In the third and final installment of our Nail Files journey with CND, we’ll be looking at custom blending. Or to you MUA nail board girls, the art of the Frankenpolish. If you missed the previous two segments, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.
Custom blending is what intrigued me the most during my visit with CND Education Ambassadors Kristina Baume and Shelena Robinson at their production suite. Figuring out the perfect combination of colors to precisely match a swatch of fabric or Pantone shade is such an art form. Having a keen eye for color and a vivid imagination is key. Plus it just sounds like a lot of fun.
The process reminds me of mixing finger paints as a kid, learning about the color wheel and how yellow and blue make green. Of course for Kristina and Shelena, creating an ideal hue is serious work and they have time constraints to adhere to. So the pressure is intense even with all the tools they have on hand; a Pantone guide, various lighting options (fluorescent, incandescent and daylight) and a flow chart containing all the CND shades (including international exclusives).
What amazed me most is all the colors that go into the blends. Colors you wouldn’t even imagine. Like neon or orange in a soft gray. Glow-in-the-dark purple in a deep blue. Shimmer in a creme.
According to Kristina, a lot of times when a shimmer or micro-glitter polish is used in a blend, it doesn’t result in a sparkly shade. A shimmer based polish adds reflectiveness, depth and shine to the final hue. That even if a shade appears shimmery in the bottle, it can dry with a creme finish. This is the reason they present color options to designers on the nail and not in the bottle. The sparkle can be deceptive.
|Get The Look – Nordic Grey Creme from Costello Tagliapietra F/W ’08
Note: I only used 4 drops of Hot Pop Blue and substituted Color Club Black for Voodoo. CND does not recommend mixing brands so blend at your own risk.
|Get The Look – Heather Grey at Catherine Malandrino F/W ’08
Mix 1/2 bottle of Nordic Grey Creme (above) with 1/2 bottle of G’listen
Adding G’listen to the blend creates a warmer, slightly shimmery gray.
|Get The Look – Custom Blue at Karen Walker F/W ’08
Mix 1/2 bottle Blue Blood with 1/2 bottle Studio 54
Note: Blue Blood is discontinued but can still be found on eBay until CND decides to bring it back. PLEASE Bring It Back!!
|While I don’t have an exact recipe for the shimmery violet gray shown at the Twinkle F/W ’08 show, it certainly has the most diverse color combination I’ve seen yet.|
|Finally, one of CND’s Spring collection shades is a custom blend used during NYFW for Spring/Summer 09
Get The Look – Fill a CND bottle with Retro White up to the bottom of the C. Add Voodoo to the top of the C plus 6 drops NFS, 6 drops Hotski to Tchotchke and 6 drops Hot Pop Blue.
Note: NFS is another discontinued color but you can find it on Goddess Within and eBay.
Bringing you this series about CND at NYFW has been so much fun. I hope you have enjoyed it. I want to thank CND, Kristina Baume and Shelena Robinson for granting me such amazing access and taking the time to share their passion with all of us. In closing, I’ll leave you with a quote from Kristina that really sums up why I am so fanatical about nails. “Nails are not just nails, theyâ€™re accessories.”