When Ciaté announced this set, I couldn’t work out where it would be available, so I was so pleased to find it in Sephora – at just 22€, too!
Plus, the paint pens work really well on other coloured polish, too, so it seemed like an extra bargain.
Unfortunately, it all went wrong when I actually used it!
Ciaté‘s Chalkboard Paint Pot was a bit of a pain. I totally admit that it says to use it directly on clean, dry nails. But I’m sorry, I’m not putting any dark polish straight on my nails – the last round of staining still hasn’t totally grown out !!!
Well, it turns out that it’s basically a crackle polish. So over my base coat, it looked pretty awful. After 4 coats of dabbing, I managed to get a relatively smooth finish. Thank goodness it dries quickly !
One thing I noticed upon opening the pack is that, although on the packaging, the pink is a pretty magenta, it’s a much lighter fluo pink in the actual pack. I’m not sure if that’s deliberate or just a lack of attention to detail, but I didn’t think it was especially impressive.
So on that uneven surface, it’s a bit tricky to get the pens to work….
I do like the felt-tip nib, it’s much nicer than tiny tubes to squeeze nail polish out of. But unfortunately the pigment pools, and you can see that the yellow is a lot finer than the other pens (what is up with that?) – and you can hardly see the blue at all, so for the following nail art, I layered it over white (very gently, or the white rubs off). I found it impossible to colour in any area, however small, evenly. Even when I did dots, the colour pooling makes them look uneven! If you go over the same area twice, you risk lifting off the first colour, or creating streaks.
Since the nibs are quite chunky, it can be tricky to get good corners with these guys, and my cuticles were very multi-coloured, but since it removes easily, that wasn’t a big deal. It’s also pretty neat to be able to wipe off your design before it’s dry. I actually managed to wipe mine off up to ten minutes after I had done it, but the sooner you do it, the easier it is.
The black seems to rub off a bit though, I recommend wiping the nibs of your felt tip pens regularly to keep them clean.
I’m not especially impressed with the matte top coat. I tried it over other polishes and it crackled, so you can only really use it with the Chalkboard Paint Pot. As with most other matte top coats, it does rub off quite fast. And it will smear your design unless you apply it very carefully…
All in all, I think it’s great that Ciaté are trying to make nail art accessible with these packs, and the concept is great – especially since the pens work on any polish, too ! But it’s kind of a shame to see it pulled off so sloppily. I guess you get what you pay for, since the price is very low, but I was pretty shocked at the quality of this stuff.