Make DIY Nail Polish out of Eyeshadow

Any time I’m at my local dollar store, I cruise the cheap-o cosmetics section looking for new nail polish shades, cuz it’s a nice way to expand my selection on the cheap. I used to stick religiously to my tried-and-true Blood Red – it always looked good against my complexion, so it was my go-to any time I glammed up. But I did my nails so infrequently that I never really bothered to diversify my colour selections. (My crafter friends will understand the frustrating exercise in futility that is Painting Your Nails. When you use your hands so frequently, it rarely lasts more than a few hours…)

All that changed last year, when I started to dabble in Nail Art more frequently. It was a crazy cumlination of a few influences – seeing easy DIY nail art tutorials on Pinterest, coupled with a desperate need for a new hobby now that I had started making my favourite hobbies (crafting and writing) into an Awesome Bidness. But mostly I blame Pinterest.

Anyway, though I now have over 20 different shades of polish, I can never seem to find a great pink. I have several options, but they all seem to look better in the bottle than actually painted on my fingers nails. Some are too dark. Some too sheer. One is so metallic, you can’t really tell what colour it’s supposed to be. Mostly I eschew pink as being far to frou-frou, but every once in a while you just can’t get around its absence.

Finally fed up with trying out shade after shade … I did what any self-respecting crafter would do: I used my google-fu to see about DIY’ing my own! And whaddaya know? It’s a Thing! 5 youtube videos and 2 craft blogs later, I felt ready to tackle my own – it turned out so nice, I thought I’d be nice and share my knowledge with ya’ll! So without further adieu:

How to DIY Nail Polish Using Eyeshadow

+ paper cup
+ stir-stick (plastic knife, plastic spoon, coffee stir stick, tongue depresser…)
+ clear nail polish
+ eyeshadow shade(s) of choice
+ drop cloth (newspaper, magazine, paper plate, paper towel…)


Lets Get Shakin’!
+ Put down your drop cloth. Believe me, if something spills, you’ll be happy you didn’t skip this step. Nail polish is a bitch to remove from most surfaces. Except nails apparently.
+ Using your stir-stick of choice, scrape up a bit of the eyeshadow shade(s) that you want to polish-ify. The amount of powder to use isn’t an exact science – you can always add more later. Aim for about 1/4 of a teaspoon for starters.
+ Open your clear nail polish, and dump it into your paper cup. Set aside the bottle and brush.
+ Add your eyeshadow powder(s) into the cup too.
+ Using your stir stick, make with the Stirring already! Be sure to press any visible clumps between the stick and the side of the cup, making the mixture as smooth as possible.
+ Pinch one side of your paper cup, so it creates a pointy spout. Pick up your nail polish bottle in one hand, and the paper cup in the other. Slooooowly pour your awesome new nail polish into the empty bottle.
+ You go girl! Wear that shit like the DIY Diva that you are!


So I learned some stuff. Y’know, because I screwed up the first time. Learn from my fails, dear reader, so your project will go Super Smooth.

+ For the love of god, use a paper cup!! Why? First of all, to skip the whole make/use a funnel thing, I pinched the edge of the cup to a point. This is wicked hard with a plastic cup. Also (and more importantly), plastic cups melt if you leave nail polish in them for too long. That was fun. Which brings us to my next point…
+ Use a freakin’ drop cloth, ok? I skipped that, thinking, “What could possibly go wrong…?” The answer is: So. Much. (R.I.P. favourite jeans. …who am I kidding? Still totally gonna wear ’em.)
+ You’ll notice I encouraged the use of disposable supplies. If you feel confident cleaning nail polish off your cutlery, by all means, use normal stuff. I did not feel so confident.
+ You’ll also notice I suggested using a stir stick with a broad surface. I couldn’t find one myself, so I used the stick-end of one of my Crap Paint Brushes. This was not conducive to smooshing powder-lumps.

Now, I mentioned adding extra powder. You might feel like your shade is too transparent, or you might want to lighten/darken/change it by adding another colour. Easy Peasy! Just dump your new nail polish into another paper cup and start the process over.

I loved how customizable this project was – you can play “Artist” by mixing a few shades together (I used pink, a tiny bit of purple, and white). You could even add dollops of some of your existing polishes. Next time I’m going to add sparkly polish, because… sparkles!

If you try this project, I’d love to see pictures! Share your experiences in the comments, or come drop by my facebook page and tell me how it went!

Go forth, dear reader, and DIY THE POLISH!


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