Introduction: Caviar Nails - a Good Idea?

Picture of Caviar Nails - a Good Idea?

Caviar nails are elegant, fun and relatively simple to accomplish........but are they a good idea?? Keep reading to find out!!!

You can find my overall summary of caviar nails in Step 3!

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

You need four items to get caviar nails of your own:

1. Microbeads - I found mine at Michael's - in the glitter isle. I should have known this would be interesting since they were next to the bane of my existence. Does anyone else think glitter should and must be BANNED? I'm with ya all the way!
2. Clear coat nail polish or nail hardener.
3. A shallow bowl. Not a plate...I repeat...not a plate.
4. Bare fingernails. Somewhat manicured is nice.

Step 2: Apply Microbeads

Picture of Apply Microbeads

If you have ever put glue on a piece of paper and sprinkled glitter over it you should have all the necessary training required to apply microbeads to your nails.

Start by painting two or three nails with clear coat or nail hardener. While holding your fingers over a shallow bowl sprinkle microbeads on the polish while it is still wet or tacky. Voila! The beads stick.

Unless you are sloppy with the nail polish there shouldn't be much clean up of beads but if necessary move stray beads with a toothpick or dry fingernail.

Repeat until all fingernails are covered with microbeads.

Step 3: Apply Top Coat

Picture of Apply Top Coat

Now that your nails look perfect you are basically going to make them look....not perfect. It would be nice if you could stop right here but unfortunately you will be eating beads even sooner if you do.

Okay, okay, you are really good with glitter but are you good at not getting microbeads to bleed their color all over your cuticles? That's what happens (see picture) when you apply the top coat. They also start to change color. They don't loose their color but there must be some kind of reaction with the chemicals in the polish that changes the color of the microbeads.

Be very light with the top coat. You will have to sop up excess with a tissue or cotton swab without moving the beads.

If you attempt caviar nails (and I don't really recommend it) I highly suggest using clear microbeads and choosing a colored nail polish that you like. You won't get the monochromatic color scheme that I really wanted but at least you won't get color bleeding all over your cuticles.

This is a great idea for a very special ONE DAY (or half-day) occasion but there is a very good reason you don't see people running around with caviar nails every day. The beads start flaking off almost immediately. First the tips then the rest!

DO NOT attempt this for a first date kind of thing where you may or may not be going somewhere to eat, say, chicken wings, that you may or may not have to lick your fingers after. You will definitely get a mouth full of beads. Not something you want glittering between your two front teeth when you smile!

I can definitely say I won't be doing this again even though it looks so good in pictures!


harmonious1 (author)2015-03-23

What if you used colored sugar? It would be sparkly and wouldn't matter if you ate some. Just tossing out ideas, never tried it.

Bard (author)2014-08-18

I wonder if you could do this technique on some fake nails then apply some automotve clear coat

Kam888 (author)2014-01-07

nails looks too wide and shapeless...

softball8 (author)2013-12-09

I did this and all my friends loved it

awesomness2002 (author)2013-12-08

I love glitter what is wrong with it

michael63 (author)2013-09-17

This is really good idea, thanks for the tip at the end!

rf (author)2013-04-28

Those plain, naked, natural nails look sooooo much better!

doctressjulia (author)rf2013-04-28

Party pooper.

rf (author)doctressjulia2013-04-29

Just a man that knows what he likes.

Natural beauty is simply awe-inspiring.

'Embellishing' by covering up with unnatural color and form is an affectation promoted by those that profit from it. The media convinces beautiful women that they're not beautiful unless they buy their products. A travesty.

Sulwen (author)rf2013-09-13

Or we believe ourselves perfectly beautiful naturally and just want to walk around with art on ourselves, want to express our creativity in a way that's immediately visible, and want to have *fun*.

The only thing that's sad is that there's a social stricture against men doing it.

elvenstar70 (author)2013-06-30

I've wondered if you could use cookie sprinkles instead of the beads ,still wouldn't want to accidently eat them though.....>.<

wold630 (author)elvenstar702013-07-12

You could certainly try but what would you stick them on with?

llivermore (author)2013-06-30

I tried it. They didn't last very long but were cool while they lasted.

wold630 (author)llivermore2013-07-12

They are fun while they last, but basically a disaster!

blueangelical (author)2013-06-01

Are these the same as these ""

wold630 (author)blueangelical2013-06-01

I've never used them but they look the same.

bajablue (author)2013-05-30

Yay for Wold!!! :-D

Wynd (author)2013-04-25

I've seen some kits at the dollar stores here for this, always wondered what they would look like. From the sounds of it, I'll stick with polish and rhinestones ;)

N1K1_1NC. (author)Wynd2013-05-28

there are tons of tuts on yt for them and they can be done in different ways. I've seen the kits as well. Biggest fear would be beads falling off. The only thing I can think off that would limit that from happening would be to do a top coat over the beads but that would most likely change the whole look of them.

wold630 (author)Wynd2013-04-26

Rhinestones work much better and stay put much longer! Stick with it!

sabu.dawdy (author)2013-05-24

lolllll i loveddd ur comments :D.. btw congratss

doodlecraft (author)2013-05-21

Wow, congrats on another huge win! :)

wold630 (author)doodlecraft2013-05-21

Thanks, congrats to you as well!

