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.
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.
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.
Liquid Palisade FAQ & Ingredients
How latex is made
Effect of mica on natural rubber