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MOST prices & info on products are out of date, with the exception of the Chameleon Pigment Suppliers list (updated most frequently).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, 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.

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

Related Entries:

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

Related Entries:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

TKB Trading's "Travel To..." & "Sparks!" pigments

Update 12/9/10: As part of my Christmas present from my husband (Thank you dear!) I have purchased TKB's Planetary Sampler along with the Reflecks Sampler so I'll post swatches soon!

I have no swatches to offer you of these pigments because I do not own them. This is not to say that I don't want them because I do but they are on the pricier side and I have trouble justifiying spending $14 on one pigment when I can spend the same amount and get three different ones. At any rate they are on my "wishlist" but I find both TKB Trading's decsriptions and pictures a little lacking.
TKB Trading offers both sets of pigments in a discounted collection shown here: Planetary Sampler, Sparks! Collection.

I did my homework and found the manufacturer of both sets of pigments, EMD Chemicals. This is ordinarily unimportant but on their website they have a more in-depth description of each pigment and shows them used in what appears to be clear polish or other clear medium- which gave me a better idea what they'd be like in polish, my intended use. It makes for interesting reading.

Xirona- Travel throug the World...
Ronastar- Interference Sparks

If you're curious, other pigment manufacturers can be found below.
BASF- Effects Pigments
Geotech- Geoshine Can view color cards of their glitter.
Eckart Effects Pigments- Brochures
Eckart Effects Pigments links to all lines of pigments.
Kobo Products Inc.
Sun Chemical- Pigments
EMD Chemiicals- Color Cosmetics

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