Friday, April 1, 2011

Franken Friday: Franken FAQs

I decided awhile ago I wanted to make a franken FAQ post. I'm not an expert on frankening and I am definitely not claiming to be one. I have, however, made quite a few frankens and I feel I can help answer some questions.
Forgive me for some of these photos. This blog is a one woman show and taking pictures of the frankening process was a bit hard!

What is A Franken?
One of my frankens, Planet Earth.
A franken is a personalized mixture of nail polish. It can also include glitter, pigments, eye shadow, or clear polish. The point is to create a unique polish that isn't available to you or to replicate another polish. Or sometimes the point is you're bored and you want to see what happens when you mix some glitter with polish.

How Do You Franken?
If I have an idea of a franken I already what to make, such as a dupe for Essie's Starry Starry Night,  I will try to pinpoint the ingredients I want to use. If you are trying to replicate a certain nail polish, break it down. You need to ask yourself: What polishes can I mix together to make something similar? Does it have glitter? What shape/color/finish is the glitter? 
If I'm just creating something unique, I often pull out polishes and see what goes good together. I write down my recipes for my readers, in case anyone else wants to replicate as well. 
And if it doesn't come out the way you want it to- remember frankening should be fun. I've created a lot of Franken Fails.

What Do You Need For Frankening?
Some of my frankening supplies.
You will need balls, a palette, polish, empty bottles, glitter, pigments, and  a measuring spoon for glitters/pigments.
You might also need: clear polish and a funnel to get glitter into the bottle. I also lay down a rag towel down to keep messes from happening.
What Kind Of Polish Can I Use?
My box of polishes for frankens.
Anything you want! I tend to use lower end stuff because I don't want to waste expensive or higher end polish. On occasion, I also buy polish in lots on eBay. Another good place to find polish to make frankens is The Dollar Tree. Sometimes The Dollar Tree has drugstore polishes for very cheap.

What Are Some Brands That Mix Well Together?
I haven't come across brands that haven't mixed well together, per se. I've had really great frankening experience with Wet N Wild.

What Kind Of Balls Should I Use?
The balls I use.
This is a question of great debate! I use plain steel BB's from Walmart. But there is some debate over if the Zinc coating with corrode your franken.
See- it says Zinc Plated.
I've never had this happen to me. I check my frankens regularly and they're fine! If you are concerned you can use steel barrings from a bicycle shop or I believe TKB Trading has some.

Tips For Creating A Holographic Franken?
This is very subjective. But basically- you need to start with a holographic base. I like to use Sally Hansen Diamond or Purple Diamond. I bought these at The Dollar Tree and also in a lot on eBay. Basically, start with your holo base and work from there.

Does Frankening Waste A Lot Of Polish?
If you are spilling it everywhere- yes! I rarely spill, though. I've created a lot of "franken fails" that just didn't work out and turned out ugly. I've also wasted a ton of polish that I used to test glitters to see if they would melt. But this is again, why I stick to cheaper polishes.

What Do You Suggest For Beginners?
Play around! Experiment and have fun.

How Do I Make  A Glitter Franken?
This is something I hear all the time on MUA: "A made a glitter franken but the glitter sank to the bottle of the polish". It's even happened to me. Now, I know the trick.
Examples of glitter suspension polishes.

You need to start off with a suspension base. The best examples of this is something you probably already have- glitter polish! The polish is made to "suspend" glitter. I believe you buy the base itself from TKB Trading, but I haven't tried it myself. It seems kind of pricey.
I also hear a lot of : "What kind of glitter can I use?"
This is a hard question to answer! I have no idea what kind of glitter is available by you. I can tell you the glitters I have used myself but I can't tell you if the random glitter from your local craft store will work.

Examples of some glitters I've used in frankens.
Glitter is a lot of trial and error. The best way to test glitter is to mix some with your suspension base and let it sit over night. It will usually turn into a brown mess pretty quickly if it's going to melt. I've used a lot of cosmetic glitter that did not melt in frankens but I've also had really good experience with glitter from The Hobby Lobby.


Okay.. So now you have your glitter but how do you get it into your franken.
Start by pouring your suspension base into your empty bottle. You can see there isn't a whole lot of technique to this part. 


