I have came across the idea of getting colored nail polish using eyeshadow before, but my first attempt was awkward and failed horribly. Apparently one of the method is to apply polish, then dust a bunch of eyeshadow on it before it dries. Several problems, first of all, if you use a thin coat/layer of polish as you should, it dries before you can apply eyeshadow and the powder doesn’t really stick. Second of all, if you use a thick/goopy layer, then yes you do get a sheer layer of powder but then you’ve got a thick/goopy layer that never dries properly and…..basically, the whole thing is awkward.
I then stumbled upon the more common way of custom nail polish color, which is to either use loose powder, or scrape/crush some eyeshadows finely, and then mix it with the nail polish before applying. Ok, this sounds more reasonable, but what does it look like? how is the quality? Will it really give me a brand new polish color without spending a penny, or is it just going to be a crappy quality and a waste of eyeshadow/polish?
I experimented with a pearly white polish from Nails Inc and this dark wine colored eyeshadow from Estee Lauder that I crushed into powder. I used the same eyeshadow in the first round of testing for DIY eyeliner, so you can see the color of the eyeshadow there.
LOTS of eyeshadows! I first tried just put a couple drop of the white polish into the jar of powder (ratio of 1/5 or something). It turned from a polish into almost a thick cream eyeshadow texture and I ended up spreading a thick layer on my nails. And since it’s not very liquid-y, you can’t really do two coats and certain areas remain bumpy.
Half eyeshadow half nail polish? I then tried with half powder and half polish, the color got a bit lighter as expected and looks slightly nicer, but some areas are still a bit uneven, like the subtle color difference of a watercolor painting. Usually nail polish is liquidy enough to flattens/even itself out when you apply it so it doesn’t look too streaky, but when you add too much eyeshadow it loses that ability.
A little eyeshadow…. When I added a little eyeshadow powder to the polish, it finally applied like a real nail polish and give me a nice even color. The finish changed a little from the original shiny pearl to a subdued satin sheen. It is much easier to get a smooth finish, altho it take a little bit longer to dry due to the powder. If you poke it before it dries, you end up with finger print on the nail *cough*. =X
Because of the scratchy/non-smooth texture and the eyeshadow, you should definitely seal it with a topcoat. I went with Essie luxe with gold flakes. I was surprised that a dark wine eyeshadow + white nail polish would give me a grey-ish purple color, but doesn’t that thin layer on the pinky look nice? The real question is how does it wear. In this case adding a bit of powder doesn’t matter much (as long as you use top coat) while more powder = more likely to chip.
If you are looking for a specific color, however, you might be disappointed since more color/powder also changes the consistency. Due to the drying time of the polish, you don’t have a lot of time to adjust the mixture. For the first experiment above, I mixed a little eyeshadow with nail polish in a little sample jar. Now that I’ve confirmed it works, I took a bolder next step. Since I’ve got a pink and white pearl from Guerlain Meteorites that fell on the floor (yay clumsy morning), I decided to crush them and dump it into a Hello Kitty clear nail polish I’ve got.
The only difficulty is that since the bottle have a small opening and nail polish isn’t very fluid, attempting to mix it evenly took some effort. However, I think it turned out rather well. On the left image below, the thumb had the original clear polish while ring finger’s got the freshly mixed clear polish + pink/white shimmer powder. The texture is a bit scratchy, but nothing that can’t be fixed with a layer of top coat. Also, turns out I didn’t crush the powder as finely as I thought I did, so the bigger chunks sank to the bottom. When I applied the separated DIY polish, picking up the top layer, I get clear polish with sheer layer of white/pink shimmer (right picture below) and the texture is not as bumpy.
Conclusion: Remember to use only a little powder in the nail polish and only mix a little at a time, unless you are dumping the powder into the bottle. Top coat will give you a nice smooth finish as well as help making it last. And lastly, since you can’t put in too much shadow, it’s not great if you are trying to get a specific color. However, if you are bored with your polish or want to slightly adjust the color/finish of your polish, this is a fun DIY. I personally like the sheer pink/white shimmer better than the plain Hello Kitty polish. Enjoy!