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

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Some prices and info on products are are out of date so please check the dates at the top of those entries.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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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Glitter Unique Swatches

On the 25th, I wrote my store review of Glitter Unique and showed you the pigments and glitters that were in the sampler Nikki sent me but those were photos of the bags and swatches on paper, no nail swatches. Today I do have some of those for you although in my typical fashion, it's not on my nails but my nail sticks instead. But bottles first.

Since I'm running low on mini bottles momentarily, I selected the pigments and glitters that appealed to me the most and mixed them up with Glamour base, nothing more. The amount of pigment or glitter I added depending on how sheer and thick the polish ended up being (for most I used the dash spoon from TKB Trading's set of spoons). All those recipes are in my Franken Book.

The pic, taken under the Ottlite, is a little fuzzy but I've got better ones planned for later. In the top row are the Midnight Sparkle flakes, Black Opal (a mix of iridescent glitter and black), Turquoise Holographic Shreds, Shifting Rainbow Short Slices and the Magenta-Violet Pearlescent pigment. In the bottom row are the Hot Pink flakes, Gold flakes, Tango Red Flakes, Tiny Rainbow Pearl flakes and Green-Gold flakes.

 Black Opal, Shifting Rainbow Short Slices, Turquoise Holographic Shreds.

Magenta-Violet Pearlescent, Hot Pink flakes, Tango Red flakes

Gold flakes, Tiny Rainbow Pearl flakes, Green-Gold flakes

Midnight Sparkle flakes. This one proved the hardest to photograph.

Now for some group photos of the nail sticks. 

Here we have Midnight Sparkle flakes shown over black and white, Magenta-Violet Pearlescent over black, Rainbow Shifting Short Slices over black, Black Opal over black, Green Gold Flakes over black.

Tango Red flakes over black, Gold flakes over black, Tiny Rainbow Pearl flakes over black and white, Hot Pink flakes over black (yes it does indeed look blue), Turquoise Holographic Shreds over black and white.

And some of those colors shown on a white nail. Black Opal, Shifting Rainbow Short Slices, Magenta-Violet Pearlescent, Green Gold flakes, Hot Pink flakes.

Here, a different angle, slightly different lighting.
Midnight Sparkle & Tiny Rainbow Pearl flakes at the top, Tango Red flakes & Turquoise Holo Shreds in the middle, Gold flakes and franken #614 Pumpkin Spice, not relevant to this post but happens to be in the photo, on the bottom.

A super enlarged picture of the detail in the Gold flakes. Out of the Effects flakes that I have, the Gold has the largest flakes. Under the right lighting, they really are golden- just look at the bottle.

Tango Red flakes. I did a few more coats for the Tango Red than I did the Gold purposely but you can still see that the flakes are smaller although that does not detract from their beauty.

Green-Gold flakes over white. Extremely shiny, bright golden green highlights. Similar in flake size to the Tango Red flakes.

This is the Hot Pink flakes nail. I think its the most striking over black so that's the photo I chose. Again, similar in flake size to Tango Red. This is also slightly duochrome. 

Midnight Sparkle flakes. I didn't capture the colors or the sparkle, none of the photos did but you can see the flake detail.

Tiny Rainbow Pearl flakes. I did manage to catch the colors of this one although you can see over white they are virtually invisible. I wish the flakes were a bit bigger, they are so pretty.

Magenta-Violet Pearlescent. Like the Hot Pink flakes, Magenta-Violet Pearlescent is a pink pigment with a strong, slightly duochrome blue interference. 

Rainbow Shifting Short Slices. Although this glitter shows off it's color far better over dark colors, my white-colored nail pictures turned out better and with this, you can see they are translucent and colored a lot like easter grass. What doesn't show in this picture is how shiny or vibrant they are and the fact that they do color shift.

Black Opal. Like the Rainbow Slices, this has color shifting flecks in it that show best over black (also visible in the bottle pic) but you can't see all the shapes and sizes of the black glitter.

And my final glitter, Turquoise Holo Shreds, also one of my favorites. In my opinion is looks just as good over white as it does black.

These were a welcome addition to my collection of glitters and pigments, let me tell you. I own a lot but nothing quite like these. And those flakes? I will have to go to Glitter Unique and buy the others, I am sure they will not disappoint. -MK

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Glitter Unique: Store Review

Warning: There are a lot of photos, I like to be thorough.

This is old news really but since I realized I'd never written a store review for Glitter Unique and given the woman her due, I decided to write it now- better late than never, right? By this time I am sure most frankeners know about the store Glitter Unique even if they haven't bought anything but my first dealing with the company was when the shop just opened and Nikki contacted me about trying out some of her glitters. What has made Glitter Unique, well, so unique, was that all her products were selected specifically for use in nail polish at a time when it was difficult to find solvent resistant and larger sized glitters. Since that time she has expanded her inventory greatly, adding more colors, shapes and finishes like matte as well as duochrome pigments and effect flakes, all at reasonable prices. These are not items that can be found at my favorite pigment company, TKB Trading.

