Edited to Add: With the ongoing issues related to the Mentality Polish Neons I'm adding this information to ensure all of you that attempt to make your own polishes, especially with neon pigments are as informed as possible.
The most comprehensive coverage summary of the Mentality Polish issue I've read is here on the Mercurial Magpie blog. Please ensure you read this facebook post by Franken Nail Polish (which is the same people who run NailSuperstore.com.au and supply all artisan Australian indie brands). The article is about how some neon pigments have a resin coating than can break down in lacquer base over time and release formaldehyde as it dissolves. For this reason, the Australian supplier is discontinuing their line of neon tinters. Also read this post from Lad Muffin about possible reasons for the Mentality polish issues.
Just remember, nail polish is made up of a whole bunch of chemicals, and adding mixing various components can have many unknown consequences. Not all neon pigments are created equal when it comes to putting them in lacquer, in pretty much the same way that not all glitters will handle being in lacquer. Not much of a problem if you are making polishes for yourself as you assume all the risk, but it could be a big problem if you are reselling your creations. And if you are selling your creations, for Gods sake make sure you have product liability insurance. If you can't afford it, then you shouldn't be in business selling your products!
Over the last month or so I have really been putting the Pipedream ANIVC polishes through their paces as a collection of neon polishes. But we all know how damn impossible it is to buy the Pipedream neons. The restocks are not even announced anymore, so the chances of getting them are Buckley's (for my non Australian readers, find out what Buckley's chance is).
There are actually a whole range of other brands that do neon collections now, to mention just a few:
- Fair Maiden, The Rainbow Brights Collection
- China Glaze, Electric Nights
- In the Name of Polish, Hard Knock Life Collection
- Glam Glaze, The Graffiti Collection
- Indigo Bananas, Neon the 10th Element Collection.
If you check out all these collections you will see they are all generally the same colours. That's because they are generally made using the same or similar coloured neon pigments. Because of this, it is easy to make your own collection of neon polishes. Plus today I'm going to share my secret for making them work well for watermarbling.
You are going to need empty bottles (obviously) and you will need nail polish suspension base (obviously). There are a few places you can get these. In Australia from the Nail Super Store and in the USA from places like Wonder Beauty Products, TKB trading and Llarowe - I'm sure there are others, but given I'm in Australia and get mine from the Nail Super Store, I've never bothered researching where else.
These are the bottles I use from the Nail Super Store.
I use JOSS untinted lacquer base +silicia. You don't need to the +silica one for these polishes, but I tend to buy that one as it suits my hobby polish making requirements best.
You will also need to nail polish thinner. I use Perfect nail polish solvet also from the Nail Super Store, you could also use Seche Restore.
Next you will need some fluro or neon pigments. Again, there are a number of places that you can buy these from. I was gifted the below sample bags to play with from polish making extraordinaire Hayley of Emily de Molly and I don't know where she got them from.
But some places to get them are Glitter Unique, TKB Trading and Solor Color Dust. The nail super store and Wonder Beauty also have liquid neon tinters.
You are also going to need some white pigment. You can do this is powder form, but I use the JOSS Titanium Dioxide tinter.
It's pretty easy to mix up a bottle of polish. I'm a hobby maker so I just mix my polishes in single bottles, not in large quantities like indie makers. My process is to fill the bottle about half full with untinted nail polish base, then I use a cut up straw to spoon in the pigment. I like to add heaps and heaps of pigment to get the polish highly saturated and opaque. For me, this is what works best with water marbling. I think I used about 20 straw spoonfuls of each pigment into the bottle. I also add a few drops of white pigment just to make the finish more opaque, but not too much that the make the polish pastel. Then again, if you want to make pastel neon polishes, just add more white!
I then shake that up and test the colour. I add more pigment if required and also top up the polish until it's nearly full.
Next - and here is my trick. I add a lot of thinner. I usually add a full dropper full into the polish. Sometimes I will add two droppers full, sometimes more depending on the amount of pigment I added. The end result that you want is a thin but highly pigmented polish. You want it to be able to drip off the end of a brush easily and for it to have enough colour to easily show up when it's only one thin layer on the water.
Now I give it a good shake, a really good shake. I also use my tattoo ink mixer to mixed them even more.
Then I add my custom little labels, which of course are completely unnecessary when you are making them for yourself, but I still love my polishes to all match.
I also test out the polishes on water as I go, to make sure they are thin enough and pigmented enough. Just to prove they work nicely for a water marble, here they are in action.
And my first mani with these... Now I just need to get a few more pigment colours to complete my rainbow collection.