Hint: Hit the "$$$" tag to find out how much various items cost and where to buy them.

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Some prices and info on products are are out of date so please check the dates at the top of those entries.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

MK's Ideas, Hints & Tricks

Links checked 12/12/13

Everything new is a learning process and some things you stumble upon by trial and error while some are common sense. You can find a few of these tips on other blogs but if you found me first, consider this your starting point. At the bottom of this page are links to my franken polish supply price lists. -MK

Before we get into anything else, I am going to clear up some confusion here. A lot of people seem to, including myself at one time, have trouble figuring out the difference between what is pigment, mica, multipurpose minerals, and to a lesser extent, loose eye shadows- I find this to be a frequent question searched for. I am not an expert so first, I'll refer you to TKB Trading's FAQ page. Here they say: 


Dyes: Color additives which are soluble in the medium to which they are added (e.g., water, alcohol, glycerin or oils). Example: food dye used to stain Easter eggs.

Pigments: Color additives which are insoluble in the medium to which they are added. Example: think of sand in the ocean.

LakesLake colors are a blend of dyes and pigments. They are made by taking a pigment substrate (calcium, barium, aluminum or sodium) and dying it with one of the various dyes. For example, FD&C Blue #1 Alum Lake is made by taking aluminum and dying it with FD&C Blue #1 dye.

Mica: A silvery or amber colored mineral which is used to provide shimmer and shine. Mica is often sold as a 'colored mica' meaning that it is mica which has been colored with various dyes, pigments or lakes. For example, Antique Copper Mica is mica which has been colored with iron oxide.

Now here's my loose explanation for Eye Shadows
Eye Shadows are a "finished product" meaning there are other additives like talc- used as a filler, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide and other preservatives. I find that the pressed eye shadows, while they can be mixed with clear polish/base for frankening, are never quite vivid enough and are somewhat muted colors- I suspect this is due to the fillers. I see mica listed on the back of my eyeshadow but there are also a lot of oxides and FD&C colors.

Measurements
Do the Math
I’ve admitted it before, I like to squeeze every penny for all it’s worth, I love a bargain and I love hunting for it even more. When I got into this hobby I had to figure out how to acquire the pigment (and everything else) for the least amount of money but before I figured that out, I wanted to know how much pigment was needed for a single bottle of polish.
Naturally the first website I’d come across was Dr. Frankenpolish and in her frankens she used between a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of pigment per 15 ml bottle which works out to be around 112 bottles (estimated at 1ts per, give or take) per ounce of pigment. In theory, a 7 gram jar of MAC pigment ought to yield 28 teaspoon or 28 bottles compared to 112 from Coastal Scents or TKB TradingThe Conservatorie pigments would equal about 120 bottles. I should remind you however, that these estimates are just that- estimates and they are intended to be a rough guideline only.

A "regular" or "standard" size bottle is generally 15ml which is 1/2 fl. oz.
A "baby" or "mini" bottle is generally 3-4ml which is approximately 1/8 fl. oz.

4 teaspoons are in a gram
20 teaspoons in 5 grams
12 grams in a tablespoon
28 grams in 1 oz.
NYX - 0.06 fl.oz.or 5ml =1.7g = 4 teaspoon
L.A. Colors 0.1 oz or 2.8 grams = 8 teaspoon
POP Beauty Dust Deluxe Pigment Eyeshadow 2g/.07 oz = 8 teaspoon
Milani 0.10 oz = 2.8 grams = 8 teaspoon
MAC 7.5g / 0.26 oz  = 28 teaspoon
Coastal Scents, TKB trading- 28 grams = 112 teaspoon
The Conservatorie- 30 grams = 120 teaspoon 
If you type the word "teaspoon" often enough, it starts to look weird...

