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MOST prices & info on products are out of date, with the exception of the Chameleon Pigment Suppliers list (updated most frequently).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

Friends & Followers

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sales & Announcements

Prices updated 12/11/13, Links checked 12/12/13. I updated most of the various price lists around here recently which always brings new things to my attention, and I have some other info worth passing along.

Polish Sales
On the nail polish sales front, Nail is having a sale on Barielle nail polish, normally $8.00 a bottle now marked down to $3.00. I don't own any Barielle and so I know nothing about the available shades but the price is good.

Coastal Scents has their nail polish marked down as well, from $3.95 to $2.95 and mineral makeup at 40% off.

Cherry Culture has many nail polish brands on sale including L.A. Colors, & L.A. Girl, which of course aren't expensive brands but savings can add up.

Ulta has their Salon Formula Nail Lacquer priced at $6.00 each but if you buy two, you get TWO free which makes them $3.00 each.

Sally Beauty has Nina Ultra Pro Nail Lacquer marked down from $3.99.29 to $3.79.

Other News
While updating the pigment dupe list, I noticed an increase in prices across the board. The list is primarily Coastal Scents, The Conservatorie and TKB Trading pigments and hadn't been updated in over a year so it's possible that the increase was more gradual than it seems. The biggest increase cent-wise was from Coastal Scents with The Conservatorie (average $.50 higher) coming in second and TKB Trading last, who raised prices on only a few pigments.

It must be a trend because prices were a bit higher on nail polish & some frankening supplies like Nailite's empty bottles that are up $.05.

New Products
I check TKB Trading's website fairly often and this time found that they have new solvent resistant glitters in stock, five colors suitable for nail polish. Headtrip, Pink Points and Focus Blue are .008", Luminosity is a .002" silver holo- .002" is the smallest size available anywhere. The last, Adam & Eve doesn't have a size listed. Their descriptions below.

Headtrip: Bluegreen shimmer like a classic 1960's jacquard dinner dress. A peacock blue. Hex size is .008.
Pink Points: Decidedly pink but not in a flashy kind of way. Every so slightly subdued with mauvy blue. Hex size is .008.
Focus Blue: A true blue glitter. Hex size is .008.
Adam & Eve: Midtoned purple (lavender?) with sparks of blue and pink. An iridescent mish-mashup of midrange tones.
Luminosity: Holographic glitter at its most microfine, .002 hex size. So fine it is almost like a dust of holographic silver.

They are available in 2.5g samples for $1.50 individually, a sample set for $5.25, 1 oz (bagged) individually for $2.95 or a set for $12.00.

Remember the flakes from my entry Duochrome Flakes? The ones I mentioned were solvent resistant, apparently made for nail polish and had some color shifting ability but weren't available over here in the U.S. or any other retail store. My efforts to entice some company to add these to their inventory have netted mixed results and they continue to be unavailable- until now. Two stores/sellers have contacted me and told me they have some in stock, both can be found on my Glitter Supplier page. Note: I've tested them and these are entirely solvent resistant, will hold their color without bleeding and do color shift but they are not the flakes used in commonly known flakie polishes. 

The first store is Frankenpolish Shop (.com). The owner, a fellow frankener, contacted me in December prior to opening the store online and told me she planned to sell supplies for the franken polish community, namely the flakes. She's still working on stocking the store but Golden Flakes & Multi Colored flakes are up for sale for $3.00 (still waiting for more info on size) and it looks like coarse grade SpectraFlair will also be available soon. The store is located in Sweden and the shipping rates seem reasonable. 

The second store is You Mix Cosmetics. Dustin from the store left me a message on Duochrome Flakes telling me (and the rest of us) that they'd just placed a big order of the flakes and they'll be available in store within the week. You Mix Cosmetics also sells full size magnetic nail polish, the magnets, color shifting pigments, glitter for nail polish and stamping plates. All prices are pretty reasonable including the shipping and the store is located in Idaho, USA. The store is owned by a husband and wife team that I think is pretty neat- my husband supplies my frankening habit but he isn't interested in what I do with it.

Hit the Duochrome Flakes tag for related entries.

That's all the news for now. -MK

Monday, January 23, 2012

Having Blogger Issues?

I’d been having some issues associated with my blog recently but these have not been addressed on Blogger’s Known Issues page. Although I have yet to determine if this is unique to me, I have a solution and wanted to share that with you but before I do, let me tell you what those issues were.

My normal internet browser is Internet Explorer, version 8 for Windows XP and that’s what I was using when the problem starting occurring.

