Anything "Duochrome" or "Chameleon" can also be found using the tag "Color Shifting"

Updates & Notices

MOST prices & info on products are out of date, with the exception of the Chameleon Pigment Suppliers list (updated most frequently). The date of any updates are noted at the top of each page/entry. Updated Franken Polish Supply Stores 1/01/18.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Best Buy Supplies

I decided to dedicate this entry to the supplies needed or wanted for polish making, specifically where you can buy these supplies for the best price. Pigments I’ve covered/will be covering in other entries so we’ll move on to 4 ounce and 30 gram containers, empty bottles and nail displays. Suspension base is covered here. Most pictures of the items listed came from the respective stores, links provided. Prices and options updated 4/22/16... -MK

4 oz. containers
Who doesn’t like the 4oz containers that Coastal Scents sells their pigments in? The size is perfect for 1 ounce pigments (and sometimes more), it makes them relatively tip-proof and the lids keep the pigment inside the containers and not outside the threads. You could buy these 4 oz jars at $0.95 each which really isn’t terrible but if you need 57 like I did, that adds up fast. This forced me to search for an equal but cheaper alternative. The company I purchased from was SKS-Bottle, the ones shown below, used for all my TKB Trading pigments.

Clear PET plastic jars w/white plastic unlined lids, sold per package of 24 for $11.38 which breaks down to $0.47 each. 0604-04

30 gram containers
On to 30 gram containers. Now for the record a 30 gram container is NOT large enough to hold 1 ounce of pigment (I made that mistake) but it is the perfect size for storing color recipes (or, I suppose, a finished loose product) which is what I use mine for.

If you want a 30 gram container that looks like TKB Trading’s 30 gram container, buy their containers, I did. The prices aren't bad 20 for $15.00 ($0.75 each), 40 for $25.00 which breaks down to $0.62 each. Or if you need a lot, 80 for $48.00, $0.60 each. But I’m a bargain hunter so next time I’ll be shopping elsewhere because I don’t care what they look like so long as I can see through them. In this case, probably SKS-Bottle because they have a few cheaper options. See below.

#2 Clear PET Jars w/ White Ribbed Lined, Caps, 1 oz, 48 for $21.60 ($0.45 each) 0605-32

#3 1 oz. plastic jars, Clear Styrene Jars w/ Dome Caps, 48 for $29.66 ($0.62) 0624-14

#1 Clear 1 oz. PET Straight Sided Jars w/ Black Smooth Plastic Lined Caps, 48 for $19.78 ($0.41) 0605-47
Same as style shown here

 Empty Polish Bottles
Empty bottles are an essential supply for frankening but all bottles are not created equal. As much as you must think about price, you must also consider size. The average full size bottle is ½ fl.oz. or 15 ml but bottles also come in miniature. The average size of a mini like Bon Bons is 1/8 fl.oz. or 3.6 ml.

Miniature size bottles
TKB Trading sells 3 types of mini bottles, the Elizabeth, shown below, Caroline and Justine- but I've always favored the Elizabeth because it holds slightly more than the standard mini. Remember that the average mini bottle holds 3.6 ml but the Elizabeth holds 6 ml. By comparison, the Justine (the fanciest design) holds approximately 4 ml.  

The Elizabeth 
TKB Trading For quantities of 40 or 80 bottles, the caps/brushes are sold separately.
40 (slightly tall) Elizabeth (NO caps or brushes)  $5.50 + 6.00 = .28 each
80 (slightly tall) Elizabeth (NO caps or brushes)  $11.00 + 11.00 = .28 each
40 Basic Black Caps with Brushes  $6.00
80 Basic Black Caps with Brushes  $11.00

Glitter Unique is #2, selling a mini bottle that looks identical to the Elizabeth but unlike TKB, the caps and brushes come with the bottle.
12 - $5.00
48 - $15.00 = $0.31 each
162 - $50.00
486 - $145.00

