Random Sunday: Frankenpolish!

I’ve been learning a few things as a nail polish newbie.  One of them is, there are many shades that are really, really wonderful in the light, but they all basically look black indoors.   To each his (or her) own, but my feeling on that topic is, unless you work as a hand model or under the glamour lights in a retail store, that’s a bummer.  How many of those do you need?  I have 3 and I’m done, thanks.  So I’m backing off and exploring medium-dark polishes that manage to retain their color indoors in regular lighting.

I’ve also discovered I love deep blue and dark green.  I also really love creams and jelly finishes, which look incredibly sophisticated.  However the choices are surprisingly limited in the green or blue cream/jelly categories in darker shades, and some of the coolest looking (like RBL Recycle) are expensive and not available for sampling first.  So on a whim at the polish store I decided to franken my own after some basic tips from Louise, who’s messing around with gray.  This was a bottle of dirt cheap LA Girl Flare that caught my eye, in a medium-electric-sky-blue called Twinkling.  I added some drops of black cream (Sally Hansen Black Out), shook vigorously, added a few more drops … I went slowly and didn’t measure, sorry.  You can always add more black but you can’t take it back out, right?

Swatch of Twinkling (it’s brighter in person):

My final franken:

Sorry the photo isn’t better, my camera doesn’t have a good enough short focus.  But I wound up with a grayed-out blue that looks kinda teal in indoor lighting, gray-blue in natural lighting.  It has a jelly finish and is weirdly matte but looks nice with a layer of Seche on top.  BTW my other nails are NARS Midnight Express.




  • Cathleen says:

    March, did you know that Serge Lutens has branded nail polish? I think he has a cosmetics line, too. But the price for a bottle of nail polish in nude or red is $65!!! That’s not even the price it’s scalped for on ebay, that’s the price at Barneys. I cannot imagine what this stuff would do to your nails for that price. I think it ought to project some sort of holographic image that lets anyone who looks at your nails know that they are …by SL. I’ll pay for good nail polish (can’t even tell you how many RBL bottles I have) but that’s way out of my league **but I really want to try it**.

    • March says:

      I’ve seen the cosmetics line in NY, I believe. And basically my attitude is, ain’t spending that kind of dough for makeup. Although I don’t judge, because look at the money I “waste” on perfume, from the perspective that I have more than I can ever wear in this lifetime.

      For $65 I want it to paint itself on my nails and then do the dishes for three days so I don’t chip it. [-(

    • Mariannetm says:

      I have seen Serge Lutens lipsticks on the internet, tiny lipsticks for a ridiculous high price.
      Hey when I buy a Chanel eyshadow quad,I am at my ceiling of what I can and would want to spend on any eyeshadow or lipstick or nailpolish.
      My Chanel eyeshadow nr. 94 Reflets D’Ombre is so beautiful. Have to confess that with my Marionnaud membershipcard I got 10 Euro discount and that helped in the decisionmaking :”>$-)@};-

  • Kristy Victoria says:

    Yay! I love frankening. I once made a polish inspired by a fume – Apres L’Ondee… I wish I could come up with my own perfume-inspired nail polish line. I think it would be a huge seller! I have no idea how to go about a business idea as such,unfortunately.

    • March says:

      I wish they made nail polish smell better. b-( It plus the remover is contaminating the wonderful smell of my writing nook, and they’re going to have to go live someplace else in the house.

      I have a new OPI from the France collection, a lavender, that would be perfect for Apres.

  • violetnoir says:

    That’s “high” lacquer, not “hig” lacquer. Sorry!

    • March says:

      Hah. As usual, I added the missing consonant without even realizing it. Unless I’m in “edit” mode I read right over typos.

  • Mariannetm says:

    I love ‘nude’ colors and very deep dark colors like rouge/noir, voilet/noir, blue/noir, green/noir but the thing is that my nails are very thin and they split so fast.
    Once read in a magazine that a woman did put ‘nailpolish’ for horses on her nails and that her nails became very strong.

    Hope that you will write much more about nailpolish and matching makeup.. >:d<~o)@};-

    • Louise says:

      Barielle products (originally equine hoof treatments) are reputed to be great for human hooves, too 😉

  • Carol Sasich says:

    I sprung for the Haute Choc at Bergdorfs and got a Chanel makeover too .
    The story behind the brown with gold shimmer :
    It was a holiday color contest at Seventeen magazine , and a young woman named Amy Gonzo from Port Washington Wisconson won $1,000 worth of Chanel product for her winning entry . Kewl huh ?

    • March says:

      I got the Haute Choc too! :”> I love the color, not sure about the finish…. it’s an awesome brown, though. Too many of the browns are reddish or bronze-y. Finding a true brown is hard.

      I knew that story. There’s been some drama because there are other polishes named Haute Choc (I think she was supposed to come up with the name too?) But so what — I mean, there are two right now named Recycle, and Haute Choc isn’t THAT original a name, I think there are two or three others. But the colors are different, Chanel’s is better!

  • violetnoir says:

    Love the franken. I used to mix them up when I was a kid, looking for that perfect frosty pink of the sixties, lol! Now I just go straight to the polish in the bottle–no time for mixing and matching.

    But, one of the most beautiful and unusual greens I have ever seen is RBL’s No More War. Yes, it’s expensive, but I took the plunge and can’t wait to receive it.

    I know what you mean about the almost black polishes. I want to see the color, too. But one exception is OPI Siberian Nights. I remember slapping this on last fall, thinking I would not like it that much, but it was instant love. It is simply gorgeous! Check it out if you have the time.

    Hugs, March!

    • March says:

      I’ll have to look for Siberian Nights. How does it compare to Suzi Says Da!, I wonder? (My personal fave.) Skin tone is a HUGE contributor — Louise and I were swatching this weird dark blue — it was BLUE, absolutely, on her — and purple on me! Really, really weird.