Other Charts & Lists
I use different measurements in my frankenpolishes and the chart below can help you understand it if you don't already. This is also helpful for breaking one down for a smaller bottle or multiplying ingredients for a larger one. To be on the safe side you might want to consider these measurements approximations.
              Convert that Formula!
The average size of a mini like Bon Bons is 1/8 fl.oz. or 3.6 ml. Equal to standard bottle being 1/4 full.
Bottle is how full?
Drops
(liquid)
Milliliters
15ml
Standard
1/2 oz.
30
1
45
1 & 1/2
60
2
70
2.25
1/8
90
3
120
4
140
3.75
1/4
150
5
1/3
180
6
225
7.5
1/2
300
10
2/3
337.5
11.25
3/4
450
15
Full

Bleeding Glitter List

About Colors & Mixing
I have a real problem adhering to these but here are a few color rules to make note of when mixing fingernail polish:
- If working with one translucent or transparent color and one opaque, add the opaque to the transparent.
- When working with a light color and a dark color, add the dark to the light.
- The fewer colors you use to mix the final color, the more intense the results.
- Silver polish, like white, will wash out the intensity of the pigment but makes a fine metallic polish.
- This one is more of a reminder: Whenever pigment is swatched or used in clear polish/suspension base, the color is going to darken slightly. It is not going to be an exact duplicate of the pigment swatched in dry form.

- Pigments that contain copper or bronze powders, usually metallics, will only work in polish mixtures when used in minute quantities, even when used with other non-metallic pigments. When used in larger amounts a chemical reaction occurs within the polish that renders it useless. To read more about this issue, read Why Good Polish Goes Bad. This contains the list of known troublesome pigments. This may not have been your experience but it has been mine every time, every bottle.

- If, like me, you like metallic polishes, the pigment you use need not be metallic but the base must be. Options are plentiful but silver is my preference because its a neutral color and takes on the hue of the pigment more easily, although it does create more of a pastel metallic. It should be a polish made from micro glitter in clear polish such as L.A Girl Metallic Silver or Wet ‘n’ Wild (Precious Metals) Steel, shown in the picture next to China Glaze Millennium so you can see the difference. Although I’ve never used the CG for frankening I have used Pure Ice Silver Mercedes which is very similar and I can attest that the solid silver is difficult to color. If you’re using pigments in the warm color range I imagine gold would work but I've never used gold personally.


- If a bottle you made didn’t turn out as expected but adding more pigment would thicken it too much, it need not be wasted. Transfer half to another bottle, add clear polish to dilute the present color and modify it with colored polish or pigment. It’s true the color range will be limited but its better than having a color you don’t like.
Miscellaneous Tips & Hints
- An easier way to remove pigments/glitters from those pesky plastic bags without making a mess (when transferring to a container) is to cut a bottom corner diagonally. While holding this corner above the container, open a small section of the zipper to let some air in the bag and then reseal. Tap or shake the bag gently and it should come out quicker than trying to scoop it out.

The following is a suggestion for organization.
         I stick to a few “rules” when it comes to the polishes I’ve created, labeled as, “MK Creations”. This helps me figure out quickly what base(s) I used, decide which drawer to store my polishes in because I keep mine in Sterilite shoebox drawers and which list to put a polish on. 
          MK Creations has eight “lines” 
1.     The “Clear” line is defined as polishes that are created using one or more pigments mixed with a clear polish, no colored polish.
2.     The “Metallic” line was created using either L.A. Girl Metallic Silver or Wet ‘n’ Wild Precious Metals Steel.
3.     The “Pearld” line is polishes using one or more pigments mixed with Love My Nails Platinum.
4.     The "Glitter" line is any polish containing micro glitter with the exception of holographic glitter which has its own designation.
5.     The "Holo" Line is any polish that contains any amount of Holo Glow Glitter or other brand of holographic glitter.
6.     The “SF Holo” is a special line with only those polishes that contain either grade of SpectraFlair.
7.     The "Mix" line is defined as pigment(s) mixed with store-bought colored polish or any combination of polishes even if there is clear included.
8.     The "Duochromes" line is, as implied, the polishes that are truly duochrome as defined in my blog: 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.         
        Also, when I create polishes, if a mini bottle (Bon Bon/Cricket etc, not any of TKB's) is used then it gets a letter rather than a name unless a color recipe is used. Thus far I have been through the alphabet three times with the last set being labeled as “A3” instead of “AAA”

- Now it would seem like common sense that if you need to clean out a polish bottle to re-use it, the thing to use would be fingernail polish remover, right? But polish remover can sometimes leave little bits or flecks of polish behind including the traces under the neck of the bottle. Polish thinner on the other hand removes the residue quickly and pretty effortlessly and the same small amount of thinner can be used to clean multiple bottles.

