Hint: Hit the "$$$" tag to find out how much various items cost and where to buy them.

Updates & Notices

Some prices and info on products are are out of date so please check the dates at the top of those entries. I typically date an entry when I last updated the info within.
Glitter Suppliers, Pigment Suppliers, Franken Polish Supply Stores and Suspension Base Suppliers are completely updated as of 6/26/16. Matte Glitter Suppliers is updated 6/27/16, SpectraFlair or Something Like It updated 6/29/16

Friends & Followers

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Normal Life Soon Resumes

As the title implies, life will soon go back to normal. January 3rd my sons return to school from winter break and I am more than happy about that. Every weekend, holiday, vacation, break and snow day I'm relegated to going to my father's where my time is no longer my own.

During this most recent time I've made a few polishes though most were not remarkable outside of the TKB Planetary pigments. I also completed swatching all the new pigments on my index cards and paper and managed to get a few collections photographed though not yet posted. While doing so I figured out all those new pigments yielded far too many dupes of what I already own much to my great disappointed- with even fewer "pleasant surprises". The only advantage to this is that I can now update that Dupe List more effectively and have far more comparisons to photograph.

Monday, in between catching up on the housework I've missed the past two weeks, I hope to finish swatching, photographing and have things posted so check back then. -MK

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pigments Just Purchased

This is a list of my pigments just purchased from The Conservatorie, TKB Trading and Coastal Scents with pictures to be added soon. And yes, I realize I still haven't swatched all of my old collection. That's a daunting task.

The Conservatorie:
1.       SuperNova Blue
2.       SuperNova Red
3.       SuperNova Green
4.       Frosty Gold Luster
5.       Frosty Glitter Green
6.       Frosty Glitter Blue
7.       Starlight Ruby
8.       Merlot Gold
9.       Starlight Green
10.     Red Clay Satin
11.     Pink (Green) Interference
12.     Watermelon
13.     Lovely/Magic Pink
14.     Ruby Red
15.     Peach Sunset (Fenda Orange)
16.     Golden Green Mica
17.     Magic Violet Mica
18.     Pansy
19.     Indigo
20.     Sparkling Violet
21.     Bubblegum Pink
22.     Opal Violet Pearl
23.     Opal Copper/Copper Pearl
24.     Primrose
25.     Hot Pink
26.     Midori Blue
27.     Violet
28.     Shimmer Green
29.     Shamrock Green
30.     Luster Blue

TKB Trading:
1.       Gold Reflecks
2.       Burning Leaves
3.       Pinky Pink
4.       Bronze Reflecks
5.       Turquoise Tweak
6.       Copper Reflecks
7.       Her Majesty
8.       Travel to Mercury
9.       Travel to Mars
10.     Travel to Earth
11.     Travel to Venus
12.     Travel to Neptune
13.     Travel to Jupiter
14.     Travel to Pluto

Coastal Scents:
1.       Duocrome BG
2.       Mauve Quartz
3.       Orchid Shimmer
4.       Paradise Sea Green
5.       Sparkle Blue
6.       Sterling Silver Glitter .008
7.       Fairy Dust Glitter .008

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Greetings

All of my packages have arrived and I've got a bunch of new pigments from TKB Trading, Coastal Scents and The Conservatorie to swatch and show you but it's too damn cold and snowy outside (where I have to go) to take pictures.  In the meantime enjoy the coming holidays and stay warm. Merry Christmas! -MK

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No Truth in Advertising

This is totally unrelated to polish or pigments.

I just saw a commercial for some "fabulous, miracle stretch mark cream, free to the first 100 callers! Will remove stubborn stretch marks from any part of the body." and the angle they used to sell it was a cute little blond with a flat stomach talking to her friend (at the gym of all places), implying that the cream works so well that it even got rid of her pregnancy-stretch marks.

My complaint is this: If it supposedly works on any part of the body, why use the stomach of a woman in her early 20's who clearly has never had a baby in her life to demonstrate that point? I've had two kids, I was huge with the first one and I know what my stomach looks like and consider myself fortunate that my stretch marks aren't purplish like my mothers were.

Why must advertising lie to us to sell us something and treat us like 5 year olds too stupid to know better? If a company makes a quality product, they don't have to lie to sell it, quality speaks for itself.

