Frankenpolish 101: A Crash Course In The Art Of “Frankening”
First, I’d like thank everyone who has stopped by to check out my blog! And an ever bigger thanks to all the lovely ladies that have linked to me. There’s a list under my links section to many other wonderful nail blogs that are definitely worth checking out!
Today, I bring you “Frankenpolish 101”. Before I break down the simple steps of the frankening process, I’d like to point out a few things.
Creating your own polish can be fun and addicting, but it can also be frustrating (not to mention, messy). Don’t get discouraged if your first polish doesn’t turn out well. Frankening is all about experimenting! I’ve created my fair share of hideous, blindingly ugly polishes that would make anyone shudder in disgust. It’s a learning process, and even the most experienced frankeners have the occasional failure! So let’s start with the basics you need to know…
A frankeners’ best friend is BALLZ! Yes, you read that correctly. Ballz help your polish creation mix together, and also save you from endless hours of shaking the bottle until you’re dizzy! Ballz are often called ball bearings, or BB’s. There are many places you can buy ballz, most commonly they are found in the sporting goods/hunting section at stores like Wal-Mart. I use Daisy Brand (purchased at Wal-Mart) zinc plated steel BB’s, 4.5 mm size. They do come in smaller size containers, and only cost a few dollars.
Another inexpensive frankening tool worth purchasing is a small art plate. You can mix together a tiny amount of your combination in the plate to see how it will look. It’s an excellent way to play around with different color combinations and saves you the aggravation of mixing together an entire bottle only to discover it isn’t what you wanted. Paper plates can also be used for this, but I prefer the paint tray because it is reusable and less wasteful. Again, you can find these at chain stores like Wal-Mart or craft stores for around $1.00 or less. It is easily cleaned off using polish remover/acetone and a cotton ball, or my personal favorite, plain old felt!
You’ll also need something to mix your “test polish” with. Toothpicks are a good choice, as well as cuticle sticks. Cuticle sticks, or sometimes called orange sticks, come in both wooden and plastic varieties. They are also very cheap to purchase and can be found at beauty supply stores or drugstores. I like using the wooden cuticle sticks because they are bigger than toothpicks, which make mixing easier, and I can clean them with acetone and get several uses out of one.
Once you have a color that pleases you, you’ll need a bottle to put it in! Empty polish bottles come in a variety of sizes, and can be bought at beauty suppliers. You can also clean out old polish bottles with acetone to re-use in your frankening adventures. Empty treatment bottles (such as Nailtek) are also wonderful to use once cleaned. The larger sized bottles will use up more of your supplies, so you may want to start off using smaller bottles. Dollar Stores are a great source for buying polishes to franken with. Those unappealing sheers take on a new life once a darker color is added! Cheaper brands such as NYC, Wet N Wild, and others found in drugstores are awesome for making frankens, and cost very little. On a side note, I like bottles that have peel off labels. It helps distinguish between my “real” polishes and the frankens. 🙂
Mixing together different polish colors is a great way to exercise your creativity! You can also use cosmetic pigments (such as eyeshadow pigments) and glitter to jazz up your frankenpolish. If you’re using glitter, cosmetic grade glitter works very well. I would avoid using craft glitter, unless it’s fine grade, because it tends to be too big and doesn’t mix well. Glitter and pigments are best mixed with a clear or sheer polish. If you are going for a darker color, like black, make sure you add a good amount of clear to it first. This will help your glitter stand out better in the polish, and also avoid settling to the bottom of the bottle. Using glitter and pigments can be tricky, since some brands or types just refuse to play nice with any type of polish. Again, experiment with several kinds and see what works for you!
A quick little trick that will make adding pigments and glitter much easier (and less messy) is to make a small funnel out of paper. Simple roll up a small square of paper (approx. 3 x 3 inches works well) into a funnel shape and tape together. Make sure the hole at the end is slightly smaller than the opening to the polish bottle, but not too tiny. Voila!
Alright! You’re ready to franken! Here is a step by step example to help you get started:
*For this example, I am using Wet N Wild Sapphire polish, frankened with Fantasy Makers silver cosmetic glitter*
Place a couple drops of polish into your art tray.
Shake in a bit of glitter. Remember, start small! You can always add more in as you go along.
Use an orange stick or toothpick to mix the glitter and polish together.
Swatch the mixed polish on a piece of plain paper. If you are satisfied with the appearance of your franken mixture, go to the next step, otherwise repeat steps 2 and 3 until you get the desired effect.
Taking your base color bottle (WnW Sapphire in this example), set aside the cap/brush and place your funnel into the top of the bottle.
Slowly add glitter or pigment into the bottle. Same rule applies here…add a little at a time!
Add your ballz! Two or three should be sufficient.
Shake, shake, shake! Swatch the polish on paper, the same way you did with the test batch. Add more glitter if needed and shake some more.
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of your very own frankenpolish! Be proud of yourself, and enjoy your new pretty! 😀
Hopefully this tutorial was helpful! Please feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions, or requests!