Issue #1: Almost everyone that has a blog (on at least) is using a “gadget” to share their list of favorite blogs that is generally located off to one side. I have two of these, Fellow Frankeners & Other Great Polish Blogs with both displaying the name of the blog and it’s most recent entry. Whenever I would click on one of those links, the blog would appear in the browser window for a couple seconds before going white, didn’t give an error message and wouldn’t refresh. Going to the same link from someone else’s blog or going there directly from a Google search produced the same results. The same thing would happen on my own blog as well but in this instance, hitting the back button would make it load proper.

Issue #2: When I would click on links on my own blog, whether it be an Archive entry link or one of my pages, the page would complete loading then go directly to the bottom of the comments (and no, I do not have a stuck button on my keyboard). The same happened on other blogs when I would view them.

Issue #3: In my Dashboard, replying to comments from the Comments tab became impossible because going to the entry from there somehow prevented me from being able to publish that response, again without an error message. Instead, I had to go the entry from the Archives on my blog.

All of these issues continued to occur after Hubby upgraded me from Windows XP to Windows 7. Using Mozilla Firefox as my internet browser instead of Internet Explorer (version 9 for Win7) didn’t help either.

The solution? Although Hubby couldn’t tell me what the problem was or if it was me, Blogger or the browser, he suggested trying Google’s browser, Chrome which I did and the problems ceased. If you’re experiencing these sorts of issues, give Chrome a try and see if it doesn’t work for you. It was irritating as heck to me so I was grateful for a simple answer. -MK

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bling MetalFlake: Store Review

Links checked, prices updated 12/12/13

It must’ve been an oversight that I reviewed the flakes I bought from Bling Metalflake in September ’11 but not the store itself so I’m here to fix that.

Bling Metalflake was the first automotive-related store I purchased from although that decision was greatly influenced by how sparkly the pictures looked in the eBay store. I was aware that it was basically glitter but there were quite a few holographics and sizes larger than .004” which was all I owned at the time. I also believed, erroneously, that because it was automotive grade polyester, it probably wouldn’t bleed when submerged in polish. The eBay store is under the name of AirGraffix but sets are only in the online store Bling Metalflake. Prices are reasonable, PayPal is accepted and as a bonus, they ship via USPS which helps keep my expenses down.

After doing the math, I decided to order 2 sets of 6 2 ounce jars for $49.99 but the ordering process was made slightly more difficult by the fact that the site doesn’t display correctly- text and images overlap. The way you are supposed to order is to enter the number of the color in the appropriate box and click the PayPal Add to Cart button for each, or, for a set, a series of numbers in a different box. I got around this by copying the entire page to a MS Office document which forced it into a sensible order, shown below (and that isn’t my spelling).

1. Black Magic .004
2. Black Magic .008
3. Black Magic .015
4. Black Prism .008
5. Gun Metal .015
6. Gun Metal .004
7. Blue Gun Metal .004
8. White Pearl .008
9. Purple Blaze .008
10. Purple Blaze .004
11. Purple Prism .008
12. Maroon .008
13. Burgundy .008
14. Red .008
15. Pink Rose .008
16. Pink Shifting Prism .008
17. Midnite Navy Blue .008
18. Teal Blue .004
19. Blue Blaze .015
20. Blue Blaze .008
21.Blue Blaze .004
22. Western Blue .004
23. Electric Blue .008
24. Electric Blue .004
25. Midnite Green .008
26. Emerald Green .008
27. Emerald Green .004                    
28. Lime Green .004
29. Chartreuse .008
30. Orange .008
31. Orange Pearl .008
32. Orange/Line Shifting .008
33. Rootbeer .008
34. Penny Copper .015
35. Gold Copper .008
36. Brilliant Gold .008
37. Yellow Gold .008
38. Yellow Gold .004
39. Gold Jewels .008
40. Blue/Purple Shiffting .008
41. Holographic Blue .008
42. Ice Blue .004
43. Silver Jewels .008
44. Chrome/ Silver .008
45. Holographic Silver .008
46. Chrome/ Silver .004
47. Fuschia .008
48. Fuschia .004
49. White Pearl .004
50. Sticky Lime Green .008
51. Bronze Brown .008
52. Holographic Red .008
53. Holographic Fuscia .008
54. Diamond Ice Prism .008
55. Holographic Green .008

Having decided on the two sets, I selected all the available holographics and three color shifting flakes (based on name and appearance) which you can view in my other entries regarding the company. I spent $109.00 so shipping was free.

