Ask BLUSH: In The Beginning There Was Mixing•
Posted on February 06 2022
We're continuing our 'Ask BLUSH' series with the story of the beginning stages of starting an indie nail polish brand. If you haven't already, make sure to check out the other posts in this series to learn more about BLUSH and how we got started:
In the beginning, there was mixing...lots and lots of nail polish mixing!
After I decided that I was going to start an indie artisan nail polish brand, the first step on the list was to actually get some supplies and start mixing nail polishes. Not only did I need to play around with the medium and get used to how different pigments were going to mix together, but I also needed to curb my nerves a little and prove to myself that I could actually create nail polishes.
I ordered some supplies from a popular cosmetic ingredient site and dabbled around with the materials. Here was the very first nail polish that I created!
It never made it into any collections, it never even got a name and to be honest, I didn't even keep the bottle! In retrospect, it would have been cool if I had, but I really didn't know if this whole business was even going to last (or start!).
After that, I created a few more:
I really enjoyed mixing up different colors and adding pigments like glitters and shimmers. Sometimes things came out totally different than I expected, so it was like mixing up little surprises. Even though I had a good understanding of mixing paint and color theory, pigments like Spectraflair and multichrome powders just played differently. I spent a lot of time in the beginning figuring out the opacity ratios of different pigments and when there was just too much or not enough of certain ingredients. It was most certainly a learning experience, but it really fueled my creative brain and I slowly gained a lot of confidence in what I was doing.
Here's a photo of my original mixing workspace when I first started.
My original workspace was actually my husband's work bench in our shed behind our old house. A couple years after starting BLUSH, I actually spilled a huge batch of bright blue nail polish all over most of this work bench and the floor and lets just say that my husband was not too happy about it! I told him, at least it was blue and not pink nail polish! Haha!
After mixing and mixing and yes, more mixing, I finally created this color:
This color was 'Coppered Rose' and became one of the first polishes I released. When I first launched BLUSH Lacquers in June of 2016, I debuted with the 'Walk The Runway' collection and a 'Color of the Month' (COTM) shade. 'Coppered Rose' was our very first COTM and it's always held a special place in my heart. This was the first polish I made that I was really excited about and felt like others would be too. Upon it's original release, it did become one of my first bestsellers and was often requested even after it was discontinued.
The original Walk The Runway collection consisted of 6 new shades. In the below photo, from left to right: 'Runway Runaway', 'Sequined At The Empire Waist' and 'Signature Walk'.
Then there was: 'Dirty in Denim', 'Flaunt It' and 'Runway Runaway' (pictured again).
And lastly, a topper called 'After Party' (shown over different colors):
As you can see, I had a variety of shades and finishes. At the time, I was really into the mixed finish collections that other indie brands were releasing. I liked when a collection looked and felt cohesive but wasn't all shimmers or all glitter crellies or all flakies.
The initial release was slow and small, so if you have any of these polishes you truly have a rare find! Some of these colors probably have less than 20 bottles dispersed throughout the whole world! Do you own one of these rare beauties?