Wednesday 5 June 2013

Ciaté Chalkboard Manicure Nail Set

Hi Everyone! Today, I have the Ciaté Chalkboard Manicure Nail Set to share with you!

front of the box

I've been craving this set since I saw the ad images for it. Straight away I headed for Sephora and quickly snapped it up. I was SO excited for this, I'm not an artist in any way but I love to doodle! I thought it was a super cute set and couldn't wait to try it.

back w/ instructions - click to enlarge!

*Because of the detail, these are sized much larger than normal, feel free to click the pictures to expand to full size!

window display of contents after opening flap lid

The package included:

-Chalkboard Paint Pot - a matte black.
Average coverage, nice matte finish.
-Mattnificent Matte Top Coat 
Great Matte Top Coat!
- 4 x Chalk Pens in:
Satchel (white)
Recess (yellow)
Teacher's Pet (sky blue)
Jump Rope (pink)

 It also included a booklet with nail design ideas, instructions (same as back of box) in various languages.
blurb about inspiration
designs, exciting!

instructions again!
Before I continue, this is what Sephora said about the kit.

What it is:
A kit to turn your nails into chalkboard-style fashion statements. 

What it does:
Hate the sound of nails on a chalkboard? Switch it around by turning your nails into chalkboards. What will your nails say about you? Release your inner child and doodle with your choice of Chalk Pen on a base of black matte polish for a cute classroom look. The Chalk Pens have been cleverly formulated as water-soluble, allowing water to wash them away. The Mattnificent top coat seals the chalk onto the nail. 

What else you need to know:
Chalk Nails are the ultimate nail statement for spring. From personalized manis to a super easy French manicure, the chalk pens are every girl-on-the go’s nail accessory and handbag essential. 

After reading the description, I really was excited to try out the kit, but the excitement did not last long. The pens were quite difficult to work with and the lines were nowhere as thin and precise as shown in the pamphlet. It might have been my set as I thought the pens were a bit defective at first.

I painted the swatch stick with 2 coats of the Chalkboard paint pot which dried quite fast but due to the speed, it dried a bit uneven, which wasn't a big deal personally. In my picture, you can kind of see the uneven layers.

*As I write my post, I will not refer to the pen's name but use the colour instead
Then I tested the pens, I 'tested' the pink pen for quite a long time, pushing the tip over and over AND OVER again. I almost had given up until I tried it one last time and success!! Even so, it came out the most 'dry' and streaky (see below).


Then I tried the blue, this one seemed OVERfilled. I pressed it lightly once and a huge blob came out, all over the stick, the pen, even on my laptop. It left a mark as you can see in the pink pen picture :( .  The yellow and the white were average so I didn't take pictures of those.
By now I was thinking to myself, oh my, how will I ever design with these pens? You need to put so much pressure and they're so thick?!

 I kept scribbling on my stick when I decided, I will finally do a design! haha I decided to do our blog's intials A.M.P. which could showcase the 4 colours and because I am so creative of course hahaha..

And, being artistically challenged, my first attempt was a big fail! I couldn't get the pink to work evenly at all, below I used about 2 coats and I touched up the left side but it was still so uneven :(. Blue was the most opaque, pretty good coverage in 1 coat but I was a bit heavy-handed and the M turned out quite thick. Yellow as said before was average, it could have been opaque in 2 coats. White was average also, maybe because I did dots, all of them had a more opaque outer ring.

I thought it turned out really bad so I decided to start over. The plus side, I could remove my mistakes with water. The down side, it didn't really work until I soaked a cotton pad and scrubbed it. It took quite a bit of elbow grease and I was able to attempt again..!

 My 2nd attempt, blue was still my favourite to work with. With so many imperfections, I just cannot say I like the kit. I love the matte black nail polish, their matte top coat but the pens were such a dud with me. (That's the whole point of the kit too!)
As a friend suggestion, head to your local craft store, pick up a few chalkboard pens and get creative. I must live under a rock because I never heard of them before. Now that I know, next time I head to a craft store, I will be checking them out!
The matte black polish and top coat can easily be substituted by any other brand. Personally, if you cannot find a matte black, even a normal black could probably work since a matte top coat will turn the whole thing matte.
For a cheapo good matte top coat, N.Y.C has a great one for under $3!~


indoor light - this shows my mistakes the most!

natural lighting
I was so sad, I went back online and unloved the product, sorry Ciaté but this one is a no-good for me! I do love the topcoat though, very matte!

Ciaté Chalkboard Manicure Nail Set can be bought at Sephora for $25 CAD.
This was purchased by me, my opinions were not influenced by the company in any way.


  1. Mir , I am so happy that you reviewed tis product. I am so sad to hear that this idea was a total blunder :( oh well back to the drawing board eh Ciate ;)

    1. you're so 'punny'! hehe...I know, we were both SO excited :(

  2. Ugh I didnt really want it but it looks kind of interesting. I always had that 'i hate chalkboard noises' kind of feeling so I definitely wouldnt like it on my nails :p

    1. hahah don't worry, it doesn't make that noise. & yes, I was dorky enough to try scratching my nails - Mir

  3. It's a shame the brushes aren't a little more fine-tipped! I wouldn't chalk this one up to your lack of talent, but to the tools in the kit (har har)

    1. Another pun-ny person ;) !
      I'm just disappointed because I wanted to like it so bad!
      I really thought it would be more fine-tipped!

      - Mir

  4. eh, i didn't think it looked good to begin with, did you return it?

    1. lol it seems alot of people are interested in knowing if I returned it, but yes I did :)
      Thank goodness for Sephora's amazing return policy or else eep! I wouldn't know what to do!

  5. I didn't realize you could buy chalk pens at the craft store! Darn it. I only bought this because I didn't think you could. However, despite teh thicker tip of the pens, I actually enjoyed using this product, I gave it a favorable review on my blog, but I do agree with Emma Hoop here - a finer-tipped pen would have been a better win, I think!!!

    1. I read your review and I am so glad it worked out for you!
      I didn't know you could buy them at the craft store either but when I googled it a whole plethora of links and pinterest ideas flooded my search lol!! I didn't know they were so popular to use..

  6. I followed your link from the FB group and thank you for reviewing this. I really wanted it and you saved me my money (or the effort of buying it then returning it to Sephora haha).

    1. lol! I know, I always feel bad when I have to return something! glad to help.