Of course this was too cute an idea for me to pass up, so I snapped it up the very first day it was available. Do I love it? I love it the way my fiance loves me - I'm difficult, irritating, and downright disastrous at times, but much too adorable to give up on!
Interested? Read on after the jump!
The Ciate Chalkboard Manicure is available at Kit Cosmetics and Mecca Cosmetica and is a limited edition set. It costs AUD$49 and comes in a kit like this:
It also includes a little instruction book with some artwork suggestions that are, quite frankly, practically impossible given the thickness of the pens. The artwork you can produce will definitely look more like a child's wobbly chalkboard drawings!
Matte nail polish is notoriously tricky. A few things to note before you start are:
1. It does NOT play well with base coat - I tried OPI Nail Envy, Sally Hansen base coat, and Orly Bonder, and in all three cases the matte polish was draggy and muddy on application. DON'T WORRY - it will even out within two or three coats but it gave me a fright to start with! Without base coat, the black will stain your nails, so you really do want to persevere with this step. Just accept the fact that your first coat will be a hot mess. Oh and make sure your base coat is completely dry before you proceed.
2. It dries FAST! This is a positive in some respects, but it can lead to polish drying on the brush and around the neck of the bottle, and clumping, draggy polish if you try to smooth out a thicker coat. I remedied this by only doing a couple of nails at a time before returning the brush to the bottle and giving it a minute. Because of the fast drying time the best way to apply this polish is to do three thin coats, waiting for each coat to dry completely, this will yield the smoothest results.
3. Matte nail polish chips if you even blink at it, with or without base coat, but the base coat will help prolong its life a little. The matte top coat helps as well, and is a must for this particular set as the coloured "chalks" will wash off if left unprotected. I have very weak, soft nails and I think the constant bending of the nail tips doesn't help in my case. If you have stronger nails you may have better luck. Overall though, you need to accept the fact that this is not going to be a long-lasting mani, and enjoy it for the bit of fun that it is.
The first coat - not pretty hey? But this is honestly what it looked like and it all worked out ok!
After the third coat - I was kind of in a rush tonight so it's not as smooth as it could be, but it all evens out!
Now for the artwork. The chalk pens are thick and rounded (like chalk, I guess) so it's difficult to do fine art work. Tokidoki disapproves of this but she is fussy.
When you first apply the colour, it tends to apply unevenly and pool in places, you kind of have to smoosh it around a bit, but it dries quickly and you can dot extra colour into the lighter bits until you're happy with it, it doesn't have to look perfect. This is how mine turned out tonight:
In summary - is this kit worth $49? Hmmm...if you don't already have a good quality matte top coat and some nail art pens, then yes it's worth it. This is a cute kit, and even though I probably won't use it very often, I'm glad I have it and I love trying new things! Normally I would wait for one of the MANY dupes that I am sure are being produced as we speak, but every now and then it's nice to have the "real deal", and I'm glad I treated myself!