I love mixing custom polishes, but sometimes there are just polishes that can’t be duplicated without special pigments. One of these is Spectraflair.
A little Spectraflair background: It’s an automotive pigment made by a Japanese chemical company. It’s basically holo pigment in its most concentrated form. On its own, it has a silvery base that shifts color in the light and shows a fine or coarse rainbow reflection. It is graded by particle size, with a smaller number yielding a smoother finish and a higher number yielding more rainbowy flash with a scattered finish.
I tried to get this stuff forever. It’s made in Japan by a Japanese company, and I used my mad Japanese skills and natural charm to try and get them to hand over a sample/sell me buckets of the stuff. No dice. It was like trying to buy cocaine. (I’m just imagining here, I have never actually attempted to buy cocaine. Ahem.) All very furtive. I managed to snag some, and it was pretty dodgy. I emerged several thousand yen lighter but with all my body parts intact. I felt like the James Bond of the glitter trade.
Still, the rewards were great and sparkly. I mixed all of these with half Spectraflair and half regular nail polish:
And macarons. Just because they’re a kawaii Japanese favorite, along to go with my hard-won Japanese Spectraflair.
Here’s Spectraflair Size 14 mixed into clear nail polish. Yes, I was having fun pretending to be a nail stylist. 😉 You can buy similar colors, like Color Club Halo Hues/ ILNP Mega, etc. without the cloak and dagger drama of having to buy Spectraflair in a dark alley in Tokyo, but this comes with more of a backstory.
Or…you can just buy it online now in 2016. I placed an order there quite a while back, and got some good liquified Spectraflair after exhausting my pigment supply. You will be hard pressed to get your hands on the powder pigment- in fact, it’s near impossible. Most sellers offer it pre-disbursed in a liquid base, which you can just add to nail polish. Some sellers claim to offer Spectraflair in pigment form, but this is likely to be a knockoff Chinese version of it, which is not really up to par. Much like Beverly Hills Poolo Club or Kelvin Klein items one can buy in China, bogus Spectraflair is nowhere near as good as the real thing. And yes, I have actually seen “Poolo Club” items. Other polo-related favorites are U.S. Polo Club, USA Polo Club, Larph Lauren Polo and America Polo. Who knew polo was so beloved in Asia?
Anyway, back to the polish. A little Spectraflair goes a long way, but due to the intensity of the silver in the base, it will lighten up any polish color you mix it with. Deep reds will yield a fuschia or orangey pink, depending on what is in the base color. That’s why you generally see so many holo pastels vs really dark, deep colors. Most very dark nail polishes look similar on, but many of them actually have different undertones which will be revealed when mixed with a powerful lighter color pigment.
Although it’s awesome, DO NOT USE IT ON YOUR SKIN. I personally never apply Spectraflair mixes to my natural nails- it goes on press on nails only so there’s a barrier between my actual skin and the polish. It’s an automotive pigment, folks, so it’s definitely not approved for any kind of cosmetic use. At all.
So while my glitter spy skills were pretty lacking, now you don’t need to speak Japanese and meet people in shady back alleys to get some Spectraflair. If all this is too much trouble, but you still want holographic polish, just grab a bottle of holo silver and tint it with your favorite polish. There’s lots of ways to shine! 😉