Nails

My Frankenpolish Collection So Far

Hello, folks! I recently mixed up two new shades of nail polish, and thought I would share with you the colours I have so far. Frankenpolish is what you get when you mix up different shades of nail polish to get a colour of your choosing. I have spoken about this in detail in this post.  {An aside: I know there are some nail/beauty bloggers out there who absolutely hate the term “frankenpolish”! I think it is a highly amusing word & use it at every possible chance I get!}

I am rather new to this, and have only a few custom shades. However, these are some of my most-used ones, as you can imagine! I went on a mixing spree last weekend, and made 3 new jellies — a lovely raspberry jelly that turns purplish (to radiant orchid) beyond 3 coats, and a sheer black jelly, because who doesn’t need one? I also tweaked my Sally Hansen CSM Pat on the Black, which was a purplish-burgundy, to get a vibrant violet.

My frankenpolish collection

The two on the left (the coral & the grey) are crème finish and require a maximum of two coats to be opaque. The other four are sheer and have a jelly finish. Of these, the three on the right were made from a clear base. Details about each follow after the next section on the basics of mixing your own shades. [Update: I have since added 3 more jellies not pictured above & will be adding details soon].

Skip to frankenpolish shades: Pale Blue Jelly Natural Pink Jelly Raspberry (formerly mauve) Jelly Inky Midnight Blue Jelly Beige Crelly Medium-Grey Crème Coral Crème

Frankening basics: Hints & tips

There are some websites that sell beginner kits for customizing your own shades, complete with empty nail polish bottles, pigments and loose glitter. If you are not sure how often you will be doing this, don’t want to commit to it or want to use up shades that you already own but don’t like/use much, skip the kits and get creative!

Frankening polish can be very simple. To begin with, pick a base colour – this is the one that constitutes about 60-90% of your custom shade, depending on what you are doing. If you want a jelly finish, it is best to start with a clear base. Pour out a little of the base nail polish to make some space so that you can mix the colours evenly later on. In case you have never done this before and are wondering where to pour out the discarded nail polish, do not use a plastic container! The very first time I did this, I poured some nail polish into a plastic yogurt cup. A couple of minutes later, I had a little puddle of polish on my microwave, where I had left the cup; not smart at all! Luckily, I noticed it soon enough & was able to clean it up before it spread too much. I now pour nail polish into a metal can, and that seems to hold up fine until it dries. A gap of about 1/5 to 1/4 of the height of the bottle is usually sufficient space to allow even mixing.

There really is no recipe for this; much of it follows logically and is based in trial-and-error. The whole point of customizing shades is to end up with ones that look best on you. Things to bear in mind:

  • Try and stick to using similar formulae/finishes for the colours you are adding, otherwise they may not mix evenly or may separate over time. I usually try to use colours from the same manufacturer, since they tend to have similar formulae. However, from personal experience so far, mixing brands has not been disastrous; I did make one that separates within a couple of days, but nothing that a good round of rolling around between my hands cannot fix.
  • Add in a few drops at a time, especially when using dark colours. It is much easier to add colour than take it away.
  • It is quicker to add dark colours to light.
  • If you want a jelly finish, start with a clear base.
  • If you want a milky, crelly finish, add in a few drops of white crème polish.
  • Most people will tell you not to shake the bottle of polish because it adds air into the polish; this makes for bubbles, which can pop while the polish is drying, leaving tiny craters along the surface of your painted nail. Patience is not exactly my strong suit, so I end up holding the bottle by the cap (make sure it is closed tightly!) and banging it against the palm of my other hand. That does not cause too much air to be added in, but the contents get evenly mixed within a few seconds. The reddened palm also returns to its normal colour within a few minutes :-). Some bottles of polish have a tiny steel ball (or two) inside, the function of which is to mix the polish evenly. If I throw out a bottle of polish, I try to retrieve the sphere(s) for future use.
  • If you are not sure what colours to mix, test it out on a small scale. Place a small quantity of the base polish on a Ziploc bag, and add in tiny quantities of the other colour(s). The polish does not burn through the Ziploc bag, at least in small quantities. Remember to keep the proportions approximately correct. A good way to do this is to use a toothpick to add in less than a drop of colour at a time. Once you are done, let the polish dry for several hours on the Ziploc bag, and it will peel off easily in a single layer!
  • Finally, as is the case with any polish, the colour in the bottle may differ from that on your nails. The best way to find out is to add in a little colour at a time and try it out on your nails; you may be surprised to find you like the colour you have already, or you may get a better sense of what colour(s) to add in and in what quantities.
  • Enjoy the experience & have fun! Remember, the worst thing that can happen is that you might have to go out and get another bottle for a fresh start; that’s not so bad, right?

