Ciaté, makers of the famed, widely-copied Caviar Manicure has finally landed on our shores via Sephora. We decided to give this novel nail-art kit a go to see if it lives up to the beauty blogger-hype (and ridiculously glamorous image on the packaging.)


First, the method. It’s easy enough to pick up instantly, and doesn’t require any technical know-how or even ultra-steady hands:

1. Prime nails with a base coat. We used Underwear Base Coat by Ciaté, a light and ungoopy base coat with a shiny finish.


2. Working on one nail at a time, paint two coats of the enclosed Ciaté Paint Pot shade. The colour in the kit we used is Snow Virgin 010, a liquid paper white.


3. Before the colour dries, sprinkle the Caviar microbeads all over painted surface area, over the enclosed plastic tray. Once fully covered, gently press and compact the microbeads into the nail bed to ensure durability.



4. Once finished, place the mini funnel over the bottle of microbeads and empty the tray of unused pearls back into the bottle.


5. Remember to leave nails to completely dry for 15 to 20 minutes.


The finished manicure is quite impressive, and the white Caviar pearls, with its iridescent finish, were especially pretty and editorial. What’s surprising is that the nails on my right hand looked just as good, or even better than that on my left hand, due to unintentionally thicker coats of nail polish and evenly haphazard sprinkling – a historic moment.

Unfortunately, wear time was really poor, with beads falling out as soon as an hour after setting, with more falling out along the tips and sides of nails. It didn’t help that I’m quite a tactile person and found myself running my fingers over the texture constantly, loosening the beads even more. By the end of the night I had gaping patches where beads used to be on five out of 10 nails.

Also, because the beads are affixed with the nail lacquer, they fell out taking the base colour with it, leaving tiny, unattractive holes in my manicure. Removal was easy – just soak a cotton pad in remover and hold it against the nail for a few seconds until the nail lacquer melts away, and the beads simply fall loose.

Because of this fragility, I feel like this statement manicure should only be reserved for events that you aren’t hosting – weddings, dinners and tea parties are good. Just be careful that the Caviar Pearls don’t fall into a cupcake! They look an awful lot like confectionery candy beads.

Ciaté Caviar Manicure Kits are RM82 at Sephora Malaysia.

Image credit: Yi Peng