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nail art: DIY caviar manicure

April 6, 2012

I’ve been hearing about the new Ciaté Caviar Manicure all over the blogosphere, but rather than buy the pricey kit, I wanted to try my hand at a DIY version of this fashion-forward look.

I’ve been tourist-ing around midtown Manhattan with my parents this week, so we stopped by Beads World in the Garment District this afternoon. I picked up two bottles of tiny microbeads in blue and clear/white for $3.50 per bottle. My beads have tiny holes in them, but if you go to a craft store like Michaels, you should be able to find glass beads without holes. Either works, though.

I set myself up over a paper plate to catch the excess beads, which can eventually be funneled back into the jar and reused.

After applying a base coat, I applied one layer of polish to each nail. I used Sally Hansen xTreme Wear in White On, plus China Glaze Electric Beat on my ring finger.

You’ll want to work on one nail at a time from here on out. Apply a thick second coat of polish to one nail and immediately pour the beads over the nail until it is fully covered.

Lightly pat the beads into the wet polish and remove any beads that fall outside the nail line. After bead-ing all nails, apply a touch of top coat just along the tip of the nail to create a bit of a seal.

As you can see, I ultimately removed the white polish from my pointer finger and tried a neon pink polish base instead. I like the blue-on-blue look best.

This “caviar” mani was a lot easier that I expected, and the beads adhered quite well to the polish. They held up through a shower and some dishwashing just fine.

That said, this manicure drove me a bit crazy, so I removed it a few hours later. I felt like I was constantly aware of my nails, and not in a good way. The beads got caught in my hair, made it difficult to type, and I worried about them every time I reached my hand in my purse or pocket (though they actually stayed on pretty well).

This mani would be so fun and eye-catching for a night out or a special event, but it’s definitely not for everyday wear. I can only imagine these beads scattering across the yoga studio or falling into my lunch. It’s a perfect one-night-only look, though.

It’s good to know that this DIY version is so easy to achieve. There’s really no need to buy the pricey kit.

Will you be trying this trendy new mani this season? Let me know in the comments!

Also, please head on over to the Birchbox blog where I’m answering a few nail-related questions from readers today!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2012 11:41 PM

    Pretty! And I have heaps of those beads around too.. I know what you mean about being aware of them though, I get that when I put little rhinestone blingy things all over them.. it is nice for a few hours for a special occasion though. Thanks for the tutorial and awesome photos! :)

  2. stilishbabe permalink
    April 7, 2012 5:27 AM

    so festive!!! lovin’ it!

  3. April 8, 2012 2:40 AM

    they look awesome!


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