Thursday, January 08, 2015

The science behind Liquid Palisade & a DIY

Hello there,
if you are into nails and have an Instagram account, I am sure you have come across a new product called Liquid Palisade from the brand Kiesque. This miracle product  is "a liquid, paint-on barrier that covers and protects fingernail cuticles from polish mishaps". It comes in a thin tube with a tiny brush and you paint it onto your nails or cuticles - basically everywhere where you do not want nail polish. Once it is dry, you can paint your nails and simply peel off the product together with the unwanted nail polish. It seems to work especially well for stamping (as some of the pigmented stamping polishes can be a pain to remove from the skin) and water marbling. 
Of course I got curious, so I went to the brand's website, only to discover that 10ml of this liquid barrier cost a whopping $22. So I did a little research to see what Liquid Palisade actually is and if something similar for less money was available. Spoiler alert: I found a super cheap dupe that works just as well!

Here comes the nerdy part of this post (finally, being a scientist pays off, lol), so if you're only interested in how to make your own Liquid Palisade, feel free to scroll down to the pictures now ;)

First, let us have a closer look at what this Liquid Palisade actually is. The ingredients can be found on their website and read as follows:

Natural Rubber, Water, Ammonia, Tetramethylthiuram Disulfide, Ammonium Hydroxide, Mica, Titanium Dioxide. May contain: Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, D&C Red #6 or #7, FD&C Yellow #5.

What is all this good for?  
Natural rubber is harvested in the form of latex by tapping rubber trees. The bark of the trees is cut in a certain way and the latex is collecting in cups hanging just below the cut.

Latex has a tendency to deteriorate rapidly and coagulate within a few hours of tapping. Therefore, ammonia is used as a preservative, meaning it prevents the growth of bacteria. Ammonia further disrupts the particles of rubber and produces a two-phase product. Thus, liquid latex consists of 30-40% rubber particles and 55-65% water. The product is further concentrated to 60% solids by centrifuging out the water, resulting in ammoniated latex concentrate. Ammonia also is the reason for the pungent odor of liquid latex. If you intend to use liquid latex on the skin, you should get a low-ammonia version which is less irritant.

Those low-ammonia solutions require the addition of a secondary preservative to the latex to avoid coagulation and contamination. That is where the Tetramethylthiuram Disulfide comes into play. This compound is used as a fungicide, seed disinfectant and bactericide.

Ammonium Hydroxide simply is ammonia solution and it is used to control the pH of the solution, thereby acting as an antimicrobial agent aka preventing the growth of bacteria and other microbes that want to eat your rubber.

Titanium Dioxide and mica are pigments widely used in make up. Titanium dioxide is a white pigment, which is added to the latex to express whiteness in the finished product or to provide a white background for which color pigments can be used. Mica - also known as mineral glimmer - is used as a filler. It helps to increase the hardness, tensile strength and tear resistance of rubber products. It improves the resilence and appearance of rubber articles. Mica particles further prevent adhesion of the rubber particles to the moulding surface so you can remove it easily.

Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, D&C Red #6 or #7, FD&C Yellow #5 are the color pigments that give the product its pretty purple color. D&C Red #6 or #7, FD&C Yellow #5 are azo dyes that can cause allergic and intolerance reactions.

To make a long story short: this mysterious Liquid Palisade is nothing but colored liquid latex. Say what?! 10ml purple latex in a nail polish bottle for 22 bucks?
So I went online to search for liquid latex and I bought a 500ml bottle for 8€ (approx. $10). As mentioned, make sure to get low-ammonia liquid latex! OK, this is just plain white latex that turns clear once it is dry. It does not look as fancy as the original product, but that should be easy to solve. Again, I went online and the items that were recommended most often for coloring liquid latex were water-based acrylic paint (one that is safe to use on the skin!) or matte loose pigments (metallic or shimmery pigments won't work that great I was told). I still had a few inexpensive pigments from Essence sitting in my make up stash and I decided to go with a bright orange. I poured some of the latex into a small glass bowl and kept adding the pigment until I was happy with the color. The pigment can be dispersed best by shaking. Then I filled my orange liquid latex into a clean nail polish bottle and closed it tightly. The latex will dry when exposed to air, because the ammonia evaporates, so always close your bottle immediately after use (otherwise you will be left with dry rubber on your brush. If that happens and you're lucky enough, you can peel off the dry rubber from your brush - did not work for my art brushes which I tried first, just saying).