Fill your bottle depending on how much glitter you want to add.


Next I took a piece of paper and cut it into a rectangle(ish).


And tape it together and you have a little funnel. They also sell plastic funnels at craft stores and Sally's but this is the lazy, cheap way. :P


Next, set the funnel into your bottle like so.


Measure out the glitter you want to add. I always use a 1/8th teaspoon because it's so tiny it fits right into my funnel.


Pour the glitter into your bottle.


If You want to add pigments to your polish, do the exact same thing.

And Shake!

And here is a video of me shaking polish. :)

There you go! You just made a glitter franken!

What Will Happen If I Add Black To A Polish?
Add it slowly- drop by drop! Adding black to a franken will darken the color quite quickly.

How Do I Clean Out A Bottle Of Polish?
First dump out the polish. Or you can skip this step if you've already used the polish up.

Next, using pure acetone, pore into the polish bottle, about half full. Shake the polish and empty the acetone out. Repeat this step until the bottle is clean. You can also use a q tip to clean inside the bottle lid.

You can see I'm wearing gloves because I don't want to ruin my mani!

I dump all my old polish and acetone into this jar. Remember that acetone melts plastic, so using something made of glass is a better option.

How Can I Avoid My Franken Bottle From Exploding When I Shake It?
Ah, the exploding franken. It has yet to happen to me but it seems to be happening because of bottles being too full with polish when they are shaken.
See the top of the bottle? I don't fill my frankens above that line. If you feel like you've over filled it- dump a little out.

How Can I Add Polish Slowly And Accurately?
I mentioned earlier there wasn't a lot of technique to pour polish into bottles. Sometimes, glitter can be a bit thick and it wants to go everywhere. In those situations, I add a little polish thinner and shake it up. Also, sometimes adding drop by drop is more accurate.

Have You Ever Considered Selling Your Frankens?
Honestly, No. I've never considered that people would want to buy them. I've thought about giving them away because my franken drawer is starting to get too full. Is that something you guys would enjoy?

Okay, well I tried to answer as many questions as possible and I hope that helped some of you!

31 comments:

  1. I LOVE U ... FOREVER. Freaking fantastic post!! I laughed, I cried, etc.

    Seriously, I really appreciate ALL of the steps you went through. I love posts that tell a story in pictures (and video), it makes me so happy!

    I use those BALLS too and have never had a problem. I like your mani!

    I just about died with the video, LOVE IT. And that franken is sooooo beautiful!.

    I had a franken EXPLODE in my hand (a 1/4 full bottle) when i was shaking it against the carpet ... whoops ... a rag towel would have been smart.

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  2. Great entry! What do you use the palette for?

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  3. Awesome tutorial! You explain everything so well. I use those bbs as well. I've never had a problem. When I sell my frankens I do use the ball bearings from TKB. I'm going to buy some of the glitter suspension base. I have a sh*t ton of glitter that I want to use.

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  4. I like the vid, ahaha! :)
    I was thinking about using a dropper before because I'm pretty much a klutz, but then I think about cleaning it out. Meh.

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  5. This is an absolutely AWESOME tutorial! It makes me want to mix, lol :)
    Thanks so much!

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  6. LOL at the bottle shaking video.
    This is really informative and helpful! :)

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  7. fantastic post! Thank you! that was all very helpful, now I know what I was doing wrong!

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  8. This is an awesome post!!! Thanks for the helpful tips! I really had no clue on how to make Frankens, thanks so much for the post!

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  9. Ooooh, I forgot to leave my questions but you answered them anyway. Thanks. xD

    But what do you do with that big jar of old polish and acetone? I'd be so worried I'd accidentally knock it over.

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  10. AWESOME post! Thank you for all the great tips. Your Planet Earth franken and the one you made in this post are awesome, I would totally buy them.

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  11. looks interesting but requires a lot of time!
    Thanks for the information, very useful!!!!
    http://misstarshiny.blogspot.com/

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  12. Love this post!! I have been wondering how people do that type of thing with their polishes.