Take the pharmaceutical industry for example. As if all Americans have health insurance, they advertise the latest and greatest in drugs to cure whatever ails you where everyone in the commercial is smiling and happy and looks like they just won the lottery. And tagged on at the end of the commercial, what would be considered "fine print" in a document, they list the myriad of side effects you can experience from taking the drug, most of them far worse than whatever it's supposed to fix. Then later we're beseiged by all the ambulance-chasing lawyer commercials wanting to start a class-action lawsuit over the miracle drug that turns out to be fatal. Tort lawsuits are big business, you know.

Mike Tyson has been quoted as saying (paraphrasing), "As hard as you're working to make money, someone out there is working just as hard to take your money." I agree.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Swatches: TKB's Reflecks Pigments

Links checked 12/12/13

In the first of my 2010 Christmas packages were the Reflecks Natural Glitter Sampler and the Planetary Sampler from TKB Trading. I haven't done much with these yet but I wanted to post some "preliminary" pictures of the Reflecks Sampler just to show how fantastic they are in person. They are on the pricier side so it was over a year before I got these but now that I have, I am more than satisfied.


The pictures in bags I took the day they arrived, indoors in sunlight. The finger swatches were taken today when it was daylight but overcast. Click pictures to enlarge.

Warm Colors


Below are from left to right: Burning Leaves, Copper Reflecks, Bronze Reflecks, & Gold Reflecks 


Cool Colors

 Below are (from left to right): Turquoise Tweak, Her Majesty and Pinky Pink.

This picture is of the Reflecks Collection used individually in a simple mix of Glam base and pigment. The nails were top coated before the picture was taken. From left to right: Copper, Bronze, Burning Leaves, Gold, Turquoise Tweak, Pinky Pink and Her Majesty.

The Reflecks are $2.95 per sample, or a set of the 7 for $9.00. If want an ounce, they are $12.00 each or $78.00 for the set.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Glitter Find

Links checked 12/12/13

Updated 11/18/11 It's a late realization but I'm fairly certain all of these bleed and/or turn into flecks. That includes the glitters from Sally Beauty and most of the Hobby Lobby vials.

I went out a few weeks ago to a couple stores with my sister, Sally Beauty, Garden Ridge and Hobby Lobby and while she isn't so artsy (she in fact inherited the brains in the family) we can both happily get lost in the craft stores for hours. 

We went to Sally Beauty because she was chasing after a holiday China Glaze and I found these down low by the counter.

At only $0.99 of course I bought them. I don't know how much they contain package wise but it's plenty to last quite a long time. Now according to the item #s on the bottom, the first is Lavish Lavender, and the second and third are Blue Lagoon- though you can clearly see they aren't identical. I labeled them simply C, A and B in order they appear here. The names are not listed on the package, I found that on Sally Beauty.

Photographed "dry", actually captured on double sided tape. You can see that Blue Lagoon is larger in size than Lavish Lavender. There will be further picture comparisons below.

It's a late realization but I'm fairly certain all of these bleed and turn into flecks.

In the Hobby Lobby while my sister wandered through Christmas trees and décor, I headed over to glitter and the like. I already have a lot of glitter, both craft and the cosmetic kind from TKB Trading and Coastal Scents  as well as UV neon glitter from Glimmer Body Art but there's no such thing as too much.

What I purchased was this: Mini Glitter Tube Set
The description says "Add some sparkle to your projects with this garment quality, color safe, non-toxic and acid free polyester glitter. The package contains 24 jars measuring about 1/2" in diameter x 2" tall. Caps have a 1/8" diameter hole for easy dispensing." $7.99 for the set of 24.

The picture below is to give you an idea of the size we're talking about. The first is Coastal Scents Sahara Sand (TKB's are the same size), in the middle is a random color from the package of 24 and the last is Lime glitter that I recently purchased from Glimmer Body Art. Neither the Hobby Lobby glitter or Glimmer Body Art packaging mention the size.


Coastal Scents states that their glitter is, ".004 particle size" while TKB Trading phrases it as ".004 hex size" (hex refers to the shape) but it all means the same thing. .004" is 101.6 microns or 0.1016mm, normally labeled as "Micro-fine" The Conservatorie lists theirs as being either .004" or .008" (depending on the glitter) which is 200 microns or 0.2mm, labeled as "Ultra-fine".

