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Some prices and info on products are are out of date so please check the dates at the top of those entries.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

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Swatches: TKB Trading Cools

Links checked 12/12/13
The sunlight was willing for a couple days so I decided to continue swatching with TKB Trading pigments, the cool color range (and neutrals). All pictures, unless stated otherwise, go from left to right. In each set, the first was taken in daylight, the second in sunlight.

The neutral color pigments are: Pearl White, Polished Silver and Black Mica.


For purples we have: Sparkle Blue, Libra Blues, Hilite Violet, Bishops Violet, Grape Pop!, Sagittaire, Patagonian Purple and Aster Hue.
Sparkle Blue reminds me a lot of Her Majesty (not shown) because both are blue based with purple highlights. Hilite Violet, like the rest of white interference pigments, doesn't like to show up in pictures but it is a nice violet color, neither too purple or pink and different from all the other purple-hued interference pigments. Libra Blues is nearly matte but has a purple undertone that is more apparent wet such as in polish. Bishop's Violet, similar to Coastal Scents' Mauve Quartz, has a pinkish-purple interference that is more dominant than seen above.

Sparkle Blue, Libra Blues, Hilite Violet, Bishops Violet below.

As you can see Sparkle Blue has a large particle size making it one of TKB Trading's most sparkly colors.

Grape Pop!, Sagittaire, Patagonian Purple and Aster Hue.
I love Grape Pop and consider it to be an essential purple to own, for the color itself and for creating other vivid purples. Aster Hue is nearly identical to Indigo from The Conservatorie and if you've seen the polish Busted by Pure Ice, would back it up well. I like both Sagittaire and Patagonian Purple but haven't found much use for either.

The blues are: Hilite Blue, Colorona Blue, Periwinkle Blue, True Blue, Blueberry Pop!, Grape Parfait, Colorona Dark Blue, Midnight Blue, Deep Blue and Blue Steel.
Hilite Blue is blue when viewed at an angle. Periwinkle Blue looks green in the container but comes across as blue when swatched and an even sharper blue when used in polish. Grape Parfait could go with the purple family but it's blue-tinted interference puts in with the blues. Deep Blue is too gray for my taste.

Hilite Blue, Colorona Blue and Periwinkle Blue and True Blue.

Blueberry Pop!, Grape Parfait, Colorona Dark Blue and Midnight Blue

Deep Blue and Blue Steel.

The aquas or blue greens are: Ocean Green, Pisces Blue, Indian Blue, Capricorn Sea, True Green and Coral Reef Blue.
Ocean Green and Pisces Blue are similar in that both are blue with a greenish gold reflection. Indian blue is a nice rich blue with green undertones making it one of my favorite colors. True Green is far more "aqua" than green which is why it's here.. Coral Reef is a nice color but even in polish it's almost matte. Capricorn Sea is a strong color that also ends up nearly matte in polish.

Ocean Green, Pisces Blue, Indian Blue, Capricorn Sea


True Green, Coral Reef Blue

Greens are as follows: Hilite Green, Green Apple, Taurus Orion, Shamrock Green, Apple Green Pop!, Pennsylvania Green, Deep Green, Cyprus Green, Aquarius & Emerald.
Hilite Green is identical in color to both Frosty Glitter Green and
SuperNova Green from The Conservatorie. Taurus Orion is another of those sparkly colors that turns matte when used in polish. Pennsylvania Green looks a lot like Majestic Green from Coastal Scents- both are green with richer green interference (view comparison here). Deep Green and Cyprus Green are ok but in polish become even more plain. Aquarius doesn't strike my fancy either and so I haven't used it in polish. Emerald, in case you've wondered doesn't look like Coastal Scents' Emerald Isle, Emerald is sharper, less olive toned.

Hilite Green, Green Apple, Taurus Orion, Shamrock Green

Apple Green Pop!, Pennsylvania Green, Deep Green, Cyprus Green

Aquarius & Emerald

Warm Colors... coming when the sun cooperates. -MK

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Duochrome: what does it really mean?

