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

Updates & Notices

This blog and some info within is out of date, with the occasional exception of the Chameleon Pigment Suppliers list, but it stands as is for reference. The date of any updates are noted at the top of each page/entry.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Three Months Worth of Polish

I've got some bottle spam for you today because, in the past three months, I've done what I refer to as "store hopping" and acquired a lot of polish, most of which I'll probably never wear but will happily franken with. I've managed to hit Dollar Tree, Sally Beauty, Meijers, two CVS, two Walgreens, Walmart and Kmart, broke my $2.00 per bottle limit and come to the conclusion that no one restocks often enough and Walgreens is boring. As often as I've been there, I continue to expect to find something special and am irritated when I don't.

Walgreens is useful for Sinful Colors, Wet 'n' Wild and more recently, Essie which is where I've picked up several bottles of Shine of the Times from their Luxe Effects collection for $8.00- that remains the most I've paid for a single bottle. I guess everyone is over the orange-to-green flakes because they're always in stock. Inset shows the color shift over black in sunlight.

The only new Sinful to come home with me is Kissy although I knew on sight that it wasn't all that different from Wet 'n' Wild's Teal of Fortune or their Deeper Dive from the Spoiled line. While the inset shows it over white and in sunlight, Kissy is vibrant green-blue layered over black. Sinful Colors sell for $1.99.

I also picked up Sally Hansen (Insta-Dri) Uptempo Plum and Punk Rock from the Hard as Nails line but neither are as remarkable as they appeared in-store.

Punk Rock ended up being a different duochrome than I thought, somewhere between Sinful Colors Love Nails & Gorgeous, one of those slight aqua to blue duos, sheer like the rest of the line. The price was right, $1.99 and it could be good to franken with so I’m not too disappointed.

I am disappointed with Uptempo Plum though. It was in the discount basket and marked down to $2.95 so I picked it up more than once before deciding to buy it, won over by it’s appearance. In the bottle, it sparkled and seemed to have a slight purple to orange-ish duochrome but none of that translated to the nail when I applied it. Instead it was a vampy plum color with little sparkle and no discernable color shift. Now I know why it was in the basket.

Insets show both colors over white in sunlight.

The point of going to CVS was to check the Confetti brand for anything new and to find the Spoiled brand. Confetti had the same old colors I've already picked over but I found the Spoileds and noticed that most of them look like re-bottled Wet 'n' Wilds or Sinful Colors. I bought most of the glitters and a few of the shimmers with duplicates for $1.99 each, brought them home, swatched them and hated every single brush instantly- but I was warned, having read on others blogs that they were abysmal. All swatches were taken in full sunlight over white.

From left to right: Pet My Peacock, Shuffle the Deck, Jewelry Heist, Trust Fund Baby, Cougar Attack and Use Protection

From left to right: Deeper Dive, The Parking Meteor has Expired, Vitamin C, Ants in My Pants, Are Mermaids Real and Shrimp on the Barbie

Deeper Dive = Teal of Fortune, Sinful Colors Kissy
The Parking Meteor has Expired = Sinful Colors What's Your Name and See You Soon
Vitamin C =
Shrimp on the Barbie = Waves of Enchantment (LE, Mermaids Cove collection)

When I went out in February with my sister, we went to Sally Beauty where I purchased my first Orly polishes (again breaking my $2 limit) and a few other brands that were marked down. Along with Orly's Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and Fantasea, I got Finger Paints Comets Collar, Savvy Champagne for $1.99 a piece and three little bottles of a purple to green Sally Girl duochrome, $0.99 each.
Insets show polishes in sunlight. For Comets Collar, the polish is over black and white. Both Champagne and the Sally Girl are over white.

I can't remember where now but I saw Orly's Fantasea on a blog and had to have it because that orange with purple is an unusual combination. I chose Meet Me Under the Mistletoe because of the sparkly duochrome. The bottles are huge, I had no idea! They’re only 3ml more than the standard size but they even feel huge holding them in my hand and the size offsets the $4.00+ price. I like the colors so much I feel the urge to go buy more so it’s probably good I go there just once a year.

