forever.
In June 2016, Rotenberg posted a video called “100+ Coats of Nail Polish #PolishMountain” that showed her painting over 100 coats of nail polish on her nails to see what would happen. The video not only went viral on its own but sparked an enormous trend in the beauty community with everyone trying to apply 100 coats of different beauty products. This video is what helped to truly bring Rotenberg to the place she is today, bringing in thousands of more new subscribers.
After the success of polish mountain, Simply Nailogical became more than just a nail art channel, as Rotenberg began to interject more humorous videos into her regular nail art content. Of course, she already had some more “out there” content before this, but it was this video’s success that truly began to push her into that direction.
For quite a while, the majority of her fun random videos had something to do with nails, whether it was painting a car with nail polish or doing nail art on literal hardware nails. There were some deviations, most notably her foray into the makeup world as she tried to create outlandish makeup looks with little knowledge or experience.
It was these makeup-related videos that set the place of Simply Nailogical within the beauty community. She began doing collaborations with big beauty influencers like Tati, Manny Mua and Nicol Concilio.
Rotenberg became the fun nail and beauty channel that really wasn’t there to teach anything useful but to simply have fun. She even ended up being nominated for a “Beautiful Person” award at the Streamy’s in 2017.
Now she did end up creating a second channel called SimplyNotLogical to house her most random and off-topic videos, which has evolved to become her main channel as well. Instead of trying to focus all her videos on things at least somewhat related to nail art, now she just makes whatever she wants. She has videos dedicated to everything from her love of tea to her cats.
Rotenberg also now has a running joke with the channel TroomTroom, as she reacts to and makes fun of their content. Her boyfriend, Ben, has even become a main staple on her channel, as she jokingly calls him her “drink slave” because he is always bringing her tea in her videos. The channel has grown to be something far more unique than just a simple nail art channel.
Rotenberg has now created a brand that represents the style of her channel. The name of the brand, Holo Taco, is a reference to a running joke in her video that she pronounces topcoat as taco. Also the idea behind the brand — to create high-quality, special effects nail polish — goes along with Rotenberg’s love for anything holographic and glittery.
She is putting the quality of the products above money trying to keep the polishes as affordable as possible. The past two years she has been working hard to bring this brand to life and clearly, it has been well worth the wait.
Once the brand launched, it sold out completely in less than two hours. However, Rotenberg did have some set aside to sell at VidCon. When comparing Rotenberg’s launch to other recent YouTube beauty launches — most notably Jaclyn Hill’s lipstick disaster — there’s a clear difference in how she plans on operating her brand.
Even days after, she released a special video thanking her subscribers for her success while addressing her products selling out. She’s also alerted customers ahead of time that there may have been packaging issues that could damage the products.
The kind of products she’s created and the way she launched them shows that her success hasn’t changed who is she is. Both Simply Nailogical and Rotenberg herself have grown a lot in her years on YouTube, but what hasn’t changed is her commitment to her subscribers and putting out things she’s proud to call her own.
Now that she finally has a brand that’s all hers, she can be the true YouTube beauty queen she was always meant to be.