Saturday, October 8, 2011

on 27 comments

Spectraflair top coat vs Spectrafrankens

First up, this post has lots of pictures, but that's a good thing, right? 

The aim of today's post is to show you polishes in their natural state, then with a spectraflair top coat added, then compared to a similar spectrafranken, where the spectraflair is mixed in with the colour to create a new polish.

A few months back I saw some swatches of Spectraflair top coats and they never really impressed me.  I don't know if it's because they had too much spectraflair in them, but to me they seemed to hide the base colour too much.  Even if it was a really rich strong colour, it was dulled out with silver so that it looked pastel.  So one thing I was really conscious of was not adding too much spectraflair to my top coat. 

Because of that, I had never bothered with a spectraflair top coat and had always made full spectrafrankens where I mixed the spectraflair with the polish colour to create a full new polish.  I will save my verdict on Spectraflair top coats until the end of the post, in the mean time, you make up your own mind.

For my top coat, I mixed three tiny straw scoops about the size of a grain of rice, in a 5 ml bottle and filled it to about 3/4 full with Seche Vite top coat.  I figured I may as well use a decent top coat, as it was only going to be used as a top coat after all.

For the first comparison I started with Kleancolor Metallic Purple.  This is one coat in the sun, no top coat.

Same polish, in the shade (freaking awesome on it's own isn't it!)

Back in the sun, with one coat of my Spectraflair top coat applied to the index and ring fingers. One coat of regular SV top coat applied to the middle and pinky.

Same polishes, different angle.

Same again, in the shade.  Here you can see the silver speckles over the index and ring fingers.  I was very happy how this looked, because the colour barely dulled at all (it appeared my top coat was mixed at about the right saturation).

Then I removed the Metallic purple from my middle and pinky finger and applied the franken polish that I had created, using Metallic Purple, which I called "Not so original".   Clearly my franken had lots more clear in it, and it was never going to reach the same deep purple colour as the original Metallic purple.

Same as above, but in the shade.

And again, at a different angle.

Next it tried it with Kleancolor Metallic Aqua.  Here is Metallic Aqua on its own.

On it's own in the shade (again, another freaking amazing polish from Kleancolor).

With my Spectraflair top coat applied to the index and ring finger.

Then I removed Metallic Aqua from my index and pinky and applied Aquamum, my spectrafranken, to those fingers.

Different angle.

And another angle.

Same, but this time in the shade.  You really can't tell the difference between the Aquamum and the ones using the top coat.

Final test over red.  This is Ulta3 Fire Truck.

Spectraflair top coat applied to index and ring fingers.

Same shown in the shade.

Removed Fire Truck from Index and ring fingers and applied Houzii's Armour.  Houzii's Armour, is based off Fire Truck, but it also has other colours in it too.  It is actually more of a pinky red and has a metallic sheen too.

Up close of Houzii's Armour on the left and Fire Truck with Spectraflair top coat on the right.

So there you have it.  Three totally different polish comparisons showing Spectraflair top coats and full spectrafranken polishes.

Over the purple, I loved it, but I think I preferred the holo effect in my franken.  I'm not sure if it's because the colours of the top coat got lost in the dark purple or what.  

Over the aqua, the Spectraflair top coat was great, I think I preferred just the top coat over the polish than my spectrafranken.

Over the red, the Spectraflair top coat was great in the sun, but looked a little silvery and washed out in the shade. But, it's so hard to get a red, red holo, that maybe the holo top coat is the way to go?

So my verdict. Spectraflair top coats are the bomb!  

Seriously, if you have spectraflair you have to make one.  BUT don't add too much, cause you don't want to end up with something that is so silver it makes every polish a pastel.  You can always do a second coat of top coat, but if you've added too much all you can do is split it into two bottles and dilute!


  1. I'm impressed. Didn't expect the sf-topcoat to be so nice. Maybe, but just maybe, even better than a spectraflair-franken, especially with the more deep-colored polishes. Only the red is not to my taste, because of the silver-look in the shade. But I'll try one too!

  2. Both are so great!!
    Different effect!
    And the top coat is prefect to make any polish holo!
    Did you used a transparent and put powder in it ?

  3. Really really interesting... But REALLY. I've already said that's REALLY interesting? :O

  4. I love that dark blue Franken and the look of the topcoat over the lighter blue! Thanks for the comparisons.

  5. Yeah that's my problem. I added way too much and it silvered out and masked the base color- now my problem is the spectra flair clumps at the base of the bottle and is hard to stay mixed. Is there a trick? Was your total spectra flair the size of rice or did you do 3 grains of rice. Please help me!

  6. Would it be possible if you made a Spectraflair top coat for me and I pay you for it? I'm just not good with frankens and I don't have any Spectraflair pigment.