Nikki has told me that since then, most of the inventory has changed and she's switched suppliers so I can't show you what I bought then but she has generously sent me another sampler so that I may show you some of current products Glitter Unique has in stock. I also have my most recent order to show you. But first, let me tell you about my original order.
The New Sampler

For my orders in April 2012, I bought the glitters that had been sent to me as samples because I liked them so much I had to have the 1/2 oz. The only glitter I used that was a bleeder was the Lemon Holo and, once Nikki was notified that it was, it was pulled from the inventory. Not only that, she was very apologetic and refunded me for that particular glitter, something she didn't have to do. Outstanding customer service.

My most recent purchase, ordered last week, was an ounce of the Green-Gold Effect Flakes which are absolutely beautiful. I would compare these to TKB Trading's Reflecks pigments in terms of size and sparkle and since there is no green in the Reflecks Collection, the Green Gold flakes compliment them nicely.

Shipping was very reasonable, $2.32 and was done quickly. I placed my order on the 13th around 4p and it was here by the morning of the 16th., sooner than I expected. My flakes were double bagged and neatly labelled.

These are beyond sparkly, almost lime green in color with gold sparkles, best captured in the slightly blurry photo below.

Shown here, on the left, is of the Green Gold flakes swatched on paper, to the right the small bottle of polish I made with them, a simple mixture of Glamour Base and flakes.

Here they are shown on the nail sticks I made, over a black nail on the left and a "natural" color nail on the right.

Included in the sampler Nikki sent me were some more of her Effect Flakes and one color shifting pigment. Rainbow Pearl, Gold and Indigo Flakes are in the top row, Midnight Sparkle, Tango Red Flakes and the Magenta-Violet Pearlescent color shifter in the bottom and the Hot Pink Flakes off to the right.

Below are more bag shots, in pairs. These, as well as those above, were photographed under my Ottlite.
These Hot Pink flakes are a vibrant, bright pink with a purplish-blue interference although its not visible in this picture. The Magenta-Violet Pearlescent pigment has the same coloring and interference but with a much finer particle size.

The Gold flakes are every bit as metallic and golden as you could imagine and I look forward to creating a polish with it. What's not visible from the photo are the colorful sparkles in the Rainbow Pearl, a lot like a Disco glitter mix would have, they are not solid white. 

The Indigo are a nice medium blue color with moderate sparkle. Midnight Sparkle is more complex than the pic reveals- there are what looks like orange, pink and purple highlights in this.

Tango Red flakes are somewhere between red and orange in color and as metallic in appearance as the Gold, another I can't wait to use. 

Swatched on paper...

And Hot Pink flakes next to Magenta-Violet Pearlescent, both of which have some color shifting ability.

And so you can better see Magenta-Violet Pearlescent's color shift, the finger tip swatch.

In my sampler were also a selection of holographic glitters and two matte glitters although I would say they are more pearly than matte- matte to me implies no shine.


Sky Blue Holo Hex .025", Violet Holo Square .035", Pink Holo Hex .040" and Bright Pink Holo Hex .025". Like all holographics glitters, these are very bright in color with rainbows showing from certain angles.

The Turquoise Holo Shreds are very cool and one of the more unusual glitters I own, the perfect shade between blue and green. The Black Opal mix is what you would expect from a glitter with such a name- black with flashes of green, orange, and purple coming from the different sizes of glitter.

Shifting Rainbow Short Slices. Maybe not obvious are the orange, green, yellow, purple and blue colors that show up, reminiscent of Christmas decorations or Easter (to me).

And my personal favorite, Holo Rainbow, a mix of different colors and sizes holo glitters. Every color of glitter you could want, all holographic. Be still my little heart.

Swatched on paper to show more detail

All of the items I've shown you are available from Glitter Unique right now in package sizes ranging from the 1/2 ounce all the way up to 4 ounces and you can buy them all in a sample size if you want to try them out first. Buy with complete confidence knowing Nikki has tested her glitters to make sure they stand up well in suspension base although some bases may have a slightly different effect. Glitter Unique also offers a rewards program with your registration that makes every purchase worth a little more. 

I've been busy taking photographs and writing the review that I haven't had the time to make many polishes from the other flakes and glitters but that just gives me a reason to write another entry later. -MK

Friday, January 17, 2014

You Mix Cosmetics: Store Review

Like with Glitter Unique (that review is coming soon), I placed an order with You Mix Cosmetics back in May 2012 but neglected to write the store review I'd intended to and I am trying to correct that now.