Fantasea's inset on top shows the polish layered over black and white, the next two captured the color shift from gentle orange to reddish-pink. Mistletoe's duochrome, shown here over white, was a little harder to bring out but there's a shift from a green to a more blue color.

Meijers yielded several finds- the limited edition Color Icon polishes from Wet 'n' Wild, the Studio M and Pure Ice brands and three glitters from Milani.

Milani's Teal, Hot Pink and Gems. I might've been able to come close to duping these but large size non bleeding glitters are always good to have lying around.

The Wet 'n' Wild Color Icons I found on a shelf at the end of the aisle. There wasn't a display anymore, just 6 bottles crammed in between other miscellaneous cosmetics and I grabbed them all. Unfortunately I didn't get Bow In My Presence but I did get an extra each of two others. $2.79 each.

The Crown Is Mine, Speak When Spoken To, Born Into Privilege and Jewels for Your Highness

The Studio M I bought were copies except for Lust which could qualify for a polish version of TKB Trading’s Libra Blues pigment, blue based with purple interference. Electronica is a deep but not quite vampy purple with small particles of blue and pink mixed in. Total Mystery is not quite as blue as it looks but I'm not sure how to describe it other than saying that there is a slight purple tone to it and it sparkles without being a metallic finish. Total Mystery and Electronica are layered over black here while Lust is shown over both black and white. They were $2.49.

Electronica, Total Mystery and Lust

In my local grocery store, Remke's, I found some polishes that surprised me because normally the store has little in way of cosmetics.

These are from Diamond Cosmetics and I bought them for $3.00 something purely for the glow-in-the-dark novelty. They are colored in the bottle but extremely sheer so even several coats wouldn't change the color of the polish it's layered over.
Glo Worm Green, Tangeglo, Pink Flaminglo, Blue Moonglo

These are two "Artist Expressions" sets from Nailene, simply called Warm, left and Cool on the right. I didn't think to photograph the packaging but you can see them on Nailene's website.

Each comes with a glitter striper, a small vial with coordinating holographic glitter and a sparkly duochrome topcoat which is why I decided to buy them. The insets display the color shift of the topcoat when layered over black, photographed in sunlight. $8.00+

During a trip to Kmart, I found most of the newer Jordana Glitters. Initially I grabbed a bottle of each color but reconsidered and wiped out the rest. When I went back the next weekend, they still hadn't restocked so I almost feel bad for whoever came in after me wanting the same thing… I said almost, I'm a believer in buying in bulk the first time. $2.99 each.

In the top row: Funky Gold Town, Celestial, Magenta Magic, Cosmic and L.A. City Nights. In the bottom row: Sequins, Celebration, Blue Bash and Copper Blaze.

And my last purchase from Kmart for $1.99 was a solitary NYC polish, Broadway Burgundy Frost which is neither burgundy colored or frosty. Seriously? A good comparison would be Sally Hansen Red Carpet, same concept but with less glitter. Inset shows polish over black and white, in full sunlight.

My Dollar Tree finds were Fingers Nail Art pens to be used for everything but nail art (I draw on paper, not fingernails) and the Sally Hansen Chrome pens. I bought every one they had and they haven’t had any since, sorry to say.

Green Chrome, Fuchsia Chrome, Red Chrome, Pink Chrome and Silver Chrome

Caution, Dare, Boy Crazy and Hottie

Dollar General is alright but the Dollar Tree seems to have a better selection and more variation, the point being that you never know what you may find so it’s always worth stopping in. You spend $20, you walk out with 20 things, that's my kind of store. -MK

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Magnetic Pigments!!

Links checked 12/12/13
Good Morning ladies! I have a bit of news for you today.

Magnetic nail polish is one of the newer crazes taking over the polish world, hot on the heels of the crackle craziness and there seems to be as many brands doing it as there are different patterned magnets to use with them. There isn't though, that I know of, magnetic pigments for us frankeners to play around with. Kris of the blog, My Lucid Bubble did attempt and succeed in making a magnetic franken from "raw ingredients" but she said in so many words that it wasn't worth the effort to do it again. After reading that, I didn't bother to attempt it myself, in part because I don't find magnetic polishes (any more than the crackles) all that exciting but mostly because the challenge wasn't worth the reward.

