Summer time is sunny time is beach time - warm golden soft sands, cooling turquoise blue waters, wispy palm trees swaying in the wind and beautiful unusual seashells waiting to be collected as a memento from the holiday. Somehow everything is better at the beach; even the most minimal tan looks gorgeously bronzed, wavy boho hair comes without having to use lots of hair products and bizarre looking styling tools and natural sunkissed skin smells lovelier than some of the most prestigious perfumes in the world. Now you can have that relaxed beach feeling everyday with the help of the latest of Ciaté's innovative textured manis; it's Ciaté's Shell Manicure (£20) so forget your pastels, forget your neons - this summer the coolest nails are covered with crushed seashells!
Pillow Fight (£9), a lovely muted thistle color for a subtle and sophisticated look and although the formula is perhaps a tiny bit more fluid than your average nail polish, the consistency is still easy to work with for an even finish and it's also very quick drying, always a plus when you want to build a nice opaque finish. The pigmentation is nice and strong even with a softer shade like Pillow Fight, although for me personally one coat only is on the sheer side so as usual I prefer to apply two coats for some solid color blocking, especially to off set an effect finish like these seashells. On me two coats under a top coat lasts about four days, which is a bit longer than average in my opinion and it's still very easy to remove using a standard nail polish remover.
Now on to the fun bit - the seashells! As with all these manicure kits you can be as creative as you like and wear the textured effect on as many nails as you wish, but for me less is more and one or two nails creates just the right impact. I love the untamed, natural and ever so slightly rough look and feel of the crushed seashells. The color of the shells is a gorgeous pearlescent lilac and mauve with a silver shine to it, perfect with a tan for a mermaid inspired look. Pour a generous amount of the fragments over a nail that has just been painted, then tap the shards gently into place and repeat a few times until there's an even coarse and fairly dense coating of seashells. Once you've applied as much as you want, you could finish with a topcoat to seal in the fragments, and make the finish potentially last longer but personally I think it ruins the relaxed but interesting and eye catching effect. As unusual and unique as this look is, it does require some patience from the wearer since it's far from practical. Because of the rough edges and the different shaped fragments some of them will stick out more than others, resulting in a lot of things getting caught on them - hair, lace, linen anything really that has a slightly uneven surface, which also means that the look won't remain pristine and perfect for long.