Almost all the flakes bled but the ones I had real issues with were #16 Pink Shifting Prism, #32 Orange/Lime Shifting, #40 Blue/Purple Shifting, #54 Diamond Ice Prism which became flecks within minutes. When I emailed the company to complain (politely because you don’t bitch when you want something out of someone), I was told that it has known bleeding issues and my money would be refunded. It took some emailing back and forth but eventually the owner agreed to exchange all four, was willing to help me if I had questions since he was a custom painter and in the end, I felt that I had been dealt with fairly. When I received my exchange order, he had even thrown in an extra full size holo that is not for sale.

Tickled to death and working on pictures for my second Bling Metalflake entry I realized the order was only semi-correct- he had sent the proper replacement colors but the hex sizes were wrong… I let it go, it wasn’t worth my trouble to point out the error.

A month later, I would email the owner again because he was a custom painter and I thought he might have some insight into the matter of the Nfu Oh-like flakes but he didn’t respond. I let that one go, too.  

Would I buy from Bling Metalflake again? Probably not. I like the other colors, but I can find non bleeders elsewhere along with better customer service. -MK

Related Entries:
Bling MetalFlake: Swatches
Bling MetalFlake Replacements
Glitter Review: Bleeders & Flecks
Iridescent Glitters
Bleeding Glitter List

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

TKB Moon Dusts, Star Bites & Sparks!

Prices Accurate 12/11/13, Links checked 12/12/13

I received several different sets of pigment for Christmas, the Sparks!, Moon Dusts and Star Bites collections from TKB Trading. Although the sun is lacking, I took some photographs of the very-basic-recipe frankens (in bottles) that I made from them & their card swatches. I might've included manicure pictures but my fingernails have been in a sorry state since Thanksgiving so they aren't worth polishing.

The Moon Dusts & Star Bites are both duochrome collections but given the lack of proper lighting, I had difficulty capturing the color transistion. It's a little easier to see in the bottles but not much. In the case of the Sparks!, there are a few that seem to have a very light duochrome appearance but it's not obvious at all and I'm second guessing myself.

I would've bought them eventually but two people deserve credit for influencing my decision- Kitties26 of More Nail Polish & ferretkingdom as she is known on Purse Forum.
- ferretkingdom's pictures of the Sparks, Moon Dusts and Star Bites can be viewed at this post on Purse Forum. If you haven't already seem them, they are towards the bottom of the page.
- Kitties26 featured the Star Bites in her frankens/Duochrome Top Coats #2, #3 and #4. She shows off the Moon Dusts with her entries Custom polishes - Moondust TKB pigments Part 1 and Custom polishes - Moondust TKB pigments Part 2.

The Star Bites Collection
The Star Bites are a spectacular collection. It says on TKB's website that they are still confirming that they are solvent resistent but I can assure you that they are. In the containers they are white like the Hilites but that's where the resemblance ends because these are a larger particle size and duochromes.
Cherika Moon, Marinda Star, Shanika Sun

On skin you can see how transparent they are and the color shift still doesn't appear but you can see how sparkly they are. The first is a macro, the second slightly out of focus intentionally.
Shanika Sun, Marinda Star & Cherika Moon

Below are polish pictures which, since I didn't use suspension base, have settled but I chose to leave them that way. The color is a bit easier to see than if you viewed them dry, plus the 3-dimensional view allows a bit more of the duochrome to show. They are in the order of Shanika Sun, Cherika Moon & Marinda Star.

The card swatches were photographed under the same lighting as the bottles but here they have been swatched over black and white.

My nail sticks, photos taken indoors, simulated daylight lamp. The nails are black acrylic thus you can say these are layered over black. Shanika, Cherika & Marinda.

An outdoors picture, daylight without sun. Cherika, Shanika & Marinda here.

The Star Bites are $2.95 per sample, or a sample set of the 3 for $6.00. If you're looking to purchase an ounce, they are $15.00 each or $35.00 for the set.

The Moon Dusts Collection
The Moon Dusts are another great collection of pigments from TKB Trading. Two of these have a similar color shift to the Star Bites- Crescent Crimson & Marinda Star, Aisha Gold & Shanika Sun but not only are the particle sizes different, the appearance is as well; the others are all unique (and none of the eight have the same color shift as any of the Travel to pigments).

Again, in containers they look Hilite-ish but their color extends beyond mere interference. Indu Rose, Lavender Luz, Aisha Gold, Crescent Crimson, Luna Blue.