Another reason I am pleased with these new glitters are the containers themselves. The word "jars" in the item description is stretching it since they are more like vials, approximately 45mm long w/out cap and 12mm wide. (1 inch is 25.4mm).

As advertised they also have "a 1/8" diameter hole for easy dispensing."
The glitter came out and poured into my polish bottle easily with the help of a small paper funnel (without it I made a mess) which the glitter did not stick to. It's made out of polyester which is the same material as those sold by the aforementioned stores.

The size of the vial makes it easy to take along with you, unlike the 4oz. jars the rest of my glitters and pigments are stored in, which made me wonder if they would be good for pigment too? They are small but hold enough for many bottles of polish. Those 4oz containers aren't exactly portable when there are so many. I haven't yet found any empty vials to buy but I'll continue to look.

So you can see how all the glitters compare in size…
I'd seen these when I was actually at Hobby Lobby but put them back… I knew when I did I'd be sorry and was, so I went and ordered them online. Disco GHT, Disco ZHT, Disco VHT
picture from website


swatches of actual glitter

The description (and price) is the same for all three:
Poly Flake is the glitter that makes you a pro. It's made with water and solvent-resistant coatings making it mixable with most paints and adhesives (always test a small amount before starting your project). It's perfect for fabrics, ceramics, fingernails, floral, cards, school projects, crafts and stamping. Non-toxic, non-tarnish and washable. Package contains 21 grams of glitter (about 3/4 ounce). $3.47

Update: This pertains to the glitters above. I tried them today in regular clear polish (as opposed to TKB's Franken Base) with very disappointing results; rather than a brilliant Sally Hansen Disco Ball effect, the glitter turned into white flecks, without iridescence, no sparkle. The same was true for both clear polish and colored polish and all three glitters did it. Since using them in polish didn't work, I tried painting my nail with one coat of clear polish and sprinkled the glitter on and this did provide brilliant results. Thus far I only did my thumbnail to test so I'll have to complete the job to post pics. The Fairy Dust glitter from Coastal Scents, both hex sizes, will also become white flecks when used directly in a bottle of polish.

I've used all my glitters in polish to varying degrees of success and am of the opinion that when you use "too much" of Coastal Scents or TKB Trading's glitters they appear gritty, rather like grains of salt whereas the Hobby Lobby glitter seems to lay down a little smoother because it is larger. But that may have more to do with my formulation than the glitters.

Below are the glitters swatched in polish along with a few store bought glitter polishes for comparison. As a reminder, Sally A & B are "Blue Lagoon". Vial F & A are from the Hobby Lobby 24pk. The final polish swatch is one of my own that I named Carousel and it contains a little of all the vials as well as Sally A, B & C.

Related Entries:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Franken: #235 Capricorn Blue

Links checked 12/12/13

As with all pictures, click to enlarge if desired.

TKB Trading's astrological themed pigments are among my favorites, particularly Capricorn Sea so I've chosen #235 Capricorn Blue for this franken polish post.

Capricorn Blue is composed of two TKB Trading pigments, Capricorn Sea and Indian Blue as well as clear polish and a small amount of Sinful Colors Love Nails. I use Sinful Colors brand often because they are available for $2.00 in my local Walgreens and they seem thicker compared to other drugstore brands which helps when you thin it back out by adding clear. Similar colors would be Color Club Emerald Depths or NYC East Village.

For reference: the bottom container is Capricorn Sea with Indian Blue on top. Sinful Colors Love Nails is shown next to #235 Capricorn Blue. You can see from the picture that while Capricorn Sea and Indian Blue are very similar, Capricorn Sea has the more dramatic color shift from blue to green and larger particle size making it more sparkly than Indian Blue.

After adding the typical two BBs I filled the bottle ¼ with Sinful Colors Love Nails and the other 2/4s with clear polish, in this case Wet 'n Wild Wild Shine but any will do.

Because I created this for myself and before the blog, I didn't measure the amount of pigment used but Indian Blue was first, used to strengthen the base color of the Love Nails/clear combo and make it less sheer. The Capricorn Sea was added second but in a slightly larger quantity making it the dominant color in this one.

Photographed outside in sunlight.

Photographed indoors, indirect sunlight.

