Franken: Magnetic Nail Polish

Warning: This post contains foul language and is wordy. I am not a professional. I'm just curious and need very little sleep.

This was the most intensive and pain in the ass franken that I have ever made. I cursed (very creatively too) and got frustrated. I made a huge mess a number of times. I was even tempted to throw things against the wall. I researched iron oxide and other material that is magnetic. My eyes become cross from the reading. Basically, I had fun! I especially enjoyed the creative cursing. But fuck me people! I made a magnetic nail polish from scratch.

I picked up some black iron oxide to fiddle around with in polish. The problem is that this stuff is BLACK. A very deep and very true black. It will make whatever you put it in blacker and darker. That includes your wall, carpet and pants. The black works for a dark or charcoal color but not for a lighter color. It will also stain your nails. Isn't that fun to discover?! I picked up some red and yellow iron oxide to lessen the black/dark effect. This helped but it wasn't giving me the effect I wanted.

I did a bit more reading and discovered finger print powder. I picked up some silver magnetic finger print powder and played with that. It's not as strong magnetic wise. I decided to mix the iron oxide with the finger print powder but it was too rough and textured. I ground it up in an old coffee bean grinder. Perfect! I added the magnetic powder to pigments and added that to a base. After all this I had a nail polish that was magnetic. I patted myself on the back and had ice cream.

Now the bad part. It is really, really, really not worth making it yourself. From my research the raw magnetic ingredients do not come in small amounts. It's also time consuming and tedious. It's also not worth the money. When I added up the cost to make the few bottles I did I could have bought myself some other polishes with money to spare for more ice cream.

I have no idea where to buy the stuff I used online. I bought all my materials offline. Still interested? Here are my tips:

1) Do your research. I did and so should you. Use caution and common sense. Wear clothing you don't care about and gloves. I suggest a mask as well just to be safe.
2) I used iron oxide in black, yellow and red. You may see it as ferric iron oxide.
3) I found a 2 to 1 ratio of iron oxide (1 part) with finger print powder (2 parts) worked the best.
4) Make the polish using raw ingredients for the best results. 2 to 1 ratio again - 2 parts pigment and 1 part magnetic powder.
5) Mix the dry ingredients together. Add that to your empty bottle and add your base last.
6) Shake it and let it sit a bit. It doesn't settle completely so shake it before using it.
7) A basic magnet can be used. I used a square business card magnet and used tape on it to make a design. Or you can cut one of those up into something like a star.
8) If you don't grind the powder you will get a rough texture finish to your polish.
9) Paint a nail with a thick coat. Hold the magnet close to the nail for about 15 seconds while the polish is still wet. Very important - make sure the polish is wet. It's best to do one nail at a time.
10) I did find that metallic polishes worked best if I was making one from already made polish. I got the best results with making my own color with pogments.
11) Don't put your fingers in your mouth while they have pigment on them. Yuck.

I think that is it. See? Not really worth making it yourself. It's just a big old pain in the ass to make and I can honestly say that I won't be making any more.

Here is a copper/red one that I made. It's a quick and dirty swatch.

If you have read all this - thank you! My apologies for any grammatical and spelling errors.


The Phalanges Friend July 1, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Woahhh you are so smart! I've never heard of anyone making metallic polish from scratch. And yours looks so good too!

Unknown August 7, 2017 at 3:12 PM

Wow! Nice Result! Even if the time and money, mess and creative cursing suggest this is unwise to repeat, You Did it! Congratulations!x

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