Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dupe'd: RBL Aqua Lily and Halcyon

Pain in the butt or labor of love? Not sure. I just wanted to see if I could franken dupe these two polishes, limited editions and all. No, you will never franken something with the same formula, the exact same pigment or shimmer. But if you are hankering for the colors, YOU CAN ALWAYS FRANKEN!! Always.

One of my friends sent her RBL polishes to my house so I made frankens based on these.

Materials: Suspension base, LA Colors Atomic, China Glaze Aquadelic, purple shimmer pigment, pinky shimmer pigment

For Aqua Lily (this one is pretty tough compared to Halcyon):

You need to get some eyeshadow or mica that is very fine, just shimmery. No big particles of shimmer (such as in Pure Ice Busted! which I will talk about later). I used L'oreal On The Loose loose pigment in Mystified and a purple MAC pigment to get the shimmer here. 

NOTE: these are not pure shimmer, they have pigment. To make a really good franken, I suggest using shimmer micas from TKB or another mica supplier. I just haven't gotten around to buying any yet.

I started with the shimmer and a teeny bit of glamour base to keep it suspended. Then I added in LA Colors Atomic (there are some in Dollar Tree stores that are DULL, you want to find the BRIGHT one) and China Glaze Aquadelic. There is *way* more Atomic to Aquadelic; I would say 7 parts Atomic to one part Aquadelic. Shake. It should be a noticeable but still kinda secret shimmer. IN THE BOTTLE, RBL Aqua Lily has a lot of shimmer. This is not so true on the nail.

testing as I go


See how subtle it is? It is pretty ridiculous, haha

Exhausting, yes. It was hard to get enough shimmer pigment without discoloring the polish. Maybe you can get some from TBK or another mica supplier?

For Halcyon:

This is a shimmer bomb. Get either Pure Ice Busted or Sally Hansen Aisle Be There (they are dupes of each other shimmer-wise). You are going to be using most of the bottle. That is how much shimmer is in this polish. For the sage green part...well, really, it is more of a paler army green. It has a lot of yellow in it.
SO...You need to have some fun mixing. I used LA Colors white, WnW Black Creme, Sinful Colors Envy (for the green; it is a dupe of OPI Jade is the New Black), and NYC Lexington Yellow. Use polish with more pigment if you care to; the original polish is kinda thin regardless. Aqua Lily is more opaque hence my choice in using eyeshadow/pigment vs. store-bought polish.

What happened to all my photos of this one?!?!? :(

Anyhow, first you want to mix the black white and green and get the right shade. Then add yellow to effect. I know, these are vague directions. However, you need about 3 parts white, 3 parts green, 1 part black. I also added a little Kleancolor Dark Brown to get it earthier. The yellow, I would say as much yellow as there is black, maybe a little less.

If you have a yellow-tinged army green, use it if you like. But note that if it has microshimmer, that is NOT what Halcyon has! It has big shimmers. See how you can see the particles in that photo? Big.

I would say...fill a 15mL bottle 3/4 full with the shimmer. Then add in the sage-army green a little at a time. You may need even more shimmer than that. There is a lot. It is also a sheer polish and needs built up to about 3 coats on the nail. 

Hope you enjoyed this, I really need to find more Halcyon photos! I can't believe I don't have them!


  1. I'm not sure I like Halcyon but your Aqua Lily is gorgeous! And very very close to the original indeed!!
    And since I don't plan to even open RBL site, I totally prefer your version ;-)

    1. Thanks!! Halcyon is a little strange to me but when I see a challenge...hehe. :))

  2. WHAT!!!??! I was just re-looking at swatches of RBL The Fan Collection last night and was like "Hmmm I need to franken Aqua Lily and Halcyon ASAP". I go to bed, get up, go to work, go about my day... and then sign on to Blogger and this is the first post that is on top of my reading list. It is like you read my mind! Thanks :)

    1. I saw two Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polishes, one was Blushing Bride maybe?! and I can't remember the other. They had the pinky-orange shimmer, I think the one I don't remember the name of had the purple shimmer. Anyhow, there ARE polishes you can use instead of micas. In case you are wanting to franken it too. :D HTH!

  3. Such an awesome post!!! I LOVE frankening, and seeing other frankens by different people. Wonderful job and gorgeous polishes! :D

    1. Its amazingly fun, isn't it? Sometimes a little frustrating, but once you get something awesome there is such a good feeling :)) You should post some links of your frankens!

  4. You're too talented!!! Now I understand why you say no holos.. Your frank-ability is beyond lovely!!!

    Hahah I made a word (frank-ability)! Hehehe...

    Anyhoo.. these are dead on! Gorgeous!

  5. Thanks Lizzy! I find that my skills are strong int he technical (color mixing) areas of art hehe

    1. It's a beautiful thing. Well done! :-)

  6. Thank you! I missed out on Halcyon sadly and will love having a somewhat similar dupe. :)