There is a color-shifting effect but it's proven difficult for me to capture it in a photograph. Photographed indoors, indirect sunlight.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Franken: #236 Duocrome Taurus

Links checked 12/12/13

Years before I ever heard the term franken polish, I was referring to mixed polishes as mutts. After all, a mutt was a called a mutt because it was a mix of breeds and the breed didn't have a name of its own. These days we have such illustrious breed names as a "cockapoo", "bullweiler", "English mastweiler", "labradoodle"… not purebreds to be sure but the names exist. It seemed perfectly logical to me at 11 years old to call my mixed polishes "mutts", particularly since my own dog was half Husky, half German Sheppard with one blue eye and one brown. I did not call him some silly name like a shusky nor do I name my polishes silly names…usually.

You'll see I've taken a different approach to nail polish photography, substituting a ring holder for my own hand. The reasons for this are simple: my actual nails are frightening looking when not painted, I don't paint my right hand well with my left and I cannot photograph my own hand with one hand.  

As with all pictures, click to enlarge if desired.

The name of this one, like them all, comes from the pigments used to create it, one that I can read and remember instantly. #236 Duocrome Taurus, a combination of Coastal Scents Duocrome Iridescent Green Gold pigment and TKB Trading's Taurus Orion pigment.

The picture was taken in sunlight outside (on my balcony). Coastal Scents Duocrome Green Gold is the bottom container, TKB Trading Taurus Orion is on the top.

After adding two BBs I filled the bottle roughly ¼ with a lime-green Bon Bon polish, very similar to Sally Hansen Extreme Wear Ivy League but thinner and less pigmented. I also added 15 drops of Pure Ice Excuse Me, a very bright shimmery yellow and filled it to the ¾ mark with a cheap clear polish. Yes, sometimes I mark the bottle in fourths with a permanent marker.

I did not measure the amount of pigment I used but it was enough to make it a three coat-er (any more pigment than that makes it too thick- and this was made by me before there was a suspension base available from TKB). It is primarily Taurus Orion, the Duocrome Green Gold served to lighten it and add a bit more shine. Taurus Orion by itself in polish has an almost matte finish so it would need a high shine top coat.

If the light is lower and indirect it appears to look more Duocrome Green Gold. Photographed indoors, no sun.

In bright or direct light, particularly in sunlight, the Taurus Orion side comes out and you can see the multi colors of green. Both pictures taken outdoor in sunlight.

Macro shot to show dimension in color. Ignore the smudges.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Franken Polish Base Update

Links checked 12/12/13

Updated 4/26/12- Don't forget to check Suspension Base Suppliers & Notes for all possible sources.

I have news for you today in case you haven't checked TKB Trading's website in the last couple days.

Yesterday they updated their frankenpolish supplies again and added 4oz quantities of their various Franken Polish Bases. This drops the price for 1 ounce/1 bottle considerably, making it more affordable for me and anyone else creating polish en masse.

The 1oz size is enough to fill 2 regular polish bottles while the 4oz is enough for 8 bottles. I've broken it down to what you'll pay per ounce of base and per bottle of nail polish (before adding other things).

Clear Coat
1oz $3.95              4oz $10.00
($1.97/bottle)         ($1.25/bottle, $2.50/oz)

Luster Base/Glamour Base/Matte Base
1oz $5.50              4oz $12.00
($2.25/bottle)         ($1.50/bottle, $3.00/oz)

Colored Bases
1oz $5.75              4oz $14.00
($2.88/bottle)         ($1.75/bottle, $3.50/oz)

On the Franken Polish Bases page, they say they'll be offering 16oz/1 pint in the near future which I'm sure will drop the price even more.

Thank You Mrs. Westerman/TKB Trading for keeping your customers needs in mind. -MK

Monday, November 29, 2010

Franken Polish Bases by TKB Trading

Links checked 12/12/13

Updated 4/26/12- Don't forget to check Suspension Base Suppliers & Notes for all possible sources.

Amended 11/30/10
We all wanted it, we've all been waiting for it and TKB Trading has finally started selling their Franken Polish Bases but I said before that their not mentioning a price made me nervous- and with due cause because I was looking to purchase enough to fix 260+ bottles I'd already made.

They have at this time 9 different bases available in 30ml/1oz. bottles: a clear top/basecoat for $3.95, a suspension base for mica, a different one for glitter, and a mattifying base, all $5.50 each and 5 different colored bases at $5.75 each. TKB states "Each bottle contains 30ml, enough to fill two regular-sized nail polish bottles." This means none of the bases are meant to be diluted, that they must be used from the start rather than added later.