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  13. ive been waiting for this post!! Im scare to try franken because I feel like ill be wasting all those nail polish, but Ill try with all these tips!! thank you!

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  14. nice FAQ post! i really need to get my butt moving on making some frankens. haha

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  15. Sooo helpful! Thank you! And yes, we would love a "Rachel Franken Giveaway!"

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  16. this is a really nice tutorial for the people that don't know how to franken yet. the thing is that we can't get ballz inhere.. and ofcourse we would love a franken give away!

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  17. Loodie- can we get married? :)

    KarenD- Oh DUH! I have to add that in! It's for mixing colors together to test to see how it will look!

    Purplegreenjoy- I've actually knocked it over before- the lid is on tight and it didn't spill. I keep it on my mani station just in case.

    You nailed it- you can't get balls where you are? I would try a bike shop OR ebay. :)

    Thanks everyone!

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  18. When you want to get rid of the jar of old polish/acetone what do you do with it? I heard you can't dump acetone down a sink so do you just throw the whole jar away when it's full? Thanks! This was a great guide!

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  19. AffordableBeauty- I have yet to actually fill a jar! I'll probably set it outside with the cap off so it can evaporate into a big lump and then put the cap back on and throw it away.

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  20. I'm nervous about making a Franken and it exploding. I think I'm a little too klutzy to risk it. Looks like fun though!

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  21. Adrianna- I've made probably 100 frankens and none have exploded on me. :) I'm SUPER klutzy.

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  22. Now that I know more about it I want to try it out myself! Thank you for the information!

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  23. Thanks for such an awesome informative post...

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  24. I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of glitter you have in the left side of the glitter picture? It looks like the big type of glitter I've been looking for and would love to know what kind it is!

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  25. THX for the info...YES...Plz start having Franken give aways...THat would be so much FUN!

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  26. Thanks for a fantastic and super-informative post (great video). I've frankened in the past, but didn't know there was a name for what I was doing! Very cool. :)

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  27. *Deep Breath* ThankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouTHANKYOU!!! *pant pant* This was a VERY helpful and informative post! I really appreciate you breaking down all the steps and common questions so thoroughly, absolutely fantastic, and that franken you made was just gorgeous! Oh my! I didn't know that shaking the full Frankens could explode!? That could get messy :S I'll proceed with caution next time lol ;). I recently discovered the art of frankening (like 2 days ago) and just made my very own concoction today! Had a mostly full bottle of old SH insta dri topcoat that I didn't really care for, added some cheap never use dusty rose pink eyeshadow and added small gold and red craft glitter that was lying around and voila! My very first franken! And it wasn't a fail! Yayz! Guess I got lucky lol ;P. It is a sheer but build able dusky rose color with prominent gold glitter sparsed throughout. Thinking of calling it Rose at Dawn maybe, hope the glitter holds up....Anyways thanks again!

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  28. *Deep Breath* ThankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouTHANKYOU!!! *pant pant* This was a VERY helpful and informative post! I really appreciate you breaking down all the steps and common questions so thoroughly, absolutely fantastic, and that franken you made was just gorgeous! Oh my! I didn't know that shaking the full Frankens could explode!? That could get messy :S I'll proceed with caution next time lol ;). I recently discovered the art of frankening (like 2 days ago) and just made my very own concoction today! Had a mostly full bottle of old SH insta dri topcoat that I didn't really care for, added some cheap never use dusty rose pink eyeshadow and added small gold and red craft glitter that was lying around and voila! My very first franken! And it wasn't a fail! Yayz! Guess I got lucky lol ;P. It is a sheer but build able dusky rose color with prominent gold glitter sparsed throughout. Thinking of calling it Rose at Dawn maybe, hope the glitter holds up....Anyways thanks again!

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  29. Love the polishes, I will mix my frakens before putting them in the bottle I think. I don't like the idea of exploding nail polish. Also I've been looking at getting some hydrophobic fumed silica which you add to make the glitter suspended. If anyone else tries this don't forget to wear a mask or your lungs might go thick and gloopy like the polish. For more info on this the following website has lots of info and photos: http://headtofoot.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/aerosil-as-a-suspension-agent-in-clear-nail-polish-r972-vs-300/

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