Now enter the magnetic pigments! Yes, powder pigments, just like the others we use except these are magnetic and all you need to have a little fun are the empty bottles, clear polish and some magnets. Where are you going to buy them if you want them? Anna's Art Asylum on eBay.

Anna offers 6 colors as 1 gram bagged. You can buy all 6 colors for $12.00, free shipping. The magnet is not included nor does Anna sell them but if you're into magnetic polish, I'm sure you already have some since most are on the bottle cap.

Anna recently sent samples to me to try out but it quickly became obvious that I don't know what the hell I'm doing so, no pictures. I don't care for the price of magnetic polish so I don't have a patterned magnet and instead tried to improvise using a round neodymium magnet- it didn't work. I get the basic concept though, a proper magnet creates what would be termed chatoyancy in a gemstone like Tigereye. I've seen a lot of nice manicures done with magnetic polish so my experience was obviously due to operator error. Any recommendations for a magnet, anyone?

The colors Anna's Art Asylum has are golden, orange, dark pink, blue green, purple and what looks like yellow? Her pictures are of the pigments mixed with clear but I'm sure they could be mixed with colored polish too. For the one bottle I made, I chose clear with the purple pigment initially and then added some green-to-purple-pink duochrome polish.

Go check the pigments out, see what you think. -MK

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

TKB Trading Update, 3/14 & 3/22

Links checked 12/12/13.
Don't forget to check Suspension Base Suppliers & Notes for all possible sources.

March 14, 2012
I'll keep this brief as it's 8:11a and I have some other things I need to get to.

For those of you who haven't checked today, TKB Trading's suspension base in 4 oz bottles was taken down yesterday but the 1 oz. bottles are still available. The decision was also made, according to the site, to still sell the pints but on a pre-order basis (this has not yet been implemented).

March 22, 2012
I didn't feel the need to write an entirely new update regarding TKB's suspension bases so I'll update this one.

TKB Trading's page for Franken Polish Bases in Pints maintains the same message which is that, momentarily, they are not selling them on the site but are considering/implementing doing so on a per-order basis.

The Franken Polish Bases for Canadian Customers page states that only their Luster Base is in stock and they will be restocking in May.
4 ounce bottle of Luster Base  $12.00

1 pint can of Luster base (shipping included)  $39.00

For American Customers, the Franken Polish Bases page contains the same message that only the Luster Base is in stock but inventory will be restocked in May.
1 fl oz  $5.50
4 fl oz  $12.00
16 fl oz (shipping included)  $29.00

Thank you to those ladies who left comments and updated me on some of these changes that took place while I wasn't on the pc. -MK

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Follow Up about TKB Trading's Pints

Links checked 12/12/13.
Don't forget to check Suspension Base Suppliers & Notes for all possible sources.

Sounds like I started something, doesn't it? I'm feeling a little guilty about that, as though my reaction was over the top despite that I felt the previous entry was well thought out. Well written or not, my reader's response and TKB Trading's require a follow up entry.

I love TKB Trading and was very upset to hear that the pint would no longer be sold; it took so long to happen, to have a suspension base for retail purchase and then to have the option removed... I was a little insulted because the way it was phrased on the page for the pint sure sounded like preferential treatment of frankenpolish sellers- I must use the word "was" here because Mrs. Westerman has since updated that page with a clearer explanation. But before she did that and after I wrote the last entry, I sent a similar email which I am including, along with Mrs. Westerman's response. Normally I wouldn't post correspondence verbatim but in this case, I wanted to make sure I was being fair- you know, to show both sides and I suppose also to show that I was being unnecessarily harsh. 

