Wednesday, July 25, 2012

on 16 comments

Bleeders and Tacos

Yesterday when I was posting about the polishes from Glimmer by Erica, I stated that some of them had lightly tinted jelly bases, from what I thought was some light glitter bleeding.

Today I decided to do a quick swatch of each of my indie glitter bomb polishes (basically my Lynnderella’s and Glimmer by Erica's) on white paper to see which ones actually were tinted bases.

This got me wondering. How can I tell which ones are actually tinted bases, and which ones are tinted because of bleeders? The answer was, I couldn’t. 

With regards to bleeding glitters, from my experience, there are four things that can happen to them when they go into polish. 
  • Melters – glitters that melt when put in nail polish 
  • Bleeders – glitters that loose all their colour and go back to a silver, grey or neutral base colour 
  • Partial bleeder – glitters that tint the base lacquer, but still retain their the exact same appearance 
  • Solvent stable – glitters that wont tint the base 
Clearly solvent stable glitters are perfect for polish, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m totally ok with partial bleeders too. Especially for those people that can’t get nail polish tints like those sold at Beauty World. Using partial bleeders can create fantastic tinted jelly bases without the need to franken something from a commercial brand. 

Of course the big question is, how long might it take for a glitter to bleed out? After how long testing (or owning a bottle of polish) can you happily say “yep, this is only a partial bleeder”. 

Lynnderella posted on her blog that her Boy Girl Party polish has glitter that bleeds. Specifically, magenta glitter that creates a pink jelly. I have revisited my bottle of Boy Girl Party, which I have had for about seven months and I see no sign of any glitter changes. Here is my paper swatch, and below that a nail macro from earlier this year.

My guess would be that the glitters in Boy Girl Party fall into the partial bleeder category. I also noticed that there are lots of her polishes that are in tinted bases (as can be seen by the paper swatches above), and had she not told us there was bleeding glitter in Boy Girl Party, I would never have noticed. But I guess the question is, is seven months long enough to know if a bleeding glitter will bleed out? I think it would it would be.

I'm also guessing that the intentional bleeders in her new collection fall into the category of partial bleeders too.  But only time will tell.

Now onto another controversial subject, that of taco glitter. 

Taco glitter is a name that Scrangie came up with back in November 2011 when she reviewed the Color Club Backstage Pass Collection. I perfectly understand that the issue of taco or bendy glitter is one of personal choice. You're either ok with it and will put up with it, or will wish it a thousand deaths by a firey sun.

I know I've received comments in the past that say taco glitter in a nail polish is never ok. But I actually don’t mind some bendy glitter. Yes, they can make a polish look rough even though they are glassy smooth, but as long as I can easily get them smooth, I'm ok with them. I like how the light can refract off them at different angles. But I do agree that there is a point at which a bendy glitter becomes taco and curled (like those Color Club swatches scrangie showed) and is too curly to use.  Luckily, I don't have any polishes in my collection like that!

I also received a comment about taco glitters that said, "anything that taco’s will continue to taco until it’s unusable".  I thought that was an interesting comment and I wanted to check out some of my past curled glitters to see if they had in fact got worse over time. 

Of course the question is, just like with partial bleeders, how long might it take for a taco glitter to truly show how tacoie it will become? My JQ glitter polishes are the tacoiest ones that I own, and I have had them since June last year. Today I re-swatched all of them onto paper to see if their tacoiness had got any worse.

None of the JQ glitters look any bendier than they were a year ago, and I would think that a year would be sufficient to bring out the full extent of tacoiness. 

I also closely examined all my Lynnderella polishes, which I have had most for at least seven months. None of them exhibit any additional curling compared to how the they were first worn and photographed. 

Therefore my experience is, if a glitter is going to taco, it will probably do so within within a week or two after being mixed. Then it is unlikely to curl any more. Of course this is only my experience from my polishes, and I’m sure others may have different experiences, which of course I would love to hear about.


  1. My opinion on taco glitters is tomorrow's post!

  2. I actually produce polish and test everything extensively - I had a batch of pink glitter (.62 hexes) which didn't taco for almost a month, but when it did, it really did. You can see some pictures here:

    1. Excellent post! Great to know the testing time frame. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I actually really like taco glitters! Well slightly taco glitters. I think they have a cool look! :D

  4. I think people get confused on the terms a little curling or reflective curling is normal in polishes you see reflective curling in polishes from Deborah Lippmann, Wet n Wild, OPI and more. The taco term is used for when it will not lay flat on the nail or paper if your testing them.

  5. I love you for making "tacoiness" and "tacoiest" a word. That's a beautiful thing. Great post, I always appreciate before-and-after's. I agree, I'm OK with partial bleeders as long as the product I end up with will stay the same as when I picked it out/first got it.

  6. Interesting post, I'll have to check how my taco polishes are doing. I don't mind bleeders, most of the time I layer them over a similar colour anyway. :)

  7. Might I suggest new terms? :D Taco (full curls, doesn't lie straight) is now gordita, slight curls (lie flat on nail, aka reflective) are now nachos, a melting glitter is now a tostada and a bleeder has extra special sauce.

  8. ^ Lol to the above. TBH I can't stand glitters that have a full on taco. I don't mind reflective curling at all but tacoing drives me mad! I also really hate it when bar glitters curl as well which is why I tend to avoid bars in my glitter polishes.

    1. Yeah - forgot to mention bar glitters that curl. Those totally shit me too! I have to grab tweezers to pull them out.

  9. This was a really great and informative post! I didn't even know about taco glitters!

  10. Really interesting. I never ran into these terms - but I am soooo not a glitter polish gal. I own a ton of 'em and you could take all but about 4 of them away from me with no issue from me at all - even some that are VHTF or non existent now days and if found are $40 and up! IMHO I would never like Taco Glitter - it's just a mess when glitter does not lay flat on the nail. I am wondering if there is an adopted name for how fat or thin a glitter is? That's something I would like to see bloggers adopt if there is some some means of referring to that issue. Some glitters are just too chunky meaning thick particles. That alone does not let them stick to the nail well quite often.

  11. Where can I buy glitter to make glitter polishes? I can't tell what to look for to avoid melters and bleeders. Thanks!


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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