Posts tagged Paint Pot

Ciate Velvet Manicure in ‘Mink Cashmere’


Just before Christmas I was lucky enough to win a Ciate Velvet Manicure set in one of Baobella’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaways on Twitter – thank you Baobella!  Baobella are a new online beauty community who are all about ‘the beauty of sharing’.  They haven’t launched yet, but there is a lot of excitement surrounding their new website which is almost ready to go live, and they are already making a name for themselves on Facebook and Twitter.  Keep an eye on their social feeds for more information about the community!


When Ciate first launched their Velvet Manicure many moons ago, my first impressions weren’t good.  I initially thought the velvet looked too thick on the nail, and somewhat unhygienic, but that was before I knew exactly what it was.  As I found out more, my opinions soon changed and I was intrigued to try it for myself.  So, as you can imagine, I was very excited when this arrived in the post.

My prize was delivered in a bright metallic pink bag, and even contained a little certificate of congratulations – lovely touches which made the parcel a pleasure to open.  The set I received is Ciate’s most neutral velvet manicure – Mink Cashmere – which contains a full-size Ciate Cream Soda Paint Pot, an 8.5g bottle of grey crushed velvet powder, and a Little Black Brush.  The box also contains a set of instructions, and a plastic tray to catch the excess powder in.


I was slightly worried that the Velvet Manicure would be tricky to apply, but true to Ciate form it is actually extremely easy.  It’s really important that your nails are clean before using this, so before I started I wiped my nails with Sally Hansen nail varnish remover, and painted on my favourite Sally Hansen base coat.

The first step in the manicure is to apply a thin coat of Cream Soda to each nail – easy peasy.  As with every other Ciate Paint Pot I have ever tried, Cream Soda has a nice, creamy formula which applies evenly, with no fuss, and dries quickly.  Once the first coat is dry, a second, slightly thicker coat, is applied.  At this stage, the velvet powder is sprinkled over the wet nail, so it’s best to do one nail at a time so the varnish is wet enough to hold the powder.


The pot that the velvet comes in has a secure lid with five holes in it, which allows for mess-free, simple application.  All you do is shake the pot gently over your wet nails until they are completely covered with a thick layer of velvet.  Just make sure you have the tray underneath to catch the bits that miss!

Next, use the Little Black Brush to tidy up.  My advice is to wait a few minutes for the velvet to set before doing this, or you might brush off a bit too much and make a mess of your nails, and nobody wants that!  Just lightly sweep over the nail to knock off the excess fibres, and then sweep around the edge of the nail, as the powder tends to stick to the skin a little.  Then, again using the brush, gather the fallen velvet together in the tray and tap it gently back in to the pot.

And that’s it!  Easy, right?  The velvet sets firm in around 10 minutes, and so far has stayed put, which is a good sign. It’s survived a good few hand washes too.  Here are a couple of swatch photos of the Velvet Manicure.  Since this was a test run I have only used the velvet on one nail for a ring finger manicure, but now that I know it’s up to scratch I will be doing a full velvet manicure next time!

Without Flash


With Flash


On the nail, the velvet feels really soft and smooth, like real velvet, and isn’t too thick at all.  Because the fibres are so fine, they don’t clump together, rather, the coverage is very even and looks and feels no thicker than two coats of nail varnish.  Both the varnish and the velvet are a delicate grey colour, not my usual choice, but they look extremely classy and I love them both.  I’m definitely a Velvet Manicure convert!  I think I’ll be asking for the other two shades, Berry Poncho and Blue Suede, for my birthday in February.

To see the full range of Ciate’s Velvet Manicures, visit their website here.  The sets retail for £14.00 each, which is excellent value considering they include a full-size Paint Pot!  Oh, and don’t forget to check out Baobella too.