Beware of Bad BBs: I use regular ol' zinc plated steel BBs, Daisy brand I bought, some from TKB Trading which are stainless steel, as well as those salvaged from old bottles of polish but all BBs are NOT created equal. Some, and unfortunately I don't know which ones, rust and corrode in polish (at least that’s what it looks like to me) leaving little pieces of whatever it is, floating in the polish and coloring it with rust. When this has happened, I've been able to salvage much of the polish by using a small piece of a fine mesh screen like a funnel and draining it into another bottle but this method is a little messy. The general consensus seems to be that it's the zinc plating that causes the rusting and corrosion and that stainless steel BBs should be used instead.

- A word of advice if you use a silicone sheet, specifically the Norpro brand that I own and that TKB Trading originally sold, although it probably applies to all silicone sheets. You can paint and mix up samples right on the sheet but its best to remove them the same day. Do it the same day and they are more likely to peel off whereas if you wait until the next, you'll have to scrape them off. In both cases, a Bic pen cap is useful for lifting the polish without damage to the silicone sheet.

- Silicone is your friend! Just like the silicone baking sheet above, silicone baking cups are also useful to have and affordable too. I picked mine up from the local Dollar Tree store so 6 of these only cost me $1.00. They are the standard cupcake size or if you prefer, roughly the size of those condiments cups some restaurants use... which makes them perfect for containing polish spills while protecting your work surface.

Another thing these are good for is disposing of nail polish (or draining out a bad franken). You're not supposed to just throw the bottle in the trash, it's recommended that you pour it out on something to dry completely before disposal. With the silicone baking cup, the dried polish will peel right out without damaging the baking cup. 

- If you have a question or concern about a product you're thinking of buying, don't be afraid to email or call the company. Most companies, particularly small ones, think about keeping their customers happy and are willing to talk to you and work with you.

Tools
- When adding pigments to a bottle a funnel can be helpful but I improvised a tool that works better providing you have a steady hand. The problem with funnels is that the tip must be small enough to fit the neck of the bottle but an opening that small is easily clogged and tapping the side merely sends particles into the air. Also, regardless if you’re using a paper funnel, plastic or metal, some pigment will cling to the sides. My improvised tool is a calligraphy pen, standard pen holder (see illustration) with the pen nib in backwards (my pen nib is broke so I had no problem re-purposing it). It forms a very small scoop perfect for fitting in the neck of those polish bottles with the exception of mini bottles like Bon Bons or Crickets. These can be bought at any arts and crafts store or online for around $3.00. Pricing and store availability is listed on my Best Buy Supplies 2 entry.


- Some days my hands are steadier than others, I don't want to waste pigments or glitters by spilling them so I give in and use a funnel. Any funnel that fits will do the job but I made one that will stand on its own, hands free- read about it here.

- Another good tool for mixing is the same tool sometimes used to draw lines or make dots when creating nail art, essentially a metal ball 3-4mm in diameter on stick. Easy to wipe off without polish remover, durable and affordable. Pricing and store availability is listed on my Best Buy Supplies 2 entry.

Suspension
- Clear polish if it is used with pigments produces rich colors but is usually not thick enough to keep the pigments suspended for very long. Professionally manufactured nail polish has a suspension agent added, stearalkonium hectorite (or stearalkonium bentonite), to keep the color suspended which is why it doesn’t settle like the polish we make. Unfortunately suspension base was not always widely available us frankeners as a retail product and purchasing directly from the manufacturer isn't financially practical for most of us. One way of alleviating some of the settling is to add some store-bought colored polish to the mix; my assumption is that clear polish has no color thus doesn’t need a suspension agent. This will also help to color the polish you’re making so you don’t add too much pigment to compensate for sheerness. For the record, regardless of BBs or the amount of pigment used, some settling should be expected.
     As an alternative to using store bought polish or clear, suspension base can be purchased. Check my Suspension Base Suppliers & Notes page.

