My First Taste of Caviar…Pearls, That Is

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Here it is, folks: the latest look I’ve created with the Ciate Mini Mani Month set I bought last weekend. The feature shade is “Encore,” a creamy tomato red with a glossy finish. And, drumroll please…I finally got brave enough to try one of the Caviar Pearls. On the accent nail we have “Midnight in Manhattan.”

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Since this was my first foray into Caviar Pearls, I thought I would share with you some of the life lessons I learned along the way. It took me three tries to get a result I was satisfied with, so hopefully anyone else trying these for the first time can learn from my mistakes.

1) Always follow the directions. The directions said not to use a top coat over the pearls. I didn’t listen. The top coat dulls the pearly finish. Fail.

2) Patience is key. After applying the pearls, you’re supposed to pat them into place with your finger. The directions didn’t mention this, but it’s a good idea to wait a minute or two before patting. You want the polish to get a bit tacky first. On my first attempt, I patted right away and ended up rolling the pearls around in the wet polish, coating them in colour and spoiling the effect. Fail.

3) Shade choice matters. Looking at the bottles, I felt that the “Midnight in Manhattan” pearls (a mix of black, silver and blue) would look awesome paired with the tomato red “Encore.” And they do…but not on the same nail! When I applied the pearls directly on top of the tomato red, they clashed horribly. Fail. On my final attempt, I used black as the background for the pearls, and I’m much happier with the result.

So how do I feel about the pearls? I’ll keep experimenting with them, but I’m not completely sold. They’re certainly not foolproof, and without any sort of top coat to seal them in place, I doubt they’ll last very long. They do look interesting though, and the one thing I was most worried about turned out to be a non-issue. I was worried they would be impossible to control and make a terrible mess. Cleanup was actually the easiest part of the process. I used a tray to catch the overspill as I poured them onto the nail. Then, using the little funnel that came with the set, I poured the excess from the tray back into the bottle. No fuss, no muss.

“Encore,” by the way, is lovely. It’s smooth and glossy and shows up true-to-bottle after only one coat. It’s definitely brightening my mood on an otherwise dull winter day.

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