Is Sistaco Nail Set The Solution For People With Dexterity Issues? – I ordered my Sistaco Mineral Bond Nail Set so I can test it out to see if it can help people like me (who suffers from dexterity issues) to apply colour to my nails. – I am in no way affiliated with this company but they knew I wished to purchase one of their nail sets so I could review it, they offered me a discount. Thank you Sistaco for your generosity.
Due to my disability, my hands don’t work very well. My arms and grip are very weak, my dexterity is awful meaning painting my own nails is almost an impossibility. So to make life much easier, quicker and cleaner, I end up going to nail bars to have my nails done. Which obviously can be very expensive if done regularly!
What Is A Sistaco Nail Set?
Sistaco Mineral Bond Nail Set is an alternative to nail varnish. Sistaco nails offer nail powders that come in either Classic, Holographic or Metallic finish that you simply rub onto your nails. There are many colours available and three nail kits to choose from:
- The Foundation Set (Choose 1 Colour from their range)
Priced at £45*
- The Deluxe Set (Choose 3 Colours from their range) + FREE REMOVER
Priced at £75*
- The Ultimate Set (Choose 6 Colours from their range) + FREE REMOVER
Priced at £99*
*Prices correct at time of this review.
My Nail Kit Has Arrived
Sistaco Nail Set – I purchased the £99 nail kit as I was given a discount. On their website, all prices are in GPB and contact numbers seem to be in the UK, so you are lead to believe they are based in the UK. Not the case, the products actually come from Australia! This is not something that is made clear on their website, I’m unsure as to why but something to be aware of when placing an order.
The packaging is ok, nice, but not as luxurious as I would expect when paying £99 for a nail kit. The packaging consists of one cardboard box with magnetic flap closure. It has a foam filling with cutouts for the different items. (image left). With the £99 kit (as you get 6 colours) you get a separate plastic see-through box with the remaining 3 nail colours.
All of this was despatched to me in a grey plastic postal bag. This shocked me as your products can be easily damaged while in transit! This is especially worrying as the LED light does not sit flush into the cutout at the bottom of the box, meaning the box doesn’t close flush and the magnetic closure could come open easily.
The USB lead for the LED light and a bottle of express remover varnish both sit underneath the LED lamp. This suggests the cutout is being used for more than was originally planned. Not a major issue but I just expected more for the price. (Bubble wrap or other protection would help inside the postal bag).
Feeling the bottles and lids, they have a cheap plastic feel to them, again not what you would expect for your 100 bucks! They do look nice but feel cheap. I can’t help but feel there should have been a little more considering the price. Personally, I would have liked to have seen maybe a ribbon around the box, a little thank you note/card for your purchase or even a discount on my next order (especially in the top of the range kit).
I believe, if you pay a lot of money for something, you expect that something to reflect that. If you’re asked to pay boutique prices, you expect boutique-style products & packaging. The packaging for this product does not meet those expectations!
When you open the bottle, the powders look very lush indeed. Rich colours, a full bottle of powder. (Although on a future purchase, one bottle was only half full?).
How To Apply
Before attempting to use my kit, I looked on their website and viewed a few YouTube videos to find out just how easy these are to apply. From what I have seen It seems relatively easy. There are different methods of applying the powders depending on which finish you are using. Full Instructions: https://sistaco.co.uk/pages/how-to-apply
How To Remove
- Lightly buff the surface of your colour.
- Apply the Express Remover to your nail (make sure not to get any on your skin).
- Wait 2-3 minutes and begin gently pushing away your colour with a remover tool.
- Wipe away any residue, and your nails will be fresh and clean, ready for your next colour!
Source: Sistaco website
I have read some reviews that claim the remover doesn’t do a good job. I will be putting that to the test also.
The video below is the one used on Sistaco’s website. It does seem a little too good to be true. I do hope to be proven wrong on this!