Of course I had to try my creation immediately and share a few pictures with you.


This is how it looks right after applying it from the bottle. The orange color is not as intense when it is wet. It is more of a flesh color than a bright orange....

... but once it is dry, it turns into a nice bright orange color. Drying takes only 1-2 minutes, so it is much faster than PVA glue. Also I find it holds up much better on the skin. Whenever I sponge or stamp using PVA glue as a protectant, the glue comes right off when I touch it with the sponge or stamper. Not so this liquid latex.


For demonstration purposes, I painted one coat of polish onto my nails and cuticles. The color is OPI Ski Teal We Drop if you're wondering. I let that dry for about half a minute before removing the latex.


Using a pair of tweezers, I grabbed one end of the latex and peeled it off. It came off in one piece. As you can see, there is some pooling at the cuticle, which bugs me, so I would not use this technique for regular painting. But imagine stamping or water marbling and this is all you would have to clean up afterwards. No more taping or greasing your fingers! Another drawback of my mixture is the orange stain that is left after peeling off the latex. It does not penetrate deep and can be removed by washing my hands once. A friend of mine tried coloring her latex with blue acrylic paint and it does not stain her skin, so I blame the bright orange pigment! Of course you could also use the liquid latex as it is, without any color. But once it has dried it can be hard to see where you put the latex.

For now, I am very happy with my cheap DIV version of Liquid Palisade! For about 11€ ($14 for the liquid latex and the pigment) I can make 50 bottles of this stuff and it is no work at all. If you do not feel like dying the latex yourself, you can also buy colored liquid latex online or from stores that sell theather/halloween make up.
In the near future I will try the colorless liquid latex as a peel off base for glitter polish. I will keep you updated on that!

I really really hope this post was helpful and you enjoyed reading it - despite the science stuff ;) I had so much fun doing the research and putting this post together. I'd love to hear from you if you have tried the product - whether Liquid Palisade or the DIY!
My friend over at Nail Loopy has written a nice post about liquid latex as clean up method for gradients. Lily from Nagel Polish made a video on a super easy method to color your liquid latex. Pay them a visit, too, if you want to know more about DIY Liquid Palisade :)

And just a little disclaimer: obviously, this product is not suitable for people with allergies towards latex and/or any of the other components (preservatives or azo dyes)! If rash or itching occurs, stop using the product!
I gathered the information from external sources and put together this post to the best of my knowledge and belief, using professional diligence. If you find other data/conflicting information on this topic, please let me know.
I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned.

Further reading:
Liquid Palisade FAQ & Ingredients
How latex is made
Tetramethylthiuram disulfide
Effect of mica on natural rubber


  1. Well this is a brilliant post! I had heard (and forgotten, probably due to cost) about Liquid Palisade. Using the PVA/Elmer's Glue did not really work out for me either. I will see what I can find for liquid latex per all your details in this post! Thank you! :)

  2. This is an excellent article. I just ordered a liquid peel off tape from Amazon that wasn't cheap does the same thing your DIY concoction does. I might have to try this.

  3. You are awesome!!! :)

  4. Thank you so much for your effort to provide us an alternative!!! Wonderful post! I'm going to try this!

  5. I am glad this post was helpful for you Marla! Please let me know once you have tried this method!

  6. Oh would you mind letting me know what peel off tape you bought, like the brand or so?

  7. Awe thank you Arathael, I am happy this post was helpful for your. You should be able to find the right thing if you search for low-ammonia liquid latex. Let me know once you have tried it and what you used! Happy sunday.