  7. I made a SF topcoat with suspension base from TKB and love it. Did the SF sink in the SV? The TKB base does not dry too quickly. SV + TKB will prob make a better topcoat! :) yay!

  8. love this post. YOu are my spectraflair goddess and this is really informative as well as being full of AMAZING colours :) xxx

  9. Awesome!! I just got SF and I think I'll do this. I actually have 2 different grades of SF, the 14 and the 35. Do you think I should make 2 different topcoats?

  10. Uhm wow!!! I would love a SF top coat! Is there a way I can buy one from you?? This is perfect!


  11. What a brilliant comparison. There really are two totally different effects. It is also all about the right ratio and I know you've stressed that over and over again. Thanks for such an informative post - yet again!!!

  12. Thank you for this. I need spektraflair like.. yesterday!

  13. Kerstin - me took. I wasn't expecting the top coat to be so good either.

    rock-or-not - your right, it really is a totally different effect from a top coat vs a spectrafranken.

    gnoma - really? tee hee.

    Enamel Girl - I think the top coat works best on a lighter polish too.

    Fashion Footing - thank you.

    Fingers - I just checked by bottle of top coat, made with SV. It has settled too. I haven't tried to mix it yet, but I'm guessing it will take a good long hard shake to get it mixed again. I think the only trick is to use suspension base :(. I used three bits the size of a grain of rice.

    Crystal Valentine-Burhans - I can look into it for you, just bear in mind that postage for one bottle overseas will be about $12, International Postage is so expensive. I could probably sell a bottle for $4. So the total would be $16. I'm pretty sure there is someone in the USA that sells Spectraflair top coat, so it might be worth searching for them, cause it would be much cheaper in postage. Or for $17.50 you can get a whole gram of spectraflair (including postage) and make at least 10 bottles of top coat for all your family and friends.

    desisefh - yep the suspension base from TKB would be awesome, probably just needs SV or similar like you said.

    The Daily Crumpet - Thank you and it's so much fun to do too.

    LeeAnn - I've not tried the 14 micron yet, so don't know what it would be like for a top coat - but I just ordered some to try.

    Alexisaurus - Thank you, see my reply to Crystal above. I think the postage just makes it too expensive!

    Catkin - I agree, it's hard to compare the two cause they are such different effects.

    Reece - I can't believe you haven't tried some yet!

  14. Incredible post!!! This is so amazing! I love the top coat because something I'm always longing for in holos is intensity in both the holo effect and the base color - bright red, vibrant purple, etc. The top coat does look a bit washed out in the shade but in the light it is dazzling! It's definitely a great way to get a holo effect with pretty much any polish. AWESOME. AWESOME. AWESOME. :D

  15. I drink nail polish - Me too, I want the holo effect, but also the intensity of colour. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Fingers - I just worked out the perfect way to shake up the bottle. I shoved it down into the front of my bra, and forgot about it. 30 mins later is it perfectly mixed.

  16. Can you tell me what it would cost to ship 2-3 bottles of this to Denmark? TBK does´nt have the bases in stock until november...

    Kind regards

  17. Your frankens are amazing!!! And now a SF top coat... I love all the polishes you had made :D

  18. Pwinsessen - three bottles posted to Denmark would cost $13.50 for postage + $4 for each bottle.

  19. Wow!!!
    This post was really great!!!
    I'm also gonna try a lot of kinds of to coats cuz it's really interesting that you can have a lot of shades in a polish

  20. Great comparison! And thanks mate for the tips - I've got some spectraflair top coat that I was given that I think needs some halving!

    And HA HA HA HA HA about bra shaking :D

  21. Bra shaking! Mine would crash to the floor. Anyway...
    I got a small bottle of each of the suspension bases from TKB and made a SFtop with the mica base 1st. No prob, then I turned it into the purple holo I didn't have. (Thx for the recipe Kitties26!) Today I got brave and made another TC but used the glitter base instead. It's too thick. The SF just swirled around in it, taking forever to mix. So I added 10 drops to the 5 ml bottle and it was saved. Thick-ish, but a one coater. Then I swatched it over Opi Kyoto Pearl, CG For Audrey; Turned Up Turq.; Sky Hi Tops. Looks yummy! Try a matte color.

  22. nice comparisions..cant decide if i like top coat more or the actual frankens more! But U rock with them all!! :)

  23. Hi!

    Does the SF sink in the Seche top coat?


  24. Hi! I would like to know if you would sell your spectraflair topcoat in bulk to Malaysia. =)


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I live in Canberra, Australia with my husband, Mr Ten and Miss Eight. My blog is all about nail polish, and a few other bits in between. You can contact me at