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Behind The Scenes – The Making of FingerPaints “A Pair Affair” by All Lacquered Up

By on August 15, 2013
in Fall 2013, Finger Paints, News

Let me tell you a little story. Like the making of a movie, I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you how the FingerPaints A Pair Affair nail polish collection came to be. I know I love a good DVD Extras section so I thought you would enjoy seeing how all of this came to fruition.

Behind The Scenes - FingerPaints A Pair Affair by All Lacquered Up

FingerPaints A Pair Affair by All Lacquered Up

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You’ll get a peek inside my screwy brain and see the inspiration for the colors that make up the collection. Let’s head down the rabbit hole. No, no, after you…

How It All Began

This story starts in the spring of 2012. I was contacted by Sally Beauty with the idea of creating a nail polish collection for their FingerPaints brand. To say that I was thrilled would be an understatement. I was excited, flattered, overwhelmed and a bit scared to take on such a huge challenge with a brand that big.

Not long after I accepted, I flew to Denton, TX to visit the Sally Beauty headquarters to meet with the FingerPaints Brand Manager and the Sally Beauty PR and Marketing team. I took a tour the offices, including the vintage barber shop and beauty salon filled with products and tools from yesteryear, and viewed the Sally Beauty model store, where I posed for a photo shoot. I even got to see a bit of Denton, including its craft beer scene.

Sally Beauty Headquarters

A Visit to Sally Beauty Headquarters

Most importantly, when we sat down to discuss the collection, I was humbled to be given free reign in terms of color. I had walked in with a few ideas to pitch but was quickly told that this collection would be all up to me. The concept, the colors, the names, even the display design. ALL.UP.TO.ME! Talk about terrifying yet amazing.

When I first started ruminating on this whole process the one thing that always stood out was the idea of duos. Maybe it’s the dual-sided nature of my Gemini personality but this concept just stuck with me. I couldn’t shake it. I’m always fielding questions about what color to pair with another and I personally love to mix and match my nail polish shades whether it be on my hands or in a mani-pedi combination. It just made sense.

So with that idea in mind, I started to look at color.

The Color Process

Conceptualizing color was definitely the toughest part of the process. When you have the whole spectrum of color to choose from, how do you narrow it down? And how do you communicate that vision to someone halfway across the country?

I looked to what I love to wear, what I think others will want to wear and how I can put my twist on it. I started thinking about classic pairings like navy and coral. I knew I wanted a teal but needed something to ground it so I started dreaming of a flattering sand tone.

And, here’s a bit of trivia for you. I originally wanted to pair the sage green with a buttery yellow. I had an idea for a yellow everyone would love. One so sparkly and flawless that even yellow haters would adore it. Unfortunately that concept is only possible in my brain, not in chemistry, so yellow turned to purple late in the game.

Allowing the Pantone books to guide me, I found colors that were close to what I wanted. Or, in some cases, a pair of colors that, when mixed, would make my perfect shade. I shared those, along with descriptions of the type of formula, finish and particle I wanted, and waited for my vision to come to life.


They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. I certainly went through my fair share of frogs before pulling together the six shades that make up A Pair Affair. This is just a taste of all the sample colors I was sent throughout the process.


FingerPaints Color Samples

Granted, they aren’t all frogs. Most of them are beautiful and I hope they someday show up in the FingerPaints line. They just weren’t my vision. Though thanks to the patience of Mindy, the FingerPaints Brand Manager, we were able to tweak the polishes to make it happen. I’m sure there are days she wanted throw darts at a picture of my face but we made it through. Anyone who knows me, especially the boyfriend, knows what a “challenge” I am (and that’s putting it nicely).

The Final Colors

As I mentioned above, A Grape Catch, was a last minute addition. When my dream yellow couldn’t materialize, I switched gears completely. In the end, I believe it was fate that the yellow didn’t work out. A collection without a purple just seems wrong now.

Originally this was going to be a glass fleck, like Sage It Ain’t So but the opacity was just too sheer. So in the end, this glorious silvery grape with glitter and glass flecks fulfilled a dream I didn’t even know I had.

FingerPaints A Grape Catch nail polish bottle

FingerPaints A Grape Catch

So, yes, I own a lot of greens. Like that needs to be said. But in the glass fleck range, they are either minty, dark or vivid brights. With Sage It Ain’t So I wanted a softer, earthier take on glass fleck. I even took the Pantone color I based it on to Home Depot when I changed the color of my living room walls. Paired with A Grape Catch, it’s like I’m wearing a flower on my nails.

FingerPaints Sage It Aint So nail polish bottle

FingerPaints Sage It Aint So

Tan shades can be polarizing. They’re either too pink based or too yellow. With Bare No Secrets I wanted a sparkly sand that would flatter a wide range of skin tones. Mixing a slightly cool base with golden glitter, I feel like I’ve achieved that.

FingerPaints Bare No Secrets nail polish bottle

FingerPaints Bare No Secrets

As much as I love all the shades, Our Tips Are Tealed, is the star of this show for me. Whenever I showed my friends swatches of the collection, this one always garnered the most “oohs” and “aahs.” Some may call it emerald (and they have) but this deep, blue-green sparkler is my perfect teal. It’s got a lot of green in its base but the blue shines through as well. It brings a whole party bus of glitter with it that amps up the sparkle to a whole new level.