What this means for me personally is that those bottles I've already made cannot be "fixed", that the settling issue cannot be resolved. Had it been a powder rather than a liquid base, there might be room in the bottle to add a little and ease the problem even if it couldn't be corrected entirely. I don't know that it could be made into a powder- even what Merck/EMD Chemicals manufactures, the way I understand it, is not in powder form.

This raises a few questions for me. Why is the price higher than that of some professionally manufactured polishes? Considering only the colored ones, what's the difference between me buying and using one of those or a colored store bought polish? Do they contain a different suspension agent? This is a hobby that will keep me hopelessly in the hole financially if I want to go about it "right". If I was making polish to sell or gift out, I wouldn't hesitate to spend that per bottle but that's a bit high to purchase for myself.

John Matarese closes his news segments by saying, "Doesn't that stink?" Well I'm saying, isn't that a bummer?

Isn't it a bummer that no one else sells a nail polish suspension agent? TKB Trading will do price matching but since there is no one else that sells it, there's no other price to match. Competition drives prices down, that's an unavoidable fact.

I decided that I'm going to buy Magnesium Stearate and try it in polish as a suspension agent. TKB Trading, Coastal Scents and The Conservatorie all sell it but only The Conservatorie includes the tempting line in the description, "and in the suspension of pigments." The company couldn't tell me if it might work but they didn't say it wouldn't either so I have nothing to lose in trying it.

I will still buy some of TKB's Franken Polish base- after all they are providing something no one else does- but I think I will experiment with diluting it in varying amounts because if it can be effectively diluted and still work, it would cut down on the expense. With the way it is priced currently, it costs $2.75 for a bottle of polish (before adding pigment and factoring in the cost of an empty bottle) and I can buy China Glaze for less than that. Why is it always China Glaze I use as a comparison? Because it seems like a quality "professional" polish at a fairly reasonable price and I actually own a few.

TKB Trading says they will be selling larger quantities in the future so, like buying most things in bulk, hopefully that will lower the price. -MK

Friday, November 19, 2010

Suspension Agent Follow Up

Links checked 12/12/13

Updated 4/26/12- Don't forget to check Suspension Base Suppliers & Notes for all possible sources.

Follow up to: Nail Polish Suspension Agent

As mentioned in the entry above, I sent this message to The Conservatorie on 11/15/10:
          Yes, I do have a question. I make fingernail polish out of pigments and oftentimes, clear polish. Clear polish however doesn't seem to have the common suspension agent stearalkonium hectorite and non-commercial people can't buy this. So far, I have found no other suggested alternatives so my question is this: In your description of Magnesium Stearate its says... "and in the suspension of pigments." so do you know if it would serve that purpose in fingernail polish? Thanks in advance for your time.

I received my response from The Conservatorie yesterday.
          At the present time we do not carry and are unfamiliar with nail products. We would like to answer any questions you have, but we would not want to provide you with incorrect information. If you should have any questions regarding our cosmetic products, we would be more than happy to assist you. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Thank you, Customer Service.

So as I expected they were not able to answer my question but I'm not about to give up on a problem that's been irritating me over a year and neither am I patient enough to wait for TKB Trading to start selling their MyMix Luster Base. Besides, they don't mention a price and that makes me nervous.

I have continued to research alternatives, including Magnesium Stearate but have found absolutely nothing- and nothing to say that it wouldn't work. So I may buy a sample and try it.

Related Entries:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Color Recipes 2

Links checked 12/12/13

Since these recipes were made before TKB Trading's Pops! pigments were discontinued please see my entry Alternatives to TKB's discontinued Pops.

I have for you today a few more color recipes made from both TKB Trading and Coastal Scents pigments. I’ve purchased the 5 spoon set TKB Trading sells for this purpose. I won’t claim that these recipes I made are “outstanding” but they are definitely different.

When it comes to cooking I never follow a recipe to the letter and I feel the same about color recipes. Feel free to tweak the recipe to suit yourself.
In each picture is the recipe from above, small finger sample ala TKB Trading. The card shows them swatched in polish. 