Mrs. Westerman,
I'm sure I am not the only frankener upset by the news that the company is reserving the pints for micro businesses. The message that sends is that if one does not sell their franken polish, they are going to pay more for the privilege of creating their own. There is a substantial difference in price between what the hobbyist and the franken polish seller will now pay and quite frankly, I don't think that's right. We all sink money into it to do it but the franken sellers at least get part of their expenses back. I understand that you have a responsibility to those high-volume customers, particularly since you make more money off those orders but what about the rest of us? Had I known that eventually I wouldn't be able to purchase a pint, I would've bought two or three when I bought just the one because that would've been the sensible thing to do. The company will do whatever it is going to do but if you're determined to do this without having given us prior warning, lower the prices on the small bottles. Shipping for almost every frankening supply is expensive because it goes ground, hobbyists have to save money wherever possible and this isn't saving us money. 

And the response...
The lead time for nail polish manufacturing is about three months, and based on my last quarter sales, I thought I had ordered enough, but somehow "word got out" this time around and I clearly miscalculated. It's not a matter of trying to control the market, a 'secret club' or anything. It is simply a matter of the well running dry.

I got flooded with orders this week, I had to pull the plug suddenly in part because I may have actually sold out my inventory. I'm sorry I didn't plan better.

Your suggestion about lower the price on the smaller bottles is something I will consider. Right now, I am just trying to work through the orders we have and then I'm going to do an inventory and see what options I'm left with. So I won't know exactly what I will do for about a week.
Kaila Westerman, TKB Trading. 

In short, TKB Trading received more orders for suspension base than they had the suspension base to fill this time around, no doubt influenced by the recent explosion of franken polishes for sale. It'a an unfortunate oversight and one with unintended consequences, namely that everyone is going to have to slow down their frankening or risk running out of suspension base altogether. Hubby explained it all by saying that supplies, whatever the industry, are ordered based on the previous quarter's sales, (as you can see Mrs. Westerman confirmed) supply-and-demand, first come, first served and all that, it's only good business that high volume buyers get preference... sometimes Hubby's matter of fact way of looking at things is greatly annoying. You can still buy the suspension bases in smaller bottles so its not as though the well truly is empty but the price is not conducive to mass production. For the pints we're looking at at least a three month waiting period, possibly more since the back-logged orders will have to be filled first and then, get in line. I am not a microbusiness, I'll be waiting along with the rest of you. -MK

Monday, March 12, 2012

News on TKB Trading's Bulk Franken Polish Bases

Links checked 12/12/13
Don't forget to check Suspension Base Suppliers & Notes for all possible sources.

Let me start by saying that I wouldn't even be aware of the issue I'm about to mention had I not been poking around on my own Stats/Traffic Sources page which led to my reading another blogger's entry. That particular entry is From Head to Foot about suspension.

I read the entry, scrolled down to the reader comments and noticed that a lady named Allison stated that TKB Trading will no longer be selling the bulk (1 pint) suspension bases. If you go to their page for that, this is what you'll get to read. Click the link, go read the page, I'll wait.

The way I take it is because selling franken polish has become such a booming business and TKB Trading became the supplier (I might add, the only available supplier) for those individuals, they get priority of the existing stock. The rest of us, the ones who only buy a pint once in a blue moon, are S.O.L.- and if you're American, you know what "S.O.L." stands for. 

For me, this is a money issue. TKB makes money from the continual sale to micro-business frankeners, the frankeners make money because they are selling their franken polish with a mark up so they too make a profit. And that's fine, that's what business is about but with TKB limiting the market for the pint, our price options go up. Those of us who do this as a hobby- those of us who spend money to do it and don't get any money back out of it- are going to pay more for the privilege of having a properly suspended polish. I myself have only purchased a pint once because I don't use it rapidly and the one I have isn't empty. Besides, I'm almost at 500 bottles made, I don't sell what I make so I couldn't afford to use suspension base every single time. 

Since the pint isn't sold anymore, you can't see what it sold for but I'm anal retentive and have them listed everywhere. See below! The prices listed are for American customers and shipping was included in the price of the pint but not for the 1 ounce or 4 ounce (and all of these ship via Ground Service). I did the math, estimating shipping (based on TKB's checkout process) for both USPS and FedEx. Look what the hobbyist is going to pay versus what the franken polish seller will. 

