Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Curling and sinking and gloop, Oh My!

EDIT AT BOTTOM!

Lately there has been A LOT of talk when it comes to Indie Polishes and issues. It is to be expected though. There is a huge boom in this industry and a lot of people are rushing to supply the masses. What I want to do though is take a little time to explain some things and to help some people understand that it isn't always a case of impropriety on the behalf of a seller. Things happen. 

Let's talk glitter. Glitter is fun to play with in polish but you have to have the right kind. Anyone who has ever "frankened" or designed their own polish knows that you can't just use ANY glitter. It has to be what we call "solvent resistant". The definition of Solvent Resistant (
A polymer's ability to resist chemicals or solvents that would otherwise degrade the polymer) isn't always deciphered correctly. The Solvent Resistant glitters have the ability to keep their shape in solvents or chemicals but that does not necessarily guarantee that they will not fade slightly, curl, or bleed. It isn't solvent PROOF, just resistant meaning it will not disintegrate when placed in solvents and chemicals and used up to a certain heat point.



I think somewhere someone decided to take on the meaning of solvent resistant and twisted it in our minds to where people now think it means these glitters should remain perfect in polish. Not only is this false, it is just plain foolish. Everything changes in time. Every cosmetic you buy will change over time. Most of the things you can read online or in books/magazines will tell you an average shelf life for a nail polish is 2 years. After that it can dry up, lose pigmentation, separate, or become clumpy, gloopy, or thick/thin. Indie polishes are no exception.


I can tell you that I do my research and I test my products as much as I can, but I also have to stress that I do not have a team of scientists or even an assistant that I can call on to do a bunch of tests for me. And I know most of the other indie sellers do not have that either. I will admit, some people need to test a little more and maybe for a little longer. Even I have been guilty of rushing into polishes. But please understand that we are all doing our best to provide you with safe and pretty products that are made with love and take A LOT of time. 


I do have some glitters that curl a little. Now I have only experienced a few bar glitters slightly curling on my nail from one of my polishes. Does that mean everyone will have the same experience? No. Some may experience more curling and some may not experience it at all. I do have a disclaimer that does state that some polishes will have slightly curling glitters, especially bar glitters. If this doesn't bother you, great! If it does, steer clear of polishes with bars in them. I understand it being a pain, especially if you don't have the time or patience to work a couple of layers of top coat over a polish to tame the wild glitter.


Separation has been an issue I have heard lately. I have seen talk of pigment separation but also of glitter sinking which doesn't really qualify as separation but it is a pain and can really make a polish a pain to apply if you have to dig for glitter. Separation and sinking can happen for a number of reasons. Once again the testing comes into play. Test your glitters and your base.  I have several glitters that I use that are a little heavier than others and tend to spend most of their time at the bottom of a bottle. Most of my amazing customers have told me it does not bother them. They flip it upside down or stir the polish with a tooth pick and they can get the glitter just fine. It bothers some others and that is understandable. This is obviously a personal preference deal. Glitters can sink. I am always looking for new glitters and try to focus on glitters that are lighter so I can avoid the sinking and digging. 


Pigments can separate because a base is too thin. But as long as you have stainless steel beads/balls in your bottle you should be able to give it a few good hard shakes and paint your nails with no problems. I have mainstream polishes that separate horribly after sitting for long enough. By Mainstream I am taking about Orly, OPI, Sally Hansen etc. I think as Indie artists we should all try to use materials that make our products appealing not only by the appearance but also the ease of use. If your polishes separate a lot because you are not using a good base it will have people upset because they have to work so hard. But as consumers, please remember, we test but we cannot always guarantee that a polish will not react to how you store it or how you use it.




So here is just a quick run down of issues and some quick fixes:


SLIGHTLY curling glitter: Try using a couple layers of top coat OR dabbing the curled glitters off.
If your polish has glitters that are referred to as "taco glitters" which is a short way of saying the glitters are curling so much they are curled in half then contact the seller with pictures and ask them what the next step is. I can tell you that my policy is to pay for you to ship the item back to me if I cannot see from the pictures what the issue is and I will offer you a refund, exchange, or a replacement. You will need to speak to the seller of your "taco glitter polish" to see what their policies are.