MonkiMan (author)2013-05-13

firebox sells nail sprinkles (1x 9ml paint pot, 1x funnel and 14g sprinkles texturiser) which are just like this , they may work better than your DIY nails.

wold630 (author)MonkiMan2013-05-21

Good to know, thanks!

robecker (author)2013-04-28

Nice cuticles!

wold630 (author)robecker2013-04-30

I hope that's a compliment!

robecker (author)wold6302013-05-01

Definitely. I despair over mine most days - too much hand washing + benign neglect. As a dermatologist I notice weird things, though. I was reading through the instructable because I have two teenage daughters that love funky nails - not sure I'll be showing them this one unless I can come up with a better top coat.

jesebsp (author)2013-04-28

looks cool. maybe seed beads from the beading aisle at a craft store, there glass and won't bleed.

wold630 (author)jesebsp2013-04-30

You should try it. The seed beads at my store seem too big and they have that hole that could be distracting.

jesebsp (author)wold6302013-04-30

to old for beaded nails. my nieces would like this though'

thebeatonpath (author)2013-04-28

Now I have something to do with the microbeads I have! Got some Martha Stewart ones on the cheap a while back and never had a reason to use them. I agree with you 100% on glitter! It is the bane of my existence as well. Can someone explain why teachers still use the stuff in art?! UGH

wold630 (author)thebeatonpath2013-04-30

Darn those art teachers! Anything with glitter goes straight in the garbage at my house!

mslaynie (author)2013-04-28

My husband calls glitter the herpes of the craft world. Sucks for him that I'm addicted to it and have entirely too much of it- multiple colors, sizes, shapes... I'm over 30 containers and stopped counting! :D

Oscelot (author)mslaynie2013-04-28

We call it craft herpes in my house. X3

doctressjulia (author)mslaynie2013-04-28

Ha! And, it gets everywhere! Glitter is the best. ;P

doctressjulia (author)2013-04-28

Wow. I have stubby fingers and I don't usually wear any polish (I work in food and beverage capacities), but I totally want to try this. :D

Very cool; thanks for sharing it!

gingerely (author)2013-04-28

Oh please don't use glass beads. You don't want to be eating glass (yes, it would be by "accident", but isn't most ingestion of hazardous substances??).
Since they are a "one hit/occasion wonder" by nature, they really do look terrific!

pixelcurious (author)2013-04-28

They look amazing.

Wordwitch (author)2013-04-28

I've done this before (I got a kit as a gift) and only did one accent nail instead of all my nails. I also didn't use a top coat. Beads did start to come off the next day, but it lasted better than I thought it would! I did notice some bleeding (more like the colour washed off) every time I washed my hands. I only kept the beads on for a couple of days, but it was fun!

allenamistral (author)2013-04-25

These are fun! I'd be interested to know if it's the BRAND of the microbeads that is causing the bleeding. I'm a glitter lover (sorry) and have glitterfied my nails with the same brand of glitter and I got the same color bleed you did. These beads aren't meant for this application, but I'm sure they make microbeads with the color fuzed in to the polymer rather than on the surface.

wold630 (author)allenamistral2013-04-25

Good point glitter lover!!! There was only one option of microbead brands in my tiny town but I guess there are probably more options out there.

I do think using the clear microbeads would work (I don't know how well) but I was so sad after the color bleed of the pink beads I wasn't willing to rush out and get clear to try it again!

mslaynie (author)wold6302013-04-28

Many microbeads bleed in polish, but many don't. The biggest problem I've noticed is that this isn't a week-long manicure. It's more of a special occasion thing, as I hear.

allenamistral (author)wold6302013-04-25

I would be disappointed too. Maybe with the clear microbeads, you could try a color as the base coat. You won't get the same effect, but it'll be close!

bajablue (author)2013-04-26

Excellent idea!!!

lindarose92 (author)2013-04-25

I was watching a show where they did this just the other day and they recommended not to apply the top coat on the "bubbles" but on the tip of the nails only...this way they will last longer because that's what usually gets ruined first while grabbing stuff.
But I agree with you, I bought the kit for caviar nails a few months ago and I used it just looked great but I couldn't stand it anymore! :D

wold630 (author)lindarose922013-04-25

I had no idea there were actually kits for this! Maybe that works better?

I did actually coat the tips of my nails very well but the beads still started flaking off right away. I can say though (with the DIY method) that if I didn't apply anything to the rest of my nails they flaked off immediately. :(

Such a bummer. I really wanted it to be awesome!!

lindarose92 (author)wold6302013-04-25

Maybe it's because you did 2 or 3 nails at a should do just one at a time.
The instructions on my kit say that you have to apply a layer of nail polish on all your fingers and let it dry. Then start with one of your nails and apply a pretty thick layer of nail polish (same color you used before) and immediately sprinkle your microbeads on it and press them a little with your finger so that they stick better and continue this way for the others.

Mine didn't go away right away but yeah, they don't last long :(
I live in Italy and it's a big fashion here right now...I used the Pupa kit, I don't think it's available in the USA but I read there is a brand called Ciaté there that has the caviar kit too. Unfortunately, it's quite expensive (at least to me!) but maybe they work better and don't bleed :)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-04-24

Regardless, it looks awesome and it's PINK! Still looks fun for a 1 time thing to try :)

wold630 (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-04-25

Yes! If you do try it please use the clear microbeads to save yourself some heartache!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, I'm Jen! In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, cake decorator, and Etsy shop owner. I also can't stop ... More »
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