Monday, 14 April 2014

Mega Mix Gel Polish & Mixing Glitter Polish with Alessandro Striplac

(This is a bit of a rambling post as I intended to write about Mega Mix Gel polish, but got kind of side tracked as I started mixing it all up....!)

New to the market, MegaMix gel polish is promoted as a product that will enable any regular nail polish, pigment or glitter to be mixed in and then applied as any other gel polish.

Here's what the seller says.....      
MegaMix is the most versatile gel on the market today. This clear soak off gel can be applied over tips, or natural nails ( after the application of Amazin Base) to create natural nail enhancements.
It can be mixed with glitter, mica, pigment,polish,or any nail art media to create the ultimate bespoke nail service.

Intrigued at the prospect, I bought a bottle for £10 plus £3.95 delivery for a 15ml bottle (but didn't invest in the base and top coat from the range as £30 seemed a little too much for a product with few reviews and I have always interchanged bases and tops with no detrimental effect). The polish arrived quickly via Royal Mail (minus the necessary hazard sticker detailing the contents as nail polish).

I already have a wide variety of gel colours and my intention was to try Mega Mix with a linear holographic polish as these are sadly lacking in the gel market.  Any polish I'd want to mix would have to be something worth the effort as the recommended mix ratio is 50% polish to 50% Mega Mix, so diluting any polish by 50% would require double the coats to achieve the same opacity.  I usually use three coats of colour, so that would be six of the MegaMix/polish combo, add in base and top and you're looking at a laborious 8 coats......

Anyway, I got all my gear together - a little pot, a dotting tool for mixing, a brush for application, and my regular bases and tops and got cracking. 

I used Color Club Halo Hue in Kismet, one of the 'holoiest' of my linear holos.

The MegaMix was very thick, but mixing was fairly straightforward.  I applied my base and three thin coats, then ran out of my mix and had to mix some more.

After five coats and cures I'd had enough, and I was using a nail wheel - it would have been far trickier painting onto the nail, so I added my top coat and finished off. 

Whilst I was hanging about waiting whilst curing, it dawned on me that perhaps MegaMix isn't the only product that can be used in this way.  So out came a cheapo bottle of Ido Gelish top coat, and I followed the same process using this.

Ta da!

The verdict? The Ido worked just as well, if not better as the thinner consistency meant that the mixture went on more smoothly.


The swatches are, from left to right, the polish on its own, the polish mixed 50/50 with the cheapie Ido top coat, the polish mixed 50/50 with Mega Mix (both mixes with gel top coat); the fourth unlabelled swatch is gel base and top with regular polish sandwiched in between.  I figured that instead of applying loads of coats of the mix I might as well use the time I'd spend applying the polish as the dry time for the usual sandwich method.  This disrupts the holo far less than mixing as you can see.

Perhaps the Mega Mix may have hidden strengths - I'm not a nail technician and have no intention of mixing it with pigment or anything other than regular polish - for a personal user like myself I'd recommend having a play about with your top coats before handing over your cash.

Given the success of mixing a regular gel top coat with polish, and being in the experimental zone, I decided to try my hero product - Alessandro Striplac (peel off gel polish) mixed in with glitter polish.

I chose a dense glitter that I'd like to wear more but is a complete pig to get off, Emily de Molly Monet's Garden. 

I applied a layer of Twin Coat - Striplac's two in one base and top, and then three coats of a 50/50 mix of twin coat and glitter polish. I also put three coats of regular Striplac polish in Wild Safari on the neighbouring nail to compare removal. Both swatches were finished with a final layer of twin coat.

This stayed on for a couple of days, and I'm sure it would have would have lasted longer but I was itching to see how the removal went.

With the Striplac, there is an accelerator available to speed up the removal/peel off process.

The activator is painted on around the edges of the polish and under the tips and left for 5 minutes or so.  It's not essential to use it but it does loosen the gel and help to get an orange stick under the polish to start peeling.

Removal of the gel/glitter mix was as easy as the removal of the Striplac polish.

Glitter/Twin Coat Mix:

Regular Striplac removal:

Both swatches came off in one.

I have been using Striplac as a peel off base for glitter polishes before trying to mix the two together, but by using one coat of twin coat and painting the glitter polish on over this and finishing with Seche Vite. 

Not only is the mixed method far quicker, easier to remove and is and longer lasting, but the glitter is smoother and has wonderful depth.  

I've tried PVA peel off bases and Picture Polish Revolution, but for me, this method is far superior.

Striplac Twin Coat (and the rest of the Striplac range) is available from Nail Polish Direct.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Ninja Polish Flibberti-Gibbet

I'd been waiting for Ninja Polish to have a re-stock for what seemed like ages, and finally on Black Friday my patience paid off.  I was hoping for a few more shades to choose from as there were only about 8 (of their entire range of 50) but the Ninjas operate in a different fashion to many other indie sellers - instead of having a limited stock of many shades, they try to make sure that when they do release or re-stock that they have enough supply to meet demand.  Refreshing huh? I'd rather be able to buy what's in the store than lust over shades that are advertised then sell out before you have time to bung 'em in the basket.

I took a chance on Flibberti-Gibbet, there was no photograph of the bottle, let alone swatches, and as it was a new shade launched that day, nothing else at all online. Just this enticing product description from Ninja Polish.......

Ninja Polish Flibbertigibbit from the Spectrum holographic collection is an amazing green color shifting holographic polish. The color shifts from green to golds and browns on your nails and if the angle is just right a few other colors might pop in there. The linear holographic adds a whole other layer of prismatic explosion to your nails as well!

I like green, colour shifts and holos, I love Ninja Polishes, so at $12 figured it was well worth taking a calculated risk.

 Green, bronze, purple and gold visible in this photo taken in the light box, but hiding the holo.

I headed off in search of more direct light to show the holo, unfortunately Mr Shady came along too (inexperience with my new camera to thank for this). I'm not going to narrate the rest of the photos as they speak for themselves, some were in the box, others were at various places in the house with more direct light.
Suffice to say Flibberti-Gibbet is a winner, different lights show steely blue, emerald green, bronze, gold and purple, with strong holo or subtle depending on the intensity of the light. 


Formula was extraordinary - amazing coverage in one coat. Average wear time (I used a topcoat of HK Girl). 
Flibberti-Gibbet is only available from Ninja Polish:

So glad I took a punt on this one!