Have I ever mentioned that I am a little bit OBSESSED with nail polishes?
Not even so much with painting my nails (It is such a damn nightmare of a process sometimes!) no, just with nail polish itself!
I just love going into a drug/beauty supply store and letting my eyes scan up and down the many rows of polishes, taking in all the amazing colours. I don’t know why this is, but I swear, if a product in a store is displayed in an array of various colours, some part of my brain instantly tells me I NEED TO HAVE THEM ALL! Whether it’s those stupid little hand-sanitizer bottles in Bath & Body Works, colourful beads for jewelry making in Michael’s, or, you guessed it, rows and rows of bottles of nail polish, I have to PEEL myself away from the display case in order to avoid impulsively buying their entire stock!
So as you can guess, nail polish totally feeds my addiction to colour. When I was in my late teens I became obsessed with collecting as many different bottles and colours as I could. I still have just about all of them, I don’t think I’ve ever gone through a whole bottle in its entirety, because I’m aways trying a new colour each time I give myself a manicure!
The downside to this is that collecting nail polishes (or collecting anything, really) is a total money grab, and I’m not exactly in the position to be impulse-buying all these different colours each time I need to go to a drug store!
So, if you love nail polish as much as me but can’t be going crazy buying slight variations on different colours all the time, or you’re always looking for just the perfect shade and having little to no luck, then you’re going to LOVE this little DIY hack:
Did you know you can MIX YOUR OWN custom nail polish using colours you already have?
Well you can! It’s something I’ve been experimenting with a lot recently, and the results are [usually] fantastic! Of course, I’ve ended up with a few not so fabulous “polish cocktails” as well, but with experimentation, and a general knowledge of the concept of colour mixing, it’s so easy to get just about ANY shade you are looking for! You can even add glitter or shimmer to a solid colour that you wish had just a little bit more “oomph” to it! The possibilities are endless really, and only limited by your imagination.
For this fun project, you’ll only need a few things:
- A couple (or more) colours of nail polish you want to mix together
- A sheet of tin foil
- And old nail polish bottle (mainly just the brush, but if you want to mix larger batches, you can store them in an empty bottle as well) OR a paint brush with a similar shape & flexibility to a nail polish brush.
- A base coat & a top coat
First off, prep your nails using your favourite base coat. For an EXTRA professional looking mani, try pushing your cuticles back with a wooden stick (you know the type!) and filing your nails down to an even shape/length.
All you need to do is mix your colours together on a piece of tin foil using your brush (or a toothpick if you prefer). Mix in small amounts first to you don’t use too much polish, or end up making more than you need! Once you’ve achieved a colour you’re happy with, use the brush to apply it to your nails. Apply a second and third coat if needed, allowing ample drying time in between!
Keep in mind that you will need to work somewhat quickly, as the polish will start to thicken and dry up on the foil as it is exposed to air, making it harder to work with. You can try using some nail polish thinner to revive it if you have any on hand, or just mix up a bit more. Just make sure your new batch matches the colour of the old one! In order to prevent your mix from drying out too much, try to only mix enough for just one coat at a time, and while it dries, use the time to mix up your second coat (just be careful not to smudge your nails while they’re drying!).
Once you’re finished, seal everything off with a top coat. This will help protect your nails from smudging or cracking, as well as increase the wearing time of your manicure. Allow that to dry (try to use your hands as little as possible for the next 5-10 minutes) and you’re done! You’re very own custom coloured manicure!
To get this beautiful, delicate peach colour, I mixed together a bright yellow, a coral-y orange, and a VERY light, almost-white looking pink! I would have used white, but I don’t have any….oops.
I also tried my *hand* (ha ha…. get it!?) at creating this beautiful seafom-y green colour by mixing a yellow, mint green, and a SMALL amount of dark blue. Isn’t it stunning?
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Do not use black to try to darken any colour. You will only end up with a muddy-looking mixture (unless that’s what you’regoing for!) instead use a darker colour like navy/royal blue, deep purple, or burgundy.
- You CAN, however, use white to lighten any colour! This will create a beautiful pastel effect, depending on how much is used. Try using white as a base to add drops of other colours to!
- The darker or thicker the nail polish is, the less you will need of it to alter the colour. Thin formulas tend to need a larger amount.
- Try to use the same brands as much as possible, combining too many different formulas will result in a mix that is much more finicky and difficult to work with.
- I find tin foil works the best to mix on, but you can also use plastic wrap, a sandwich bag, paper plate, or even wax paper.
- Lastly, I’m sure you all remember this, but just in case you failed preschool art class, Red & Blue = Purple, Yellow & Red = Orange, and Yellow & Blue = Green. Those are the most basic mixes, but try using different variations of these colours for different results.
Also, one final note: If you’re going to attempt to set up your camera and tripod to take pictures of your nails for your latest blog post, don’t be an idiot like me. Make sure to wait until your nails are TOTALLY dry. Urgh…
What do you think of my mixes? Let me know, and be sure to tweet me a picture of your beautiful custom coloured manis/pedis!