Friday, January 11, 2013

Polish Designing Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks I've learned from trial and error that have made polish design and creation a LOT easier:

  • Lint rollers are your friend.  I buy the big rolls on handles that have the peel-away sheets.  They're good for getting stray bits of glitter off your hands and clothes, and they're great for getting spills and large amounts of glitter from your work surface, if you don't...
  • Prep your work area with newspaper.  This makes for very easy cleanup, and it prevents nail polish spills from ruining your desk or table.
  • Keep a window open!  I learned this the hard way.  There were months that went by when I didn't blend a single bottle of polish because doing so would give me horrible headaches.  Then it dawned on me (much later than it should have): I didn't have proper ventilation.  If you don't have plenty of fresh air circulating as you work with the polish base, the fumes will kill you.
  • Really fine glitter can get in the air and you can inhale it, which you can imagine would irritate the hell out of your nose, throat, and lungs.  Little paper masks that go over your mouth and nose are essential when using micro-sized flakes of glitter.
  • Blend the glitter BEFORE adding it to the bottle.  I use small zip-seal bags (snack sized) to mix glitter.
  • Assemble the bottle and add the polish base FIRST.  
  • Funnels are essential, but purchased plastic funnels are unnecessary.  While I have used them, I have also used paper funnels.  If you have extra paper lying around, simply cut a rectangle of it, form it into a cone, tape it together, and cut a hole small enough to fit in the neck of the bottle, but large enough to allow plenty of glitter to fall into the bottle.  This is a good way to recycle old paper you're just going to throw out, anyway.
  • Little plastic scoops are available for adding glitter to base.  Some frankeners have used straws that have the little scoops on the end, but I prefer the plastic ones that look like tiny kitchen measuring spoons.
  • Add a few scoops of glitter to the bottle at a time, then stir before adding more, until you reach your desired amount of inclusions.  You can use a toothpick to mix the glitter (being careful not to break it off inside the bottle), but I like using a cleaned, straightened bobby pin.  They're so inexpensive that you can use one per bottle of polish (or, if you're doing more than one bottle using the same recipe, one per recipe) and then throw it out.
  • After mixing the polish and putting on the cap, you can swatch it immediately!  I use a nail wheel so that I won't have to keep applying polish to my own nails.
  • Watch your polish carefully over the next few weeks to see how each type of glitter reacts in the bottle. If you...
  • Make a note of all the glitters you used and the amounts, it will be easy to tell which ones you shouldn't use again if you notice any bad reactions.  
  • Early on, I made the mistake of ordering some types of glitter more than once.  At a point I had fewer than thirty types of glitter, and I wasn't keeping track of everything, so it was easy to accidentally purchase more of a glitter I didn't need.  I decided to log everything in a spreadsheet, and I keep track of color, finish, size, price, amount purchased, purchase price, and I have a column for "notes" for each type of glitter.  This way, before I buy a new glitter, I check and make sure I don't have it already, or something very similar.  Now that I have seventy or eighty unique types of glitter, the spreadsheet is indespensible!
I hope these tips have both helped and inspired you.

Happy glittering!

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