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7 Best Vortex Mixers for Nail Polish & More

vortex mixers

123RF.com (yayaphotos)

Vortex mixers were designed for use in labs but the design is perfect as an eyelash glue or nail polish shaker? So many beauty products need to be vigorously shaken (I’m looking at you gel nail polish) but if you have wrist problems or are a professional and want to avoid getting wrist problems, you need can’t do without these little mixing powerhouses.

white and blue lab vortex mixer machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Best professional choice
  • Stable base
  • 5,600 RPM
Price: $106.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
silver mixing vortex with nail polish bottles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Mini-sized
  • 4,500 RPM
  • Quiet
Price: $79.88 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
black mini mixing machine shaking an orange ink bottle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Rechargeable
  • 7,000 RPM
  • Affordable
Price: $48.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
pink and white Makartt vortex mixing machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Trusted beauty brand
  • Non-reactive silicone
  • Smallest mixer
Price: $79.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
teal and white vortex mixer machine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Choice of speeds
  • Compact
  • Lab company
Price: $49.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
grey and blank pyramid mini vortexer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great budget option
  • Turns on and off with censor
  • Good for small bottles
Price: $55.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dark blue and grey INTLLAB brand vortex mixer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Stable triangle design
  • Mixes up to 50 mL
  • Affordable
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Four E’s Scientific Lab Vortex

    • Will hold up to professional use
    • Heavy and stable
    • Two-year warranty
    • Choice of colors
    • LED light indicator
    • Quiet
    • Larger than most
    • Pricier
    • Heavy

    If you’re looking for something that will hold up to regular professional use, go with Four E’s Scientific Lab Vortex. This machine is built to last, has the power you need, and is made by a well-respect brand that backs it with a two-year warranty.

    If power is important to you, this one will spin your inks at 5,600 RPM, one of the most powerful on the list. That speed can whizz up larger ink bottles and paint bottles just as fast as smaller nail polish and lash adhesive.

    It can do all of that because of how it’s built. The speed is one thing, but the stability of the base means all that power can be transferred to the bottle it’s mixing instead of vibrating the thing across your table. This is a larger vortex at 6.6 inches wide and heavy at over two pounds. It’s weighted down with lead blocks contained inside the plastic shell that sit below the vortex spinner. This extra weight holds the machine in place and absorbs some of the vibrations that might otherwise migrate down to your table.

    The stretched-out legs provide even more support and extend the length that the vibrations need to travel down. All of this makes it the quietest machine on the list. 

    It comes in blue or green as well as in a package that includes an extra silicone cap and a container of ball bearings that you can add to your bottles of paints if it needs a little extra agitation. 

    Plus it has an LED ring that lights up to indicate it’s in use. Not sure of the usefulness of that but it’s pretty and matches the color of the silicone cap.

  2. 2. Mini Vortexer by Heathrow Scientific

    • Great nail polish size
    • Powerful
    • Comes with two silicone caps
    • Quiet operation
    • Not for larger bottles
    • Coloring is not bright
    • Smaller base can be less stable

    The Mini Vortexer by Heathrow Scientific is a great choice for those who are working with small bottles like gel polish or cosmetic glues or people who need to mix up liquids that are fairly fluid like tattoo ink. It’s tiny which I love as my manicure table is cluttered as it is. I’m talking only 4.3 inches squared but still able to pack a punch of 4,500 RPM. 

    It’s a pressure-sensitive mixer so you only need one hand to operate it. Place your item on the silicone cap and press down until it turns on. It turns off when you remove the item and that’s the whole thing. 

    It’s my favorite on the list because it had good median power in such a small package but one thing I especially like about this one is how quiet it is. It runs at only 53 decibels and, going by this decibel comparison chart by Yale, it’s comparable to a household refrigerator which is measured at around 55 decibels. 