Links checked 12/12/13

You'd think the answer to that is straight forward but did you know that there is no definition for Duochrome in the Merriam Webster dictionary? And if you look for the word in Wikipedia it retrieves the name of an album by some guy I've never heard of. So what is a duochrome? Because buying pigments and creating polishes from those pigments, brings the use of the term into question.

I know what I've always thought of as duochrome polishes were the Sally Hansen Nail Prisms which actually did change color as you moved towards or away from a light source AND when viewed at an angle (that becomes an important distinction). More recent examples of duochrome polishes would be the Chameleon line by Scherer (CQ).

TKB Trading's Travel to series of pigments color shift the way the Nail Prisms do but most other pigments do not, including those from Coastal Scents that have Duocrome in their name. The manufacturer gave the pigments the name so this was not Coastal Scents' doing.

They describe their Duocrome Blue Green as a, "Blue with a green reflection powder" while describing Duocrome Iridescent Green Gold as, "A lustrous mica pigment that produces a two-look color!"  The descriptions are accurate; I own both so I can assure you of that but they don't color shift the way the Travel to series does.

I tested this out with Jupiter from the Travel to series still on my nails, the bottle of Jupiter, Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Garnet Lapis, Duocrome Red Orange and Blue Red Chrome, a pigment that is primarily blue but appears pinkish-purple when viewed at an angle.

Like the Hilites and other interference pigments they appear to be one color when viewed straight on and a second color when viewed at an angle. What they do not do is change color when moved closer to or away from a light source; they get lighter or darker in color but don't change hue.

I too have used the word duochrome in describing pigments/frankens but when compared to those old Nails Prisms and more recently, TKB Trading's Travel to series of pigments, Duocrome is a misnomer. What is referred to as Duocrome should be called Iridescent.

It's also interesting to note here that the term duochrome seems to be applied almost exclusively to cosmetic products; in the automotive industry, paints and pigments that color shift are described as such or referred to as chameleon, kameleon colors or simply referred to as color shifting

Definition of Iridescence from Merriam Webster:
1: a lustrous rainbowlike play of color caused by differential refraction of light waves (as from an oil slick, soap bubble, or fish scales) that tends to change as the angle of view changes.

MK's definition of Duochrome:
Pigments and polishes that color shift (or change hue) when viewed at an angle and as they move towards or away from a light source.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Franken: #275 (Travel to) Jupiter

Links checked 12/12/13 As with all pictures, click to enlarge if desired.

This is one of my franken polish experiments with TKB Trading's mica suspension Luster Base and with their pigment, Travel to Jupiter

The required supplies were: TKB Trading's Smidgen spoon from the mini spoon set of five, BBs, a 15 ml bottle, TKB's Luster Base for mica suspension, L.A. Colors nail polish in Black Velvet, clear polish and the pigment Travel to Jupiter.


I dropped the 2 BBs in the bottle and marked the bottle in fourths with a permanent marker. This was intended as an experiment with diluting the suspension base (to cut down on expense) so I filled ¼ of the bottle with Luster Base and added approximately 30 drops of Black Velvet, making the bottle only slightly over ¼ full. The Luster Base and Black Velvet were opaque so I added ¼ clear polish. This made the base dark but a little translucent per TKB's suggested use.

Using the Smidgen spoon, I added 2 smidgen (not level spoons) of Travel to Jupiter and then ¼ more clear polish because, after all, I was testing the power of TKB's Luster Base.


I shook it well and tested it but since it was still too sheer for my taste I added 4 more smidgen of Travel to Jupiter. Even with that much pigment in it, it was still a 4 coat polish but several hours later it was also still suspended.

The next day I added 2 or 3 more smidgen making it a 3 coat polish instead of 4. The consistency was fine, not watery but not too thick and applied ok for me. It has also remained suspended for the past month.