2 bottles
8 bottles
32 bottles
Clear Coat
1 oz $3.95

4 oz $10.00
out of stock
1 pint $25.00
out of stock 
Price per ounce w/out shipping
USPS shipping $4.99

Fed Ex Ground shipping $8.95

2 bottles
8 bottles
32 bottles
Luster Base
Glamour Base
Matte Base
1 oz $5.50

4 oz $12.00
out of stock 
1 pint $29.00
out of stock 
Price per ounce w/out shipping
USPS shipping $4.99

Fed Ex Ground shipping $8.95

2 bottles
8 bottles
32 bottles
Colored Bases: Black, White, Blue, Red & Yellow
1 oz $5.75

4 oz $14.00
out of stock 
1 pint $32.00
out of stock 
Price per ounce w/out shipping


USPS shipping $4.99


Fed Ex Ground shipping $8.95


Locally, premium gas is $4.13 a gallon and it's predicted to be over $5.00 by the summer. When gas goes up in price, shipping rates go up and we're already paying Ground service for most frankening supplies. The days of placing a "small order" for $20.00 is made impossible when you pay half that in shipping alone and crap like this just eats into the budget even more. Perhaps TKB Trading will lower the price of the 1 ounce and 4 ounce? One can only hope. -MK

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Anna's Art Asylum Part 3

Links checked 12/12/13

This post will conclude the 3 part series featuring pigments from Anna’s Art Asylum; links to Parts 1 & 2 are located at the bottom of the page. I've already reviewed 8 of the duochromes and that brings us to the last two, #35204 & #221501 which have the same color shift but in slightly different hues.

If you're interested in purchasing these, Anna offers all 10 pigments, an assortment of 5 for $20.00 ($/gram), free shipping on both. Since I wanted all 10, I selected the 5 for $20.00 option with a quantity of two.

This picture shows how the pigments are packaged, each gram in a small bag with its name written on a holographic label (they don't have actual names, only identifying numbers). Both this one and the one below were photographed at the table under "daylight" lamp light.

The pigments in order on a binder ring, Alsa-style.

All 10, as polish, layered over black. Photos taken outdoors.
#362801, #462805, #22808, #481804, #412604

#412605, #35202, #821502, #35204, #221501

Alternate View:

I'm going to tell you now that both of these are very close to TKB Trading's Shanika Sun but Shanika starts out more yellow-green and ends in a greener color than #35204 and #221501.

First up is #35204
This is the only pigment that could pass for a dupe of TKB Trading's Shanika Sun; it has the same particle size and the yellow green-aqua-blue color shift. 

What shows on the fingertip is only the green side to this pretty color.

Changing the angle of my camera, like all good duochromes, reveals the other colors. 

Next (and last) is #221501
#221502 has a finer particle size than #35204 (but not as fine as the Moon Dusts), and is a touch bluer as you'll see below.

In brighter light, this color resembles TKB's Aqua Sparks.

In lower light, it becomes the golden green of #35204

In dry form still, on double sided tape.

 Both bottles, #35204 and #221501, taken in direct sunlight. I include the reflection because it helps to give you a better idea of their color.

All followed the same simple recipe, just 4 drops of pigment mixed with 1/2 clear & 1/2 Glamour Base. Even though I cut the Glamour Base by half, the majority of the pigment has remained suspended. The bottles are TKB's Elizabeth so these are between 5-6ml.

The nail swatches I did as “skittles” and are layered over basic black polish. #35204 is left and #221501 is right. Both are 3 coats.

The second set, and it will be obvious when the second set begins, were also done as skittles but on my nail sticks. These sticks are black acrylic nails which saved me time and layers of black polish.
These photos were taken directly under the light source, a "daylight" lamp.

The greener side.

Different room, regular light. I know the image is not in focus but I like the coloring and how they glow. 

Indoors under a simulated daylight lamp. Same order

Outdoors in full sun.

Outdoors, from different angles, no sun.



