Custom Color Mixes – Part 2

August 18th, 2017

In Part 1 you learned all about color theory and skintone. In Part 2 we will be discussing mixing your own custom colors for your clients! Working with the NSI Acrylic and Gel lines makes mixing your custom colors easy! There are full ranges of color in both the Gel and Acrylics lines that can be used to make that one of a kind color. In acrylic, colored powders from either the Technailcolor or Secrets Shades line can be mixed with your Attraction Powders. If using gel, you can mix NSI Secrets Removable Gels together with the Balance LED/UV Gels.


Customizing colors is an art in itself, it may take you several tries to get your mix just right, if you are completely new to customizing try matching your own skin tone first!

When mixing your color for over the stress area or over the extended area, make sure that your mix contains one of the opaque masques or whites. Often times if you just mix colors and use some of the ones that are more transparent then this area will not be opaque. You will loose your long, sleek illusion. Some colors to avoid using over the nail bed as your transition colors are the yellows and greens. You don’t want to create the illusion of a bacterial infection (greenies).

After you have determined if your client has warm undertones or cool undertones, you will need to select the perfect base for your mix.

POWDERS: NSI has several excellent opaque colors in the Attraction Acrylic Line to use as your base.

Cool – Attraction Rose Blush is a cool pink used to hide imperfections or to create the illusion of longer looking nail beds

Warm – Attraction Purely Pink Masque, a warm pink, with slightly less opacity.


GELS: Balance LED/UV gels have 2 colors ideal for mixing

Cool – Balance LED/ UV Builder Blush is a soft pink with just a hint of opacity

Warm – Balance LED/ UV Body Builder Cover Pink Warm is a warm opaque pink.


When mixing your custom colors, start working with a clean, empty container, at least a 7 gram size container or larger. You will need about 30% empty space in the top of your container so you can roll and mix the colors together. Remember to mix enough product to have on hand when your client returns for her rebalancing appointments. NOTE: When mixing gels, use a white or opaque jar so that your mixture does not cure before your clients next rebalance.

ORGANIZING YOUR MIXES: Always keep a “recipe” of what you used in your custom mix on hand or in your client consultation card, so that you know how to make more. Put the client’s name on the container, and store them alphabetically. A great way to organize your acrylic mixes is the Secrets Nail Art Palette, it can hold up to fifteen empty jars and you can purchase it with the jars already included.


Earlier, we covered that making a color warmer you need to add a small amount of yellow or red to a color. That is exactly what you are going to do with your mixture.

To make a warmer color using Secrets Shades Colored Acrylic, just add a tiny amount (like two pinheads) of “In The Hot Seat”, or an even less amount of “Bite Your Tongue”.

To make a warmer color using Secrets Removable Color Gel, just add a tiny amount (like two pinheads) of “Hot Topic”, or an even less amount of “Bite Your Tongue”. Adding “Don’t Make Me Blush” or “Romantic Rose” are also a good choice if you would like to add a little opacity and warmth.

To make a color cooler, just like we covered earlier, you can add a small amount of a true blue and create a whole new custom cool color.

To make a cooler color, just add one to two pinhead-sized amounts of Secrets Shades Colored Acrylic – “Whisper Sweet Nothings” or “Day Dream” (Be careful this one has glitter).

To make a cooler color, just add one to two pinhead-sized amounts of Secrets Removable Color Gel – “Open Minded” or “Wild Flowers”. If you need to make your mix slightly pinker, “Don’t Kiss and Tell” is a nice opaque cool pink pigment.

Tinting or Shading

One important element of custom blending is getting the right tint or shade. It is always best to add very tiny amounts of the darker pigment to the lighter one. You can continue to add tiny amounts until you have reached the desired color.

ACRYLIC: You can adjust your base mix if it is too light simply by adding a half pinhead-sized amount of Secrets Shades Colored Acrylic Powder – “Mother Earth”. This will darken it slightly. Be careful, this color will also make your mixture slightly warm.

If you need to lighten a mix, just add Attraction Radiant White Powder and a bit more of your chosen base color.

GEL: You can adjust your base mix if it is too light simply by adding a half pinhead-sized amount of Secrets Removable Gel – “Big Apple”. This will darken it slightly. Be careful, this color will also make your mixture slightly warm.

If you need to lighten a mix, just add Secrets Removable Color Gel “Little White Lies”, and a bit more of your chosen base color.

Testing Your Mix

It is important to test your mix along the way so you know how much more of a color to customize. Cap your jar and roll the jar between your hands to mix the powder. Using a nail form, press out a small bead and let it set before comparing it to your client. Adjust as needed.

Once you think your mix is complete, test your mix BEFORE applying it to your client. Press out several beads onto an Clear nail tip and hold it over the client’s finger. If it isn’t quite what you want, adjust it by adding small amounts of the desired powder.


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Color Theory & Skintone – Part 1

August 11th, 2017

Custom blending allows the technician to offer the ultimate manicure and pedicure service.  Not only to customizes pinks and whites using formulas to complement or match your client’s skin tones, but also creating a look that is just for them and no one else.  Customizing for your client can create the illusion of longer, sleeker nail beds that may not be achieved in the conventional methods.  Customizing a color for that client that no other salon has is a great way to boost your service ticket and style.