My First Use
My “setup” consists of:
Two sheets of kitchen roll (folded) to catch any fall-out
Basecoat nail varnish
Topcoat nail varnish, (both topcoat/base coat sitting in a tub of hot water)
Plastic tub for sitting my varnishes in hot water
Nail Powder of choice
Nail powder applicator
LED lamp (USB operated)
Orange sticks to clean excess base coat/top coat from around my nails
Small headed make-up brush to brush away excess powder from around my nails
Wooden block so I can rest each finger on at a higher height while applying varnish/powders
The fact the LED lamp is USB operated is a drawback as you then need to be close to a USB socket while doing your nails. I have not seen an AC/DC power lead advertised on their website, so I would assume USB is the only way to connect the lamp.
Hot water for varnishes? Yes, I’ve read from other users that putting your base coat and topcoat varnish in hot water makes them less glupey and much easier to apply.
Preparing your nails is probably the most important part of the process as I found out the hard way. I dived straight in and found the powders are attracted to any kind of lump, bump or blemishes on your nails. I would recommend buffing/smoothing your nails and more importantly making sure your cuticles are clean & smooth around your nails as this will cause the powder to collect in this area making for a rough & unfinished look. (Image right).
I visited the Sistaco Facebook page looking for tips as I found the base coat and topcoat to be very thick & glupey. This makes it difficult to keep the sides of your fingers clean. So once cured under the lamp, you can have excess hardened powder coming off the sides of your nails. Again, making for an unfinished look.
Sistaco users suggest warming up the base coat and topcoat before using. I read this helps thin the liquid so it is easier to apply a thinner coat onto your nails. Something I have to agree with 100%, this does in fact make applying much easier indeed.
When you open the jars, the powders look very lush indeed. Rich colours, a full bottle of powder. (Although on a future purchase, one bottle was only half full?). Applying the powder to your nail is easy but be careful not to rub or press too hard as this can then make the powder ball up and create blemishes.
I haven’t yet found how to clean my applicators, I’m in the process of researching this.
As I said previously I didn’t really prepare my nails before applying, so I went ahead and immediately put on the base coat nail varnish, followed immediately by the topcoat (as you’re told to do this for longer wear). I then cured my nails under the LED lamp for 60 seconds. Once I had done this I took my applicator with the sponge tip, dipped it into the powder of my choice and put on a minimal amount of powder on the applicator and proceeded to rub it onto my nail.
The powder went on smoothly, although at this point I wasn’t expecting much to happen but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Next was a coat of topcoat, then cured under the lamp. I applied a second coat of nail powder and this time I did 2 coats of topcoat nail varnish, curing my nails between both coats.
- Base coat
- Top coat
- Cure nails under lamp
- Nail powder
- Top coat
- Cure nails
- Coat of nail powder
- Top coat
- Cure nails
- Top coat
- Cure nails twice under lamp
I was not initially over-impressed with the results (yes, I know I keep banging on about it) but because I didn’t prepare my nails the powder is quite unforgiving where any sort of blemishes might be on your nail. Therefore, the cleanup process around my nails took some time using a wooden cuticle (orange stick) to try and scrape away the excess powder/varnish.
I’m still in the very early stages of using this kit and I have read that a lot of people initially, find it is a bit of a trial and error method in finding what works best for you. There are a couple of different ways to clean the edges so really it’s a personal choice and finding what works best for you you. (Since writing this, Sistaco now sell a bottle of Precision Edge). I haven’t personally used this as I am more than happy with how I do my nails.
I’m hoping my 2nd attempt will be much better!
Due to not preparing my nails, I ended up with the only way I can describe it is an overhang on my nail. (Excess undercoat and powder that had hardened past the point of the edge of my nail). I happen to catch this and it peeled off my nail. In one respect I was pleased because it gave me the perfect excuse to take everything off and try again but on the same token, I was disappointed as I had made such a hash of my first attempt.
So, the first thing I had to do was use the express remover to take off the existing nail powder already on my nails. As I mentioned before a lot of people said this didn’t seem to work very well. I can understand what they mean, especially if you’re an impatient person like me. The word here would be patience, patience, patience! OK, that was 3 words!