You know I love duochromes but I love metallics too and when these pigments are layered over black, I get to have both. My thought on this collection? Yes, there are a few that are similar to TKB's Moon Dusts and Star Bites (I'll do a comparison next for those who may be curious) but I wouldn't, and didn't, want to choose between them.  -MK

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anna’s Art Asylum Part 2

Links checked 12/12/13

This is part 2 to a 3 part posting of some fantastic pigments I purchased from Anna’s Art Asylum- click here to see Part 1. This will cover #412604, #412605, #35202 & #821502 with pictures of dry swatches, franken polish bottles and finish with the polish swatches themselves.

To review, Anna’s Art Asylum and the lovely Anna, sells 10 different duochrome pigments and none are identical to TKB Trading’s Travel to’s, Star Bites or Moon Dusts pigments. While TKB’s are mostly cool colors, Anna’s cover the other end of the spectrum by offering several warm colors. These can be purchased as an assortment of 5 for $20.00 ($/gram), free shipping. Since I wanted all 10, I selected the 5 for $20.00 option twice (I emailed Anna prior to confirm this was ok).

This is how the pigments are packaged, each gram in a small bag with its name written on a holographic label (I went back over the names in permanent blue marker). Both this one and the one below were photographed at the table under "daylight" lamp light.

Just to be organized and because I like the way it looks, I put them all on a binder ring in color order.

All 10, as polish, layered over black. Photos taken outdoors.
#362801, #462805, #22808, #481804, #412604

#412605, #35202, #821502, #35204, #221501

Alternate View:

The first one for today is #412604
#412604 looks similar to some of the others in the bag but it's really not, it transitions between purple to pink to orange (over black). By itself as a dry pigment, it goes from golden orange to orange to pink. Particle size is somewhere between TKB's Shanika Sun and Marinda Star.

On the fingertip more of the pink hues come out but it still appears similar to the others.

The dry pigment on double-sided sticky tape. Here the color shift is clearer and shows all three phases when used over white.

Next is #412605.
Being that this one, number-wise, comes after 412604, there's similarity in the colors but this one brings bright pink into the color shift with a brighter orange. Same particle size as the others.

All the colors are showing on the fingertip although the pink is muted.

It really is a nice color combo, reminds me of the classic sunrises and sunsets.

Since the next four are whites, we're going to do the pictures a little different.

Third in this installment is #35202.

The blue in this one is hard to coax out but here in the bag it shows- it goes from blue to purple to purplish pink, but like most white interference pigments, bright lighting washes out the color. The particle size matches the others so it's more sparkly than it appears.

A very slight touch of blue but mainly pinks and purples.

The range in this one looks limited but as I said before, it has a much stronger blue interference. 

The last color in this set is #821502.
This has a color shift that goes from an almost lime green to vivid pink under the proper lighting. and reminds me somewhat of Studio M's Alias. #821502 has a slightly smaller particle size but not as fine as #22808.

Because it's white, this is pale but both colors are visible.

Looking more purple than pink here.

All four in bottles, same order: #412604, #412605, #35202 and #821502

Both taken indoors, direct sunlight
Bottom of the bottles

All followed the same simple recipe, just 4 drops of pigment mixed with 1/2 clear & 1/2 Glamour Base. Even though I cut the Glamour Base by half, the majority of the pigment has remained suspended. The bottles are TKB's Elizabeth so these are between 5-6ml.

The nail swatches I did as “skittles” and all are layered over basic black polish. They are in the order of #412604, #412605, #35202 and #821502- #35202 required 2 coats while the others were 3.

The second set, and it will be obvious when the second set begins, were also done as skittles but on my nail sticks. These sticks are black acrylic nails which saved me time and layers of black polish.  

These were taken directly under a daylight lamp.

Away from the light source.

Different rooms, regular light.

Not the best pictures but...
indoors under a simulated daylight lamp. Same order

Outdoors from different angles, no sun.

#412604 & #412605, outdoors, no sun

#35202 and #821502, outdoors, no sun





The variation to these pigments seems endless when I look at all the pictures I took under different lighting conditions. Even with my lack of photography skills.

Since I only use four fingers at a time, #35204 & #221501 will be featured in the next entry. Check back soon- MK

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