Not sponsored, this is my personal opinion and experience.
Yep! I succumbed to the ads on Facebook and bought some Sistaco mineral bond nail powders.
The videos on their page and in the ads make this stuff look magic, and I really wanted to know how accurate it was (and have fun nails).
I used to paint my nails regularly, but got tired of how easily they chip or get messed up while drying, and of my husband complaining of the smell. I haven’t done my nails regularly for about 10 years.
I’ve been using Sistaco for 6 weeks now and I love it! I love having colour on my nails. The colours are spectacular and the system is nice.
If you’re interested in the application process, take a look at the directions on the Sistaco site.
The products arrived nicely packaged.
In the pictures the packaging all looks quite fancy, like glass and metal, but the containers are all plastic. I’m okay with that, but it did feel a lot cheaper in the hand than I was expecting. I wouldn’t hate a simpler design for the powder jars in order to store them more efficiently.
There are three different powder types: Classic, Metallic, and Holographic; and two application processes: Classic and Metallic/Holographic. There are clear liquid base and top coats, which are set under a UV lamp, and the mineral powders for colour.
Classic application involves setting the base coat, which remains tacky, and brushing the powder onto it. Metallic/holo application involves setting the top coat, which is no longer wet at all, and rubbing the powder onto it.
Both methods are finished by setting the top coat under the lamp.
In general I find the metallic/holo method easier and more forgiving, so I tend to choose those colours more often (and I just love the metallic shine!).
Keeping it tidy
The directions say not to get the base and top coats on your skin (or making sure it’s fully cleaned off before setting under the light). This is pretty important, it’s not easy to clean up once set with the lamp. As with traditional nail polish, it can take a bit of practice to get the application tidy. I was glad of my former obsession and practice with painting my nails!
The directions for the final step say,
Press the button on the LED lamp once and set your nails until it automatically turns off. Wipe away any excess powder.
However, I found with my first classic application that I had managed to wipe powder with base coat from the nail onto my fingers while trying to get the powder near the cuticle. If that happens, it’s much easier to clean it off before you apply and set the top coat. A cotton bud (q-tip with acetone works well).
By setting under the lamp the drying time is definitely better than traditional nail polish, making the whole process of doing your nails faster. The ads say 10 minutes, but if you’re going for longevity, you will likely want to do the whole application process twice, and take care to cap your nails (see tips below). It usually takes me much more than 10 minutes, but still faster than traditional polish.
For my first two applications I used too much top coat. The directions say,
Gently apply a thin layer of top coat, making sure there is enough top coat on the applicator that you do not pull powder from the nail.
I was more worried about the latter part of that statement and ended up with too thick a layer. The result was that the top coat probably wasn’t setting enough with one cycle of the light, and I messed up the top coat a bit while waking and drying my hands. Also, while it was setting some of the top coat pooled around my cuticles, which caused a bit of a lip to form on the coating, which made it easy to peel the coating from my nails. So the application didn’t last as long as it otherwise might have. On my third attempt I used much less top coat, with more satisfying results.
Thin coats are key!
The ads say “up to two weeks”. I think that might be possible with a really good application. I’ve managed to get 2 weeks on my toenails before one chipped/peeled. On my fingernails 7-10 days is more usual so far. The worst was just a few days when most of a nail just peeled off; I think that is more likely to happen when the top coat is too thick.
I find that these mineral colours are much less prone to chipping than traditional nail polish, but they are subject to wear, particularly at the tips. Lighter colours are a bit more forgiving to signs of wear.
I haven’t found removal very easy. Often I end up catching an edge and peeling some off, and sometimes I then peel/scratch it all off with my nails. I don’t recommend doing that! I’m sure it’s taken off layers of my nails and they’re feeling a bit soft.
There is an Express Remover product that paints onto your nails, which is okay. There is also a removal hub that uses acetone vapour; I haven’t tried it yet. You can also use acetone as you would with gel nails, but that is a stinker option.
Yes! For most people keen on doing their own nails I would recommend Sistaco mineral powders. Despite my initial impressions of the packaging and the trouble I had with getting the right amount of top coat, I think it still has benefits over traditional nail polish.
- No smell
- Same base and top coat for a variety of powders (so you don’t get bottles of polish separating, or drying out)
- Faster drying/curing time
- Powders make it easy to do fun styles, such as ombre; you can also mix powder with a little top coat if you need a liquid colour for your design.
- You can mix colours together to make different shades
- The whole system is flexible and can be used to achieve a variety of effects — even though the powders are designated classic, metallic, and holographic, you can apply them with the other method for different effects
My experience is still limited, but so far these are my tips.
- You need thin base and top coats, there are a few things you can try to achieve this:
- Before applying top coat, wipe both sides of the brush on the rim of the bottle, wipe again when more liquid runs down the stem
- Alternatively, you can apply a reasonable coat to the nail, then wipe the brush on the bottle, brush nail again to get excess coat off
- Many people warm the top coat by putting the bottle in their pocket, bra, or a dish of warm water (I tried resting them on a heat pack a couple of times, but to be honest those applications were not as good, I wonder if the heat wasn’t even enough)
- Cap the tips! That is, if your nails are long enough, run the base and top coats across the top edge of your nail. This is key for reducing signs of wear at the ends of your nails!
- Use a very light touch applying classic powder to avoid clumping; you can keep lightly brushing colour on until no more powder sticks as long as you do it super gently
- I find classic colours easier to apply with a brush rather than the mineral applicator (only the applicator is included with the kits, you can get a dual applicator with brush separately, or use an eyeshadow brush), the mineral applicator is awesome for metallic/holo though
- It doesn’t hurt to do an extra cycle under the lamp to set the final coat, and change angle to make sure the tips get a good set too
- When using the Express Remover don’t scrape too hard. If the colour doesn’t come off with the first pass, keep applying the remover, wait a couple of minutes, scrape lightly, and repeat until it’s off.
- Embellishments are super cute, try them!
- Read the FAQ
Let me know in the comments what your favourite colours of Sistaco mineral powders are, or what questions about the system you have!