      Is No More War that pea green one? Hmmmm. Thinking it would be better on a warmer skin tone. I’m lusting for Teal and Recycle.

    • violetnoir says:

      Teal and Recycle are great, too. I almost ordered Teal, but opted for Bruise instead. My bottles just shipped, so when I get it I will let you know how it looks. I think you would look good in a green. I don’t actually. Some of the popular, sought after ones, like Jasper Jade, look a bit rancid on my tips. Anyway, No More War looks like a dark olive green, but we shall see.

      Siberian Nights looked like a gray-ish blurple in the bottle, but on my nails it was simply amazing! High shine, hig lacquer, deep midnight blue.

      Right now I am wearing OPI Louvre Me, Louvre Me Not. What a gorgeous mid-tone purple. In the light it just shimmers beautifully.

      Happy mixing and painting!

      • March says:

        Let me know how it works out — color, finish, etc. I’m not sure I’m ready for the $18 nail polish, without testing. /:)

      • March says:

        PS The thing that lures me in the end about the dark OPIs is their finish! The shine on their polishes…. really, it’s extraordinary.

    • elizablue says:

      what brand is RBL? thanks! e

      • March says:

        Sorry, Rescue Beauty Lounge. They make REALLY interesting (albeit expensive) colors — I believe the only place online they retail is at the company’s website but someone correct me if I’m wrong.

        I want Recycle. And teal. 🙂

        google it, I’m pretty sure it’s rescuebeautylounge dot com

  • nikkou says:

    Not ‘Vanity and Aging’, ‘Adventurous and Open to New Experiences’. @};-<:-p

    • March says:

      That is SO true. I think we started off with that for stuff like lasering and plastic surgery. I’m gonna start a new category. :)>-

  • Mariannetm says:

    Beautiful looking nails March. I love the dark Chanel nailpolishes most but these are so expensive.
    But then better one color totally to my liking than three or more that come close but just not close enough./:)

    • March says:

      I totally agree — if you have fallen in love with one particular color, might as well buy it, because you can quickly spend the $ on two or three or four similar things that will never be quite “right.”

  • Louise says:

    Darling FrankenMarch :d/! That mix came out really nice, and, uh, can I borrow it, please, huh, please?

    Also love that Midnight Express-it’s escaping the fade-to-black fate of most blues, seems to me. Are you finding application of the jellys pretty tricky?

    Now-it’s your fault I just bought a YSL dark gray…the pic you sent was Too Much to resist /:)

    • March says:

      I’m leaving the color combo as is — I like my lighter blue thumb. And my theory about the Midnight Express is there’s something about the jelly finish that allows even the darkest shades to retain some of their color in dim lighting.

      I did a third coat of Franken — gosh, Louise, it’s so pretty! It’s got the muddy “tone” I love of CG Calypso Blue, but not so dark (that one goes black on me). But it’s lighter, more like CG Bermuda. I’m thrilled. I’m trying to avoid buying that other RBL funky darkish muddy blue. This isn’t a dupe for that, but lessens the urge. 😉

    • March says:

      PS That YSL was gorgeous! Although I was also interested in the OPI Recycle, looks way cool. I was going to skip gray.

  • Catherine says:

    Well, March, all this talk of nail polish on the blog has led me down the path. Got two more this weekend–a beautiful blue and a gorgeous shimmery red. Both OPI. I have to thank all you gals, because I finally broke down and tried OPI. So very much better than the drugstore ones I’ve tried for years and would chip right off my nails. This stuff lasts, and the color selection is fab. I’ve already got my eye on two more colors–a light mauve and a pretty pink.

    I’m wondering–does base coat help create a smoother layer of color when doing the first coat?

    (Umm? Am I talking about base coats already?)

    I can’t wait to read more on nail polish!

    • March says:

      Heh heh! I had no idea there were so many crossover junkies until I started doing this. What colors did you buy?! I’m always interested in the colors.

      I wore OPI even a million years ago, and I think it’s a great polish, in no small part due to the brush. But to be honest I’ve been playing with all sorts of cheap junk too and it doesn’t just peel off my nails 12 hrs later either.

      My newbie take: the base coat helps reduce nail stain, and definitely seems to make my polish less prone to chip. A ridge filling base coat (OPI and Seche make them, and others I’m sure) gives a smoother base. Let me TOTALLY PIMP my #1 discovery (duh) which every single hardcore np person yaks about: the Seche Vite top coat, which is super quick dry. It’s expensive (like $8 at CVS) although cheaper online. It seems like a stupid amount of money until I USED it. Wow! A rock-hard plastic very quick dry shine, really slowed down the chipping on the tips.

      • Catherine says:

        Thank you for the recs–I’m writing down all these “new” words in my vocabulary. LIke “ridge-filling”…and new brands like “Seche”…. Colors of Polish: “Nice Color, Eh?” (Reddish-Pinkish), “Innsbruck Bronze” and “Blue My Mind.”

        I see another trip to the mall in my future.

        • March says:

          Blue My Mind is AMAZING!!! Love that color! Don’t know the other two but will look … the next time I am at the mall. 🙂

          PS You only need “ridge-filling” if you *have* ridges in your nails (I do, you can see them in the photo) but a decent base coat is worth it nonetheless.

  • tmp00 says:

    loving the blue!

    • March says:

      Hey, they make man-polish, did you know that?

      Actually my old boss used to get his nails done and he was extremely non-metrosexual. Groomed and buffed. I found it fascinating and finally asked him. He said he felt it was important that his hands look nice, he did a lot of meetings, and he was too lazy to do it himself! Eventually he admitted that the hand-pampering part is kind of fun.