For the past few years Ciate have been bringing out some amazing manicure kits that have impressed me. However I think I've finally been wow'd with their latest Shell Manicure Kits... I mean just look at that stunning bottle of crushed shells.
The fairly new collection consists of 3 kits - Mermaid You Look (seen here), Wish Upon A Starfish (a pearl white iridescent manicure) and She Sells Sea Shells (a girly cream pink manicure). These can all be found on Look Fantastic here for £18.00 each.
The Ciate Shell Manicure Kit in Mermaid You Look contains 1 full size bottle of Ciate Pillow Fight (a beautiful creamy lilac grey), 1 full size bottle of pearlescent crushed shells, a handy metal funnel to place the excess crushed shells back into the bottle plus full instructions.
As soon as I saw how beautiful the crushed shell pieces were up close I decided to give it a go as I was eager to see how easy or difficult it would be and also how well the crushed shell would last on the nails. It's okay it looking pretty on the nails but if it doesn't last then what is the point? I very much feel like this with Caviar nail beads and nail wraps!
First up was applying Ciate Pillow Fight, a beautiful nail polish alone and one that is so easy to apply. I made sure to leave my ring finger nails until last as I wanted to pour the crushed shells onto wet polish so that they would adhere. As I didn't want to waste any of the crushed shells I placed the top plastic cover of the set under my nail which acted as a handy tray. I then poured the crushed shells over myentire nail and carefully but firmly pressed the shell pieces on, also wiping over the tip of my nail to push any pieces down to give a smooth finish.
Once I was sure the base nail polish was fully dry I then applied a clear top coat, which I was actually hesitant to do as I didn't want it changing the appearance of the crushed shell finish. However I needn't have worried as the shells almost seemed to absorb the top coat to still give a beautiful pearlescent but rough looking finish. As you can see the finish is pretty spectacular and due to how easy it was I would actually be tempted to do all my nails with the crushed shells for a special occasion. I'd also do this because it amazingly lasts so well on the nails.
But how well did it last?
Unlike caviar beads the crushed shell lays so much flatter to the nail and doesn't get caught on anything. This really did surprise me as I was genuinely expecting the manicure to last 2 days at the most however I had to actually remove it after 5 days due to my nails growing out and developing that void between the nail polish and cuticle. As for removal, I won't lie... it was a god damn nightmare! However for the beautiful look it gave my nails it was worth it.
I feel the 'Mermaid You Look' kit could be worn any time of year and look pretty but for super summery nails I would definitely go for She Sells Sea Shells which again comes with the most amazing bottle of crushed shells!
What do you think of crushed shell nails - is it a yay or nay?