- On using suspension base... If your intent is to add suspension base to a clear polish & glitter mix (and to a lesser extent, mica & clear), shake it up and mix them before adding suspension base. By its very nature, the base is thick so stirring glitter from the bottom up is a little more difficult after the fact.

- Magnesium Stearate is used for many things cosmetic but it will not work as a suspension agent for nail polish. Trust me, I've tried it and all it does is make the polish cloudy.

- I’ve had the smaller bottles of suspension base from TKB Trading but I finally bought a pint of the Glamour Base for glitter which comes/came in a metal rectangular can, see below. I don't think TKB sells the base in these anymore but I do still have mine and have reused them so my suggestions could apply.
I occasionally spill when pouring from one to another and found the 4 oz bottles and pints of suspension base poured too quickly until I got the hang of it, but of the two the pints are more difficult. I made a big mess just trying to pour from the pint into an empty small suspension base bottle, not just because the pint has a wider mouth but where it is on the can. One option is learning to use TKB Trading's syringes. I found that using the 10ml syringe saves a lot of trouble transferring base from the pint to the smaller one and their 3ml syringe does the same for transferring from the smaller suspension bottle to a 15ml polish bottle. Another option is using a small funnel which I do when I refill the 4 oz bottles with the pint.

- As I said above, TKB's pints of suspension base were in a rectangular metal can with a mouth that is slightly too wide and is located off to one side (but not close enough to any edge). Because of this, it pours so fast that doing so neatly is almost impossible. I can use the syringes but I don't like them, they are more trouble than it's worth. To solve this problem, my base goes into a glass Worcestershire sauce bottle using a cheap plastic funnel or the metal funnel I purchased from TKB Trading, shown above; either funnel can be wiped clean afterwards. The advantage to this is that Worcestershire sauce bottles come with a plastic cap beneath the regular cap that reduces the opening of the bottle and allows the fluid to pour slower. And if that's too slow for you, the plastic can be cut like the sifter lid I mentioned in another tip.

Swatching
- There are many alternatives for swatching your test colors such as paper, paper plates, nail wheels, your own nails (which I do sometimes) etc. Things like paper don’t simulate how it will look on your nails or work well as a mixing palette because they are absorbent; even grease resistant paper plates will absorb some polish. A quick solution is to apply a strip of clear tape across the surface.

- For the mixing process many things can be used but as with swatching, absorbency must be considered. Paint trays work well as do ice cube trays which are usually handier but need cleaning afterwards. Throw away options are artists’ palette sheets, created not to be absorbent or the previously mentioned paper plates but I found that aluminum foil makes an ideal palette. It’s not absorbent, it won’t tear when mixing on it and once everything is dry it can even be wiped off with a damp paper towel and reused.

- I am a consummate list maker so it should come as no surprise that I want a visible sample of a pigment in every form, in polish, dry, on paper and on skin. I like swatching on white (or black) paper because it shows the true color but obviously the (dry) sample is not going to cling to the paper by itself. It will cling to double-sided sticky tape though and goes on much the way it does on skin and then can be sealed with sealing or scotch tape without ruining the “finish”.

- Need a black space to swatch a polish? Try black electrical tape.

- I didn't have much fingernail polish when I started this hobby so I bought more whenever I was out shopping but unless you have an excellent memory, and I don't, you will occasionally end up with duplicates. Most women don't carry around old bottles when shopping for new ones, it's simply not practical. Instead I made what I refer to as my "swatch cards" – these are 3x5" ruled index cards that are sealed with tape on the left hand end for swatching the polishes. I purchased a small photo album for 4x6" photos and stored the cards in it which I was then able to take with me as handy and portable polish samples. I keep track of the polishes I make, color recipes and owned pigments this way as well.

- Swatching seems to be one of the more important aspects of not only collecting polish but running a nail polish blog as well and I was apparently late to the game; I had polish on black cardboard, white paper, popsicle sticks, the occasional fake hand for display, everything but polish on actual nails (fake or otherwise). There are acrylic displays available in many different styles that you can buy, as shown below...

