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

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Some prices and info on products are are out of date so please check the dates at the top of those entries.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, April 28, 2011

Color Recipes 4

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 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 and a swatch in polish below that.

(from Tease collection)   

RR- “Creamcicle”                     
2x LAC-B (orange)
(from Tease collection)
1 tad (CS) Metallic Rustic Gold
4 pinch (TKB) Strawberry Pop
4 smidgen (TKB) Hilite Copper
2 pinch (TKB) Tangerine Pop

SS- “Blackstar Turquoise”       
3 tad Black mica
2 tad (CS) Summit Turquoise
2 smidgen (CS) Ocean Blue Glitter
1 smidgen (CS) Emerald Glitter

TT- "Blackstar Purple"             
3 tad Black mica
2 tad (TKB) Hilite Violet
2 smidgen , 1 drop (CS) Purple Punch Glitter

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TKB Franken Polish Bases

Links checked 12/12/13

For those of you who haven't checked TKB Trading's "new" tab on their website, here's an update on their Franken Polish Bases.

Along with the 1 ounce and 4 ounce bottles you can purchase, they've added a pint "bulk" option here. The price for the pint includes shipping and, at the moment, can only be shipped within the U.S.

1 ounce will fill (2) 15ml polish bottles so the pint, which is 16 ounces, will fill approximately 32 bottles.

Clear Coat
1 oz $3.95              4 oz $10.00                    1 pint $25.00
($1.97/bottle)         ($1.25/bottle, $2.50/oz)   ($0.78/bottle, $1.56/oz)

Luster Base for mica/Glamour Base for glitter/Matte Base for matte finish
1 oz $5.50              4 oz $12.00                    1 pint $29.00
($2.25/bottle)         ($1.50/bottle, $3.00/oz)   ($0.91/bottle, $1.81/oz)

Colored Bases: Black, White, Blue, Red & Yellow
1 oz $5.75              4 oz $14.00                    1 pint $32.00
($2.88/bottle)         ($1.75/bottle, $3.50/oz)   ($1.00/bottle, $2.00/oz)

Related Entries:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Franken Polish Base Experiments

Links checked 12/12/13

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

TKB Trading's Franken Polish Bases have now been out 4 months but there are only 2 customer reviews on their website and there hasn't been much talk about them on the internet (not counting TKB Trading's own forum). I'm going to co ntribute my opinion today but let's start with the basics.

Currently TKB Trading has them priced at:
Clear Coat
1oz $3.95              4oz $10.00
($1.97/bottle)         ($1.25/bottle, $2.50/oz)

Luster Base for mica/Glamour Base for glitter/Matte Base for matte finish
1oz $5.50              4oz $12.00
($2.25/bottle)         ($1.50/bottle, $3.00/oz)

Colored Bases: Black, White, Blue, Red & Yellow
1oz $5.75              4oz $14.00
($2.88/bottle)       ($1.75/bottle, $3.50/oz)

The 1oz size is enough to fill 2 regular polish bottles while the 4oz is enough for 8 bottles. The prices in parentheses are what it breaks down to per ounce of base and per bottle of nail polish (before adding other things).

The price is reasonable and whether you choose to buy it and use it is up to you. If you don't, what you usually get is this:

Both of these, Capricorn Sea and Libra Blues (made before the franken bases were available), are very settled after sitting around for a year but still perfectly usable and apply as if I'd just made them once mixed up well. The issue of course is the effort required to mix them again.

If you do choose to use one of the Franken Polish Bases and use them effectively the end result is worth the price…
…But the cost adds up fast when you can make ten bottles on a whim. I think about these things so when I first started working with the Franken Polish Bases, I diluted them to cut down on the expense as well as using them in conjunction with Magnesium Stearate. And yes, it is possible to dilute them and still be effective as long as some thought is given to formulation.

I don't like flat paint on my walls and I don't care for it on my nails so I've used all the bases TKB Trading offers except the Matte Base. Individual opinions below.

The Clear Coat is exactly what you'd expect it to be, crystal clear with the consistency and drying time of your typical top coat. Used alone, it will not keep pigments or glitter suspended. It, like other clear polishes, can be used to thin out polishes that end up too thick.

The colored bases are all highly pigmented so they aren't sheer but their consistency is thicker than that of a regular polish. The few times I have used them at full strength, I felt the formula was too thick to apply smoothly so I thinned it out by adding clear polish or thinner.  

When I used the white base to try dotting an artificial nail with a dotting tool, it left behind imperfect dots as seen below. I'm sure part of their imperfection was due to my "technique" but the thickness prevented a clean break from the surface, leaving teardrop shapes or little white tails.
I don't believe the colored bases were intended to keep pigments suspended (alone) but it will small amounts, particularly if you combine the colored base with some Glamour or Luster base or (possibly) store bought polish.

The Glamour and Luster bases are what I have used the most and in varying amounts. Draw your own conclusions from my experiments. "Drop(s)" is a measurement referring to TKB's Drop spoon from their mini spoon set when used with dry pigments.

