Sunday, 2 February 2014

Ciaté Dolls House Collection

I don't know about you guys, but I for one am more than ready for spring! I'm a winter baby, so traditionally I love the snow and chilly weather, but I am absolutely over winter this year in a big way. Bring on spring, says I! The only thing about spring that I don't enjoy is the sound of birds chirping. (Secret confession: the sound of birds chirping annoys me to no end....this is not normal, right? I feel like a Disney Villainess when I confess that.)

L to R: Dollface, Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Poppet, Paper Doll
My desire for spring is so strong at the moment that I've been drawn towards springy pastel shades that I would normally avoid like the plague. Since I'm well aware that my obsession with pastels is likely to be short lived, I decided to indulge it with some nail polish, which seemed like less of an investment than makeup. I saw this post on NouveauCheap about a new line of pale pastel shades from L'Oréal, but I haven't been able to find them in any stores near me as of yet. Undeterred, I decided to look at the nail polish offerings at Sephora to see if I could find anything to my liking.

Almost immediately, the Ciaté Dolls House Collection caught my eye. The packaging on this is to die for. I'm not usually a fan of cutesy packaging (I'm often put off by Benefit and Too Faced, for example) but I simply could not resist this! Another confession of mine is that almost always I go to stores to look at and swatch makeup, but then come home and order online. This serves three functions: 1) I get to use Ebates/MrRebates (which I've blogged about before here); 2) I get to add samples and extras onto my orders; and (most bizarrely) 3) I get the pleasure of getting packages in the mail--which is one of my favourite things of all time! For the Ciaté Dolls House collection, however, I was so desperate to get my hands on it that I bought it in store so I wouldn't have to wait for it to be shipped! That is love, people.

The Dolls House Collection is described as having a porcelain finish, which I've discovered is really just a fancy way of saying matte (oh, Ciaté, you tricky minx!) The collection offers five shades: Paper Doll (white), Poppet (lilac), Baby Doll (peachy orange), Sweet Pea (mint green), and Dollface (a beige nude). The bottles are all miniatures, so they do not have the long easy to use handles of the full size Ciaté polishes. Each mini has 5mL of product, compared to 13.5mL in the full size.
The brush on one of the minis, Paper Doll.
Paper Doll, a mini, compared to Sharp Tailoring, a full size.
The collection does not come with any special instructions, other than to use a base coat. For this application, I used my Revlon Colorstay Gel-Smooth base coat, which is by far and away my current favorite base to prevent chipping and to extend the life of my polish. I am going to play around with these over different base coats in the coming weeks to see if there is a better combination, as the polishes were quite finicky upon application. Until proven otherwise, however, I would guess that the difficulty in application is due to the polishes' porcelain/matte finish, not the base coat. 

As I mentioned, I found these a bit challenging to apply. I am by no means a nail polish pro, but I struggled a bit with these. They dry very very quickly, so you have to work on each nail exceptionally quickly. I applied at least two coats on each nail, trying to stay thin on the first and build up the color to remove any streaking on the second layer. Some shades were easier to work with than others. The most difficult were Sweet Pea and Baby Doll. Dollface was average, and Paper Doll and Poppet both applied with relatively little difficulty.

Ultimately, I think I was able to get an ok application with these polishes. Some of the nails look a little uneven and gloopy, but I imagine with a bit of practice, I will get better. One thing that did irk me is that with the short brush, I had a hard time getting down to my cuticles, so the beds of my nails look a bit uneven. Additionally, one thing to bear in mind is that since these have a matte finish, you won't be able to use a traditional top coat. They dry super quickly, as I mentioned, so there's no need for a quick dry coat, but I like to seal in my nails to try to prevent chipping. The ends of my nails are weak and they peel and bend often, so my manicures never last long. Without a top coat, I fear for these polishes and am guessing I'll only get a day or so of chip free wear. I think that these could be great with some sort of creme polish accent at the top of the nail in a complementary color, though, which would not only look cute but also help the polish last! 

The Dolls House Collection is ultimately a very cute addition to my collection, but not an absolute must have, especially if you struggle with matte polishes. It retails for $25 at Sephora, which I think is a pretty good deal for these five mini polishes. 

Have you checked out this collection yet? Do you have any recommendations for other pale and pastel polish shades? I'm definitely looking for recommendations--I'd love if you left some in the comments below!

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