Pigment separation: If you have the steel beads in your bottle (DO NOT ADD ZINC COATED BBS!) and you don't mind giving your bottle a few shakes when your using it then I wouldn't worry about it. BUT if the seller does not have any kind of disclaimer about separation and not using a proper suspension base then I would contact the seller with pictures. The seller may not know the base is no good or they may not have done their research on how to properly make the polish before selling it. My polishes are made with the correct bases and if there is ever any pigment separation I hope you will contact me with pictures immediately so I can make sure you get the polish you paid for.


Sinking Glitter: As I said before, some glitters are heavy and will spend more time closer to the bottom of a bottle but you should be able to set the bottle upside down for a few, shake it upside down, or stir it with something and not have to do too much digging. However, unless someone has not used the correct base or someones base has just gone bad, you should not have a polish that has all the glitter sunk to the bottom. This is when you need to contact the seller with pictures. 


Thick polish: Sometimes polishes are just made thick. I have mainstream Holo polishes that I have to thin all the time. This is an easy fix. Add a couple drops of thinner to a thick polish. In my experience polish thinner has NEVER changed the color or suspension of a polish. Polishes stuffed with glitter can sometimes be a little gloopy and difficult. Try thinner. If for some reason your polish does not thin out and is a huge pain to deal with, contact the seller for more advice on how to work with the polish. Maybe there is a trick to it. I know I have dabbed heavy glitter polishes on before and it not only ended up being easier it also helped me make sure I had glitter spread out evenly on my nails.


I really hope that this post has helped to clear up some questions for people. I know there are a lot of you out there that are very weary of Indie Polish. That is ok, I understand. I am not going to sit here and tell you to buy my stuff. What I will say is this; the Indie scene is amazing. There are a lot of talented polish makers out there right now and we are seeing things we have never seen before. How lucky are we to have SO many options? It is ok to have your doubts. Remember that it is ok to question things. I would be more than happy to answer questions anytime and I know most of the other polish makers would too. I think I speak for a lot of us when I say we would much rather you come and talk to us and ask us questions then to assume and accuse. 


Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope It helps!


EDIT: Someone emailed me and asked if I would be willing to say something about the BB's put in polish. There honestly isn't much to say on the subject except this: If you are planning on selling your polishes and not just making them "for fun" you need to invest in stainless steel BBs/Balls. Zinc coated bbs are not acceptable. They will start to break down in polish chemicals. If you receive a polish and the BBs are turning the polish funny colors or falling a part you need to send the seller a picture and request an exchange/refund. I am sorry if you are a seller and feel like I am calling you out, I am just trying to help. This is unacceptable to our customers and it very well should be. It is one thing to have to shake your polish a bit but you cannot use a polish with rust or nasty particles in it. 

34 comments:

  1. Thanks for making the effort to explain this. Clears up a lot of doubt and I guess there are people who wanna jump into the bandwagon to make their own without experimenting much and thus make quick bucks. I am glad you know what you are doing and indeed providing quality polishes to all your customer . Kudos to that and keep up the good work

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    1. I appreciate the encouragement and the support. I know I am not perfect and I am always finding new ways to make things better. I do think that those of us who keep trying and who are really looking to be professional and careful are the ones people need to look to for answers. We are here to make sure this Industry doesn't lose steam or fall apart because of a few mistakes and issues.

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  2. I do the upside down bottle trick, works a treat. Some of your polishes need this more than others but I think they are worth a little effort. People need to realise that you make them all by hand and you aren't working in a lab like the mainstream companies do. As for the curling, just squish them down a bit when you apply your topcoat.

    I've made some polishes for myself by mixing other polishes together and adding glitter. It is hard to get right (especially without proper base) so I completely appreciate your work and the work of other frankeners. I especially appreciate the uniqueness of each polish that people make as it is not always easy to come up with new ideas and names.

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  3. This is a great post! That you even take the time to explain this is a huge plus. So thanks - and who knows - I might be buying my first indie polish soon. (Not that I have had the doubts that you mention in the post, but just because... :) )

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  4. Great post! My blog tends to have a heavy focus on featuring indies (including your own, of course!) so I try on a huge variety from many different indie brands. I rarely have come across any curling issues, but when I have I find that using 2 coats of Seche Vite (letting the first one fully dry before applying the second) helps immensely since it is a thick top coat.

