Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ciaté Flower Manicure Review, Swatches and Photos

I finally did it. I finally picked up a Ciaté manicure set at Winners. I look at them every time I'm in there, but I just cannot get my head around why you'd want feathers or beads on your nails. Sure they might look cool but I cannot understand getting a manicure that'll snag in your fair, or make it impossible to scratch an itch, or start to fall off after a few hours. 

But this one, the Flower Manicure, looked two dimensional and was only $12.99 CDN, so I went for it.

Here's what the Ciaté website has to say about the Flower Manicure set.

"Step into Spring’s floral trend with the Ciaté London Flower Manicure. With Flower Power prints adorning every catwalk at Fashion Week, this colour-packed trend is a wardrobe staple and now a manicure must-have thanks to Ciaté Creative Director Charlotte Knight. Using natural dried pressed flowers, a posy of colour can be applied and sealed directly onto the nail to create a beautifully blossoming effect. Scatter across your manicure or sprinkle onto a feature nail for a floral hit."

The packaging is very pretty, covered in flowers. The pale blue polish provided and on the packaging hit on Spring's pastel themes.

Included in the kit are:

5ml - Ferris Wheel Nail Polish
13.5ml - Speed Coat Pro
2x Pots of Flowers
Mini Nail File

There are four different types of flowers included, a bright red, a bright turquoise, and two purple flowers, one with a bit of white on it. They come in these little pots.

The instructions (in a booklet included, on the back of the box, and online) are pretty simple. Apply two coats of Ferris Wheel (pastel blue), then a coat of the Speed Coat Pro, arrange the flowers on top, pressing to get them to stick, and seal them in with another coat of the top coat.

I didn't use a base coat, since the instructions didn't call for one. These were my nails after two coats of Ferris Wheel. I needed three to get mostly opaque coverage. The spots where you could still see my nail through the polish I figured would get covered by flowers. Also the Ferris Wheel polish provided is a small bottle and I like to get the most out of what I buy. 

Here are the four types of flowers. I didn't realize until I took them out of their cases that they were real flowers. I thought they'd just be plastic or something. 

It helps to have your flower designs planned out, since the top coat provided is quick dry. Some of the flowers may need to be trimmed as well, especially if your nails are shorter like mine, so a pair of manicure scissors are helpful to have on hand. 

And here is one hand, finished.

This was more of a high maintenance manicure than I anticipated. The flowers, while thin and small do not entirely lie flat against the nail. I went over my nails a few times with the top coat and still there were some parts of some of the flowers that would not lie flat. 

This wasn't an overly easy look to achieve, but with practice it'll be easier to place the flowers, trim them, file them down and get them to lie flatter.

Visually this was a dramatic, cool nail look. I couldn't stop looking at my nails. So pretty, especially the purple flowers. 

Close-up of my thumb.

Close-up of my pinky.
But, in the end, I ended up removing the manicure after less than 24 hours. The loose edges of the flowers got caught in my hair when I was washing it, snagged on my bath towel and clothes and tore lose when I scratched an itch. I guess this would be a good look for a special occasion if you have the hour or so to sit and do your nails just before. I don't think it's something that could last more than a day.

It wasn't as challenging to remove as I anticipated, though the flowers broke apart under the cotton ball I was using and I did have to work to remove it.

While I like that they were real flowers and their texture showed through, stickers or plastic flowers would work better. Less tearing, longer wear, easier to apply and easier to remove. But that doesn't seem to be Ciaté's thing. I see that they have crushed shell manicure kits, using real crushed shells. 

Perhaps I'll do this for a special occasion in the future, or perhaps try an accent nail (like my pinky) rather than a full manicure.

In summary, super pretty and neat looking but time-consuming to apply and remove. Not long-wearing at all for all that work. 

Grade: C

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