iAm: Louisa Koh

SHILLS Aqua Skin Moisturizing Spray

A 30-something from sunny Singapore who's tried her hand at lots of things, such as selling skin care & make-up, working in a (boring) corporate setting, trying to carve a singing career, giving private tuition, being a fitness instructor, writing/editing etc...

Besides exasperating her parents to no end, she loves experimenting with new make-up looks, uncovering the best make-up & skin care products, modelling for herself before the camera, singing at the top of her lungs (with preferably no one to hear it), and writing whatever, whenever (as you can already tell).


louisa [at] louisakoh [dot] com

Nail Art: Ciaté Flower Manicure in Strike A Posy

Great day, lovelies! I’m back with a feature on nails again (my pet subject obviously) and this time it’s a spotlight on nail art!

Inspired by the Spring/Summer Fashion Week 2014 floral prints, Ciaté Creative Director Charlotte Knight conceptualised a couple of flower manicure sets that allow users like you and me to adorn our nails with natural dried pressed flowers. Ain’t that a neat idea?

Ciaté Flower Manicure in Strike A Posy

Now, Ciaté isn’t new to the nail art scene. I remember back when I really got into the swing of painting my own nails in late 2012, I had cottoned to their Caviar Manicure trend and wanted a little fish-egg action on my own nails but Ciaté wasn’t available in Singapore then. Luckily, my sister lives in the UK, home of Ciaté, so it came as no surprise my 2013 birthday request was for a Ciaté Caviar Mini Bar set (more pictures of the caviar manicure at the end of this post!)

Ciaté Caviar Mini Bar set

Ciaté in Singapore

It wasn’t long after that when Sephora Singapore started carrying the brand Ciaté in its stores in 2013. But the prices weren’t exactly cheap: Their Caviar Manicure sets were retailing at SGD34 each, while their individual nail polishes called Paint Pots were going for SGD20 a pop.

Since then, Ciaté has come up with many different nail art sets and ideas: Velvet Manicure which uses flocking powder to create a velvet texture on nails, Sequined Manicure, Chalkboard Manicure, Very Colourfoil Manicure, Feathered Manicure, Corrupted Neon Manicure, Shell Manicure and the Flower Manicure, which I’ll be featuring in this post. So much fun, right (if you have all the money in the world to spend on your nails, that is)??

Ciaté Flower Manicure: 5 ml Candy Floss pink polish, 13.5 ml fast dry top coat, 2 pots of dried flowers, tweezers & nail file

But. But. BUT. Now Ciaté is available on ZALORA SG and at an attractive discount too!

For example, Ciaté’s flower manicure set is going for SGD23 on ZALORA Singapore instead of SGD34 at Sephora Singapore (note this doesn’t include the delivery charge of SGD3.90 for purchases below SGD40). I just couldn’t pass up the offer!

How to Use

I’ve taken a pic of the instruction manual so you can see how easy this Flower Manicure can be achieved. I gotta admit, I did get a bit of anxiety because I didn’t know if I was going to mess it up, and I’ve been doing my own nails weekly for about 2 years now!

Ciaté Flower Manicure instruction manual (please click to enlarge)

I’m going to try and show the process step-by-step the best I can, considering I have only 2 hands and one of them has to hold the camera! 😉 (This is one of those times when having a partner comes in handy, pun intended!)

But before we do that, here’s a closer look at the polishes and pressed flowers included in Ciaté’s Flower Manicure set:

5 ml Candy Floss, 13.5 ml Speed Coat Pro, and 4 types of dried flowers included

In the Strike a Posy (love the pun!) set, four different types of flowers are included: Yellow flowers, blue flowers, yellow “baby’s breath-like filler flowers” and vanilla-coloured “baby’s breath-like flowers”.

Before starting, I actually picked out each flower just to see how many dried flowers were included in the set. The flowers look deceptively little in the pots, but after picking them out, I realised that Ciaté had included a pretty generous portion of flowers in each set! They also smelt like how dried flowers would (you would know if you used to press flowers to make bookmarks etc) 😛

PVA glue base on select fingernails before base coat

I prepped my nails with PVA glue base coat on three of my nails (it’s the white substance you see on my nails in above picture). Why 3 nails only? Well, I used to apply the PVA glue on all nails if I wanted to remove glitter polish easily by peeling them off since we know that glitter polish is a pita to remove, but found that my polish on my most-used fingers: index and middle nails would pop off sometimes barely a day or two after applying. Hence I skip the PVA glue on those nails to prolong wear and it’s worked so far!

Base coat applied on top of PVA glue after it’s dried

After the PVA glue’s dried, it will turn clear, and then I apply my base coat, CND Stickey Base, on top. Although the instructions in Ciaté’s manual didn’t talk about using a base coat, I do it out of habit and to protect nails from possible staining, etc.

A look at Ciaté’s brush from the Candy Floss mini paint pot

Here’s a closer look at how Ciaté’s brush looks like. I’ve compared the mini brush with the full-sized ones and they are similar in width.

Two thick coats of Ciaté Candy Floss

And so I started by painting two thickish coats of Ciaté Candy Floss, a bubblegum pink colour, on my nails. Formula was mostly self-levelling but can be slightly streaky if you are not careful so it’s best to use light strokes without going over a spot too many times.

After applying flowers on all nails before top coat & buffing with nail file

This is the important part: Top coat should be applied one nail at a time, and I recommend picking out the flowers you want on each nail beforehand. So pick out the specific flowers you want on your thumb nail (ha ha), for example, apply the top coat on only the nail on your thumb. Then working quickly, use the tweezers to apply the flowers you picked out on to the nail while it’s still wet, tapping them gently into place with the tweezer. This is how it looks like (above picture) before sealing with top coat and buffing the excess flowers sticking out from the free edge of the nails.

After applying top coat to seal the flowers, and buffing the excess flowers

Next, seal the flowers by applying a coat of top coat on each nail. Follow this up by buffing any excess flowers sticking out from the sides and free edges of the nails downwards with the nail file included (above picture shows these steps done before cleanup).

Post cleanup!

And voila! This is the product after clean-up! (I apologise for the poor picture quality.) As the Ciaté top coat was a bit on the thin side, I finished off with another thick coat of Poshé super fast drying top coat, to smoothen the surface of my nails further (important for those of us who rub our eyes).

What do you think of this floral manicure by Ciaté? Do you love the idea? Would you try it?
I must say I do like it as it’s quite easy to get pretty nail art without having to be artistic etc. Also it’s still looking good 3-4 days into wearing it.

As promised, here are some pics of the Ciaté Caviar Manicure I tried using the Mini Bar set:

Caviar Manicure micropearls in Candy Shop (ring nail) & Jubilee (thumb) for CNY 2013

Ciaté Caviar Manicure micropearls in Candy Shop (thumb) and Jubilee (ring nail) for CNY 2013

Ciaté Velvet Manicure in Mink Cashmere on all nails except Caviar Mani in Hologram on ring nail

Ciaté Caviar Manicure in Prom Queen on ring fingernail

Awesome paw-some much? Ciaté Caviar Manicure sets are e-tailing on ZALORA Singapore for SGD18-27 (excluding delivery charges), and Ciaté Very Colourfoil Manicure, Feathered Manicure and Corrupted Neon Manicure sets are going for SGD23 each. Select Ciaté Paint Pots are on sale at SGD16 a bottle.

ZALORA Singapore also carries a range of Nails Inc. manicure sets as well so go grab them before they run out!

Till then, toodles xx

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