Saturday, March 31, 2012

Behind the making of my Spring 2012 Polish Line and MORE SWATCHES!!!!!

So throughout my polish making journey, I took lots of photos. Not because I planned to show them to anyone, but because I got a new camera, and because I'm a dork who walks around incessantly taking photographs. I know...CRAZY!!!!

When I decided to make polish, I constructed a make-shift polish lab in my basement. It keeps the kids out of my stuff and allows me to hide in my basement in the wee hours after the kids are in bed. I always feel like one of those home mad scientists you see in the movies.

Anyway. Here are some different photos I took while I was in the stages of making The Nail Junkie Spring 2012 Polish Line:

Here is the custom glitter blend. 6 different shade of fine green glitter. I was very insistant on this. I scoured the earth for just the right glitter. I knew I wanted as many shades of green glitter as I could get my hands on and it had to be fine glitter: I didn't want anything the least bit chunky. I found a 6 piece set of greens that was PERFECT! Just what I was looking for. 

 Before I started making polish, I put together a computer collage of photos that summed up what I was looking for in these polishes. I really wanted a realistic floral color. So I picked pigments that were as close to the color of the flower I wanted to pattern the polish after. Once I was ready to make polish, I printed out this little poster to keep my ideas fresh and to inspire me. I was also able to literally compare the polish to these photos. Which helped. 

I did continual product testing. From start to finish, I tested this polish in every way I could think of besides setting my hand on fire *DON'T TRY THAT AT HOME!!!!* These were early tests to make sure the glitter was color fast and that my blends would hold the pigment properly. This was a SLOW process. I hated waiting, but I knew, if I wanted a real idea of what I was working with, then I would have to be patient: no shaking, just observing....for days....and days...ugh....

 I like office of course I have mini neon index cards. Duh!

Continual Product Testing! None of these versions made the cut. Sadly. Too glossy. Too thin. Too chunky. Ugh!!!! This definitely wasn't a one step process. 

Tools of the trade. table is RED now! I love disposable table cloths. I had a polish/glitter mess during production. So once that was done, I cleaned up and got things ready for packaging. I am packaging each order as they are paid for. My BF thinks this is a bad way to do it, and maybe he's right, but something about packing an order before its sold feels like I'm jinxing myself. Like "don't count your chickens before they hatch". I really don't mind packing orders up. It's like wrapping a birthday gift, which I know some people hate...but I LOVE!!! YAY!!! WRAPPING PAPER AND RIBBON AND OFFICE SUPPLIES!!!! 

Anyway, now you've gotten a glimpse into my "Pretend Mad Scientist Laboratory". 

Here's some swatches I did when I was testing out my product line. This was the happy moment, where I saw the formula come together just the way I wanted it. EACH PHOTO IS A 2 COAT SWATCH: NO BASECOATS, NO RIDGEFILLERS, NO TOPCOATS!

THIS is how my nails look with NO BASECOAT, NO RIDGEFILLER, NO TOPCOAT, JUST POLISH! NOW you see why I use all that stuff. My nails are like wood grain or something. I don't know how usual this is, but I use ridge filler so my polish goes on better. But for swatch testing, I wanted to dumb my nails down. Everyone who uses base coats knows that it "alters" your polish application in a good way. It makes polish easier to apply, makes it stay a little longer. Also, the ridgefiller I use 'tints' my nails a more natural color and helps to hide nail bed lines under my polish. I wanted to make sure I was testing the performance of my polish. Not the performance of my overpriced base-coat and ridge filler. So for testing, I used only the polish. 

During tests I was looking for smoothness of application. The polish also HAD TO BE OPAQUE IN 2 COATS! This was a must. I didn't stop formulating till my polish met those criteria. Getting the color I wanted was easy. Getting it to apply how I wanted...that was more of a challenge. 


I hope you've enjoyed this post. I wanted to offer a glimpse inside of my process. There are still a few sets available, only 4 to be exact. Check out my PRODUCT PAGE for more info on ordering. 

Or to enter to win Set #1 visit my NAIL JUNKIE SPRING 2012 GIVEAWAY POST.


  1. Thank you for posting those pictures. ... I really enjoy seeing what goes on behind the scenes. I love your Spring collection. ... very different from what everyone else is doing. ... really like the mattes. Wishing you much luck for great success.

  2. So glad to see you share a glimpse into the process of making your beautiful polishes. I don't think many people understand the work involved let alone the creative process. I see so many people complain about some indie polish makers because they can't keep up with the demand of their pretties. I think if they saw this they might understand that this is more than just a bottle of nail polish. That for the artist it is personal and it is a labor of love and that you aren't a factory just cranking out bottles of nail polish for crazy lacquer lovers. So thanks for sharing. It's really neat to see and learn how you do it!

  3. Wow! I loved a glimpse from behind the scenes of the creative process. I love nail polish so much, I have considered creating my own, but have no idea where to start. Now I know that this is not an endeavor to jump into lightly. It takes a great deal of patience and persistence and passion! Good for you for doing it, and doing it right! And congratulations on all your sales. I'm sure the last four will be snatched up in no time, and then you can start working on your next line. :)

  4. Amazing! great post! I have never done any nail polishes myself and so it is intresting to see how difficult it actually is.

  5. This is pretty cool, thanks for posting it!

  6. Thanks for sharing this. My boyfriend was reading over my shoulder and got all nostalgic because he used to blend his own spray paint. Thanks again!

  7. I've been so inspired lately by all of the indy polish lines coming out. Thanks a bunch for sharing some of the process!