So I love wandering around TKMaxx; I often find cool objects for my house or for gifts, I pick up the occasional scarf or bag and lately even pieces of Bill Skinner jewellery! I always make sure to have a little peek at the nail varnish section too, as every now and then there are interesting bargains. (Like a bottle of SecheVite for £3.99). Today though, I picked up ‘Ciate Feathered Manicure’ for £2.99!
I’m a sop for a cute box and a nicely packaged kit, so I thought the whole presentation was lovely. They give you a good amount of feathers; 40 to be exact (which have been ethically sourced?) meaning you can get 4 full sets of nails out of it. Also included are a nail file, a pair of scissors, a FULL SIZE speed coat pro, and a ‘mini paint pot’. I think that’s a fair bargain!
Regarding applying the feathers, it was pretty simple. Apply a coat of your base colour, then the speed coat. Whilst the speed coat was still wet, apply the feather, cut the majority of what’s not on your nail off, then file what’s left down, finally brush up your nail with the speed coat – this seals in all the vanes of the feather and ta da! I made sure to top coat them again normally, going down my nail to seal it in even more and to make sure I sealed the ends in – I didn’t not want anything catching *shudders*….
So ‘Drakon Pitanious’ was (according to wikipedia) a dragon-serpent who was turned to stone by the gods. Which made it the perfect name for my next Ciate Nail Lab creation, a concrete granite-esque mixture.
This is one coat of my ‘Drakon Pitanios’ over two coats of OPI ‘French Quarter for Your Thoughts’ and I think it looks great! It’s unlike any polish I already own so I’m really happy with it. It was created using the loose glitter ‘Nightfall’, some suspension base, and a few drops of Ciate ‘Pillowfight’. It’s been a while since I last created a polish and I had forgotten how exciting it was!
So continuing the creations using my Ciate Nail Lab, the next polish is called ‘Kuraokami’. Of course the name of this polish has continued with my theme of being dragon related: ‘Kuraokami’ according to Wikipedia “is a legendary Japanese dragon and Shinto deity of rain and snow”. Hence why this polish is glittery and cool in temperature! (It was actually really hard to find a dragon for snow – plenty for sea, air, earth, etc but no snow?!)
The photo shows three coats of ‘Kuraokami’ over no base colour, as you can see it’s not quite opaque but I didn’t dare put on any more layers as it might have taken forever to dry.
‘Kuraokami’ was created by mixing two polishes – ‘Amazing Gracie’, a pinky white, and ‘Ferris Wheel’, a cool blue. As well as the bar glitter named ‘Galactic’ and a white glitter named ‘Daydream’.
So earlier today I posted my second hand-made polish ‘The Hydra’ and I just wasn’t impressed with it – it felt a bit flat, bland and boring. So after sitting looking at it on my nails for a few hours it clicked to me how to make it maybe a little bit better. I added some ‘Crowd Surf’ a green glitter and boy has that changed the whole look! I actually like it now! So much better right? This is only two coats of ‘The Hydra’ over nude nails, compared to the old polishes three coats, and it doesn’t look as patchy either. However, it’s now super thirsty for top coat – probably because of so much glitter now, so it feels rough after one top coat but would probably be fine after two?….
So this is my second creation using the Ciate Nail Lab. I was a bit stuck as to what to do next if I’m being honest, I was so happy with ‘Dragon Scales’ I didn’t want the next one to be a fail. I don’t think I’ve quite nailed it this time (ha, how many times do nail bloggers hear that one). I don’t think it’s a very exciting mix, I have however cracked the mixing;
In one of the the empty bottles, intended for loose glitter mixes, I poured in the glitter first (no sticking to the sides, no clogging, etc) and then poured the suspension top coat in. This worked so much better – not as messy nor as frustrating as adding glitter to suspension. BUT! I think I can improve on it still…
At first I was going to name this one ‘Poseidon’ but I kind of liked the idea of sticking with a dragon theme (I love a theme, can’t resist it) and of course a ‘Hydra’ is “a serpent-like water monster with many heads”*. The polish consists of lots of ‘Splash’, the blue glitter, and ‘Prism’, the dark blue bar glitter, and then a teeny tiny pinch of ‘Nightfall’, a black glitter. Then to add a little colour to the suspension I put in more than a few drops of ‘Power Dressing’. The photograph shows two coats of ‘The Hydra’ with no base colour – you can just see the blue tint. What do yous think of this one? *According to Wikipedia.
So I finally plucked up the courage to make a polish using my Ciate Nail Lab. It includes a good selection of glitters so I couldn’t resist making a glitter polish to start with, I had the idea for this one almost immediately after seeing them. I used ‘Crowd Surf’ (green), ‘Nightfall’ (black) and ‘Bombshell’ (gold hexagons) for the glitter mix and one of the suspension top coats. You only get 6 bottles of it, so eeek! As well as 4 empty bottles but no thanks to anymore loose glitter mixes. Once my creation was mixed, getting it in the bottle was actually pretty tricky and messy. They provide a funnel which is fine but at first the glitter just sits on top of the ‘suspension’, so I added the mixer ball which sat on top of the glitter sitting on top of the suspension, hm. So I jabbed the brush in but that just sort of clogged it up and made it spill over the sides and it was a bit of a frustrating ordeal. So after several repeats of jabbing, mixing, shaking and tapping I eventually got it all in and thoroughly mixed. Hooray! I’ve thought of a new method for mixing my next polish, so I’ll see if that works better. And the name, well that was easy if not obvious – ‘Dragon Scales’!
This is three coats of ‘Dragon Scales’ over Barry M ‘Key Lime’.
So this is the first time I have used the ‘acid wash’ technique. I used ‘Iced Frappe’ for the base (two coats), then ‘Candy Floss’ (two coats) and then ‘Pillow Fight’ (two coats). I enjoyed doing this technique, but there were a few factors that could have enhanced my experience;
1) More patience – I didn’t wait until each coat was dry, therefore by the 6th coat when I dabbed on my acetone soaked cotton bud it dragged rather than removed in some places. This also could have meant I wasn’t dabbing gently enough.
2) It could look more effective with other colours, but as I’ve said I’m getting through all my ‘yet to try’ minis from the Ciate calendar.
I’d totally love to try this technique again though!
So I don’t usually use nail stickers, I used to love them but got really put off by the fact they can curl when you apply a top coat. However when I saw that this Ciate colour was called ‘Starlet’ I couldn’t resist paring it with some stars. ‘Starlet’ is a two-tone shimmer polish – a blue-purple with sometimes green. It took three coats for full opacity which isn’t too bad. The top coat didn’t curl these stars but it does look as if they could have done with two coats to seal them in smoothly.
So you know one of those designs that your brain just seems to automatically do when you’re not thinking about it. Well this is one of those designs. When I was done sticking the tape down, and took a look at my fingers I was like ‘Oh no, not this again’. Honestly it’s almost exactly the same as this design from last year. Shockingly uninspired.
So yup, still trying to get through all the polishes I got in my two Ciate Advent Calendars. I really liked both colours and would definitely wear/use them again. The purple is called ‘Talent Scout’ and it did apply a little thickly but smoothed out fine when I applied my top coat. (Usually I’m complaining about how thin the Ciate polishes are ha!) The coral, which appears a lot more pink rather than orange in reality, is called ‘Play Date’ and it applied really well – only one coat! My water marble wasn’t too hot, I had to do some patch jobs in places where I ended up with bubbles but I think I got away with it?.. I then applied a top coat and some studs because it was looking a little bland.