Swatched dry on skin, they are still rather unimpressive if sparkly. The first is a macro, the second out of focus.
 Aisha Gold, Crescent Crimson, Indu Rose, Lavender Luz, Luna Blue

Below are pictures in the bottle. As with the others, the contents have settled and I've chosen to leave them that way. The color shifting also comes out with a 3-dimensional view. They are in the order of Luna Blue, Lavender Luz, Aisha Gold, Crescent Crimson & Indu Rose.

The card swatches were photographed under the same lighting as the bottles but here they have been swatched over black and white.

My nail sticks, photos taken indoors, simulated daylight lamp. The nails are black acrylic thus you can say these are layered over black. Indu, Crescent, Lavender, Aisha & Luna

An outdoors picture, daylight without sun. Aisha, Luna, Indu, Lavender & Crescent here.

The Moon Dusts are $2.95 per sample, or a set of the 5 for $12.00. For an ounce, they're $15.00 each or $59.00 for a set.

The Sparks! Collection
The Sparks! Collection is not new TKB Trading inventory but it is new to me. A long time ago I elected not to buy it because I thought I had enough interference pigments, owning all the Hilites along with the SupernovasFrosty-named pigments from The Conservatorie. I was satisfied with these until I saw ferretkingdom's swatch pics on Purse Forum.

It's not obvious in any of the pictures I have but Red Sparks is a duochrome, similar in color transition to Travel to Mercury although transparent. It fits right in with the Moon Dusts. Blue Sparks also has a color shift from blue to purple, reminding me somewhat of TKB's Her Majesty but I've been unable to capture it in pictures or in a franken polish.

The container picture below doesn't do them justice. Left is Noble Silver, Red, Copper & Gold. On right are Green, Aqua, Blue & Purple.

On skin they are of course white with a sharper interference due to a larger particle size than their cousins the Hilites. An in-focus shot shows them just that way too so I included only the slightly blurry one.

Below are pictures in the bottle. As with the others, the contents have settled and I've chosen to leave them that way since the color shows more. They are in the order of Blue, Green & Purple on the left, Gold, Aqua & Copper on the right, Red showing on the bottom.

The card swatches were photographed under the same lighting as the bottles but here they have been swatched over black and white.


The Sparks as a collection are $10.80 per sample set or 1 ounce of each for $67.35. Sold individually, they are $1.50 per sample or $9.00 per ounce.

And go check out those other ladies fantastic pics too. -MK

Friday, January 13, 2012

TCP Global Color Shifting Pearls

Prices Accurate 12/11/13, Links checked 12/12/13

Time to show off some pigments from TCP Global, in particular the Color Shifting Pearls.

The containers shown are not what they arrived in; those are my “portables” from SKS Bottle.

Color Shifting Pearls
Color shifting pearls are available in two versions, Color Shifting Pearls and Rev-Illusion Special Effect Pearls, both with 5 colors each and sold individually or in sets. I chose the “originals” and purchased them as a set of 1/2 oz jars for $74.75. This brings the price down compared to the single price but they are still expensive (although not as much as the Rev-Illusions which as a set is $299.25). I don’t feel they are worth that because they are disappointingly exact dupes for TKB Trading’s Travel To pigments which I already own and are more affordable. Judging by TCP Global’s pictures, I knew they would be similar but I didn’t expect dupes.

All the pearls (including the Traditional Pearls) are together in this photo, taken under lamp light.

1. SP113 Blue Green
2. SP117 Red Green
3. SP118 Green Blue Violet
4. CSP85 Blue Gold
5. CSP83 Blue Red
6. CSP82 Green Purple
7. FP112 Orange Red
8. CSP81 Red Gold
9. CSP84 Green Orange
10. SP120 Red Violet
Here is the set of 5 color shifting pearls alone and below are the same pearls next to their Planetary sisters.

Earth & Green Orange – Jupiter & Blue Gold at top
Mercury & Red Gold in the middle
Pluto & Blue Red – Venus & Green Purple on the bottom

Here they’ve been swatched dry over Black Mica for contrast, photographed under lamp light.

Mercury & Red Gold, Venus & Green Purple, Pluto & Blue Red, Earth & Green Orange, Jupiter & Blue Gold

For what these would look like as a black based polish, I refer you to my entry about the Planetary Sampler. After I used three of these in clear polish, I realized they were dupes and saw no point in creating the others. -MK

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TCP Global: Store Review

Links checked 12/12/13

Another of my Christmas presents was an order from TCP Global, a company that sells automotive paint, pigments and flakes as well as an array of other art and hobby supplies. I’ve never found any reviews on them that are polish related but they continued to pop up in my search for flakes and their SpectraFlair-like products caught my attention. Given the opportunity at Christmas, I placed my order, have tried out most of what I purchased and am now ready to write my own review.