Full size bottles
As of 4/22/16, your #1 best option for empty full size polish bottles is Glitter Unique. The bottles are 15ml, round clear glass with round black caps. For this, I used the 48 bottle price of $20.00 which breaks down to- $0.41 each.
12 - $6.00
48 - $20.00
135 - $52.00
540 - $199.00

#2 is TKB Trading sells two different styles of full size bottle, in this case we're using the 15ml "Le Barrel" bottles. These can be purchased with white or black caps, singly or in quantities of 30 or 108 (caps and brushes bought separately with the 108 option). The 30 bottle option is $14.00 which is $0.47 each

Nail Displays
Nail wheels or display wheels aren’t exactly a required supply but they are nice to have for a visual just the same. If you’re looking to purchase some, you can find the best deal is at Trans Design. The link is to their main page, just look under the Nail Art Displays category- and they have more than nail wheels.

TKB Trading has recently added a 60 Color Sample Chart to their line of frankening supplies, a tray with 60 shallow wells or 60 nail tips (depending on what side you choose to paint) for $4.50 which works out better than the above price-wise but since it is different in design, I have included both.

TKB sells another style too, check the Tools page. This is listed as a Nail Display on a chain. and comes as two nail displays on a single 24" metal chain, each display having 12 nails for $1.95.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Polish Brands & Bottle Sizes

The List Maker is back! Among many of the things I wanted to know when I started gathering supplies was, “Which brand of nail polish offers the largest size?” Some brands/lines probably aren’t listed so if there’s one I missed that you want to know, feel free to ask.

Some brands list as fluid ounces and others use milliliters so I’ve converted everything. Brands are listed below in alphabetical order rather than from greatest to least.

Name & Line (store
listed amount)
Bottle size
(from bottle pic)
Art Club
0.25 oz / 7.4ml
-Mirror Shine

0.5 fl.oz / 14.7ml
Black Radiance
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
Borghese (0.4oz.)
0.4 fl.oz / 11.8ml
China Glaze
0.5 fl.oz / 14ml
Color Club
0.6 fl oz. / 17ml
-Boundless Color (0.37oz.)

0.37 fl.oz /11ml
Creative Nail Design
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
Dashing Diva
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
Deborah Lippmann
0.50 fl.oz  / 15ml
0.5 fl.oz  / 15ml
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
Hard Candy
0.35 fl.oz / 10.3ml
-Nail Art
-Nail Lacquer

0.5 fl.oz./ (14.7)15ml
L.A. Colors
-Art Deco
-Nail Lacquer
-Color Craze

0.25 fl.oz  / 7.5ml
0.44 fl.oz  / 13ml
0.44 fl.oz  / 13ml
L.A. Girls
-Nail Lacquer

0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
0.47 fl.oz / 14ml
0.34 fl.oz / 10ml
-Wet Shine
-Express Finish (0.5oz.)

0.5 fl.oz / 14.7ml
Milani (0.45oz.)
0.45 fl.oz / 13.2ml
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
0.6 fl.oz / 18ml
Ncole by OPI
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
0.6 fl oz. / 17ml
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
NYC (New York Color)
-Nail Glossies
-newer bottles

0.45 fl.oz / 13.3ml
0.33 fl.oz / 9.9ml
0.5 fl.oz / 14ml
Obsessive Compulsive
0.5 fl.oz / 14.7ml
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
0.8 fl.oz  / 16 ml
Piggy Polish
13.2ml /.45 fl.oz.
Pure Ice (0.5fl.oz.)
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
0.41 fl.oz. / 12ml
Sally Hansen
-Nail Prisms
-Xtreme Wear (0.4fl.oz)
-Magical Nail
-Lacquer Shine (0.3oz.)
-Hi-Definition (0.3oz.)
-New Lengths
-InstaDri (0.45oz)
-Salon (0.45oz.)