In order to mix colors successfully (there is a science behind this), it is important to truly understand color. In part 1 of this series we will discuss color theory, and how it can relate to skintone.


Color Wheel



Color theories create a logical structure for color. Sir Isaac Newton used a glass prism to divide white rays of sunlight into the fanned colored wavelengths, which he named the spectrum. He diagrammed the seven spectral hues into a closed ring that followed the ordering of the colors as the appeared in the spectrum, and in the rainbow, thus creating the first color wheel.

A color circle, based on red, yellow and blue, is traditional in the field of art. The great advantage of Newton’s color circle over preceding linear ordering was that it revealed color relationships. Artists could see that the adjacent hues are related by color, not just by lightness or darkness, and that colors of highest contrast are located directly opposite each other on the wheel. There are also definitions (or categories) of colors based on the color wheel. We begin with a 3-part color wheel.

Primary: Red, yellow and blue. In traditional color theory (used in paint and pigments), primary colors are the 3 pigment colors that cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues.

Secondary: Green, orange and purple. These are the colors formed by mixing two primary colors together.

Tertiary: Yellow-orange, red- orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green. These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color. That’s why the hue is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange.

Value: value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Black, white and gray are used to create dimension, mood, rhythm and emphasis. When referring to pigments, dark values with black added are called “shades” of the given hue name. Light values with white pigment added are called “tints” of the hue name.  What color is a highlight on a nail?  What color is a shadow?

Warm vs. Cool Colors

Colors, especially skin tones, lie in a spectrum of cold or warm colors. Cooler colors tend to appear more blue or have a blueish undertone. Warmer colors tend to have more of a yellow undertone. Aside from Blue and Yellow, warm or cool colors are not always obvious. They can just have a slight warmth or coolness that can only be seen when held up to a similar color. This is why you have variations of purple colors, they may have the same VALUE but one purple may be warmer and have more red, than another that may be cooler and more blue.

Understanding how to identify a warm color or cool color and knowing how to warm up or cool down a color can help you create the perfect mix for your client.  Both the Attraction Acrylic System and Balance LED/UV Gel System have a range of Warm to Cool hues that can be used when customizing your colors.

Warm colors are traditionally red, yellow, and orange.

To make a color warmer, you can add a small amount of a true yellow or red and create a whole new custom warm color. A yellow-green is a warm green, an example of a yellow-green is a fresh avocado. It is still green but it has a yellow undertone.

Cool colors are traditionally blue, green, and purple.

To make a color cooler, you can add a small amount of a true blue and create a whole new custom cool color. A blue-red is a cool red, an example of a blue-red is the color of red wine. It’s still red but it has a blue undertone.


Color and Skin Tones

The genes that determine your skin tone, hair, and eye color also determine what colors look best on you.  When you study your own coloring, you will find that your skin, hair, and eyes have either blue (cool) or golden (warm) tones. Your inherited skin tone does not change; it simply deepens with a tan and fades with age.

The tone of your skin comes from three pigments, melanin (brown), carotene (yellow), and hemoglobin (red).  It is the particular combination of these three pigments that gives you your unique skin tone.

Because your skin acts as a thin filter, it is the tone just under its surface that determines whether your skin is warm or cool.  Cool skin tones have blue undertones, while warm skin tones have a golden undertone.


Determining Skin Tone

Some people’s skin tone is quite obvious, but for others it is subtle.  Compare wrists and palms by placing a piece of white paper under your hand and wrist.  Does it look pinkish/blue or golden/orange?

Don’t be fooled by hair color since some clients may dye and color their hair, it isn’t an accurate way to determine how warm or cool a color is. To determine your client’s skin tone it is best to do it on an area of skin without makeup and compare it to a white surface or white towel.


Complementing colors

If you are unfamiliar with customizing a color for your client, instead of matching, try complimenting.  Even take a look to see what your client’s favorite lipstick color, blush, or eye shadow happens to be.  Chances are, they are already wearing the “right” colors.

To pick a complementing color for your client choose your desired system, and select a color that is either more blue or more golden. It’s a good practice to have some sample tips made up of your blushes and pinks to compare to your clients skin tone before starting the service.

TIP: It’s easy to make some samples to reference, just press out several beads of product onto a Clear nail tip and allow to cure so that you can hold it over the client’s finger to compare.


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ICYMI: NSI University (Philadelphia) 2017

August 3rd, 2017

In Case You Missed It –
NSI University 2017 was held in Philadelphia, July 24-27th. This 4 day training event was intense! The training covered the entire NSI product line! Simplicite, Polish Pro, Secrets Removable Gel, Balance LED/UV Gels, Attraction, Secrets Acrylic and even nail art! Some attendees learned about whole new product lines, others honed in and advanced their skills. The great thing about NSI University is that our Purple Platinum Educators were there to help with any questions and could provide hands on training for the attendees, and it isn’t all lectures! We loved that everyone walked away learning something, that’s a key part in being an NSI educator, having an eagerness to learn new things!  We met some great new friends that joined our educator team, and we are constantly looking for new educators. Thank you and congratulations to our attendees You are now NSI Educators!

Next Stop: NSI University 2017 Poland! We will see you in Gdansk September 13-15th!

Do You think you have what it takes to be an NSI Educator? Apply online to learn about our future educational events!


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