The express remover does work, it just takes time. You do have to put a coat on, leave your nails for approximately 3 to 5 minutes and then start to gently scrape off the varnish/powder from your nail.
Depending on how many coats of varnish/powder you have put on your nails, this will obviously determine how easy or long it will take to remove! I noticed some of my nails were much easier and quicker to remove compared to other nails that took more work.
Preparation For 2nd Attempt
At this point, I had both the base coat and topcoat sitting in a tub of hot water as I was now testing the thinning theory to see if it did actually make the varnish easier to apply. Yes, it worked a treat and it most certainly helped the varnish go on much more thinly and smoothly.
I cleaned my nails with a normal wet wipe, I then used a nail buffer block to file, shape, smooth, and buff my nails. Again I cleaned my nails to remove any excess nail shavings from buffing and then put on my first coat of base coat.
My setup was pretty much the same as my first attempt but the only difference was a tub of hot water for my base & topcoat varnish to sit in. I applied the base coat with no topcoat this time, as per the instructions for the classic powder finish you just put on a base coat followed by the powder. Curing your nail/s before applying the powder.
I took my time this time, (holding my excitement back) and did each nail individually, purely due to my dexterity and the way my hands are shaped. I can’t keep my fingers separated enough to prevent one finger from hitting another fingernail and causing smudges in the varnish/powder.
Not only that I wanted to spend more time cleaning around my fingernails preferably without having to use vaseline around the edges as suggested by other users or messing around with liquid latex. I simply resorted back to my wooden cuticle stick and every time I put a coat of base coat or topcoat on my nail, before curing I would take the cuticle stick, use the flat-ended side to gently remove excess varnish down each side of my finger. As the varnish was still wet, this worked beautifully!!
When applying the powder, very little pressure is needed to make the powder stick to your nail. This is great for people like myself that don’t have a good grip. Also, there really is minimal fallout, just make sure to tap excess powder off the applicator over the powder bottle.
Again, due to my dexterity, I am unable to lay my hands/fingers flat under the lamp. The fact it is small enough to hold over my nails, I can cure my nails without having to lay them flat on the table. (Something I struggle with at nail bars).
My Process This Time:
- Base coat
- Use cuticle stick to remove excess varnish
- Cure nail
- Use cuticle stick/make-up brush to remove excess powder away from my nail
- Top coat
- Use cuticle stick to remove excess varnish
- Cure nail
- Second coat of powder
- Use cuticle stick to remove excess powder away from my nail
- Top coat
- Use cuticle stick to remove excess varnish
- Cure nail twice
- Wiped nails/fingers clean of any excess with a wet wipe
Warning – When using the topcoat remember to clean the brush BEFORE putting it back into the bottle. The powder can/will transfer onto the brush, so when you put the brush back into the bottle the colour transfers into the remaining liquid in the bottle. I found this out the hard way. (Sometimes you can get away with it on the lighter colours).
According to Sistaco, here are the instructions for application according to powder finish:
For Classic colours, you’ll have to do, Base coat > set > Colour Powder > Base coat > set > Colour powder > Top coat > set.
For Holo/Metallic, it is Base coat > Top Coat > set > colour powder > Base coat > Top Coat > set colour powder > Top Coat > set.
I’m extremely impressed with the result I got this time and can’t believe how easy it is to apply. I don’t know if it made a difference but once I had completed doing each nail, I put on an extra coat of topcoat varnish. I hoped this would give a little extra shine and I cured them all twice.
One thing I will say and (at this point not 100% sure). I think the sponge applicator can cause little blemishes (almost like specks of sponge) over the nail when applying/rubbing on the powder. This then becomes quite obvious if missed and the topcoat has been applied and cured. Either that or the powder is balling up while rubbing the powder on. Something I can not test immediately and will only tell after a few applications. I intend to purchase some eyeshadow brushes (the sponge type) to test out. (So I have applied the powders a couple of times now and found I was rubbing the powder too hard and too long).