These pictures were acquired from the following places: Link 1, Link 2Link 3, Link 4, Link 5


... but buying enough of these to swatch 500 polishes would be a ridiculous waste of money better spent on other frankening supplies. I am the queen of improvisation and prefer the path of least resistance (and less money) so I made my own with things I had around the house already and the additional purchase of a couple other supplies. With both black and white nails (eBay, 500 ct.), bamboo skewers (grocery store) cut down to size and my trusty glue gun, I've made around 450 of these for less than $20. I'm not claiming that the skewer idea originated with me, I have an inkling I must've seen it somewhere else before but it turned out to be a very cost efficient option.

Containers
- Mini bottles like Crickets or Bon Bons aren’t as practical to paint my nails with due to the brush size but are ideal size for mixing small samples of polish. It doesn’t require much polish or pigment to fill one which is important to me when working with the more expensive stuff or limited quantities. TKB Trading sells 3 different styles of mini bottle, sold here. The Elizabeth happens to be my favorite of the three.

  - I like the 30 gram containers that companies like TKB Trading sell- this is in fact where I purchased mine. They are perfect for storing my color recipes which are always small batches but I found you’d better use the sifter lid. If you don’t and the container tips over, pigment will end up outside the threads and be all over your hand when you open it (and I don’t like waste). The problem in using the sifters is not being able to use a spoon or scoop so I borrowed an idea from spice containers- see diagram. I left the seal on the sifters and cut a small section with an X-Acto knife for when I needed access- sharp scissors will work if you don’t have an X-Acto knife. I admit that this idea isn’t a 100% perfect but it’s preferable to not using the sifter at all. Pricing, store availability and alternatives are listed on my Best Buy Supplies entry.

- This may seem like a silly idea but if you happen to be the type of person that saves plastic food containers, in a pinch, old yogurt containers can hold one ounce pigments. At least those that still come with lids.

- Any time you want store polish in something other than a polish bottle without the risk of it drying out, think GLASS. Plastic containers like those that fingernail polish remover or rubbing alcohol come in, ones you'd assume would be air-tight considering their contents, are not. Thus far I've reused Worcestershire sauce bottles, a vanilla extract bottle, empty small glass TKB franken base bottles… You get the idea.

Glitters
Do not use mini bottles for colorfast testing of glitter, use the full size. It's going to be easier to remove the glitter from the larger bottle because the neck is wider- if you try using a q-tip in a mini bottle, whatever the q-tip picked up is going to be removed (and left behind) by the tight fit of the neck.

- Getting left over pigment out of a bottle is a lot easier than cleaning glitter out and I know because I've been working on it for hours this morning. The best method so far? Pour thinner or remover in your bottle, let it sit for a few seconds, and then shake vigorously or tap the bottle against your palm to loosen the glitter. You can drain this into another bottle- I keep a few empties for this, or dump it out on a paper towel, then refill and repeat. This time, turn the bottle upside down and let the glitter settle into the neck and cap. After the bottle has settled, slowly tilt it enough so you can open it without spilling and use your q-tip to remove the glitter from the cap/neck, then repeat. And maybe repeat again if needed. It's a process and I am kicking myself for ever using mini Bon Bon bottles for testing.

- This is hard-won experience when purchasing glitters: Any type of glitter like cosmetic grade, craft glitter or automotive flakes has the potential to work just fine when submerged long term in nail polish. But there is, as far as I know, no glitter that is "guaranteed" to work and any type, any color also has the potential to "melt", bleed or turn into flecks of nothingness. That being said, it’s also been my experience that most glitter that has an aurora borealis, iridescent, crystalline or neon finish will turn into flecks. If you choose to buy one anyway, save yourself a bit of disappointment and expect them to do what I just said they will. And if they end up being a-ok, you let me know!

- I hate admitting it even to myself but glitter really is better suited to jelly based polishes or those with a translucent appearance. I read somewhere that food coloring can be used in clear polish for this but it's a MYTH, it doesn't work. Instead use this as an opportunity to make those bleeding glitters work for you. Left to settle in a bottle of clear polish, the bleeding glitter will eventually color the polish and since there's no suspension, the glitter stays put when the polish is drained out. Sometimes the glitter can even be used again for this but I should point out that the bleeding-to-coloring doesn't happen quickly and even with a heavy bleeder, this is more of a light tinting method.

