There are many things I found out about myself during the pandemic, one of which was how easily swayed I am by a bit of Facebook advertising. The Sistaco Mineral Bond powders kept showing up on my feed, and as someone who loves a bit of at-home manicure fun, I got in touch with the brand to see if there were any opportunities. I was kindly gifted a discount code to use to purchase one of their sets, which I did, the I tried the set, purchased six more colours, then a few weeks later I purchased twelve more, and I’m currently trying very hard to avoid buying any of then new colours, even though they look so gorgeous.
Sistaco is like a cult, but I mean that in the nicest possible way. It seems that once you start using them, you become obsessed, and then you find yourself allocating an inexplicably high amount of thought on what colours you’re going to buy next, what looks you might try and how creative you can get. The thing about the Sistaco range is that it does give you a lot of room for creativity, but before I go into too much detail on that, I want to write a little intro to the products in general.
Sistaco Mineral Bond is basically a nail polish in powder form, but not those horrible acrylic powders that leave a hard, fat layer of plastic on your nail that’s virtually impossible to remove without damaging the nail underneath, Sistaco Mineral Bond is literally a coloured mineral powder that you buff or brush on the nail surface and set with gel base and top coats. There are three types of finishes: Classic, Metallic and Holographic, and you can apply the metallic and holographic products in two ways to give you either a shiny or a glittery finish. The process is very similar to the application of your typical gel kit, you apply the base coat, cure it, apply the powder, apply the top coat, cure it and you’re good to go. There are variants on this technique (for example, for holographic and metallic you would apply the base coat, then the top coat, then cure, then apply the powder before following the top coat) but it’s all pretty simple and explained well within the instructions.
I absolutely love Sistaco and I have joined the Sisterhood of Sistaco with both arms wide open. I love the Facebook group which is just packed full of lovely, supportive women who will make you feel like you’ve done the best application ever when you post your nail pics and it’s just a light, fun and joyful place to be. Having said that, nothing is perfect and there are two things that I don’t really like:
Firstly, the curing lamp you get with the set is sooo poorly constructed that I quickly gave up on it and started using one of my others instead. I did try it a couple of times, but I kept breaking it as it’s very flimsy and the stands tend to come off quite easily. Secondly, I really hate the removal process. On the FB group it’s a mixed reaction as some people feel the same way as me, whereas others say they don’t know what the problem is. Basically, the remover is like a thick acid that you apply to the nail and it all starts breaking down. I almost always get some on my hands and end up with (very minor) burns, plus I usually have to do several layers to get anywhere and it just feels really fiddly and time-consuming.
Having said that, neither of those are deal-breakers, clearly, as I’m currently sporting a new ombre nail, and in a couple of weeks, I’ll be no doubt sporting another colour as I love this set so much! The bad is out of the way, now let me bang on about the good:
Firstly, this is a perfect product for those who aren’t great at application. If you’re really rubbish, Sistaco do a product called Precision Edge that you apply around the nails that you peel off afterwards to catch any product, but as long as you’re basically able to apply a fairly tidy base coat, the powder will only stick to this and won’t stick to the skin around the nail, so I’ve found that I can get away without using the Precision Edge and just give the edges a quick wash with a nail brush afterwards that does the trick. Sometimes, (like in the pics here) I get a little bit of cured product around the edge but it’s so easy to take off.
I absolutely love the fact that you can create your own looks with the Sistaco powders. There is a huge range of colours available and you can mix all the different colours to make your own bespoke shade, but what I really enjoy doing is creating that gradient finish which I’ve now done twice and it works so well. Because you’re using powder, it’s so much easier to buff and blend the two shades together to get a really nicely diffused finish.
I love, love, love the holographic colours as they are so striking and really do look like something you’d have done in a salon. The purple in my carousel above is the holographic Violet Sky and it is just so fun! The key to holographic is to use the sponge to work it into the nail in small circles. Violet Sky was the first ever Sistaco shade I used, and as you can see, it looks really neat and tidy.
There are two types of applicators available for applying the powders. The newest arrival is the Mineral Bond which you can use to easily work metallic and holographic colours into the nail and then there’s the double-ended eyeshadow brush which I actually prefer to use (the brush end) when doing the gradient nail as I find it easier to merge the two shades.
The other thing that I really like about Sistaco is that the products, for all intents and purposes, are pretty good for the nails, which I’ve really noticed as my nails are a lot less prone to splitting since I started using the range. Also, the whole range is vegan and cruelty-free.
Finally, the longevity of these colours is really good. Speaking as someone who washes up without gloves on, types all day, taps fingers when thinking and just generally isn’t great when it comes to maintaining polish, these last really well on me. For my last two manicures I’ve done a double on each (base, cure, powder and topcoat, cure, then repeat) as I find this gives a really strong opaqueness to the colour, plus then they really do stay put – I go around two weeks before I just have to change them (because I have so many pretty colours!) but I could definitely go longer as the only sign they’re due a change is the growth by the cuticles.
So there we have it! My extremely long introduction to Sistaco that means I can now start sharing my nail pics on Instagram. I tried the Sistaco Deluxe Set which is £75 and includes 3 colours. There’s one with 6 colours and one with a single colour too. Single colours are £14 each. The company is based in Australia but shipping is surprisingly speedy and I haven’t had to wait more than 3 weeks for a delivery.
Use code SASCHA15 for £15 off sets.
Disclosure: original kit purchased with a press discount, follow-up orders paid for by me