Naomi x

Ciate Mini Mani Month Round-Up: Part 4


Evening all,

Are you ready for Christmas yet?  I am!  This month has gone really quickly, and I have now opened all 24 doors of my Ciate Mini Mani Month advent calendar.  This week has been my favourite week of all – Ciate really did save the best until last in my eyes!  Here are the final six minis in all their glory… (All pictures are clickable for a closer look.)


Day 19 – Cookies and Cream


I’m sure I’ve said many times before that I’m not really a fan of nude shades, but I have made an exception for this one.  Cookies and Cream is a creamy nude beige colour, and it looks so clean and sophisticated on the nail.  The above photo shows two coats of varnish, and as you can see the coverage isn’t completely opaque, but three coats would do it.  A gorgeous neutral shade, perfect for the office!

Day 20 – Magic Carpet


Magic Carpet is the second exclusive shade to the Mini Mani Month, and it is one of my absolute favourites in the whole calendar.  The varnish is a beautiful dark magenta, and it is made up of large and micro glitter flecks.  It took three coats of Magic Carpet over two coats of Cookies and Cream to achieve the above look, which is rather a lot of varnish, and in all honesty it didn’t take to my nails very well.  The glitter didn’t dry that quickly, and it seemed to melt the colour underneath slightly so it peeled off.  I think I’ll use this as a thinner top coat in the future, or just wait a lot longer for it to dry.

Day 21 – Fade to Greige


I absolutely adore Fade to Greige.  It is a very dark grey with a violet undertone, which I think would compliment any colour.  The formula is lovely and creamy too, so it is a pleasure to apply and dries very quickly.  Another classy, sophisticated shade, perfect for versatile every day wear.

Day 22 – Sundance Caviar Pearls


Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to try these Sundance Caviar Pearls yet, but I imagine they’ll have the same easy application and lasting power of the other pearls in the calendar.  Sundance is made up of yellowy gold and bright blue beads, with a few flecks of gold glitter scattered throughout.  I must say, I am a caviar manicure convert after trying Ciate’s Mini pots, but this shade is probably my least favourite of the four in the calendar.

Day 23 – Mojito and Day 24 – Enchanted Rose


The last two days of the Mini Mani Month featured two Christmassy shades – green and red.  Day 23 gave me Mojito, a creamy lime green which forms the base of my holly nail art!  It applies like a dream and even, opaque coverage takes just two coats.  Mojito is actually a lot less fluorescent than it looks in the photo, which is a positive thing in my opinion as there is definitely such a thing as being too bright!

Today’s shade, the final shade in the box, was the third exclusive shade – Enchanted Rose – a beautiful red glitter varnish.  Enchanted Rose forms the berries of my holly nail art, and it has a very sparkly finish, perfect for Christmas day.  Unlike some glitters, it isn’t overly sheer, so it wouldn’t take much to build up a bold, bright glitter look.  Another winner!

And to finish, here is a picture of two coats of Day 6 shade, Angel Wings, which I didn’t have time to swatch in Part 1


Overall, I have been extremely pleased with the Ciate Mini Mani Month.  The range of colours and finishes in the set is fantastic, and it was definitely worth every penny.  I will be using all of these a lot in the future, I imagine!  I’m looking forward to trying some more nail art designs with them.

That’s it from me for today…  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas day tomorrow, full of love and laughter!

Naomi x

PS. Here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my Ciate Mini Mani Month Round-Up, as well as my introductory post!

Ciate Mini Mani Month Round-Up: Part 3


Hi everyone,

First off, I would like to wish my sister, Freya, a very Happy Birthday!  Today she turns 21, an important age, but she’ll still always be my baby sister, wanting all my things.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY FREYA!!


Now, down to business…  Today I opened the door of Day 18 on my Ciate Mini Mani Month advent calendar, which means it’s time for another weekly round-up!  This post will feature Day 13 up to Day 18, and I have swatches of all but one of the Paint Pots this time.  I must admit, my feelings were mixed this week.  There were a couple that I really liked, and one or two that I wasn’t keen on at all, but you can’t win them all as they say!