Presenting, my collection!

Pale blue-grey jelly:

I recently bought a pretty, light blue nail colour from Sinful Colors; the exact shade is called Cinderella. It has little iridescent flecks in it and looked very pretty in the bottle. Once I tried it on, I didn’t like the exact shade on my nails, so I added some black and white crème polish to it. I cannot remember the exact amounts, but I believe I added about 12-15 drops of black, and 3 drops of white to the blue base. This one was definitely a surprise; while I wasn’t overly fond of the irridescent flecks in the base polish, this turned out so pretty because of them! I have a single coat on in the above pictures, and I just love the colour! It reminds me of winter and pearls, and I feel like my fingers are glowing! It is not often that I apply a single coat of colour and want to stop there, but less is definitely more as far as this one is concerned. Just for your information, the formula makes for surprisingly even application, despite its sheerness. I can see myself using this a LOT!

Natural pink jelly:

This is another one of my latest creations – it is a very natural pink crelly. I made this from a clear base, adding about 8 drops of white, 10 drops of a deep mauve/plum (Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Plum’s the Word) and about 15 drops of bright coral (I used my coral frankenpolish; see below). The result is a nice light pink, a coat or two of which is very similar to my natural nail colour. In the picture above, I am wearing 3 coats of polish.

Raspberry jelly: (formerly mauve jelly)

My first frankenpolish ever was what I called my mauve jelly; very similar to the natural pink, but even more sheer, its colour being very close to the natural colour of my nails even after 4 coats. I was only using it for pond manicures, so I ended up tweaking it to make this raspberry-coloured jelly polish. It looks more purple/lilac in the bottle, but on my nails, it’s more reddish. In the picture above, I’m wearing 4 coats of this. To make this, I added about 10 drops of a deep mauve/plum (Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Plum’s the Word), 10 drops of white (Wet n Wild French White Crème), about 6-8 drops of a deep purple (Sally Hansen CSM in Pat on the Black) and about 10 drops of a deep fuschia (Wet n Wild in Grape Minds Think Alike).

Inky midnight blue jelly:

This is another jelly finish, made from a clear base. I added about 10 drops of black crème polish (Wet n Wild Black Crème) and 15-20 drops of dark navy blue (Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Dark Hue-mor). The end result is a beautiful inky blue. In the middle picture above, I am wearing about 4 coats of this. In the one on the right, I am wearing a black base colour and the top layer of the jelly sandwich is a single coat of this frankenpolish.

Beige crelly:

A couple of months ago, I purchased a bottle of Sally Hansen CSM in Shell We Dance? which is a beautiful pale pink (almost white) jelly, but I just couldn’t appreciate it on my nails no matter how hard I tried. Finally, I decided to take the plunge and transform it, and I love this now! I started out with about 2/3 of the bottle, and to that I added about 30 drops of yellow (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow), 5 drops of a dark chocolate brown (Sally Hansen CSM in Haute Chocolate) and 5 drops of a deep green (Sally Hansen CSM in On Pines and Needles). This polish is very sheer – the picture was taken with four coats on and you can still see my nail line – but I love jellies, did I mention? 🙂 

Medium-grey crème:

This medium-grey crème is another one of my favourites. I made this from a dull taupe colour (Wet n Wild Megalast in Wet Cement), a few drops dark navy blue (Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Dark Hue-mor), and just a touch of black and white crème polishes (Wet n Wild in Black and French White Crème, respectively). I initially started by adding just the black and white polishes to the taupe, but it wasn’t quite as grey as I wanted until I added the blue. It is quite an opaque formula; I am wearing two coats in the above pictures.

Coral crème:

This is surprisingly one of my favourite pinks. I started off with an orangey-coral (Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Funky Flare) that was too neon & too orange for my liking. I added a good amount of red (Maybelline Color Show in Paint the Town) to it and ended up with a beautiful red grapefruit/rose. I’m not quite sure how to describe this colour; it’s a warm reddish pink. I’m not big on reds, pinks and oranges, but this is a colour I am absolutely loving!

Ending Notes

That’s it, folks! I really enjoy this process of making my own custom colours, not least because I end up using them much more often than many store-bought colours. Also, it is more practical when I want a colour similar to one I own but in a slightly different shade. You can mix a whole bottle of a custom shade, or use the Ziploc bag trick – just place a little on a bag and mix your own colours in a quantity sufficient for your manicure! Nail art is all about fun and creativity, and frankening allows you to experiment and to add to your collection without breaking the bank… not to mention it stimulates those brain cells and reduces wastage in the world!

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