I am such a picky picker when it comes to nail varnish. I mean, literally, I cannot help but pick the stuff off. That’s why I tend to avoid these fancy pants nail art kits, as I know as soon as I nab a little corner of whatever it is on my nails I have to sit there and achieve a ‘full peel’ off on every nail. However, I spotted this Ciaté Limited Edition Colourfoil Manicure Set in TK Maxx last week and eyed the little bugger up. Then went home, did a quick google, realised it was pretty cheap (as it’s still on the official website for £18), then went back and nabbed the bugger. I didn’t have high expectations, but I do know a single bottle of Ciate polish can cost you around £9 and the shade in this set was a lovely blue called Pepperminty, so I figured that if the worst comes to the worst and it turns out to be the Devil’s Manicure, I could just bag the nail varnish anyway, no great loss.
In the set I was surprised to see a little bottle of glue, I just assumed that the foil would stick to your nail varnish when it was tacky/wet, but no, you apply 2 coats of the nail varnish and wait for it to try and then you crack the glue out. The glue is fairly similar to an eyelash glue – the same watery like PVA-ish but thinner consistency, with a brush applicator. You pop a few bobs on wherever you want the foil to be on your freshly painted nail. Wait until the glue goes see through and tacky and then you crack out the sheets of foil. The sheets of foil were another surprise, obviously *I knew* there was foil in the box, derp, but I thought it would be *foil*, but it’s not. Well, it kind of is. It’s like when you use gold leaf or something, like a transfer. You place the foil sheet on to the glue bit on your nail and press down, leave it for a few seconds and then rip the sheet off in one motion. The holographic, colourful foil transfers on to the gluey bit and voilá! The effect is made. It’s a lot more simple than I imagined it would be!
You then seal the nail with a clear top coat. I feel this is what let the set down a bit though as for the full RRP I’d expect even a small bottle of top coat to be in the box, but there was non to be found. I used just a random one I already have, which I found actually made the colours on the foils bleed a little bit, and if I went over with the brush too much it smudge the whole effect! Which is a little disappointing and I don’t know if this is because the top coat I used was particularly pungent or because the colours in the foils are just a bit crap. Alas, it’s not all lost, as you can prevent the bleeding and smudging by just doing one stroke of the clear varnish and no more! You just have to make sure there’s enough on the brush to do it with one stroke so you don’t have to go over the nail again. If that even makes sense.
I do love the effect it creates though, and it is so much easier than I expected. It doesn’t take long to do the full set of nails, with really quick drying times and such a simple method of application. You can go over the colours and overlap quite a bit and it still remains pretty smooth against the nail with no bumps and lumps sticking out ready to pick at. I really liked it over the Pepperminty shade which it came with, although I’m not too keen on the red and blue’s together on that one, so I cracked out a dark purple shade and tried again with just the pink and silver foils and it creates such a lovely effect I can’t stop looking at my nails in different lights now haha.
With regards to removal, I thought it would be a pain in the ass, similar to removing a glitter nail varnish. But it’s again, really simple and relatively quick to do. The foil comes off pretty effortlessly and I only used a touch more remover than I would usually. I also did do the ‘pick’ test and I couldn’t for the life of me get it off, I’m not sure whether I’m impressed or disappointed by that though, there’s something really satisfying and therapeutic about picking my nail varnish off!
Overall a big success despite my initial reservations. I’m not sure if I would pay the full RRP for this other kits from Ciaté but I am definitely more inclined to try and few more fancy pants effects now anyway, and with 30 sheets of foil in this kit it’s certainly going to last me a while.