Day 13 – Glass Slipper and Day 14 – Speed Dial


On Day 13 I opened the door to Glass Slipper, a lovely blue glitter polish, and the first of the calendar’s three exclusive shades.  The glitter is very fine and beautiful, and doesn’t feel too rough in texture, but it isn’t really dense enough to wear on its own (unless you’re willing to apply 3+ coats).  It works perfectly as a top coat however, and is surprisingly easy to remove for a glitter.

Speed Dial is an unusual shade – it looks bright orange in the bottle, but I found it applies somewhere between a red and an orange.  It is more orange in real life than it looks in the photo above though.  I just can’t quite decide whether I like it or not!  It definitely doesn’t look that good with Glass Slipper over the top, but with the right outfit I can see it working.  Not one of my favourites, but not bad.  It applied evenly and has a creamy formula at least!

Day 15 – Headliner


Headliner is my absolute favourite this week…  I seem to have a thing for blues at the minute!  It is a dark turquoise blue shade with a stunning creme finish and I love it!  As you’d expect, the formula is great and, quite impressively, it only takes one coat to achieve a completely opaque finish (the photo above show two coats, however).  Headliner got me a lot of compliments when I wore it, and without a doubt I’ll be wearing this one a lot!

Day 16 – Big Yellow Taxi


Ick, I’m not liking Big Yellow Taxi.  I initially thought this looked okay as it appeared quite a creamy banana yellow in the bottle, but when I applied it I was soon disappointed.  It has a really strange gloopy formula, so it went on very streaky, and no number of coats seemed to be able to even the finish out.  The yellow shade is slightly too bright, and in all honestly it looks like tippex coloured in with yellow highlighter pen – not pretty!  On the plus side, it doesn’t leave any stains behind at all.  I don’t think I have the skin tone to pull this off, but it would probably look great against darker skin…  I may use it for Batman nail art though!

Day 17 – Power Dressing


I haven’t tried Power Dressing yet so I can’t comment much on the formula and colour, but in the bottle it looks like a classic deep navy blue, and I imagine it will have a lovely shiny finish.  I’m looking forward to using this!

Day 18 – Candy Shop Caviar Pearls


Candy Shop is the third out of four bottles of Caviar Pearls in the calendar, and so far they are my favourite.  The beads are very small and coloured in three shades – turquoise blue, pink and orange.  As with the other pearls that I have tried, these are very easy to apply (just pour over a wet nail, press down, and leave to set for 15 minutes), and look really striking against a bright varnish.  The purple shade I chose to pair the pearls with is actually Cabaret, one of the shades I didn’t swatch in Part 1, so now you can see what it looks like.

So there you go, a mixed bag of mostly brights this week.  Which is your favourite?  Please vote below!  Check back for Part 4 next Monday, on Christmas Eve, and if you want to see the previous shades in the Ciate Mini Mani Month, they are swatched in my Part 1 and Part 2 posts.

Naomi x

Ciate Mini Mani Month Round-Up: Part 2


Hi everyone,

Six days have already passed since my last Ciate Mini Mani Month post, can you believe it?  The days are flying by and before we know it, it will soon be Christmas day!  But for now, as promised, here is Part 2 of my Mini Mani Round-Up, featuring the surprises hidden behind advent calendar doors 7 to 12.

You may be pleased to know that I managed to swatch every single varnish this time, so you can get a more accurate feel for what each one is really like.  As usual, they all have that deliciously creamy signature Ciate formula, which applies evenly, dries quickly and is extremely chip resistant.  Here they all are in their bottles…


Day 7 – Cutie Pie


Cutie Pie is a pretty, feminine, powdery pale pink shade with a creme finish.  I usually prefer bold, bright varnishes to pastels, but this one really is quite lovely and clean-looking.  The above look was achieved using two coats of varnish and it’s still quite sheer, but I think three would be plenty enough for a more opaque appearance.