Due to my disability/dexterity, I have to do one nail at a time. The powder is so easy to do, you don’t mind. I did one nail at a time so I can spend time making sure each nail/finger is cleaned properly so no extra powder is around my nail.
I have used this nail system several times now. I love how easy it is to use and with over 100 colours to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice. Be careful though, it does become addictive. After putting on my first colour, I couldn’t wait to try the other colours lol. I now have over 20 colours.
As for using this system with my disability, this is extremely easy for me to use. One of the first companies to make doing my own nails work for me. The only issue I have is trying to remove the powder/varnish from my right hand. My grip is so weak in my left, I can not use a tool of any kind to help scrape off the powder after applying the express remover.
On my last few fingers, hubby does it for me. I have tried putting on a small amount, large amounts of the remover, tried removing after a minute, 5 minutes but it just won’t budge as easy as I had hoped for.
Unfortunately, (for us customers) I do believe the majority of their products/powders etc are very overpriced, outside of their powders & varnish, very good alternatives that are identical can be found elsewhere online for far cheaper and I don’t have to wait over 2 weeks for them to arrive. Worth bearing this in mind when choosing what to purchase.
I now have over 20 colours and I’ve just ordered more topcoat, basecoat, remover and applicators. So, that means I have spent well over £400 already. (This does not include the money spent on powders for my Christmas pressie or all the varnishes & applicators bought since starting this review).
- Easy to use
- Many colour choices – Over 100 available
- Colours look better in real life
- Last longer than traditional nail varnish – Varnish easy to chip
- Looks just as good as a salon finish – High gloss finish
- 3D embellishments now available – Not available when I started this review
- 5 /10 pack applicators now available – Not available when I started this review
- Precision edge now available – Not available when I started this review
- Products come from Australia – Delivery is normally 2 weeks +
- Overpriced – Their showcase stand for one, is overpriced for home use
- Addictive – Can become very expensive
- One applicator with £99 kit – At least three should be supplied
- 3 -in -1 applicator for removing powder must be bought seperately – You are not getting a FULL kit, even the top of the range kit at £99 doesn’t include one
- Express remover does not work as well as advertised on their website
- Check online for equivalent items before commiting to Sistaco as cheaper and similar products can be found
- One coat of powder may not be enough – Mulberry – classic finish came up a little pale. It didn’t give much coverage at the tips of my nails, making them almost see-through
- When applying base coat and topcoat, keep them in a pot of hot water – This makes them go on easier and smoother
- Keep your top coat varnish brush clean – Colour can remain on the brush and tanser into the remaining varnish
- Wooden cuticle (orange) sticks are great for removing excess varnish around nails
- A small headed make-up brush (not too fluffy) is good at removing excess powder from around your nails before applying topcoat
- If you purchase “Raven” powder, a black colour, be very careful as I have found this to be the messiest of powders so far when applying and it is a bugger to get off
Will I Continue To Use Sistaco
Try and stop me ha ha ha Yes, I will need to spend money on their powders and Varnishes but everything else, I will look for a happy alternative before purchasing on Sistaco’s website.
Sistaco Main Site – https://sistaco.co.uk/
Sistaco Nail Powders – https://sistaco.co.uk/collections/nail-powders
Essentials/Refills – https://sistaco.co.uk/collections/refills
How To Apply – https://sistaco.co.uk/pages/how-to-apply
Classic Nail Tutorial – https://sistaco.co.uk/blogs/nail-art-designs-with-sistaco/classic-nails
Holographic Nail Tutorial – https://sistaco.co.uk/blogs/nail-art-designs-with-sistaco/holographic-nails
French Tip Tutorial – https://sistaco.co.uk/blogs/nail-art-designs-with-sistaco/french-tips
3D Embellishments – https://sistaco.co.uk/collections/sistaco-embellishments