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Some prices and info on products are are out of date so please check the dates at the top of those entries.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