FingerPaints Our Tips Are Tealed nail polish bottle

FingerPaints Our Tips Are Tealed

During my visit to Sally Beauty, Lindsey, the Social Media Manager, wore a navy and coral dress from The Webster for Target collection and I made a mental note to explore that pairing. I knew I wanted to stay away from the traditional so holographic glitter suspended in a coral jelly made Sarong So Right special.

FingerPaints Sarong So Right nail polish bottle

FingerPaints Sarong So Right

When it came to You Yacht To Know Better, I had a really specific concept in mind. There’s a color the sky turns, just before a storm, that I can’t get out of my brain. It’s probably my favorite blue in the world and I feel like I’ve been chasing it since birth. I originally wanted to bring it to life as a foil metallic but this creamy concoction peppered with bright blue glitter captures the feeling so much better.

FingerPaints You Yacht To Know Better nail polish bottle

FingerPaints You Yacht To Know Better

The Naming Process

Once the colors were finalized, the daunting process of naming the collection and the individual shades began. It was almost as tough as creating the colors. Almost! And it wasn’t as simple as coming up with one great name. Oh no, you have to submit multiple names to make sure they are legally viable.

Thankfully, I have some amazing people in my corner. The Cleveland social media community is tight-knit and so supportive. I’ve made some great friends through it and, luckily, a lot of them work in advertising, social media and PR. So with the help of my pal Lzone, we put together a dream team of ladies to brainstorm ideas.

Our first meeting was with a small group, to nail down the collection name. We decided to focus on the pair/duo concept and not attach it to a season. To me, these colors are season-less. Fortunately, our favorite, A Pair Affair, got the thumbs up.

Next, I had to name all six colors, which meant coming up with 3-5 names for each shade. It was time for reinforcements so I gathered a group of 12 awesome gals to help. I wanted each duo to have names that played off each while representing the actual color and incorporating the “Affair” part of the collection name.

Sage and Grape are bit more straightforward, based mainly on color, while Yacht references my love of boating and Sarong conjures a beachy feel that works with a nautical name. But it’s a  play on words as well. When you do something that is “so wrong” yet “so right,” you “ought to know better.” Same goes for the cheeky Bare No Secrets and Our Tips Are Tealed, the latter being a twist on a song from legendary 80s girl group, The Go-Gos.

I wish I could show you pics from our brainstorming sessions but I can’t because that would reveal names I submitted that weren’t selected. Just know that there was plenty of wine, food and laughter involved. The wine also produced somewhat inappropriate names that, to no one’s surprise, were not approved. And while there were some gems I would have loved to use, all the names perfectly fit the shades.

So there you have it folks. Over a year in the making, this is the tale of FingerPaints A Pair Affair by All Lacquered Up. I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the creation of the collection and I hope you love the colors as much as I do (though that may not be physically possible).

The FingerPaints “A Pair Affair” by All Lacquered Up nail polish collection is available NOW at and will be at Sally Beauty stores nationwide September 2013. FingerPaints nail polish retails for $5.29/ea and is exclusive to Sally Beauty so you can only buy it at the stores or online. If you purchase online through my links, you help support this site.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sally Beauty for creation of this collection. Product samples were provided by the brand. Affiliate links appear via rewardStyle and Skimlinks. For more info view my Disclosure Policy

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There Are 68 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Whoooo-hooooo! Congrats, Michelle!!!

  2. aaminahs mom/pamela greenlee says:

    can’t wait for these to drop

  3. Laura Hobbs says:

    That is literally the coolest thing ever! I can only imagine being lucky enough to be asked to create a whole collection by myself! And by Sally’s for FingerPaints! Awesome! Beautiful colours too!

  4. Bare No Secrets and Our Tips are Tealed are my absolute favorite ones so far!!! cannot wait to buy them and add to my collection! :)

  5. kelliegonzo says:

    aw you’re a gemini like me, i knew i liked you ;) this is so cool! thanks for giving us insight to your adventure! congratulations Michelle!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Thanks Kellie! Is it just me or are there a ton of Gemini beauty bloggers? Also, most of them have cats as well.

  6. Carissa H. says:

    I know I’ve said it before but I really love these colors! These colors are pretty much what I would have chosen myself(ok maybe a red in place of the sand color but that’s because I’m still looking for my perfect red). I will be stalking my Sally’s to make sure I get these!

    And if you ever want to get rid of some of your “frogs” let me know and I will gladly take them off your hands ;)

  7. Eva says:

    Our tips are tealed is my favourite :) I think every nail polish loving girl or guy dreams of designing their own collection, you are very lucky! :D

  8. Squeaky Q says:

    I absolutely loved reading this, all the beackground info and stories :)
    I can only imagine how exciting it will be to see them in stores!

