British nail brand Ciaté has released a nail art kit for the newest trend in the making – the velvet manicure. This limited edition beauty buy leaves your nails feeling a little fuzzy, which is extremely cool but takes some getting used to (I can’t stop touching my nails!). And fortunately, the process requires only a simple two steps (warning, though – it is very messy). To start, apply one coat of the polish and let it completely dry. Then add a second coat and immediately sprinkle the crushed velvet powder over it. The polish must be wet in order for the velvet to adhere, so do this ASAP. Let it dry for a few minutes and then take the little brush and dust off the excess powder. This will take 10-15 minutes to set, and absolutely do not use a topcoat or you’ll ruin the effect. The plastic container that the products come in acts as a handy catch tray when you’re doing this because obviously there’s going to be a mess with the powder floating everywhere. Even with the tray, you’ll have the light and airy dust floating all over so make sure you do this on a surface that can be easily cleaned. Or better yet, do what I did – take the kit to your salon and have your regular manicurist use it. They’ll do a better job anyway! Check out my short video on Vine to get an idea of what the whole process is like. You can watch it even if you don’t have a Vine account, but if you decide to download the app (it’s so much fun to create your own mini videos – and it’s free!), follow me at “Snob Essentials.”
I was afraid to wash my hands after getting the manicure because the texture is like felt, and I didn’t want that soft, top layer to come off. It stayed on pretty well for two days. Some parts, like in worn-in corduroy pants, got rubbed off, but the overall effect was still pretty nice. The good thing is that if there is a chip, you can easily apply a tiny bit of polish and sprinkle more velvet powder on to fix it. Even after a few days when the layer of velvet is gone, there is still an interesting texture that’s unlike a regular manicure. It appears matte but has a touch of the shiny polish coming off underneath so it looks very unique. You can see from the pictures of my nails that it catches lint (I was wearing a sweater and some of the fibers drifted on). After the first couple of days it stops doing that, though. I really love the look – it’s an exciting change of pace without entering into the gaudy, bejeweled nail art arena that is mysteriously becoming so popular. Available in berry or gray at Sephora for $19.