    And in terms of mixing.. I put em upside down in a shot glass when I first get them since the glitter has almost always settled on one side of the bottle during shipping. Works like a charm!

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  5. great post, i fully agree. I have plenty of mainstream salon polishes that have issues with separation (that's not even a problem though! it's standard to give your polish a shake up before application!!!),sinking and curling glitters. Too many people have unrealistic expectations!!! I just love that all the indie brands popping up are offering endless amounts of diverse polishes for all us addicts I think I jumped on the nail polish blogging bandwagon at just the right time!!!

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  6. fabulous post, loved reading this and reading your passion xx

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  7. Awesome post! Thanks for taking the time!

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  8. Awesome post! Thanks for taking the time!

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  9. Awesome post! Thanks for taking the time!

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  10. Great post Chelsea! Very informative.

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  11. Go Chelsea!!! Your a star to try explain that to people.... I doubt people have any probs with your polishes as they are fab! And I have nearly ALL your polishes.

    There's just no pleasing some people but you keep up the great work

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  12. I've never had any problems with any of your polishes and I think I have everyone of them. Your polishes are amazing and your such an inspiration to the polish community. Thanks for making this clear for everyone!

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  13. Great! thank you! I have had a few creators contact ME to tell me they found a problem and then let me know what they were doing to rectify it. I loved that they didn't wait until I found the problem. That sort of integrity will keep me coming back!

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  14. I've never had any issues with your polishes, but I've had some other indie polishes separate a lot. I don't really mind though, since I give them a few good shakes, or just store some of them upside-down so the glitter doesn't just stick to the bottom!

    Thank you for taking the time to go over this and clarify things though. I also know you're not supposed to use the Zinc coated BB's, but why? I've heard this is an issue, and I don't make my own polishes yet, so I'm just unfamiliar with it. Is it because they rust over time? Just curious!

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    1. You will hear/see people say that they are rusting but zinc does not have the ability to rust. You can only get rust from Iron. Zinc coated bbs CORRODE in chemicals and solvents. They will start to change color and a lot of times it looks like rust and then they will break apart. Its ugly!

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    2. Oh man, that's crazy! Thanks for the heads up. I know zinc itself shouldn't be too terrible, right? But I don't know what other chemicals are involved in the coating or underneath, and when it dissolves/corrodes, then it might not be very good.. I'll definitely be double checking some of my polishes - I know I am getting replacement steel ones from one seller! At least she also stands by it and either offers refunds, or replacement balls.

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  15. Thanks for the details! This post really helps us a lot to understand more about the indie nail polish and the potential issues =)

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  16. awesome! I wish there were more sellers out there with the great attitude that you have. This just makes me want to buy more from you! besides the fact that I love your product - from color combos to formula

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  17. Fabulous post! Honestly I love indie polish and buy more of that now than I do mainstream polish. I don't mind the minor extra effort these special polishes might need because they are handmade and special to me. I've often used the upside down trick before applying and it seems to work just fine. I've shared this post on my FB page because it has great information presented in an incredibly easy to understand way. Thanks Chelsea!

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  18. Thank you so very much. While I did think about trying my hand at doing some indie polishes, honestly I don't feel like I have the time to do it right. This post DOES however help those of us that are buying more indie polishes so we can know what to look for. I have.. a lot.. of nail polish so I definitely don't get around to wearing it all very often or very quickly.

    I know that for me, some shaking for either glitter or pigmentation isn't a big deal but I do have friends that toss out their polishes the minute they start to separate. Thank you so much for the post!

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  19. Really great post. Thank you. While I have not had any issues with your nail polish I have quite a collection of indie polish and have a few that I will not order from again. I love the indie polish, so creative and fun. I get complements all the time and people ask me how I did a manicure. One thing I do is just roll the bottle around in my hands as I wait for my base coat to dry. I also use a orange stick to mix with, it is longer and easier for me than a tooth pick. Also if I am using a glitter polish with large glitters I will use a small piece of plastic and dab the polish on it. That way if there is a lot of base and not a lot of glitter I can find the glitter and not have gobs of polish on my nails. Can not wait for you to open sales again!

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  20. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this informative post! I've passed it along to my facebook fans, since so many people are buying Indie polishes.

    Plus it's always fun to find other people who gets interested in this complex science stuff!

