Make Your Own Nail Polish Color

There are thousands of different colors and shades of nail polish out there today, but what if you could be unique and make your own? This article explains how to make nail polish that everyone will be drooling over!


Bottle of eyeshadow nail polish

  1. Find an eyeshadow in the colour you want your nail polish. This can be a store bought one or an old one from home. Certain brands will mix up better than others, but all kinds will work. MAC and Makeup Geek brands mix quite nicely.[1]
    • You can try to save some eyeshadow, but it's really a lot easier if you just destroy the entire thing. Because of this, pick one that you're not super attached to!
  2. Crush the eyeshadow if necessary. If your eyeshadow is a loose powder it is not necessary to crush it, but the solid blocks need to be crushed before they can be used. Put the eyeshadow into a plastic food bag and crush with a rolling pin. Crush until it is a fine powder with no lumps remaining, as any lumps will show up in the final product and make it look messy.
    • Be diligent with this. If it's not smooth when you dump it into your polish, it won't come out smooth on your fingers. Put the work in now to save yourself some grief later.
  3. Make a tiny funnel. This is a super easy feat -- just snip off a corner of an envelope or curl up a note card. Or if you have a small funnel already, fantastic. Lucky you!
    • You won't need the funnel ever again. If it's not beautiful, that's fine. Staple, glue, or tape it until it'll do the job.
  4. Open the bottle of clear nail polish. Position the funnel over the top. It should be in the neck of the bottle, but not emerged in the polish.
    • To avoid having your cup overflow, if you will, make sure your clear nail polish isn't entirely full. Half a bottle does well here.
  5. Using the funnel, pour in the eyeshadow. And if you have some glitter, add that too for a sparkly look. The more eyeshadow you add, the richer the color.
    • Did you catch that glitter part? Makes for a great addition! A contrasting color to your polish will stick out even more.
    • Add a couple of small steel ball bearings (if you have them) to the bottle. These make it easier to mix the polish, in addition to increasing the longevity of your polish.
  6. Shake the bottle until the pigment is evenly distributed. Then start painting on your masterpiece with a color you can name after yourself. You may need a couple of coats depending on the shade you want.
    • Some shadows will come out very matte. If that's not your style, just add a clear top coat on your nails to make them shiny.

One-time use eyeshadow nail polish

  1. Place the eyeshadow in a plastic, resealable bag. Crush it up with the end of a paintbrush, a rolling pin, your shoe, the palm of your hand, a hammer, or some other hard object. Get it powdery. The more powdery the better. You don't want chunks on your fingernails.
    • The only thing you need be wary of is punching a hole accidentally in the bag. That's equivalent to a DIY Hindenburg.
  2. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and put powder into a small container. If you have a teeny spice jar or empty pigment jar, that's perfect. Or hey, use your old eyeshadow compact!
  3. Add clear nail polish to your pigment. Keep to a 1:1 ratio, generally -- but the more polish, the smoother it'll go on (and the more diluted the color). Now you don't have a ruined top coat bottle––excellent.
    • If a solid color is more your style, use white as your base. You may need the top coat to make it shiny, but it'll be more opaque with white.
  4. Stir up the mixture and paint away. Using a toothpick, paintbrush, or nail polish brush, mix it up till the color is even throughout. Then take your painting tool (again, paintbrush or polish brush) and go to town on your nails. If you run out, you can just make more!
    • Work quickly. Air will get to your mixture quickly, drying it out. If it is starting to lose moisture, just add a bit more clear polish.
    • It's a good thing you still have that top coat jar, because you may need it to put over the color if it's too matte for your liking. But both are beautiful!
  5. Finished.

Mixing nail polish

  1. Expect this method to take a while to get the hang of. This method is purely experimental and you are warned that it can result in some unusable colors. However, once you're good at experimenting in this way, you'll find it's a fun way of creating totally new color ranges.
  2. Purchase cheap nail polish in at least two colors. For example, dollar store nail polish can work for this experiment, at least until you're better at guessing which colors mix together nicely. Since it's so cheap, purchase a few colors, to allow you to experiment more broadly.
  3. Pour the first nail polish into a small plastic cup.
  4. Add a little of the next chosen color to the first color already in the cup. Use the nail polish brush to mix.
    • Do you like the color that forms? If yes, make more. If not, try a different amount of polish or a different color combination.
  5. When you're happy with a resulting new color, store the new polish in its own bottle. Label it clearly so that you remember it's your own creation.
    • It can be useful to keep a record of which polish colors you've combined, especially if you wish to recreate the polish when this one runs out.



  • Use cheap eyeshadow, so you can buy a bunch of different colors.
  • Using clear nail polish as a base for a sheer look; for a solid color, use white.
  • If you want to make glittery nail polish, use a solid eye shadow and some glitter. Mix well and put on your nails.
  • If you don't have clear polish, just mix two different colors! Use the same brand, though -- they'll mix better.
  • Add glitter. Everything looks better with a bit of glitter.
  • Use liquid eyeshadow for easier applying.
  • You can add glitter shapes for more fun.


  • Do not put too much eye shadow in. It might get sticky or overflow the container!
  • Keep nail polish out of reach of pets and children.

Things You'll Need

One bottle:

  • Half full bottle of clear or any basic color nail polish
  • Eyeshadow
  • Funnel (a paper envelope or paper)
  • Plastic food bag
  • Rolling pin or other crushing device

One-time use:

  • Eyeshadow
  • Plastic bag
  • Rolling pin or other crushing device
  • Container
  • Clear nail polish (or whatever you have available)
  • Tool for mixing (toothpick, etc.)
  • Tool for applying (paintbrush or polish brush)


  • Minimum 2 differently colored nail polishes (from dollar store, sales basket, etc.)
  • Plastic cup for mixing
  • Clean bottle for adding new color to
  • Notepad and pen for keeping notes of the color mixing process as you go

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Sources and Citations