Date: April 13th, 2012

Fish Egg Friday: how to cast a poor light on your brand or.. if it smells fishy you’re doing it wrong

Fish Egg Friday Shiate caviar nails caviar manicure ciate fish egg manicure nail art beads

Once upon a time, at least 14 moons ago, the nail technician Pattie Yankee and the Dashing Diva nail team worked backstage at the Cushnie et Ochs fashion show. On the designer teams’ request they created a nail look based on the designers’ collection with using black seed beads which a created caviaresque nail look.

A new nail look was created and the media (for example ThePolishExchange, The Blay Report and many, many more) was intrigued in their commentary. It could have stayed a magical nail art fairytale if the brand Ciaté wouldn’t have decided to play the part of the bad witch in the now occurring sequel.

What happened?
The brand Ciaté announced the new “big thing” in nail art, THE upcoming manicure of the moment, about a month ago: Caviar Nails. They have set up a huge campaign including press releases announcing their next big creation and also apparently want to trademark Caviar Nails and/or Caviar Manicure.

Since the first press releases were published many bloggers recreated this fish egg look and showed how to DIY them. DIY them for a fraction of the price the sets of Ciaté will retail for. So far so good.

But then Ciaté decided to threaten bloggers with C&D letters and want them to remove the name “Caviar Nails” or “Caviar Manicure” from their posts apparently because they are in the process of trademarking both terms.

Now there are two aspects which honestly put me in rage. Firstly Ciaté haven’t invented Caviar Nails or the Caviar Manicure. Caviar nails/caviaresque nails or caviar inspired nails were – according to current knowledge – invented by Pattie Yankee and the Dashing Diva for the Cushnie et Ochs fashion show over fourteen months ago. Secondly micro beads/beads are used in nail art for decades. So how can a brand claim to be the creator/inventor/mastermind behind this caviaresque nail look? According to my common sense they shouldn’t be able to and I honestly hope the trademarking will fail.

The budget Ciaté is spending for their marketing campaign won’t be small. They must have invested quite some time in picking colors, the design of the labels, photo shoots, texting press releases etc. If I may add a snarky comment: They clearly had time to focus on the marketing because they didn’t had to spend time on actually inventing something because it was already there.

What astonishes me is that while spending so much time with the campaign how could they not just simply google the term caviar nails to find out that this already has been done months before the Ciaté Caviar Nails had even existed as a scribble at the Ciaté office? Or have they known that this idea isn’t new but simply didn’t care and filled out the trademarking forms anyway?

For a private person, a nail blogger it can always happen that you post a manicure including nail art and later see something similar already has been done without you knowing about it. As a private person you can’t know all nail art posts ever posted and it can always happen that two persons unintentionally have the same idea without knowing of each other. But as a brand you are obliged to do a proper research. If you plan your biggest product launch in years (I haven’t seen Ciaté doing so much marketing for a launch in years) you need to do a proper research first.

In “honor” of these recent events Fish Egg Friday was invented by the lovely Sammy of The Nailasaurus to show solidarity among bloggers, raise awareness of what is going on and also of course to show how to make your own fish egg nails.

Fish Egg Friday Shiate caviar nails caviar manicure ciate fish egg manicure nail art beads
Fish Egg Friday Shiate caviar nails caviar manicure ciate fish egg manicure nail art beads
Coats used
OPI – Krème de la Kremlin: three
Micro beads for the fish eggs (which are also called caviar) look
Misslyn (discontinued now)
Availability micro beads
You can basically buy micro beads at every craft store like Michaels in the US for example. Also nail art etailers on evilbay or bornprettystore for example sell them in every color of the rainbow. Just search for “micro beads” or “nail art beads”.
How to Fish Egg Nails
You need: nail polish of choice, micro beads, an empty jar to catch the excess micro beads, rosewood stick.

  • Do one nail at the time.
  • Apply your nail polish of choice.
  • While the nail polish is still wet put your nail over the empty jar and carefully pour a few of the micro beads over your nail.
  • Repeat till your nail is covered with micro beads.
  • Gently push the perhaps misplaced micro beads especially on the side of your nails or near your cuticles in the right place. With the big flat end of the rosewood stick you can also gently press the micro beads into the still wet nail polish all over your nail.
  • Repeat for each nail.
  • If you wish you can add a layer of top coat to seal this fish egg manicure but it will flatten the fish egg look.
Base coat and top coat
Base coat: OPI – Nail Envy Matte
Top Coat: –

Please check out the Fish Egg Friday posts from my lovely fellow bloggers too:
Sammy at The Nailasaurus
Ivana at Ivana Thinks Pink
Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie
Christina at Starlett Approved
Salla at OMG! Polish ‘Em
Esther at Fab Fingertips
Emily at The Lacquerologist
Tiffany at 2 The Last Drop
Cristina at Let Them Have Polish
A Laquered Affair
Anna at Pretty Digits
Susan at Subtle Shimmer
Melissa at Melissa White Nails
Jen at The Polishaholic
Goose at Gooses Glitter
Danielle at Rock n Polish
Katie and Allie at The Daily Varnish
Deez at Deez Nails
Phedre at Colour is Magic
Lacquer and Lattes
Danielle at Mid Western Girlie Girl
Zelinda at Unhas caseiras da Z
Stephanie at Aquaheart’s Obsessions
Julie at Esmaltes de Julie
Ria at Ria Loves Pawlish
Shooting Star 0218
Rhonni at Polish Ninja
Poliship at Oje Gemisi Kalkiyor
Jamie at Plisherrific
Jessica at Jessica’s Nail Tales

You can also check updates of #FishEggFriday on Twitter!

I can honestly say that I am disappointed in Ciaté. Not only that they claim to have invented something that they apparently haven’t, even want to put a trademark on someone else’s work but then they also threaten bloggers which show a much cheaper alternative in contrast to the in my opinion much overpriced Ciaté sets?

