Ciaté Mini Mani Month Round-up review

Ciate calendar red 2013

After twenty-four days of nail polish goodies for December what did I think of Ciaté’s 2013 exclusive Red calendar and would I buy one again?


As a fairly expensive treat the calendar was worth it for trying new colours, especially ones that I wouldn’t have thought to buy as full size bottles, like Sugarplum or Tweeds and Tails. Although I’m a nail polish fan; there’s certain colours and effects that tend to be my default go-to ones but trying the calendar has broadened what colours I will think of trying in future.

To start with I thought that the polishes and top coats/effects were going to be in the same order as listed on the back of the calendar, which would have taken the surprise out of what you were going to get. Fortunately, after Days 1 and 2, the rest were randomised so you could only guess what might be behind the doors by the pattern of getting a caviar, glitter or sequin effect every four days. It did give the feeling of a little treat a day, which is a good thing to have in the run up to Christmas when things can be a bit frazzled or stressed.

The Caviar Pearls are my definite, instant, favourite of the effects and I’m glad I got to try these as, again, I probably wouldn’t have bought a full-size bottle. I’ll be saving these for special events rather than using them every day though. I think these will last me for quite a long time.

Drying times were pretty good considering no top coat was used for the swatches. Some polishes I use, like Illamasqua, O.P.I and Rococo, are quicker but most of these were touch dry within less than ten minutes. A couple of dodgy brushes aside; I like the thickness and quality of Ciaté’s as it’s quite easy to do good broad strokes to get even nail coverage, where the formulation allows.

Ciaté Full Advent collection


As with all multiple make-up collections; there are always going to be some colours which just aren’t favourites or don’t really work that well. This definitely applies to most of the pinks, nudes and polishes with an orange or orange-red tone for me.

I was a bit surprised, and somewhat disappointed, by the differing consistencies of the Paint Pots range; going from Boudoir’s semi-transparent application to Snowglobe’s dense jelly and the thicker formula of Sugarplum, Tweed and Tails, Chinchilla, etc., which can be a drawback for ease of application.

There is only one polish, Encore!, that I found to be neither too thick or too thin for a one coat, opaque, application, so polish fans looking for a one coat, dash and go, mani might find most of these require more time and patience.

The lack of metallic polishes (only two out of the whole 24 days) did seem an odd choice. I would’ve expected at least one more for a calendar produced for the festive season. Ciaté does have some interesting and attractive metallics and glitters which I would enjoy trying, particularly as Starlet and Fit for a Queen were my absolute favourite polishes out of the entire calendar. While the Caviar Pearls, Twinkle Toes holo glitter and Dallas Dolly sequins look great as special manicures, not everyone particularly likes the textured look and feel these create and I think that metallic polishes would be a quicker way to get ready for a party or event than applying effects.


I would consider buying another one if there are a greater proportion of metallic or darker blue, green or purple shades included next year. The problems of application I experienced with the cremé polishes is a bit off-putting from getting more in this range unless I really adore the colour, although it is possible that other, more experienced, nail polish fans could make these work with a thinner or different bases and topcoats.

As a try out for which of Ciaté’s range suits me it’s been a fun way of doing so and it really does bring a cheerful spot of colour to the day to have a new polish or effect to try. I am grateful I had the chance to buy it for 2013 as I will be keeping around half of the ones I’ve swatched for future use.

I will be doing a U.K only giveaway of the polishes that won’t be added to my collection, so keep your eyes out for that in January!