Day 8 – Vintage


Vintage is my favourite varnish from this week.  It’s a deep grey colour, but it has a tinge of greeny blue to it which makes it more unusual than most greys.  I got so many compliments about my nails on the day I wore this.  I have a feeling I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of Vintage – it goes with anything!

Day 9 – Mistress


Mistress is a classic, very bright scarlet red, with a slight orange undertone and a high shine finish.  I’m not the biggest fan of orange varnishes so I wasn’t too keen on this when I first saw it, but once I applied it I instantly changed my mind.  I think shades like this can look a bit tacky sometimes, but because Ciate is such good quality, it actually looks really beautiful on.  The only issue I have with this is that it stained my skin when I removed it!  You can see evidence of the staining around my cuticles on the photo below…

Day 10 – Ladylike Luxe & Day 11 – Bumble Bee Caviar Pearls


Ladylike Luxe is a shimmery yellow gold shade, and it’s the best gold varnish I’ve ever tried.  For some reason, gold and silver varnishes tend to show up any imperfections on your nails (no matter how small) and though this one isn’t perfect, it definitely disguises imperfections more than any other metal colour I’ve used.  Overall this is a fab varnish – very Christmassy!

The Bumble Bee Caviar Pearls consist of two different coloured pearls – black and yellowy gold.  I gave myself a ring finger mani with them yesterday, and as you can see it turned out rather well for a first attempt!  The pearls were very easy to use…  You just pour them over your wet nail, press them down and leave them to set for 15-20 minutes.  I absolutely love how they look and feel, but they haven’t lasted very well.  This morning when I woke up I noticed that the colour on the gold pearls had faded/rubbed off slightly, and after 24 hours a lot of the beads have already fallen off.  I’m not sure how long they’re supposed to last, but I thought it’d be longer than a day!

Day 12 – Twilight


Last but not least, today’s varnish is Twilight – a black base with a gold fleck shimmer running through it, which also looks greeny brown depending on the light.  I have a feeling this was intended to go with the Bumble Bee Caviar Pearls, and indeed it is a great match.  A gorgeous, classy shade to round off the week.

Which one of this week’s minis is your favourite?

Don’t forget, you can read Part 1 of my Ciate Mini Mani Month Round-Up here.  Check back next Tuesday for Part 3!

Naomi x

Ciaté Mini Mani Month


To celebrate receiving my first pay cheque from my new job, earlier this month I treated myself to one of this festive season’s highly sought after beauty products – Ciaté’s Mini Mani Month!  I first heard about the Ciaté Mini Mani Month from my mum, who had seen it on QVC with a special price of £31.20.  At first I thought that was a lot of money to spend on what was essentially a glorified advent calendar, but after doing some research I realised three things… 1) £31.20 is a VERY good price as the Mani Month is/was being sold elsewhere (Selfridges etc) for a lot more, 2) £31.20 is also VERY good value considering the contents of the box, and 3) I HAD TO HAVE IT!  So, rather excitedly, I placed my order with QVC, and a few days later this is what I received…

The Mini Mani Month comes in a luxe, on trend Aztec-style print box.  It’s hard to tell from my photographs but the box is actually quite large.  It’s about A4 sized (maybe slightly bigger), and a few inches thick.  It opens out like a book to reveal 24 windows inside, each of which hides a gorgeous nail treasure to be discovered on the corresponding day!  There’s also a small funnel slotted inside the box, to be used with the Caviar pearls which the Mani Month features.

The back of the Mani Month box shows 21 of the 24 nail colours that the calendar contains.  The other 3 are secret shades made especially for the Mini Mani Month, which adds an extra touch of excitement to opening the doors, as you don’t always know what you’re getting.  I have actually watched a couple of video reviews of this, but I managed to avoid seeing the surprise colours so I still don’t really know what they are, and (hopefully) won’t until I open whichever days they’re behind!