I used the Glamour base with Sterling Silver Glitter from Coastal Scents
and as part of the experiment added 11 drops of Magnesium Stearate to a mixture of ¾ clear polish and 7 drops of the glitter. It settled within 30 minutes so I added ¼ Glamour base and it has stayed suspended.

One of my flubs, an unnamed yellow gold, is another good example of the power of TKB's Franken Polish Bases. The bottle ended up being a combination of ¼ L.A. Colors Wavelength (Color Craze line), ¼ Luster base, ¼ Glamour base and ¼ clear with the following Coastal Scents' pigments: 2 drops of Gold Rush, 2 drops Paradise Star Gold, 2 drops Sparkle Gold, 2 drops 24 Karat Gold, 4 drops Pearlescent Sparkling Pure Gold. Even with that large an amount of pigment, it's still suspended.

Another flub of mine, an unnamed aqua is a combination of: ¼ clear polish, ¼ SH Emerald City. ¼ L.A. Colors Wired (Color Craze line, royal blue color), ¼ Luster base, and 10 total drops ®Lawless, one of my recipes. This amount has surprisingly stayed suspended.

Travel to Venus and Travel to Jupiter were two more "successful suspensions" when used with the Luster base.

Starting with Travel to Venus, I used ¼ Luster base, 30 (liquid) drops of a store bought black polish (L.A. Colors Black Velvet) and ½ clear polish. I then added 6 smidgen of Travel to Venus, making it a 3-coat polish. I duplicated the process with the remaining 6 Travel to's and all of them stayed suspended. After the fact, I intentionally overloaded them all in varying amounts with pigment. The two I'd added the least extra, Travel to Jupiter and Travel to Venus, have stayed suspended to this day and apply fairly well. The other five settled and have an overly-white cast as expected. You can read more about Jupiter's formulation here: Franken: (Travel to) Jupiter.

A partially successful polish I made was a mixture of ¼ Glamour base, 2/4 clear polish and 8 drops TKB's Turquoise Tweak. The ¼ of Glamour base wasn't strong enough to keep that amount of Turquoise Tweak suspended so I added 6 drops Magnesium Stearate but as with the Sterling Silver Glitter, the Magnesium Stearate failed- immediate settling. I drained it down to less than ½, more than ¼ into separate bottle, added clear to about 2/3 & added Coastal Scents's Sparkle Blue. The reason it qualifies for partially successful is that some of the Turquoise Tweak and Sparkle Blue has stayed suspended even though there is a minimal amount of Glamour base.

"Tweeker" was a project I used TKB's syringes for and started out in a mini bottle. The base is a combo of  1 ½ ml yellow base, 1 ml blue base, and 1 ml Clear Coat, drained into a regular size bottle with +22 drops blue base, 34 drops yellow base added making it 1/3 full. Adding 3 drops of TKB's Turquoise Tweak required that I add Glamour Base which I did, up to the ¾ mark (I mark the bottles). While there has been some settling, there has also been some that stayed suspended and it looks like what it's supposed to look like, a sparkly green, before I shake it up.

All in all, I'm pleased with the effectiveness of TKB Trading's Franken Polish Bases and think they are an indispensable supply to have handy and even reasonably priced to boot. Hopefully my experiments have given you some ideas for using them in your own frankens. -MK

Related Entries:

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Lust for Duochromes

Links checked 12/12/13

I've been silent for a while, in part due to the blues and the rest because I am simply bored with polish and pigments but in the midst of it, I continued to try and crack the color code. Well I'm done cracking and you can enjoy the fruits of my labor.

I had spent a lot of time trying to make a new duochrome from the original Travel to polishes I made (shown below) by sampling them with store bought polish. The process frustrated me to tears- literally, because after a week all I'd done is make variations of the same duochrome over and over. Generally the Travel to pigments from TKB Trading can be viewed as a having a 3-color-shift and while the store bought polish made them more vibrant, it also seemed to limit the range of the duochrome effect which I didn't appreciate.

I had also tried using Hilite Red pigment with the Travel to polishes and it too seemed to limit the color range so I didn't bother trying other colors of Hilites. The results weren't bad so I probably will in the future but it wasn't what I was going for.

I went back to the original Travel to colors (of polish) and made two charts. The first was a color mix with a ratio of 1:1 meaning one drop of a color mixed with one drop of another. For example, one drop of Venus with one drop of Pluto.

The second was with a ratio of 3:1 meaning three drops of one color mixed with 1 drop of a second. For example, 3 drops of Jupiter with one drop of Neptune. Drops of Jupiter? Isn't that a song by Train?

For the record, it doesn't matter that I used my black-based Travel to polishes for these charts; the Travel to pigments used in clear polish have the same color shifting (but darker). The reason for only going up to a ratio of 3:1 is because more than that and the 1st color becomes dominant; in other words 4:1 of Mars and Mars is the only color shift you see.