    Ana

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  21. Awesome post. Glad to see there are people working toward transparency in what is essentially a community-driven business and making sure that products sold are of the highest quality possible. I love your polishes and I'm glad to know the money I've spent on them so far went to someone with a good work ethic and great customer service.

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  22. This is a great post! I've purchased a number of your polishes and have been quite pleased with them, as with many other indie sellers! It's a bummer to hear about people rushing into it and having sub par products but you live and you learn! Thanks so much for this information & I hope it encourages sellers & buyers to be more aware of the products out there.

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  23. Great post! I think that as long as customers and polish makers are respectful and honest with each other; there shouldn't be issues. If you don't like something then don't buy it but don't go online and trash talk and try to stir up problems. I think there are some people that just like to stir up drama and make big deals about things that could be easily solved by just talking to each other. I will continue to buy indie polishes and if I ever have any problems I'll talk to the person who made the polish. No biggie! Thanks for writing this and keep up the awesome work!

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  24. Thank you for the ps about the balls in the polish. This is really starting to concern me, especially having no idea which indies have used them and which have not. There are some indie sellers who have handled using the zinc balls with class and grace (i.e. offering refunds proactively or contacting the buyers directly) and there are others, not so much. Knowing that this isn't rust, but rather corrosion, it really brings to mind the concern of what, exactly, is in the middle of these things and how safe is it to be in your polish. "Oh, if your balls are corroding, no problemo, I'll just send you new balls and you can buy some sort of magnet to fish the old ones out, thanks for you $15.00!" is not a solution. It just isn't. First of all if they are discoloring that means it is starting to corrode into the polish (and who knows how long it corrodes before the color change takes place!). The polish is already tainted. Second of all, just because you either lacked the foresight to research your materials thoroughly before you made it or because you were greedy and decided to get the el cheapos (which are cheap for a reason) isn't MY problem. A simple google search told me that zinc bbs are a no no, this info was on the first page. This isn't obscure information.

    The problem here is I think a few of the "bad apples" are ruining it for the bunch. The VAST majority of indie sellers are great businesspeople who are proud of their product and stand behind them. They fix the problems and want to improve their formula to keep being a successful businessperson. I have had very few problems, but at least in two of the cases, I found the sellers to really go the extra customer service mile and for that I will be purchasing from them again. They WANT to make a great product! But then there are those few who really take no responsibility for their product. They make excuses. They give poor resolutions. They don't stand behind the quality. And sadly that reflects on the entire indie community, which is unfortunate because MOST sellers are not at all like this. Anyway, just my two cents.

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    1. And to follow up, thank you for clarifying that your product has not used zinc balls! This makes me very happy as I have several of your polishes and I can cross these off my worry list! I appreciate you being upfront about what you use in your product.

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  26. Awesome post! As a consumer, I know that when I'm buying from an indie seller who makes their own polish by hand that it will vary in quality. I'm okay with that because I love unique glitter and I am totally cool with turning a bottle upside down for awhile or stirring it up before I polish! They look I get at the end is totally worth it. While I understand some people are bothered by the process being time consuming etc, It doesn't bother me at all! I myself have five of your polishes: Jawbreaker, Party on my yacht, boy crazy, swing, & wine night out. I'm super impressed and happy with all of them! Super awesome :)
    While sinking glitter or a thick polish doesnt bother me (its something that can easily be fixed with stirring or adding a little thinner), Im not okay with zinc balls or bleeding glitter. I buy the polish because I like the look!! and corrosion or changing colours isn't what I bargain for! Im lucky it hasn't happened too much, I check out swatches and reviews before I purchase because while I do think 10 dollars is a reasonable price for an awesome unique polish, I do think I should be getting the look I paid for with the whole bottle and not have it change on me after a couple of weeks!
    Great informative post :

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  27. Thank you for putting this out there. I make and sell my own cosmetics on a small-scale opperation and I feel like since they are hand-made people buy them with the predisposition that the products will fail so I purposely try and "over test" things before I intend to sell them and then worry after someone buys something that they will come back with quality complaints (though so far I have had none). My name is on the things I sell and the last thing I want is to have someone very unhappy with my products. I have put a lot of time, money and love into my business and I want my customers to love using my make-up as much as I love making it for them.

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