  3. 3. Mini Rechargeable Vortex Shaker

    • Wireless and portable
    • More powerful than some wired models
    • One-touch operation
    • Extra compact
    • Color choices
    • Suction cups in place
    • Can run out of battery
    • Only good for smaller bottles
    • You get what you pay for

    The Mini Rechargeable Vortex Shaker was designed for people looking for something small, something portable, or even just a cheap option. It uses the same one-touch operation as the others where it only turns on when it senses something pressed into the holder at the top.

    It’s the only rechargeable option that made it on the list so you can charge it up and then use it wirelessly. That makes it a great choice if you work on-site at people’s homes or travel to do events or guest spots. Or if you just hate having a tangle of wires on your work area. It takes about two hours to fully charge the shaker and you’re good to go.

    You would think being rechargeable would mean less power, but the Mini has more power than even some of the plug-in models on there. It spins at 7,000 RPM and will shake up your small bottles in only five seconds. That’s not messing around. They’ve added nine mini suction cups to the bottom of the mixer to keep it stable which is helpful. 

    It’s super compact at 4.3 inches squared so I do mean it’s only for small bottles. It’s good for things like eyelash glue, nail polish, or tattoo inks.

    If black isn’t for you, it’s available in several colors including white and a dark blue-green.

    Keep in mind, that you do get what you pay for. This one is one the cheaper side so don’t expect it to last you years and years. It’s not built do withstand daily professional use.

  4. 4. Makartt Vortex Shaker

    • 3,000 RPM
    • Mini mixer
    • Designed for beauty products
    • Adorable pink
    • Suction cup base
    • One-touch operation
    • You may not like the pink
    • Not as powerful as others
    • Really vibrates the table

    There’s merit to the idea that if you want to mix up beauty products, buy a mixer from a beauty brand–like the Makartt Vortex Shaker. It’s cute, it’s small, and it’s pink. What’s not to love?

    When I say small, I mean it’s only 3.5 inches across. That’s tiny. It makes it just the right size for things like nail polish and eyelash glue. The vortex spins at 3,000 RPM which is about average for these machines and impressive that they could fit that into this petite little guy. The product states it can mix up to 50 mL and I’m sure it could with enough time, but it’s made for beauty products so stick to beauty products. 

    For stability, the are suction cups on the base so when you press your produce on the sensor to activate the machine, it doesn’t jitter all around your table. As it doesn’t have a lot of bulk to absorb its own power, the little Makartt machine does tend to vibrate the desk a bit when it’s working but the mixer only needs to go for a few seconds at a time (30 tops) so it isn’t a huge problem.

  5. 5. JOANLAB Vortex Pigment Mixer

    • Different colors
    • Can choose your power level
    • Includes one-year warranty
    • Clean lines design-wise
    • Loud
    • Not as powerful as others
    • No suction cup base

    I’ll admit that I’m partial to the JOANLAB Vortex Pigment Mixer because of its design. It’s a cute little volcano without the chunky lines or angles that some of the other mixers have. It comes in teal or pink and I could see it on my manicure table without looking out of place. 

    The Pigment Mixer isn’t just style, it has substance too. There are two speed options to choose from, a 2,100 RPM mixer and a 3,100 RPM mixer for a small price increase. The lower option is on the low side of the mixers on the list but it will still get the job done. You may need to hold your glue or tattoo ink there for closer to 20 or 30 seconds instead of five, but it’s still more efficient than shaking something by hand. The 3,000 RPM model is running at about average, not exceptional but definitely workable. 

    This little dome is 3.6 inches wide and fits right in the palm of your hand. For being small, the downside to this one is that it’s pretty loud compared to others. It’s not a machine that you need to run constantly so for the price and aesthetic, it’s not a deal-breaker to me. 

  6. 6. ONiLAB Mixing Vortex

    • Ideal for hobbyists
    • One-hand operation
    • Affordable
    • 3,000 RPM
    • Not up for daily professional use
    • Not strong enough for thick liquids
    • Bland-looking

    For those who want a mixer for a hobby, aren’t sure how much they’ll actually use one, or don’t have the budget for the other models, the ONiLAB Vortexer is the budget model to spring for.

    As long as you’re not working with large bottles or thick, viscous paints, this little guy should have the power you need to mix up your solutions. 