0.3 fl.oz / 8.8ml
0.45 fl.oz / 13.3ml
0.4 fl.oz / 11.8ml
0.3 oz. / 8.8ml
0.44 fl.oz / 3.3ml
0.45 fl.oz / 13.3ml
0.31 fl.oz. / 9.17ml
0.45 fl.oz / 13.3ml
0.45 fl.oz / 13.3ml
Seche Vite
0.5 fl.oz / 14ml
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
Sinful Colors (0.5oz.)
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml
Urban Decay
0.33 fl.oz / 10ml
Wet ‘n’ Wild
-Color Craze
-Precious Metals
-Rock Solid (0.33fl.oz)
-Wild Shine (0.43oz)

0.34 fl.oz / 10ml
0.47 fl.oz /14ml
0.33 fl.oz / 10ml
0.43 fl.oz / 12.7ml
0.47 fl.oz / 14ml
0.49 fl.oz / 14.5ml
0.5 fl.oz / 15ml

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Swatches: Color Comparisons 1

Links checked 12/12/13. The original date of this post is 2010 so all of these pigments are not available for purchase. Coastal Scents pigments, the ones still current, can now be found at MicaPowder (I updated those links), CS's bulk website.

It’s color comparison day! Get ready for a long entry because I have for you a lot of pigment color comparisons, pictured both in containers and swatched on skin. Not all of these colors are “dupes”, some I posted because they are in the same color family and compliment each other nicely. For reference, Coastal Scents is abbreviated CS and are in the containers with black lids and TKB Trading is abbreviated TKB, obviously, and are shown in white lids.

These two are both CS pigments, shown on the left Crystal Ice, right is Ultra Shimmer. Not dupes but very close, the main difference being particle size. When I want to add sparkle to a color recipe or bottle of polish I usually choose the Ultra Shimmer but it is more opaque than Crystal Ice. Other pigments similar to these would be CS Paradise Diamond Pearl (no longer available) or TKB Diamond Cluster.

CS Chrome Carmine and TKB Sparkle Rose. Now as you can see, these are not dupes but they are in the same color family. Each has a gold reflection or overtone when viewed at an angle but unfortunately doesn’t come through in the pictures. Chrome Carmine is a paler pink, smaller particle size while Sparkle Rose is a darker pink and with it’s larger particle size, has greater sparkle. Another pigment that compliments these nicely would be CS Duocrome Red Orange.

Here we have TKB Bishop's Violet, shown left and CS Blushing Pink on the right. Again, they are not exact dupes but are in the same color family. The difference is that Bishop's Violet is more purple with a pink reflection while Blushing Pink is pink with a purple reflection. Particle size, finish and sparkle are about the same.

Three swatches here, CS Cerise Flambe left, CS Paradise Rose Sky middle and TKB Queen Kathryn right. Perhaps Paradise Rose Sky should’ve been excluded but it is more similar than it appears in the swatches. All three are beautiful but Paradise Rose Sky has the largest particle size and because of this, slightly more sparkle than the other two.

We have here three Coastal Scents pigments, from left to right: Metallic Pearl Red Raisin, Pearlescent Fire and Sienna (Sienna Fine Pearl on my label). All are decent reds but nearly identical in color, Pearlescent Fire being just a tad more orange in polish. Sienna has the smallest particle size thus the smoothest finish. The third pic I just found on the pc and shows Pearlescent Fire, left, next to Metallic Pearl Red Raisin.

Two more Coastal Scents pigments almost identical in color, Aruban Coral (TKB’s match is Artisan Coral) and Metallic Pearl Honey Tan. These are actually two of my favorites since I lean towards coppers and decided I can live without neither. Metallic Pearl Honey Tan is a little darker and slightly more orange than Aruban Coral, particle size and sparkle the same.

From left to right we have: CS Metallic Pearl Bronze, CS Paradise Shimmer Tan and TKB Sparkle Bronze. In color the differences are so slight it’s not worth mentioning but the particle size/sparkle of Paradise Shimmer Tan and Sparkle Bronze exceeds that of Metallic Pearl Bronze.