I am yet to open any of the doors (I’m being a good girl and saving it for its intended use as an advent calendar!) so I can’t comment on the shades, but looking at the picture there seems to be a wide selection of different colours and finishes, including four bottles of Caviar pearls.  Each bottle of varnish is a mini 5ml version of a classic 13.5ml Ciaté Paint Pot, and the Caviar Pearl bottles each contain 10g of pearls.  Full-size Ciaté Paint Pots retail for £9, so these mini versions are worth around £4 each.  At the price I paid for this, however, they work out at £1.40 each – what a bargain!

Throughout December, I will be revealing the shades behind each door in a weekly Ciaté Mini Mani Month round-up post, so if you want to know more about the nail shades inside, please keep an eye out for those.  I’ll try to include as many swatches as possible too!

Unfortunately, the Ciaté Mini Mani Month is no longer available on the QVC website, and I’m struggling to find it for sale anywhere else in the UK other than on eBay, so if you want one of these for yourself you might struggle to find one I’m afraid!  However, my American readers may be pleased to know that it is currently available on the Sephora website for $58.

Naomi x

Marie Claire Freebie: Ciaté Paint Pot in ‘Purple Sherbet’


Thursday was an exciting day in the world of the beauty fanatic as it was the day that July’s women’s glossies hit the shops!  There were some great freebies this month but being the pauper that I am I couldn’t have them all, so I went for two – Glamour with the free Benefit Bad Gal Mascara sample (which I’ll be reviewing tomorrow… I may also pick up another copy for the Porefessional), and Marie Claire with a free full size Ciaté Paint Pot!  I have been wanting to try Ciaté nail varnish for AGES so I was sooo excited when I spotted this.  The freebie comes in three shades – a beigey pink colour, a bright pink called ‘Jelly Bean’, and the lovely lilac ‘Purple Sherbet’ that I went for.

Out of all the nail varnishes I own I think this Ciaté Paint Pot is my favourite in terms of looks.  The large curved bottle, tall slim lid, Ciaté logo and cute black bow are really elegant and would look lovely on any nail varnish display!  I’m also really impressed with the amount of product you get in each bottle.  Most of the full size varnishes that I own contain somewhere between 7ml and 12ml of product, but the paint pots are all a whopping 13.5ml.

When I applied the Ciaté paint the first thing I noticed was that it didn’t smell horrible!  As I’m sure you know, a lot of nail varnishes smell very strong, but Ciaté’s are all 3-free so there are no nasty chemicals to stink the room out and make your eyes water.  They’re also not tested on animals which endears me to them even more!

Now, the application itself was absolutely beautiful.  The paint is very creamy and the perfect consistency so there’s no running or glooping.  I usually find that pastel nail colours need three or four coats to create an opaque look, but with this I only needed two, which is great as it means the bottle will last me even longer!  The brush is quite wide so it applied easily with no streaking, and it dried fantastically quickly. It has a jelly finish too which is my all time favourite finish :)

The above picture was taken a day after I applied it, and I’m not wearing a top coat. It still hasn’t chipped or peeled either which suggests amazing lasting power!!

I’m also really impressed with the shade of this ‘Purple Sherbet’.  I’ve tried pastel lilac colours before and they’ve had a grey or blue tinge, making them look a bit dull, but Ciaté’s has a gorgeous pink hue so it looks nicely girly.  My mum is in love with the colour too and wants some for herself!  I better hide it I think.

We all know really that companies give products away with magazines as advertising, and this time it has worked on me – I am now a complete Ciaté convert!  I know I’m going to have to buy some more at some point.  Ciaté Paint Pots usually retail for £9 each, so they are DEFINITELY worth the £3.70 that you pay for the magazine…  Oh and there is also a 25% off Ciaté voucher code printed in the magazine as an extra bonus, but you might as well just buy a few copies of Marie Claire if you want more than one colour!

Which glossy mags did you buy this month for the freebies?

Naomi xx

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