(from Tease collection)
(from Trio for Greens)




AA- “Lawless”                        
Maybelline “Lawless” eyeshadow
Closest current color would be
Maybelline Expert Wear Singles in Antique Jade
1 dash (CS) Ultra Shimmer
1 dash Blackstar Green
1 dash (TKB) Hilite Green
1 pinch (TKB) Blueberry Pop
3 pinch (CS) Summit Turquoise
1 dash, 1 pinch (TKB) Indian Blue
2 pinch (TKB) Apple Green Pop

BB- “Sparkling”                       
(CS) “Colleen’s Dream” eyeshadow
(sample size)
1 tad (TKB) Sparkle Blue
2 smidgen (CS) Cellini Red

CC- “Twinkle Twinkle”            
1 dash (CS) Crystal Ice
3 tad (CS) Cellini Red
1 tad, I dash (TKB) Libra Blues

DD- “Burnished”                       
3 tad (TKB) Umber
3 smidgen (CS) Cellini Red
1 tad (CS) Paradise Star Gold
2 dash (TKB) Strawberry Pop

EE- “Fusion”                             
2 tad (CS) Gemtone Topaz
2 pinch (CS) Gold Rush

FF- “Blood Diamonds”             
2 tad (TKB) Deep Russet
1 tad, 2 pinch (TKB) Red Basics
2 smidgen (CS) Crystal Ice
1 smidgen (CS) Pearlescent Fire
2 smidgen (CS) Cellini Red

GG- “Indian Ocean                 
LAC blue eyeshadow
(from Tease collection)
1 pinch (TKB) Pisces Blue
5 pinch (TKB) Capricorn Sea
1 smidgen (CS) Crystal Ice
1 smidgen (CS) Gold Rush

HH- “Wild Plum                     
Almay dark purple eyeshadow
(from Trio for Greens)
1 tad (TKB) Grape Pop
3 dash (TKB) Grape Parfait
1 drop (CS) Paradise Diamond Pearl
2 smidgen (TKB) Blueberry Pop
1 drop (CS) Crystal Ice
2 drop (TKB) Hilite Blue
2 smidgen (TKB) Scarlett O’Hara

Related Entries:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Best Buy Supplies 2

Everything Updated 4/22/16

This entry will cover the all important suspension agent used in polish, less important supplies wanted and needed like the BBs, calligraphy pen, line/dotting tools, and polish thinner.-MK

The Suspension Agent
Check Suspension Base Suppliers + for all possible sources.

BBs
You can buy BBs or ball bearings many places locally but since I enjoy shopping online, this is where I looked, Pyramid Air. Mine were Daisy brand, zinc plated. but you don't want that. Instead the best option from there becomes Marksman brand "premium grade steel", 1000 count for $3.95.

However, being leery of bad BBs, you have multiple options that are guaranteed safe in polish because that's what they're being sold for.

TKB Trading sells Monster Bead BBs in there nail polish section. Stainless steel in 2 different sizes. 
30 Small Monster Beads $0.50
300 Small Monster Beads $4.75
1000 Small Monster Beads $14.50

30 Zilla Beads $0.90
300 Zilla Beads $7.95
1000 Zilla Beads $23.50

Glitter Uniqe also sells "mixing balls" and comes in $0.50 lower for 1000 count.
25 - $1.00
300 - $4.50
1000 - $14.00
5000 - $60.00

Calligraphy pen holder and nib
DickBlick sells the Speedball pen holder for $1.39 and the 513EF nib for $0.99 totaling $2.38



Dotting Tools
You've seen my set on my tips & tricks page which I purchased off eBay but you don't have to buy a set of 5, they can be purchased singly and also come in wood as opposed to acrylic.

You can purchase a set of 3 wooden ones from TransDesign (do a search for dotting tool) for $3.95.


For the acrylic ones like mine, TransDesign sells single ones (pink I presume from their pic) for $1.35 or $6.05 for a set of 5. Again, you'll need to do a search.



Polish Thinner
While you apparently need Seche Restore for Seche Vite products, you don't need it for every other polish, not to mention that it's one of the most expensive out there. I bought my polish thinner from Nailite Inc., Pro Nail brand years ago and it has been perfectly serviceable. I had polish stored in a rubbing alcohol bottle which I later discovered was not air tight and the polish within was completely dried up. Finding a need for it recently I put my polish thinner to work, let some soak in the bottle of dried polish, shook it, stirred it and eventually the polish was back to its normal consistency and ready to be used.