Ciaté has lost me as a customer. I used to like them for their cute bottles but now I have no intention to purchase a product from them anymore. Bye bye Ciaté.

After Jane’s (BritishBeautyBlogger) comment I want to add something which is important to me too.
I love to support smaller brands and seeing this happening now to a smaller brand makes me especially sad. Smaller brands are important for the market because they might dare to create different colors, looks or art then a huge brand perhaps would. They are important for the diversity and variety of any market.

The Ciaté Caviar Nails could just have peacefully coexisted with the DIY tutorials just like with any other popular product launch which can be recreated with the help of DIY posts. They could have peacefully coexisted like popular nail polishes by high end brand and their cheaper dupes.

But also especially for a smaller brand like Ciaté it is even more important to do a proper and thorough research before you launch your biggest product in years. It depends much more in this launch as it would for a bigger brand. In proportion to the size of the company a smaller brand has to spend much more money on the actual launch than a big brand would and the risks of a fail harming the company are much more severe. Also an action like sending the C&D letters to bloggers should have been thought through before hitting the send button. Is this worth it? To protect a trademark which Ciaté technically shouldn’t even have the right to own?

Like Jane said in her comment this is all happening because probably one over-ambitious person sent the C&D emails out without thinking it through and in the end it could harm an actually lovely brand and yes this indeed would be a sad event.

What I also need to get off my chest about DIY tutorials or dupes:
DIY tutorials are always important in my opinion because not everyone can afford the expensive version of a product and I think cheaper alternatives serve a great cause in the nail polish or beauty world in general. Cheaper dupes or DIY tutorials give many nail polish or nail art enthuiasts the possibility to recreate a high end look – but within their budget. It makes fellow nail polish or nail art enthusiasts feel good instead of left out.
A cheaper alternative won’t stop high end lovers from buying the high end version of the product. I still get giddy when I see new Chanel nail polish launches even with knowing there will be a dupe somewhere somehow. I still buy the Chanel – and the dupe later just because I like to do so.

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99 thoughts on “Fish Egg Friday: how to cast a poor light on your brand or.. if it smells fishy you’re doing it wrong

  1. wow, thank you for the post. i’m amazed at this brand’s actions. i wasn’t going to buy their caviar sets because of the price tag. i don’t mind spending good money on nail polish, but simple micro beads should not cost that much. i was, however going to try a couple of their regular polishes. i won’t be doing so anymore. their actions are bizarre. i didn’t know about the fashion show manicure (which should absolutely get all credit for this look), but never believed the term “caviar” manicure to be trademarkable. i’m afraid that they might be able to get the trade mark, but hope they don’t. sending C&D notices to bloggers is just rude. didn’t they understand that having the bloggers DIY this look was giving them great press? it’s the reason i was going to try the brand in the first place. and the DIY will exist no matter what you call it because the idea is not that original. i do believe that dupes are different from DIY though. having a creative idea at home with materials readily available to you is not the same as knocking off a color, though i do sometimes purchase dupes, i do try to avoid doing so.

    • I think especially for nail polish enthusiasts on a budget dupes are important so personally I don’t mind them at all candleashes. :)
      I am curious if Ciaté will react to the mess they have caused.

  2. Love the corresponding shades of the polish and micro beads! Thanks for the added info about Ciate and the background of “caviar nails” too, very informative for those who are unaware of what Ciate’s doing. I’m so sad I didn’t get micro beads in time to do this yesterday!

  3. I really am liking the caviar nail trend. And speaking of this C&D threat – I think OPI was the first company to market the “shatter” name, but it’s become commonplace for bloggers to refer to textured polish as a ‘shatter’ mani. I don’t see OPI threatening all those people? I think a boycott of Ciate may be in order.
    Melissa recently posted..Happy Birthday Sweetpeas!My Profile

  4. This is what I do not like about Ciates ways of dealing with this; they are IN THE PROCESS of trademarking the name “Cavier Nail/Manicure”. It’s hadn’t even been trademarked yet! And honesty, considering that the process or name wasn’t invented by them, they may not get approval. Which makes their precious C&D letter moo., amongst inappropriately rude. And in the process they have killed of hundreds, if not thousands, of nail blogging customers. And since they are a small brand, they probably turned away the only people who knew about them, I know that my un-nail-obsessed friends had no idea who Ciate are.
    Aly recently posted..Illamasqua Inspiration and Stash.My Profile

  5. I didn’t say it in my post yesterday – but you blogging ladies are an important part of the industry! You’re a source of new, fresh blood for our industry and also an unofficial focus group! Blogging and tutorials (written and video) is also how we professionals keeps each other up to date. This industry is all about accessibility for everyone! You non-professional bloggers are a huge part of that!! I would even go so far as to say, you played a huge role in moving trends like nail art into the mainstream because it’s now so accessible!

    I hearts ya’ll much <3

  6. Patricia on said:

    I must say that I find caviar manicure awful! In my opinion it’s hideous and that makes all this kinda of funny…. but I must say too that Ciaté attitude is even worst that caviar on your nails, it’s quite impressive how they thought that they could get away….I dunno, but it seems that someone stole the idea and presented to the others co-workers like an innovative one and the others simply bought that ( this is just a theory), now look at this mess…
    I Love, Love though this OPI Krème de la Kremlin!

  7. I had been noticing caviar nails popping up a lot lately but had no idea so much drama was going on in the background! Definitely bad form on Ciate’s part to send out C&Ds as if they had invented the term AND the idea! I’m not a fan if the caviar look anyway but I definitely won’t be a fan of Ciate now.
    Angela recently posted..wishlist wednesday: la mer bali wrap watchMy Profile

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