Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

How to enhance nail colour opportunities with acrylic powders

By Katie Barnes | 04 July 2017 | Feature, Technique

Mixing Glitterjpg

Educator and award-winning nail stylist, Katie Barnes, reveals how to create multiple colour opportunities via custom blending…

The number of colour possibilities is endless with acrylic powders, as by combining these powders and glitters or pigments, you can created countless varieties of custom blends. While many techs are confident with customising and mixing glitters and coloured acrylics, they aren’t familiar with doing this with core colours such as pink and white.

Custom blends 

Soft white isn’t the most requested white in salon but some clients and designs require it. Rather than investing in a separate one that you may not use much, you can mix white and clear acrylic powders together to create a soft white blend. The more clear you add, the softer it will be – but make sure you mix this well to avoid marbling or looking grey. For the popular ‘baby boomer’ look, using a soft white can be more forgiving.

Due to its forgiving and masking properties, it’s hard to image a time without cover pink acrylic powder, but it wasn’t always readily available and techs would need to create their own. Cover pink is made up of a transparent pink mixed with a coloured acrylic such as red for a pink skin tone or brown for a darker skin tone to give it the deep intense masking pigment we know and love.

To customise your pink to suit your client’s skin tone, you can blend two different cover pinks such as a pink and peach tone or add very small amounts of colours such as red, brown, orange, yellow or blue. Start by adding tiny amounts and keep adding these until you’ve reached the desired tone.

Cool skin tones have blue undertones and warm skin tones have yellow undertones.

Cool colours are blues, greens and purples. Adding these colours to other colours makes any colour a cool colour. Warm colours are reds, yellows and oranges. Adding these colours to other colours makes any colour a warm colour.

For a more opaque pink, you can blend cover pink and transparent pink together for a softer and less intense colour which can be great for infills or overlays.

When customising your core colours, the ratio is dependent on the strength of colour you want to achieve rather than the strength of product because core colours such as pink and white are strength powders.

Bling It Up

Glitter can be mixed with clear or coloured acrylic powders. Remember to work to a 3:1 ratio of acrylic powder to glitter or pigment. If you use too much acrylic powder, it will overpower the glitter or be too transparent if you use clear. If you use too little acrylic powder there will be no strength to the product.

You can also add glitters to your pink acrylics for a sparkly nail bed creation. Use transparent glitters for this ranging from fine to chunky glitters or a combination.

Storing your custom mixes 

It is important to make sure you combine your mix fully so the product doesn’t look patchy or lose strength. Either put your blend in a pot with a lid and give this a good shake or use a mixing spatula, orange wood stick or something similar to mix thoroughly.

Have these colours numbered or named with your mix ratio so you can mix the same batch for future clients.

The possibilities are endless, so have fun!

Love Katie B x