As I said, TCP Global has a big inventory; of main interest to me were their automotive flakes. I already owned some of Alsa’s holographics but TCP Global’s selection is too good. Even better is that they are available in different particle sizes and packages sizes, with most prices being very reasonable. They also sell the typical types of automotive paint- candies, ghosts, pearls and color shifting in both liquid (not important to us) and in dry pigments. Price varies on these more depending on the finish but I still believe they are comparable to what's available from other places and of equal quality.

What I ordered were Kustom Shop holographic flakes, color shifting pearls and diamond crystal pearls- very similar to TKB Trading's Sparks! I made my decision after looking over the options for several days, and chose them based on their pictures which I find to be far more accurate than the color descriptions themselves.

In the case of the pigments, you have the name, which serves as the description of the color shift (ie: Blue Green) and the picture of the pigment, usually layered over a black basecoat (I’m assuming). Pictures, names and what they look like in reality don’t always match. Several of the traditional pearls that have “shift” in their name don’t color shift at all; they are more like pigments with interference and some are ugly and/or unoriginal.

The flakes have no individual descriptions beyond their names and they should because some of those pictures are misleading as well. A few that are supposed to be holographic aren't in the way most of us think of holographic, instead they are transparent and color shifting. After ordering, I found ferretkingdom’s picture of TCP Global’s flakes and discovered several were transparent; had I known that, I wouldn’t have bought them. Only because my experience with color shifting glitters has been negative though. I can confirm that these are color shifting and they don't bleed.

Regarding their email communication, they are somewhere in the middle. I've emailed them on several occasions about different products and always received a response within a day which is a point in their favor. However, after placing my order, I didn't get an order confirmation from the company themselves, only from PayPal and I didn't receive a shipping notification either.

Regarding the shipping itself, I knew ahead of time it would be shipped via UPS Ground so the shipping fee is on par with what everyone else seems to be charging, $15 on the $200.00+ total. I didn't know when it was coming but the order was placed on December 14 and it was delivered the 22nd or 23rd, not bad considering the time of year.

Everything was packaged in containers, not bags- jars for the pigment and bottles for the flakes, the Kustom Shop label nicely printed. The ingredients list is somewhat generic because every item has the same one which lists ingredients for flakes and pigments both but that’s really a minor issue.

All in all, my experience was positive. I got what I paid for, it arrived quickly and I will be a returning customer. They have more I want but I will be expecting more variation in color than I did this time.

I’ll be doing a review for the individual colors themselves, with swatches, in an upcoming entry so check back soon. -MK

Related Entries:
TCP Global Color Shifting Pearls

Monday, January 9, 2012

News from the Bermuda Triangle of Ky

Links checked 12/12/13

New Year, new look. Despite the fact that I do like my white on black, I did hear those that gave opinions on my layout and designed something different. We'll try this for a while, maybe it will grow on me. I do like the color theme which was inspired by the full background, photos I took of a sunset and sunrise. I'm posting it here because I do like it so much. What, never thought you could have a sunset and sunrise at the same time?

My hard drive, the important one, may or may not be dying and hubby is dragging his feet about fixing it (and upgrading me to Windows 7) so the postings I planned on will be delayed, obviously. I refuse to trust it not to lose my digital camera pictures, a folder that is so big it is impossible to back it up. Did you know the price of a new hard drive is over twice what it was earlier this year, from $40 to $90 approximately? It only goes to prove that flooding in Asia does effect us Americans & in all sorts of interesting ways... and now you've learnt that most hard drives on the market come from overseas, surprise surprise.

I do have good news though, working, non bleeding color shifting flakes- flakes because they are automotive, not the Nfu Oh kind, sorry. I also have a couple positive store reviews coming and products from those stores and maybe franken recipes featuring those lovely Moon Dusts and Star Bites from TKB Trading... if I ever paint my nails. I have way more fun playing around with the colors than using them properly.

I finally broke down and bought a bottle of Essie Luxe Effects Shine of the Times at my local Walgreens for $8, a price that normally would make me cringe. If I bought Nubar 2010 off eBay, I would've ended up paying that anyway but it doesn't really take the sting out... This should leave you with no question as to why I don't just buy Nfu Oh flakies but I want those flakes.

Ok, that was somewhat disconnected, not my normal style of writing but my mind has already shifted gears. Hope ya'll have had a good day. I can say "ya'll", I'm from Kentucky. -MK