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Ciaté Caviar Manicure Kit in Candy Shop — Making Caviar and Champagne Dreams a Reality for Nail Lovers

DIY nail art may continue to thrive but, this season, we’re starting to see an exciting new trend in regards to nails — one that focuses less on particular shades or patterns and, instead, emphasizes texture. British nail brand Ciaté, founded by celebrity nail artist Charlotte Knight, has been at the forefront of this movement, releasing kits that allow women to accomplish presumably complex, textured, multi-dimensional looks from the comfort of their own homes. Their most popular set thus far is the Caviar Manicure Nail Kit, which incorporates a full-sized Paint Pot (or nail lacquer, if you will) and a full-sized bottle of Caviar Pearls, or tiny beads with a metallic finish. Thus far, the Ciaté Caviar Manicure Nail Kit ($25 at Sephora.com and Nordstrom.com) has been released in Black Pearls, which incorporates an opaque black nail polish and pearlescent obsidian black “caviar” beads; Rainbow, which includes a creamy lacquer in a strawberry ice cream pink and multi-colored pearls with a metallic sheen; and Mother of Pearl, which features a snowy white nail lacquer with an opaque finish alongside a bottle of shimmering white caviar pearls. Now, Ciaté has released the Caviar Manicure Kit in Candy Shop ($25 at Nordstrom.com), which features a deep, creamy teal Nail Pot that offers full coverage, alongside a bottle of Caviar Pearls holding micro beads in shades of magenta, ochre yellow, and light aquamarine — all with a slightly metallic sheen that intensifies the three-dimensional effect of the final look.

Now, I was dying to try one of the Ciaté Caviar Manicure Kits but, admittedly, I wondered how complex it would be to actually follow the directions and achieve the desired results. I dreaded that I’d find myself in a situation similar to assembling Ikea furniture, following some unintelligible illustrations only to wind up with the most unrefined, uneven, Becky Home Ec-y look (I could go on and on about how Ikea is infuriating in its refusal to print directions that include words rather than letters, numbers, and images, but that’s a separate issue altogether). To my surprise, the directions included in the kit are concise, clear and very easy to follow so that the application process is essentially goof-proof.

To apply, you want to start out by applying one coat of nail polish to every single nail and then allow it to dry. Next, you’ll want to go finger by finger and layer on a second coat, but here’s the trick: as you finish applying that second coat to a finger, you’ll then want to reach for the Caviar Pearl Pot and, locating the flat plastic tray included in the box on the table of floor right below your hands, you’ll want to sprinkle the beads atop the wet nail’s surface until it’s fully covered with multi-colored spheres. Any excess beads will fall onto the plastic tray so that you can later scoop them up and reuse them during a future application. Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll want to gently press down on the nail so that the caviar pearls adhere to the polish since, after all, this is what will ultimately make them stay in place. Once you’ve lightly pressed down on the nail and removed any excess along the sides of the nail, you can move on to the next nail and follow the exact same process.

After you’ve completed your caviar manicure, you can then reach for the Caviar Pearl bottle and place the miniature funnel along its neck, with the tapered end pointing inward. Slowly and methodically, you’ll then tilt the plastic tray with all the excess pearls into the funnel, allowing them to trickle back into the bottle. Once finished, you can screw the cap back on and put away all the kit’s pieces, then admire your quirky, glamorous, ultra editorial manicure. What I love about the Candy Shop kit is that the caviar pearls resemble the round sprinkles you’d scatter atop cupcakes or ice cream sundaes, making them all the more fun. My boyfriend actually tried tasting one, despite my vehement objections, and concluded that they were not, in fact edible, but the point is they looked delicious enough to make him take on such a foolish endeavor.

But how long will your caviar manicure actually last? Well, I expected all the beads to fall off within hours of application and was surprised when, three days after I had completed the process, the manicure was still standing. Sure, some beads had fallen off (this much is inevitable), but there was still a fair amount of pearls atop my nails. What I did notice, however, was that the more I washed my hands (which I do incredibly often seeing as I’m a mom and kids are good for making messes), the more the pearls began to lose their color. After a day or so, many of the caviar beads began turning a dulled silver-toned shade, the playful pink and teal paint having receded from their surface. That being said, if you’re careful to use gloves when washing dishes and you don’t wash your hands 20+ times a day, that will likely also boost the life span of your caviar manicure. Still, a three-to-four day life span in plenty for me — particularly given that the kit includes enough product for you to repeat the process over 10 times.

Below, you’ll find photos that show how the Ciaté Caviar Manicure in Candy Shop looks when completed. How amazing is the effect? I’m on a sugar high just looking at my nails!

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