I answered someone's question pertaining to making jellies and gave them a link to the blog, Blogdorf Goodman which has a basic formula for mixing them- read that blog's entry here. I've never tried it but it occurred to me that TKB Trading's colored bases would work extremely well for that- opaque and no shimmer.

Photos & Video
- This pertains to photography and your digital camera. My camera is a Canon Powershot A590, 8.0 megapizel, that takes nice high resolution photos pretty effortlessly compared to my old Sony Cybershot 3.2 but unlike the newer Canon models, mine uses regular batteries and doesn't have a charger. It eats batteries like candy so when I had to buy more AAs and was faced with the choice between regular Duracell, Energizer or Energizer's Lithium batteries, I chose regular Energizer because I didn't like the higher price of the Lithium batteries. I'm sorry for that choice now because my camera has died several times during "photo sessions" when the proper light was limited, my fingers were covered in pigment and digging for fresh batteries was a major inconvenience. Ever try to change batteries one handed? Learn from my mistake and spend the extra money for Lithium batteries- yes they cost more but they do last far longer (I got 1100 pics out of one set). If you don't want to pay for Lithium batteries, choose Duracell over Energizer. I'm also a big fan of Rayovac brand batteries but they're harder to find.

- If you have a blog and/or YouTube account and a digital camera with the option of shooting "movies", don't be afraid to use it to show off that fantastic new manicure of yours, franken polish or not. Too often, still photos cannot capture the sparkle or duochrome effect of a polish or are simply lacking in some way. Video clips can avoid some of that. I'm neither a photographer or video editor but I can get the job done with a little help, in this case a program that removes unwanted audio from my little avi videos. Virtual Dub is a free program and easy to use, additional directions here.

Franken Polish Supplies: Stores & Prices
Best Buy Supplies: 1 & 4 oz. Containers, Empty Bottles, Nail Display & Clear Polish-Updated Prices 05/03/13
Best Buy Supplies 2: Frankenpolish Base, BBs, "Scoops", Dotting Tools & Polish Thinner-Updated Prices 05/04/13
Best Buy Supplies 3: Store Bought Polish $3.00 or less (needs to be updated)
Best Buy Supplies 4: Silicone Baking Sheet, Spoons & Small Containers-Updated Prices 05/04/13
Supplies: Other Good Ideas... Silicone Baking Cups & Ink Mixer-Updated 05/04/13
SpectraFlair or Something Like It Where to find SpectraFlair & Alternatives-Updated 05/04/13
All Chameleon Pigment Suppliers Here you'll find every seller and store of chameleon pigments, UCCflakes and UCC pigments
- Also check the Supplier pages in The Reference Library (upper right) for store bought polish,  automotive pigments & flakes, cosmetic grade pigments, glitters and suspension base.

Do you have some good ideas of your own? Feel free to share them with us here. -MK

31 comments:

  1. Wow, this post is IMMENSELY helpful! thank you so much for this valuable information. I am just beginning to read about and am getting excited about Frankenpolishes, and I also like bargains, researching, and making lists. Keep up the good work. Thanks again! :D

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  2. I'm delighted you found this post helpful. Making all the lists, bargain hunting and gathering the supplies is part of the fun for me. Over a year later and I still get excited about new pigments coming or that truly unique color I just made… If you haven't already, hit the "supplies" label for the best deals on the things I listed here and more. And don't forget to visit again. :-) -MK

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  3. What volume is one bottle? 5ml, 15 ml? Can you specify this? Thanks!

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  4. 15 ml (1/2 fl. oz.) is an average size bottle although it varies by brand. A Bon Bons bottle and other mini bottles are about 3ml. The Elizabeth bottle that TKB Trading sells holds 6 ml. Hope that helps. -MK

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  5. ITA, with what Courtney said. I just found your blog tonight while googling "suspension base", although I am not sure I need it after reading your info on frankening metallic NP's.Incredibly grateful for such an informactive blog on frankening! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!