You Mix Cosmetics is another store that is owned and operated by a fellow frankener and her husband. They have worked hard to provide a good selection of solvent resistant glitters in larger sizes, shapes and finishes geared specifically towards nail polish. At this time the website is still down (should be reopening at the end of February) so I'm unable to give you details about their current inventory but I can tell you about my experience with You Mix Cosmetics.

I placed only the one order with them but I was happy with everything I bought in terms of price, quantity and quality. Bleeding glitters are such a waste of money and it was nice to know I didn't have to worry about that this time. I'd also been able to find glitters I'd wanted that I hadn't been able to buy anywhere else.  From the date I ordered on May 10th to the shipping, it was a week and then three more days to arrive in the mail but part of that time was a weekend so all in all, it wasn't a long wait.

The only problem with my order occurred when I hadn't gotten an order confirmation, shipping notification or payment confirmation outside the automatic Paypal receipt that is sent when payment is made and I found that a little curious but decided to give it time. I waited a day or so before sending an email asking for confirmation but didn't receive a response to that one nor to the second email I sent and it wasn't until the third email that I did. What I didn't know was that they had responded but for whatever reason, it never appeared in my inbox or even my spam folder. By that time 8 days had passed without a response so I opened a Paypal dispute and requested a refund. I got a response an hour later and that's when I learned that they had answered my email and by that point already shipped my order (when it arrived the next day, I closed the dispute with no issues).

The folks at You Mix Cosmetics were very apologetic and so interested in making me happy and "establishing good grounds" that they offered and sent a sampler of products to test and get my opinion on. That was not something I'd asked for or expected but was a very nice thing for them to do and shows well that they genuinely care about customer satisfaction.

The samples they sent of their glitters were enough for me to do testing and still have plenty left for making multiple bottles of polish. They had also given me samples of three pigments, two of which were duochromes, again enough of each one to make several bottles.

You Mix Cosmetics is definitely a store I will buy from again in the future when I am in need of glitters. Pricing, shipping, customer service, all A+.  -MK

Monday, January 13, 2014

Some Sinful Colors from the Holiday Collection

I talked my husband into taking me to Walgreens during the holidays to hopefully pick up some more polish copies and whatever polishes were available from the new Sinful Colors Holiday Collections. As far as what they might call the core line, my Walgreens is always disappointing and was not much better on the holiday selection. 

There were none of the Sinful Colors holiday colors in the cosmetics section which would have been logical. I found one lonely display in an isle not far away along with the other brands' holiday collection, waaaaay up on the top shelf. Yes, the extra a's in way were necessary because I am 6 foot tall and I could barely reach them even standing on my tippy toes and reaching with my arms, I still had to pick up bottles in the back of the display blindly to see what they were and certainly could not put them back in their proper spaces. 

Having given up, I walked to the front of the store to check out and found a second holiday display, nowhere near elaborate or complete and nowhere near the cosmetics either. Had I not chosen to walk in that direction, I would have missed it entirely. I found most of what I wanted although not two of each.

In the top row: Gold Tinsel, Gilded, Pride, a color I'm not sure of the name because it was mistakenly labelled Silver Rainbows, Tinsel Town and Gold Metal.
In the second row: Pine Away, Blue by You, Purple Heart, the real Silver Rainbows, Top Me Off and Tinsel & Shine.

No swatches of these from me but there are plenty available around the blog world. -MK 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Franken #583- As a Topcoat

I don't usually paint my nails- most of the polishes in my collection have never been used in fact- so when I do, its an impulsive decision and not neatly done. Even my best efforts yield sub standard results and while it doesn't bother me too much, I rarely post manicures because well, who wants to see bad cuticles, messy clean up and nicks/dings? Having said that, consider yourself warned.

Today's manicure, if you want to call it that, is a two day effort- the pink "undercoat" yesterday, the topper today to help disguise the dings from yesterday- which I promptly nicked on something else. Sigh. Both polishes are my own creations, the base color an unnamed pink, Franken #590, with a slight pink to orange duochrome I couldn't coax out in the pictures. The polish I used as a top coat is Franken #583, also a duochrome, this time a purple/blue. Both are listed in my franken book if you're curious about the recipe for either one.

For the pictures, I used a couple different camera settings, took pictures in natural light, regular lamp light, under my Ottlite and even in different rooms for color accuracy.

First, the unlabeled pink in natural daylight

This photo, also in natural daylight but right in front of the window, shows the bit of orange duochrome.

Under the Ottlite

Ottlite, different camera setting

This photo is of #583 itself on a half white/half black nail stick created for my franken book. I believe it was also taken under the Ottlite. 

And now with today's addition, #583. Natural light, in front of the window.

Under the Ottlite

Under the Ottlite still, different camera setting

And one final picture because I like the color shown. This was taken in the bathroom of all places with the lighting being a single spiral CFL bulb.

-MK