No, Frankenpolish isn’t a Polish person pieced together like a crazy-quilt from other ethnic stereotypes – it’s customized nail polish. I stumbled upon “franking” while tootleing around on the Intertubesz one day a few weeks ago, but is actually something I’ve done for years. I just didn’t have a fancy neologism for it.

There are two ways to franken polish;

  1. mix together two or more commercially available polishes to create a new shade
  2. add pigments and/or glitter to a clear or colored base

There are a number of websites that sell the raw materials; base polish, solvent-resistant glitter, pigments, and the little bottles, as well as numerous blogs devoted to recipes for different colors. Most recipes are attempts at recreating a high-end polish or discontinued color with readily available ingredients, while others are just unique concoctions that the creator wants to share.

Intrigued by this, I decided to make a few “frankies” of my own. So far I’ve mixed up three that I like; a translucent navy blue with silver and pink glitter, an opaque lilac with fine blue glitter, and a translucent red with various colors and sizes of glitter.

Or, in keeping with the tradition of giving nail polish “quirky” names,
Nightfall, Jellybean, and Sassypants.

Swatches of Nightfall, Jellybean, and Sassypants. You can kind of see the blue sparkle in Jellybean.

The home of all things handmade, etsy, has a large number of handmade polishes available that go by names like Blue Box, Attack Ships on Fire, Taste the Rainbow, Birthday Cake, and Unicorn Sperm (again, “quirky”) and go for around ten dollars and up per half-ounce bottle.

Most of the frankies on Etsy are not something I would wear because they contain lots of very big bits of glitter in a clear or tinted base, but they are quite pretty.

Maleficent’s Dragon, by NixxiRose
This is one of the more “modest” chunky glitter polishes.

Some sellers, realizing that they could save a ton of money on supplies and shipping if they just sold the relatively lightweight glitter mixes, have started doing just that. I have recently purchased such a mix off of eBay called Mr. NutNut (“Quirky” names – they’re not just for polish anymore!) and will let you know how it turns out.