Neither picture above is great quality but I wanted you to be able to see what I based my assessment of color on. Proceeding in that fashion I was able to see how the color shifting changes as you add greater amounts or, as my husband phrased it, "See the trend." I also found it was entirely possible to create a new duochrome from the original Travel to's if I had enough patience to sort through the information.

I've listed all the pigment combinations that resulted in a color shift that was different from each other and from the original Travel to's, shown in blue. I imagine the ratios would work for dry color recipes as well.  You can view the complete chart by going to my page Duochrome Combinations.

Allow me to explain my chart to those of you that may be confused- and yes, I realize it is a bit confusing. For example, we'll take these entries on the list:


Name + Name, Ratio
1st Color
2nd Color
3rd Color
Mercury + Pluto 3:1
Pink
Red
Orange
Mars + Venus 1:1
Pink
Orange
Lt. Orange

The first column, Name + Name, Ratio, shows Mercury + Pluto 3:1.
Mercury and Pluto are the pigments combined in this one, 3 drops of Mercury to 1 drop of Pluto which results in a 3-color duochrome. The first planet listed is always the "3", the second planet is the "1" in the 3:1 ratios.

This duochrome starts out as pink and goes to red and then to orange. They are listed as first, second and third color (and separated that way in columns) to make them easier to compare to other combinations.

A ratio of 1:1 means one drop of a color mixed with one drop of another. For example, one drop of Mars with one drop of Venus.

I said "drops" because that’s how I did the testing, with liquid drops of my polish but it doesn't have to be drops, they just have to be equal parts. You could also use the syringes TKB sells if you're working with polish rather than dry pigment- for example 3 ml of Mercury to 1ml of Pluto.  Or, with the dry pigments, using TKB's mini spoon set, it could be 3 smidgen of Mercury to 1 smidgen of Pluto.

Name + Name, Ratio
1st color
2nd color
3rd color
Mars + Pluto 3:1
Or
Mars + Neptune 3:1
Pink
Red
n/a
Mercury + Pluto 3:1
Pink
Red
Orange
Mercury + Neptune 3:1
Pink
Peach
Red Orange
Venus +Mars 3:1
Pink
Peach
Lt. Yellow Green
Mercury + Venus 1:1
Dk. Pink
Orange
Yellow Orange
Mercury + Venus 3:1
Dk. Pink
Red
Orange
Mars
Red
Orange
Yellow Orange
Mercury + Pluto 1:1
Pink Orange
Red
Orange
Mercury + Earth 3:1
Pale Orange
Orange
Yellow
Venus + Jupiter 3:1
Peach
Orange
Green Yellow
Jupiter + Mercury 1:1
Orange
Orange Green
Blue Green
Mercury
Dk. Orange
Yellow Orange
Yellow Green
Mercury + Neptune 1:1
Brownish
Orange
n/a
Venus + Earth 3:1
Silver Brown
Silver Yellow
Pale Yellow
Jupiter + Mars 1:1
Dirty Yellow
Greenish
Green
Mercury + Earth 1:1
Yellow Orange
Orange
Dk. Orange
Jupiter + Mercury 3:1
Olive Green Orange
Olive Green
Green Blue
Mars + Earth 1:1
Yellow Green
Lt. Orange
Dk. Orange
Earth +  Mars 3:1
Or
Earth +  Mercury 3:1
Lime Green
Yellow Green
Orange
Jupiter
Pale Green
Blue Green
Blue
Pluto         
Silver Green
Purple
Pink
Jupiter + Venus 1:1
Silver Green
Green Blue
Blue Green
Jupiter + Neptune 3:1
Lt. Green
Aqua
Med. Blue
Earth +  Pluto 1:1
Lt. Green
Pink
Dk. Pink
Earth +  Pluto 3:1
Lt. Green
Yellow Green
Red
Earth +  Jupiter 3:1
Bright Green
Pale Green
Pale Orange Pink
Earth
Green
Orange Green
Red Orange
Earth +  Neptune 3:1
Med. Green
Green Blue
Red Purple
Jupiter + Neptune 1:1
Lt. Green Aqua
Aqua
n/a
Neptune + Mercury 3:1
Green Blue
Lt. Blue
Lt. Purple
Neptune + Earth 3:1
Green Blue
Lt. Green Blue
Purple Pink
Neptune + Pluto 3:1
Green Blue
Blue Purple
Lt. Purple
Neptune
Dk. Aqua
Blue
Purple
Jupiter + Earth 1:1
Blue Green
Green
Lt. Purple Gray
Neptune + Venus 3:1
Blue Green
Med. Blue
Blue Purple
Mars + Neptune 1:1
Blue
Lt. Purple
Pink
Venus + Neptune 1:1
Med. Blue
Dk. Blue
Gray
Venus + Neptune 3:1
Purple Blue
Silver Green
n/a
Venus
Lt. Purple
Red Green
Olive Green
Mars + Pluto 1:1
Silver Purple
Pink
Reddish Pink