Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to: Franken! (My way, anyway!)

Hi there!! I am very/super/overly excited for this post. I really like making nail polishes. Whether it's just mixing a few together, or using a pigment, or adding spectra flair, I just find it a lot of fun, and really rewarding! I wanted to share with you step by step how I go about doing this. Hopefully it will give you all some ideas or inspiration to create your own masterpiece. If you do, please be sure to share it!! I love seeing what people come up with!

Ok, so let's get on with it! This is going to be pretty long and picture heavy, so I will put a break in for those not interested in seeing my mad scientist skills skillz. First, here is a picture of my workspace:

A little crazy and messy, but hey, that's how I roll. On the left hand side I have some various pigments and polishes. I have a bag of ball bearings (fondly known as ballz), and some spectra flair powder. The ballz are used to aid the mixing process. They can fly and woosh through the polish and mix up all of the beautiful powders and lacquers. I have some blank nails on a nail wheel for testing (you can see my purple holo from a few posts back). I also have some straws and napkins and a magazine to work over so I don't get stuff all over my desk. And last, but most certainly not least, an empty bottle!

Empty bottle of Sally Hansen clear polish.
Added two ballz to my empty bottle
Now is the point you need to decide what you want to make. What color are you going for? Do you want to make a holographic polish? A glitter one? Both? I decided to try mixing an eye shadow pigment with some Glorious Top Coat. (Glorious Top Coat = Spectra Flair powder already mixed with a clear polish). Here is the pigment I chose:

This is a pigment from Beauty From The Earth. It's a dark charcoal powder with fine blue glitter mixed in throughout. I'm not sure how much of an opportunity I'd have to wear this as eye shadow (don't get me wrong, I totally would, but I mostly just use dark non sparkly colors... I don't like fall out), but I thought it'd make an awesome nail polish!!

Next, I made a scoop out of the end of a straw.

As you can see, I didn't start with very much pigment at all. It's very easy to saturate the lacquer with pigment which results in a very clumpy, thick, paste like texture, which does not look so nice on the nails!

Added the pigment to the empty bottle

Here is my bottle with pigment next to the Glorious Top Coat. I want you to see the ratio I used for mixing this. You can compare this to the next picture.

You can see about how much I poured from the Glorious Top Coat into my franken. This is before I shook the life out of my franken.

After shaking!
Added some more Glorious to my franken
It's hard to tell from the picture, but this was really watery. Need to thicken it up!  
One coat on a nail.

Two coats on a nail.
Added more pigment and shook it like a polaroid picture!

This is two coats of the original mixture on the left, two in the middle after I added a little bit more pigment, and two coats on the right, after I added even more pigment. I like that the polish is a dark charcoal color and you can still see the blue flash of sparkle! At this point I used my straw scoop and added the same amount of spectra flair powder as I did with my original amount of pigment.

Indoor lighting, no flash. Charcoal color with flash of blue sparkle.

Indoor lighting, no flash. Charcoal color with flash of blue sparkle.

Indoor lighting with flash.. HELLO HOLO!!!

I really like this picture, because you can see that while the polish is holo, it still has the blue sparkle flash in the middle!

I decided I wanted a little more blue, so I added some of this polish. This picture is pretty true to color. It's a Color Club polish, but I don't know the name of it because it came from a set from Ross. Unfortunately on that packaging, there are no names! It's a beautiful royal blue, though!!

Here it is mixed with the blue polish. It doesn't look much different.

Swatched on my nails! Love it!!

I really like that even when it's not in direct light and doesn't have the holographic bling to it, that it is still a nice polish!

So I know this was a jillion and one pictures, but I hope you guys liked it!! Again, if you decide to create something of your own, please post a link in the comments, I'd love to see it!! Thanks for reading and have a great day, guys!! :)


  1. hhhmmmm i would never have thought to use an old eyeshadow ....hmmmmm (runs off to check old make up drawer) xx

  2. love it!! thanks for the tutorial!

  3. Nice job! Thank you for the information!

  4. Thanks for this step by step guide. It's really informative. Now I just have to get my hands on some Spectra flair!

  5. Amazing post! Thanks for sharing!! :)

  6. Your straw trick is great! I can't wait to use it like a baby spoon

  7. This is beautifull! I don't have an empty bottle yet...

  8. Thank you SO much for this tutorial! I didn't know you could use eye shadow, I have some strong Milani shades that are just too overpowering on my eyes, they'd make some nice frankens, I think. I will have to look for this magical 'spectra flair' powder, would love to have my own holos. Thanks again for so much detail, it makes it less scary to attempt!

  9. thanks for showing this it was a great post

    shel xx

  10. Wow this turned out gorgeous !

  11. Franken win! Can't wait till the pigments i've ordered show up, my inner mad scientist needs some indulging now that you've inspired me :)

  12. WOW! What a great post!

  13. Hey everybody, thank you!!!! I'm glad you liked the post and the polish!! I have ordered a bunch more mini bottles so I will have more to share in the near future! :)

  14. So fun! I want to go franken right now, lol.

  15. This is a pretty franken. I love the results after you added the blue polish. That eyeshadow is really pretty too. I always fall in love with a pretty eyeshadow and then do nothing with them, because I don't like the results I get on my eyes. So now I have a new use for them. :) Great tutorial.

  16. Thanks for the tutorial! I've been interested in making a franken myself. I just saved 2 bottles from top/base coats that had just a little clear left in them.

  17. You are very creative! :) They look great!

  18. Wow, what an informative post - thanks for sharing.

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