Discover one of the beauty gems of Tokyo. Introducing a Japanese nail + body care brand created by the renowned Kiho Watanabe.

My nails are the first thing that gets neglected. More often than not, my hands and nails are in desperate need of some TLC—dry, cracked skin (attractive, right?), and splitting nails that would benefit from a fresh coat of paint. When your hobbies include yard work and DIY projects, half-chipped nails and scraped up cuticles are par for the course, but it doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. However, I feel a little less guilty when I realize that it’s probably the case for most of us. Oops.

There’s something to be said for taking good care of your hands and nails. They are one of the first places on the body that showcase aging, due to the thinness of the skin and the fact that they see the most wear and tear. This is where the professionals come in to teach us a thing or two about taking better care of our mitts.

Goodbye to rough nails; hello to Uka.

If you haven’t heard of uka yet, they are a Japanese nail care brand created for the working masses by well-known expert nail artist Kiho Watanabe. Watanabe launched uka in response to people like yours truly: those of us who get so busy that we forget to give our hands and nails as much love and pampering as they really need.

uka’s hand and nail products cover nail oils, cuticle oils, and hand creams. Because the skin on our hands is so delicate, it’s critical to make sure that the products you put on them are gentle, and uka delivers. uka’s products are formulated with natural and organic ingredients that have been certified by ECOCERT and COSMEBIO. 

One of the fun things about the Uka roll-on nail oil line is that they are named using hours of the day: 7:15, 13:00, 18:30, 24:45. Each formula is a different blend of natural oils that are specifically chosen to complement the time of day, with a unique texture, scent, and consistency. For example, their 7:15 nail oil is a light combination of yuzu, sandalwood, and hinoki. The blend is meant to stimulate the senses (most of us will take all the help we can get first thing in the morning) and is considered unisex. uka’s 24:45 blend is a gentler aroma of lavender, vanilla, and orange, which are notoriously calming and a nice way to relax before bedtime. 

Uka’s nail oils are easy to use. You apply a little bit of oil to the base of your nails by your cuticles, then rub the nails of both your hands together to distribute the product evenly. Once it’s distributed, take a few seconds to rub the oil into each nail and fingertip—you can even drag the oil down your fingers and rub any excess into your hands. The result is healthy, moisturized nails and cuticles with just a few seconds of effort. Not bad! 

Bonus: Uka’s oils are multipurpose. Because they are so beautifully scented and highly moisturizing, they can be rolled over your pulse points to double as perfume without the harsh chemicals.

Love for your lips.

uka carries a few different lip balms in addition to their line of oils. The lip balms are incredibly moisturizing and because of their consistency, can last for hours if you don’t lick it off first—their flavors border on snack territory. 

Currently, uka offers four varieties of lip balm: Sweet Talk, a sweet vanilla-flavored balm; Mint Talk, a refreshing combination of mint and citrus that leaves your lips feeling tingly; Mellow Talk, a relaxing blend of lavender and bergamot; and Pillow Talk, a flirty floral flavor.

At their base, all four of their balms are a blend of coconut oil, sesame oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, argan oil and sunflower oil. Then, each balm features a special blend of aromatics that give each one a unique, and delicious, flavor and scent. Because the balm comes in a jar and is solid at room temperature, applying it with your finger is a must so that your body heat can warm it gently.

But there’s more.

You may have heard before that your nails and hair are both made up of skin cells, so taking care of both of them is beneficial. uka’s approach to hair care is similar to their approach to skincare—organic with no harsh additives. Their hair products cover everything from shampoo, to oil mists and serums.

uka’s Windy Lady hair oil targets dry, dull hair with flyaways and frizz. It’s rich in amino acids and plant derivatives to help smooth hair and make it shiny. The brand also carries hair care treatments that address other common hair woes, like puffiness due to humidity and sun damage.

It’s not surprising that uka has made their way into the hands (literally) of millions of men and women across Japan and France. Now that their products are more readily available to buy online, we have no doubt that uka will become a household name for the international beauty community!

—Team Somēi

Back to all articles