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  6. Thalie, using suspension base is always up to you and should depend on how you feel about vigorously shaking up a bottle. I've got bottles I haven't touched in a year and they settled but that didn't ruin them, it just made them harder to mix back up. Its not a "needed" ingredient per se but it helps.

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  7. Thank you for adding the volumes!

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  8. OMG!!! WOW! That took some time. This is an amazing wealth of knowledge here!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  9. Epic post. And I don't use that lightly. Answered a lot of my questions on frankens. I've been making glitter suspensions (in the UK) and have been trying to google a way of keeping them all evenly suspended. Looks like my luck is out- not that I care (just had someone get a little sniffy over my results, even though I think they look ahhmazing, and wanted to see if they were right about there being a magic ingrediant you can add to fix them). Thanks for your help. BBs all the way for now.

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    Replies
    1. If you're not trying to sell them, you only have to please yourself with your formula. If this person got sniffy over a gift you gave them, they're jerks. The "magic ingredient" is suspension base which isn't Dollar Store cheap and I'd rather spend money on glitters and pigments. I save my suspension base for the more special frankens.

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  10. Quick question: When you say 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of pigment is needed for a bottle of nail polish, are you referencing a teaspoon you might use when measuring something for a baking recipe? Or is there another type of teaspoon measurement that applies to nail polish/frankens?

    Thanks for your help!

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    Replies
    1. No, I was referring to our ordinary kitchen teaspoon but this is a generalization- the amount you use is a matter of preference, depending on how sheer you want it. I have been using the drop spoon from TKB Trading's 5 spoon set for a long time, I find this to be the perfect size for the opening of the bottles and for measuring.

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    2. Thank you for your reply! I'm trying to get into making my very first frankens, and I'm just trying to do all research possible so that I don't end up wasting pigment, glitter, etc. One drop-size amount of pigment per bottle seems really manageable and cost efficient! :)

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  11. Would it be possible to add tips about using Spectraflair on here? Or is it really dependent on what colors/polishes you're using?

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    1. I don't know that I have "tips" per se as much as some basic advice. Since not only is SpectraFlair expensive (and JDSU is making it more difficult to purchase) but there is also a point of over-saturation, I suggest starting with the SpectraFlair in the bottle before other ingredients, add it in small amounts at a time and test often. If you're storing it in a container, don't let the container lay on its side because even more than normal will spill out when you open it. When it spills, you won't be able to recapture all of it because the particle size is too small and it will cling.

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    2. Now that I think about it, I'd use polish over pigment to color your frankens and minimize what pigmnent you do use. I'll add more if I think of them.

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    3. Thank you! Love your site btw!

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  12. Thank you for sharing all of this great info! I am new to frankening and your site has been extremely helpful.

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  13. thank you so much for sharing this. I just want to know that if I decided to make my own polish would i need to mix clear polish with the base and pigment or is base + pigment the way to go? thank you

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    1. I'm going to answer even tho this question is not ancient. Base + Pigment. I would add clear polish only if you felt it needed to be thinned.

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  16. How do you create polishes with shimmer? Like for example a black with silver shimmer? Does the shimmer have to be in the pigment or can you mix something?

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    1. I apologize for the delay in my responding to you. The shimmer would have to be in the pigment you chose to use, or if you were also using a store bought polish to mix, it would have to be in there. Luckily though, there are plenty of shimmery pigments out there.

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  17. hello! your site is amazing and the info u are sharing with us are precious.
    Im totally new to all this and the reason im starting it is because i want to make my own stamping polish. i still do the same steps or i have to do something else?
    thank u so much for your time!

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    1. I'm afraidI'm not going to be much help with your question because I've never done any stamping and don't own any stamping polishes. I suppose what makes a good stamping polish is that its opaque in one coat? I imagine the process to make one would be the same as an ordinary polish... except perhaps test your own mixture more often and add whatever it is in smaller increments.

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  18. Hey this is really immense. I an delighted to know all of this. I am a big nail polish junkie. Thanks so much for all the precise sharing. I would like to ask i wanted to add mixing balls to my nail polish, but is there any alternative to steel balls

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