Manicure Monday: Red Luxe

Welcome to Manicure Monday! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that I got off my duff, got the dotting tool out, and did some real nail art. I still kind of suck with the dotting tool, but I’m really pleased with my results. For this look, I used Maybelline’s Red Relic as my primary color, Ciaté’s Gold Digga as the secondary color, and caviar beads in Gleam, also from Ciaté. I also used Seche Vite and Hard Candy’s Just Matte top coat.



Red Relic is a fun little polish. It’s a red jelly with iridescent pink flakies that dries matte. I was a little disappointed when I first tried it out, because I’m not a huge fan of the matte finish. I supposed then that it wasn’t anything top coat couldn’t fix, so I kept it. The finish has grown on me, though. It’s actually the reason I made the whole manicure matte. Gold Digga has a metallic shine, and I needed to even it out with a matte top coat, so the finish you’re seeing is actually the matte coat, not the original Red Relic finish.



Gold Digga and the Gleam beads came together in a caviar nails set that was in the sale bin at Sephora. Gold Digga is a pretty nice polish; it’s a burnished gold with a rich metallic finish. It also looks fantastic mattified. The matte coat hides the brush strokes and evens out the color. It’s rare that I think a polish looks better without a glossy finish, but this one definitely does. I feel like it helps emphasize the luxe feel Ciaté was going for.


The two colors together are gorgeous. I got the elegant and opulent look I wanted. I’m just a bit unhappy with all the nail art horrors my camera captured. In the photos you can see just how uneven the crosses are, you can see all the gaps in the caviar, you can see the glue spots where I put the studs down. I know nobody probably noticed them until I mentioned them, but when I look at these photos, they’re all I see. In person, though, this mani is perfect.

Red Relic was a limited edition and has been discontinued by Maybelline, though you can find it if you look around the internet. Gold Digga and the caviar nail kit are available from Ciaté’s website. Hard Candy’s matte coat is from Walmart. My studs are from an outlet store.

I bought all of these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Sparkle and Caviar

My Manicure Monday today is kind of an experiment. The polish I have on is one I love, Revlon’s Sparkle Aplenty. I needed an accent piece, so I tried caviar nails for the first time. I’m wearing three coats of Sparkle Aplenty with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro, and my caviar mix is Ciate’s Midnight in Manhattan.




Sparkle Aplenty is a black crelly with lots of metallic silver glitters in various sizes. It went on pretty easily; the first coat was thin and streaky, but the second one evened it out nicely. Full opacity was reached at two coats. The glitters spread well and evenly. This polish dries quickly and with a satin/semi-glossy finish. Because glitter is the bulk of the polish, there’s lots of glitter texture after drying; a top coat would definitely be necessary with this.



I thought the Midnight in Manhattan would be the perfect caviar mix, because they contain the same colors. The caviar beads are actually a bit more colorful; in my office, it just looks like silver and black beads. In the studio, I find out that they’re gold, as well as some greens, blues, and purples that I failed to notice before. Also, for some strange reason, the corners of my caviar nail appear to flare out instead of curling under, like the rest of my nails do. It looks weird when all my nails appear slender and tapered, and then one looks like a duck foot. It bothers me. It’s wrong.



I do admit I liked this mani a lot better before I added the caviar. I should have just used studs again. I don’t hate caviar nails (yet), but I have a ton of bead jars (thanks, Ciate advent calendars), and I wanted to use one, just to see what the two-year-old fuss was about. Perhaps I’ll like them more in the future. Today, I don’t. Today, I just see fail.