  9. Brandy C. says:

    There is, like, not a single other nail blogger out there that deserves to have been given this opportunity more than you. Your humble attitude about it is so awesome and freaking refreshing. Plus that you’re from NE Ohio where we have just about 2% of things (like, ALL things) to be excited about, it’s really nice to see something go so right. :) The collection is seriously lovely. Congrats!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Thank you so much Brandy. I didn’t know you were from NEO. A few of us are trying to organize a blogger meetup. I’ll shoot you an email.

  10. TygerKitty says:

    I love reading the background on things like this!! They are gorgeous colors and I loved your purple/green gradient that you posted the other day – delightful!

  11. OMG how exciting for you! I can’t wait to take a look next month :)

  12. Annie Suzie says:

    What a wonderful story – nice learning about the red tape background!

    Congratulations – do I hear the word ‘Giveaway’ coming soon!

    Hope they will be available in the UK.

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Oh there will definitely be giveaways. I don’t know about UK availability though. Let me see what I can find out.

  13. Teri says:

    You did such an amazing job. I loved reading all about the process.

  14. Julia Tirres says:

    If I bought the Hunger Games collection, you know that I will buy this collection. I love every pair! I have been asking about it every time I go to Sally’s. I know that they probably think it’s my “old lady” mind that is at work. I know I speak for all of us that post here; you make us proud!!!!

  15. Elissa says:

    Beautiful! When will we see swatches?

  16. Beth says:

    I love every single color in this collection, fantastic job! I don’t have a Sally Beauty near me, is there another way I can buy these polishes? A Grape Catch and “You Yacht to Know Better” are calling my name…

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Hi Beth! They sell the polishes online. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when they are available.

  17. Sharon says:

    Wow, what a process! You nailed it, though. The collection is awesome.

    I can’t wait to buy Bare No Secrets. I hope I can find it in Sept.

    I saw a couple of really nice colors in your pile of “frogs,” too. I think I see a really nice grayish-green that I’d love to wear.

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Hi Sharon! I hope you won’t have any problems finding it. The collection should be online as well.

  18. julie says:

    Wow! How exciting for you! All of the colors look fabulous and can’t wait to see them on some nails! Hopefully that’s next. I will also be looking for them in sallys! Congrats!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Hi Julie! I posted the first duo just before this post. And I’ve posted the other two since. Enjoy!

  19. 10NiceNails says:

    Thanks for the behind-the-scenes scoop! What fun!

    I’m definitely going to need this collection…

  20. JDV says:

    Oh wow, they gave you free reign?! That’s incredible, and what an interesting post on how you picked the colors! Congrats to you, kudos to Sally and I can’t wait to see more about this collection!

  21. Maya says:

    It touches my heart to be able to see your dreams come true. These shades are absolutely stunning and I’ll be eagerly awaiting the arrival at the store. Congratulations!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Thank you Maya! The support has been amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better community to share this with.

  22. shasta says:

    September will not get here fast enough! I need this collection and I’m so glad I’m a club member. I have not been disappointed with a single FP I own.

  23. Deborah says:

    This post was so much fun to read!

  24. Shelby says:

    These are so great, I can’t wait to get my hands on them! Congratulations on your cohesive and beautiful collection :-)

  25. Lisa C says:

    These are absolutely GORGEOUS and I cannot WAIT to get my grubby hands on them!!! Many congratulations!!!

  26. Ann says:

    Wow! What a cool opportunity! I love Sarong So Right and You Yacht to Know Better. I’ll definitely be hitting up Sally’s come September!!


  27. GirlieQ24 says:

    These look gorgeous. I have not tried this brand yet, so I’ve got to get me to Sally’s pronto and check these out. I love seeing the “making of”, as I had no idea what goes into the process. Great job.

  28. Sw says:

    So awesome to read about! Must have been such a fun, but tough process.. I wouldn’t know where to start!

    And congrats again :)

  29. Galliesallie says:

    This behind the scenes was so interesting – thank you! During the whole read I was wondering, “But what about the fab names, how did those happen?” and you talked about it. I worked in high tech for years and spent weeks on naming products. It was what I enjoyed the most. The collection is beautiful. I own 2 Finger Paints, I really like them, and will have to now own more. Congrats!

  30. Nancy says:

    You did a great job sharing the process; really interesting! It’s a gorgeous collection–so proud of you! Many congrats!

  31. Ashley says:

    Congratulations!! And … I want them all. As well as a few of the sample colors lol. :)

  32. Awesome news! I’ve been excited for you since first hearing about it, and also seeing it featured recently in Nail It!

    I hope it does well and they work with you again!

    I loved seeing your behind the scenes look; it showed all the work that went into this!

  33. Craftynail says:

    Great story!! It’s like a creative dream come true!

  34. Delphi Michaels says:

    Purchased by me last month:
    Our Tips Are Tealed
    You Yacht To Know Better
    Purchased by me yesterday:
    A Grape Catch

  35. Shraddha says:

    Hey Michelle. i came across your blog 4 days back and i must say i am addicted to it now. your color palette is wonderful.the way you mix and match colors has driven me to try new stuff. unfortunately, there is not much of the brands, colors and collections available in India hence missing out on much of it :( .love your Blog :)

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Hi Shraddha! Thank you so much. I’m so glad you found me and I hope more interesting colors and brands make their way to India soon.