For this list I omitted brands like Seche, Orly, Nail Tek etc because the product is a smaller size for a higher price. I've nothing against these brands or products, or their quality; it's possible the quality is worth the higher price but it's not for me. I also focused on 16 oz. bottles because that amount will last a good long time.

The stores I've found this time with the best deal sell the same product, though I cannot make out the brand from the pictures. Whatever the brand is, the bottle is 16 oz.
Starlight Nails & Beauty Supply $5.00
Nail Polish and More $5.95

Nail Polish Suspension Agent

Links checked 12/12/13

Updated 4/26/12- Don't forget to check Suspension Base Suppliers & Notes for all possible sources.

I've talked before about the all-important suspension agent in commercial nail polish, stearalkonium hectorite and how we can't purchase it- and believe me, I've searched and tried. It's the lack of that ingredient that allows the pigment in frankens to settle quickly (and sometimes into an immobile mass), frankens that would otherwise be beautiful and used-often colors. I must admit that swatching multiple polishes becomes a daunting task when you know you will need to manually stir it up then shake the bottle until your arm aches.

I'm hardly alone here, TKB Trading's forum is full of frankeners asking many of the same questions I have so I'm sure everyone was thrilled to hear that they will soon begin selling a suspension agent but has not said what it is. In the meantime I've been looking for an alternative for months and found none, no suggestions, not even a hint that anything but stearalkonium hectorite is being used in commercial polish.

Each of the three companies, TKB Trading, Coastal Scents and The Conservatorie sell Magnesium Stearate as a cosmetic additive but only The Conservatorie includes this in the description: "It is used in cosmetics as an anti-caking agent, binding agent, dusting additive, emulsifying agent, gelling agent, thickening agent and in the suspension of pigments." I have emailed them this morning and asked if it would work for polish although I don't expect they will know the answer to that. If they do however, I'll be sure to post their response.

Related Entries:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Swatches: Blue-Green Colors

As I said on the "reds" swatches, my pigment collection is too extensive to swatch everything at once- mostly because my opportunity is limited to the sun's willingness to hang around in the exact position long enough to take a decent photo… and photography is not one of my many hobbies.

I chose to do blue-greens today, the pictures were taken in sunlight are not edited digitally. I couldn't decide which of the pictures were more color-accurate so I posted both. The interference of the pigments was difficult to capture here.  

I labeled the picture with the pigment names but I'll list them here as well. From top to bottom, left to right…


left row
right row
TKB-Pisces Blue
CS-Duocrome Sparkle
TKB-Ocean Green


TKB-Coral Reef Blue
CS-Gemtone Emerald
TKB-True Green
TKB-Capricorn Sea
TKB-Indian Blue
CS-Summit Turquoise
CS-Sage Blue



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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Color Club & NYX Nail Polish Sales

Links checked 12/12/13

Updated 11/29/10: Nailite Inc. still has Color Club on sale but now for only 15% off or $1.91 each. The sale price for NYX from My Diva's Closet is still good.

I'm currently working on my fingernail polish pricelist and I've come across a couple nail polish sales just in time for Christmas.

Nailite Inc. has their Color Club polishes on sale for $1.46 each, that's 35% off! By comparison, the lowest price I've come across so far is $2.75 per bottle from both Eighty Eight Beauty Supply & Head2Toe Beauty – up from $2.50 which is what it was when I bought mine in July.

I've ordered from Nailite Inc. before and my purchase went fine from start to finish. They are located in California, ship via FedEx and accept PayPal payments.

My Diva's Closet has NYX polish on sale for $0.99, 75% off their regular prices (previously $2.00-$4.00 last time I checked). Having never ordered from there before, I have no opinion on the company.

I have no idea how long the sales will last so if you're interested, check them out soon. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Swatches: Red Colors

My collection of pigments is too extensive to swatch everything at once so I've decided to do it by color and today's color was red. The pictures were taken in sunlight indoors and are not edited, all reds photographed together so you may see them in relation to each other. As with all pics, click to enlarge.

I labeled the picture with the pigment names but I'll list them here as well.


left row
right row
CS-Metallic Pearl Red Raisin
CS-Cerise Flambe
CS-Blue Claret Pearl
TKB-Deep Russet
CS-Blackstar Red

TKB-Gemtone Ruby
TKB-Red Basics
TKB-Queen Kathryn
CS-Pearlescent Fire
CS-Sienna Fine
CS-Paradise Rose Sky


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