The pictures you get to see this time are of my own nails and not those of my "models" because unlike most of the polishes I make, I actually used this one. I took the pictures the day after I painted my nails (which I did over two days) and before I did the cleanup. The lighting is daylight but no sun. To show the color shifting of green to aqua to blue I give you two sets of three photos. The color shifting is more dramatic under lamp light but the camera won't capture it.



So much to do, so little time and sunlight! -MK

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Swatches: TKB's Travel to…Pigments

Links checked 12/12/13

I mentioned TKB Trading's Planetary Sampler in prior entries but nothing in depth because, until recently, I didn't own them and couldn't provide swatches. I did say they were on the more expensive end and that TKB's descriptions were a little vague which at the time I felt they were. Now that I own them I can see that they aren't easy to photograph or describe. Read, click to enlarge pictures if desired and make your own decision as to whether they were worth the cost.

In TKB Trading's Planetary Sampler are the following seven pigments. Click on the names to go to their website and view individual descriptions.

Shown in containers below. Top: Neptune, Pluto, Jupiter. Bottom: Mercury, Mars, Earth and Venus.

These pigments are more expensive then most of TKB's other micas but purchased in a set, 1 ounce is approximately $12 versus $14 if purchased separately. All but Mercury appear much like the Hilites, white powder with interference. The image below is (one of) my "swatch cards" showing the white Planetary pigments next to several of The Conservatorie's interference pigments. Each is a mixture of pigment with plain clear polish. Below that is the swatch card with only the Travel to's.

Unlike the Hilites however, the Travel to series are all duochromes and it might not be a stretch to say "triochromes". I'm sure most nail polish enthusiasts remember Sally Hansen Nail Prisms, the colors Turquoise Opal, Amber Ruby, Emerald Amethyst and Garnet Lapis in particular. These pigments have as much variation in color as those did.

The image below is of the same swatch card but this is a spliced together picture to show the color shifting. Taken under "daylight" lamp light.

When I photographed these pigments dry the color shifting effect was hard to capture as you can see. The order they appear in below is from left to right: Mercury, Mars, Earth, Venus, Neptune, Jupiter and Pluto.

This pic was taken in morning sunlight.

Daylight, not direct sunlight.

Here they are shown as finger swatches. This usually adds some dimension to colors but they still look sort of unimpressive. Pictures taken in evening daylight.

Mercury, Mars, Earth and Venus.

Neptune, Pluto, Jupiter

Swatching them "wet" which I've never done before, brings out a bit more of the color and duochrome. All pics taken in evening daylight from varying angles. From left to right: Mercury, Mars, Earth, Venus, Neptune, Pluto and Jupiter. Mercury showed up the best in these.

TKB Trading suggests using the Travel to pigments, except for Mercury, "alone or in with small amounts of dark colors such as blue, black or green." so when I mixed up polishes from these, I chose a basic black store bought polish as my base (Mercury, too). I'm not going to get into the formulation of them in this entry because that belongs more in the franken category.

In all three pics they are in the same order: Venus, Mercury, Pluto, Jupiter, Neptune, Mars and Earth.

Photo taken indoors, daylight but no sun.

Photo taken outdoors, daylight but no sun.

And from the side to show the duochrome effect further.
Photo taken indoors, daylight but no sun.

Below is my swatch card with the pigments used in polish but in black rather than clear. Photo taken indoors, daylight but no sun.

The image below is of the same swatch card but this is a spliced together picture to show the color shifting. Taken under "daylight" lamp light.

Because I do not have seven fingers on one hand, I've used my "models" to show you how they appear on nails.

Photo taken outdoors, daylight but no sun. Earth, Mars, Neptune, and Jupiter in back, Pluto, Mercury, and Venus in front.

All three pics taken from varying angles, indoors, daylight but no sun. From left to right: Pluto, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Neptune, and Jupiter.

The Travel to pigments are sold individually and in sets. Individual samples are $1.50 or as a sample set, $9.00. If bought by the ounce, they're $14.00 each or $85.00 for a complete set.

I have to admit, I am glad to be done. Come again and thanks for stopping by. -MK

Related Entries:
Franken: (Travel to) Jupiter