  8. You're very welcome Lara, I am happy this post helped you out!
    As for the latex substitute... I know there are latex free rubber products. In the lab for example we use nitrile gloves, but I do not know if that is available in a liquid form, too. I will do some research on that! In a Facebook group I saw people using lash or hair glue, but these might also contain latex. For horror make up, people use gelatin as a substitute, but I doubt you can use it for our nail polish purposes. I will let you know once I have done my research. Thank you for bringing this up, it makes for a great new post idea :D

  9. Yaay, I'm so glad you did this post :) I'm going to link to it in my post too!

  10. Genialer Post!!! Das werde ich auch mal ausprobieren. Komme immer noch nicht drauf klar, dass allen Ernstes Menschen gibt, die 22$ für Liquid Palisade ausgeben. Ich liebe Innovationen und sowas - aber das ist ja wohl nicht euer Ernst. :D (Wobei ich auch noch keinen gesehen habe, der das Zeug tatsächlich selbst gekauft hätte...haha)

  11. I am glad you liked it! And thank you for the link! I'll add one to your blog post as well :D

  12. Danke dir! Ich muss gestehen, als ich die ersten Videos auf IG gesehen habe, war ich auch sehr angetan. Das Original scheint wirklich super zu funktionieren. Erst danach habe ich mich damit beschäftigt und war echt schockiert, dass sie soviel Geld für gefärbtes Latex nehmen. Wieso bin ich nicht auf die Idee gekommen, lila Latex in so ein Fläschchen zu füllen (ist übrigens die gleiche Verpackung wie der P2 Colorstop) und ne Menge Kohle damit zu machen?! :D Aber du hast Recht, die meisten "großen" IG Accounts scheinen das Zeug gesponsort bekommen zu haben, also wer weiß, wieviele das tatsächlich kaufen.

  13. Jaaa, genauso ging's mir auch!!! Und 5-10$ hätte ich dafür vermutlich auch ausgegeben, ganz ohne Frage - aber 22$?? Nee, auf keinsten... finde es ja sowieso schön, dass alle immer so fleißig benutzen auf IG - aber Kritik wird so langsam auch laut für den Preis, ich sehe immer mehr Kommentare, dass es ja eh nur flüssiges Latex und so weiter ist. Bin gespannt, ob sich das Produkt so halten kann.

  14. Da bin ich auch mal gespannt. Aber Liquid Palisade gibt es wohl schon länger, so seit etwas über einem Jahr?! Hatte ich vorher nur irgendwie nichts von mitbekommen...

  15. Sorry but I am just now seeing your replies from a month ago. I'm not sure how to get notifications from disquis. I any event, the peel off is Mini Mani Moo's Mess No More! I paid $9.90 for it not including shipping. I bought it for water marbling and while the nail art did not turn out well, (I will be posting the results on my site) the product worked well. I also used it for a peel off base and the glitter polish didn't stay on my nails long enough for me to take pictures a few hours later. I don't know if that is normal, but I would assume that most want the product to last a minute.

  16. Oh no worries, it can be hard to keep track of comments.

    I saw the latex product from Mini Mani Moo, but lots of indie brands have come out with their own liquid latex version during these past weeks. I use it as a base for swatching, too, and I agree that it does not last too long. It does last me long enough to take some photos. But I find that if you apply too thick of a coat of nail polish, it makes the latex come off from the nail immediately.

  17. Thank you! I thought it looked an awful lot like colored latex! So glad I had some liquid latex left over from halloween!

  18. Rhonda Polish QueenMarch 19, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    Thank you!! Can't wait to try this!

  19. hello where I can get the same brand you show or that another good series thanks forgive if the translation is not correct'm using a translator

  20. oh no worries about the translation ;) The liquid latex I use is from Amazon, but it is from a German retailer, so I am not sure if you can get the exact brand where you are.

  21. Rubber and its products products - Natural Rubber, liquid latex, rubber sheets, rubber chemicals, footwear, make up products, carpet adhesives, rain coats and so on are very useful for making non-slippery products.


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