    One of its greatest features is its ease of use. Once it’s on, the mixer is ready for use but it won’t start the shaking action until it senses that an item has been applied to the rubber topper. You apply pressure until the mixer is activated and once you remove the item, the machine stops shaking. It’s very similar to the way most UV nail lamps work. You may need to rotate your bottle partway through if the contents are not properly mixing. 

    At only 5.24 inches squared, it’s large than the others but still a compact size that won’t take up too much desk space. I like that it comes with a one-year warranty.

  7. 7. INTLLAB Vortex Lab Mixer

    • Compact
    • Mixes in under a minute
    • Looks very professional
    • Good budget option
    • Lower RPM
    • Louder than some
    • Not suction-cuped down
    • May look too sciencey for some

    INTLLAB Vortex Lab Mixer is a compact model with a great entry-level price tag. Clearly, this one was made for a lab environment so you can count on it to perform. It claims it can mix bottles up to 50 mL. A standard nail polish bottle is 15 mL so that’s plenty.

    The affordable price, however, does get you less power than other models. This one spins at 2,800 RPMs which is way faster than manually shaking something but compared to other models that spin at 7,000 RPMs, this one falls short. It will still work but it will likely take you more like 45 seconds to mix something instead of five seconds.

    It looks a little bit like a blue traffic gone with a three-sided base. The unique triangle design is great for preventing tipping. It’s not as great at keeping the machine in one spot as it can vibrate around when in use. That’s not a huge deal to me because it’s only on when you’re actively pressing a bottle onto the sensor so it’s not like it can vibrate unattended. 

Who Needs a Vortex Shaker?

If you work with products that need to be shaken before use, you can benefit from having a small machine that does it for you. 

The National Institute of Health's page on repetitive stress injury notes that these injuries can be debilitating and affect people like bartenders (shaking). It doesn't help that the University of Michigan lists having long nails as one of the risk factors for developing a repetitive stress injury.

You can also get it from typing (hello, carpal tunnel) so if you already have wrist or hand issues, having to shake up your nail polish can be a challenge. 

Why Not Just Shake It?

This was my husband's argument too but then I got out my stopwatch app and asked him to shake a bottle of nail polish for one minute. He knows how many bottles are involved when I do a manicure. Halfway through he said, "Yeah, okay, that sucks." Because it does so you do a slapdash job and your polish might not last as long.

A vortex shaker doesn't actually shake. It rotates in a small circle at speeds of 4,500 revolutions per minute creating a swirling vortex inside the bottle. That's 75 rotations each second. I certainly can't shake a bottle that fast. 

Hand shaking will never be as effective as a machine build for this.

How Important Is It To Shake Eyelash Adhesive? 

Very. Slightly separated nail polish is one thing, but you don't want the wrong proportion of adhesive to carrier when you're putting something on someone's eyelid.  

Eyelash glue has changed a lot over the years and the industry has settled on a formula that is low on odor, safer than previous options, fast-drying--but also extremely temperamental.

Cyanoacrylate is the active adhesive in eyelash glue and if it isn't properly mixed with the rest of the formula, the lashes won't have proper retention. 

According to Aki Lashes, how you shake it is just as important as how long you shake it. Shaking eyelash adhesive up and down the way you should nail polish can deposit un-mixed cyanoacrylate into the tip of the bottle where it can dry and block your nozzle. The best way is to shake your bottle sideways. 

That makes me think that they really ought to be building vortex shaker holders direction into lash pillows.

This YouTube video shows the visual difference between well-shaken adhesive compared to poorly-shaken adhesive.

My Nail Polish Still Is Gloopy?

Sometimes after you mix up your favorite shade that has separated, it can still be unworkable. If the polish is old and has dried out that means it has lost too much of the original solvent.

But don't fret--you can buy that solvent and thin out your nail polishes and make them as good as new. Orly has a great thinner for traditional air-dry polish.

Gel polish needs its own specialized solvent and I always say go with Kiara Sky's thinner.

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