Make Your Own Custom Color Nail Polish

teal nailpolish in a jar with teal powder in a clear bowl and on a popcycle stick with 2 nail files by them
If you’ve ever searched in vain for that special shade of pink or the perfect sheer glittery polish, this project is for you! By combining a ready-to-use polish base with your own blend of mineral colorants, you can create your own original shades of nail polish in minutes!

This project is a really fun way to bring DIY nail art to the next level.

I like using a 3-free suspending base to make my own nail polish, but if you prefer using polishes that are 5-free or 8-free, you can use your favorite clear nail polish instead. This 16-free topcoat would be a good choice.

Just keep in mind that regular clear polish may not suspend the colorants as well as a suspending base, so you’ll need to shake the polish a little bit longer before use.

6 bottles of different color nail polishYou can use pretty much any oil-based or oil-dispersible cosmetic colorant to color your nail polish. Just make sure that whatever you are using is made for cosmetic use. Craft glitters, food dyes or other non-cosmetic colorants might not behave well in nail polish since they aren’t designed for that purpose.

My favorite colorants for nail polish are mineral micas. These powdered colorants provide shimmering color in a whole rainbow of shades. For bright colored shades that are clear and glossy, look for oil-dispersible colorants like ultramarines and oxides.

For matte color, try adding a pinch of cornstarch.

a jar of suspending nail polish base, 2 empty nail polish jard, and 2 funnels
suspending nail polish base
empty nail polish bottles with tops and nail polish mixing balls
miniature funnels
micas, oil-based colorants, and/or cosmetic glitters
-popsicle sticks or miniature scoops

a bottle of suspending nail polish base, an empty nail polish jar with a funnel in it, and a painter's palette
Step One: Place the nail polish mixing balls into the empty polish bottles, and insert a miniature funnel into the bottle’s neck.

bottle of suspended nail polish base with red powder being funneled into empty nail polish jar
Step Two: Use the tip of a popsicle stick or a miniature scoop to add glitter or colorants to the funnel. You can stick to one color or create your own blends by mixing multiple colorants together.

Add a large pinch of color to make a sheer polish or as much as 1/4-1/2 teaspoon for a heavier, more opaque color.

2 nail polish bottles with funnels in them, one has red powder and one has blue powder
Step Three: Gently tap the bottle and funnel to drop the colorant into the bottle. Be careful not to spill the colorants or get glitter everywhere. This part can be VERY messy!

a jar of suspended nail polish base with 2 nail polish bottles in front of it
Step Four: Remove the funnel, carefully fill the bottle with polish base, and screw the cap onto the bottle.

someone holding a teal bottle of nail polish with a pink bottle of nail polish laying next to it

someone holding a pink bottle of nail polish upside down
Step Five:
Shake. Shake. Shake. It will take a lot of effort to mix the polish for the first time. Shake the bottle for 30-60 seconds, or until the colors are well blended into the base.

someone painting their pointer nail with teal nail polish with a jr of teal powder in a clear bowl, a popcycle stick, and 2 nail filers next to them
Step Five:
Apply to your nails! Be sure to use a good base coat and top coat along with your custom polish. This will help make the color last and show off your gorgeous custom polish its best.

6 bottles of different colored nail polishI had so much fun blending new nail polish colors for this project. Now that I’ve got the basics figured out, I can’t wait to try my hand at something more advanced. xo. Mary Helen

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  • Hi! I’ve been researching methods on mixing polish for a while now, and even have some supplies on the way from TKB trading!

    My deepest burning question still yet remains tho..say I have chosen a colour on a colour wheel and want to make a polish that matches it exactly. The struggle now I’m facing is how exactly to mix the powders EXACTLY to get the ratio that will create the perfect colour match. What kind of math or methods do you think I need to research in order to figure this out?? How do you think they figure it out in a lab??
    VERY interested! 🙂

  • The homemade nail polish was very cool..Thank u for the diy. I have lots of top coat . I saw this and started to make my own nail polish colour.

  • Awww! I used to do this in Grade 7! We would add food colouring to white Wet ‘N Wild polish. We were so obsessed with pastels in those days….

    Awesome post!

  • THIS IS LIKE THE COOLEST POST EVER! I have never thought of making my custom nail polish color, but I have had moments where I am like I want this color haha I really am so excited to try this out!

    Cat //

  • I didn’t know you could actually do that, this is amazing!

  • Ahhh gorgeous colors, I’m in love! The blue one is to die for.

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

  • OMG THIS IS SO COOL! It seems so simple and easy to do as well! As a chemist, I feel like I should have thought of this before hahah thanks for sharing! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • This is such a great idea, I cannot wait to try!!


  • What?! DIY nail polish?! Mind blowing.

  • I feel like an idiot that I’ve never considered that it’s possible to DIY nail polish! I’m curious as to how long it lasted without chipping? Really cool tutorial!

    • I think it will really depend on the type of base you use for the polish. The better the base, the better the performance! Choosing a great base coat and topcoat will help improve the longevity of the polish as well.

  • Lovely post
    The Pink Pineapple
    New post:

  • This is so cute and interesting! My only concern is that it looks a bit lumpy when you apply it, but cool DIY nonetheless <3

  • I’ve always wanted to try this! but my attempts have failed miserably (and made a huuggee mess). Excited to try this out!

  • This is such a cool idea!!! I’ve never even thought about making my own nail varnish. Also a fab review 🙂 x

    Abi | abistreetx

  • Thank you for the DIY, it was super interesting! I don’t paint my nails all that often but I didn’t know you could so easily make your own custom nail polish. What a great tip!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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