Pictured here are CS Metallic Rustic Gold, left, and TKB Aztec Gold, right. As far as I can tell there is no difference between the two at all in color or particle size, only in price with Aztec Gold being cheaper (I should point out though that with CS you are getting the pigment in a 4oz container if you buy an ounce which would account for the slightly higher price).

These two Coastal Scents pigments, Gold Rush left and Paradise Star Gold on right, are not identical but very similar. Both are equally sparkly which make them my favorite golds.

CS Sparkle Gold on the left, TKB Brilliant Gold shown right. Sparkle Gold is slightly darker with a larger particle size than it’s “cousin” Brilliant Gold. Brilliant Gold offers a smoother, more uniform coverage.

Ah and here are two of my “trouble” pigments, CS Metallic Olivia shown left and TKB Crucible Khaki (discontinued), left. You can read more here about why they are trouble pigments but only in polish, as eye shadow I imagine they would be brilliant. As far as I can see they are identical in all respects and only a $0.01 difference in price.

I love green, don’t you? Pictured here are CS Majestic Green on the left and TKB Pennsylvania Green shown right. Unfortunately my camera does not show it but both have a flash not unlike Hilite Green, the green flash being stronger in the Majestic Green.

No dupes here but definitely the same color family. From left to right: TKB Ocean Green, CS Duocrome Sparkle and TKB Pisces Blue (discontinued). The Ocean Green has the smallest particle size and most subtle flash of green. Pisces Blue has a greener tone, Duocrome Sparkle more blue.

That’s all my swatches momentarily. As always, thank you for visiting and check back for more to come.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Glitter Size Explanation

Glitter SizeInchesFractional (Inches)MicronsMillimeters

Extra Large.250"1/4"6250 6.25
Large.125"1/8"3125 3.125
Medium.094"47/500"2385 2.385

.078"39/500"2000 2

.062"31/500"1550  1.55
Fine.040"1/25"1000 1

.035"7/200"875  0.875
Very Fine.025"1/40" 625 0.625

400 0.4
Extra Fine.015"3/200"375 0.375

300 0.3  
Ultra Fine.008"1/125" 200 0.2
Micro Fine
.004"1/250"100  0.1

.003"3/1000"75  0.075

65-82 0.065- 0.082
Ultra Micro Fine
.002"1/500"50  0.05
1500-35 (course)
35 0.035
1500-20 (standard)
20 0.02
1500-14 (fine)
14 0.014

Glitter can be measured in millimeters as is the case for the larger sizes or microns; microns are the same unit used to measure particle sizes, such as the sizes of our cosmetic pigments. The rule goes, the larger the particle size, the more sparkly a pigment is and the same holds true for glitter. The Conservatorie, TKB Trading and Coastal Scents sell Ultra fine and Micro fine cosmetic glitters, .004" and .008"  respectively.

The majority of glitters that I own are .004" with the exception of my Fairy Dust Glitter (I own both sizes) and Sterling Silver Glitter .008" from Coastal Scents. The largest glitter I own is a small sample I received from TKB Trading a long time ago, one I usually refer to as a silver disc glitter because the glitter is approximately 2mm. You can see the red version in my polish, Red Sparkle.

To give you another visual, shown here are a few silver glitters and two store bought glitter polishes. From left to right, Coastal Scents' Tinsel glitter, their Sterling Silver Glitter, TKB Trading's silver sample next to two polishes,  L.A. Colors (Color Craze line) Sparkling Diamonds and Wet 'n' Wild Part of Five.

This is a high res image thus the original size is huge but you should enlarge to really see the difference in size.

Coastal Scents' Tinsel glitter, is 004", the Sterling Silver Glitter is .008", TKB Trading's silver sample is estimated at 2mm. The large silver glitter in both polishes is the same size, approximately 1mm.

Now 2 mm is a fairly large size for a polish but they do come larger than that. I like having a variety of sizes because as one website put it, using glitters in a combination of sizes allows the smaller glitters to fill the holes the larger glitters leave. -MK

Used for reference:
Conversion Calculator
Meadow Brook Inventions Size Chart
Infinity Foils Size Chart