Tutorial: How to make your own nail polish

Here's a super fun tutorial! I'll explain how to make your own nail polish, a.k.a. franken polish, and share some helpful tips. :) If you have any questions, you know what to do, enjoy!

Products used:

  • nail polish base: If you're using glitter, make sure it's glitter suspending nail polish base. If you can't get glitter suspending nail polish base, you can buy Cab-O-Sil, a silica powder, that will thicken your polish enough to suspend glitter. I used water based glitter suspending nail polish (whoa, kinda long word!) that dries clear and has steel balls in it for mixing. 
  • color: This can be basically anything that's in powder or pressed form, e.g. mica, pigment, eye shadow, mineral make-up, blush, bronzer, anything! I'm using mica.
  • glitter: Make sure it's solvent resistant glitter because regular glitter bleeds. This means, that e.g. adding red glitter into clear nail polish will turn your clear nail polish into a sort of red and your glitter will have lost all of its red color on the following day, usually silver is the "base" color for all glitters. I haven't tested if regular glitter works with water based nail polish but I think it would. Since water based nail polish doesn't have harmful solvents in it that could make glitter bleed. I used solvent resistant hologram glitter, purple, silver and white.
  • funnel: I'll show you how to make one from paper since I don't own one small enough.
  • small spoon: Something small to spoon glitter and color, e.g. teaspoon handle.
  • scissors
  • tape
  • tooth pick or something small to mix glitter and color into your nail polish
  • paper towel
  • plastic bag
  • gloves and a mask: Optional. I don't like using them.


1. Pull your hair and sleeves up. I usually wear a home shirt that I won't mind getting dirty. This might get messy.
2. Cut approximately 10 pieces of tape. This will help you a lot in the following steps!

3. Cut your plastic bag open as your table cloth. It'll be easy to clean up by just rolling it up! Pull the plastic bag tight and attach it with pieces of tape.

4. Let's make the funnel next. Cut out a square 10 x 10cm out of paper. Make a cut from one corner to the center. Roll it tightly into a funnel. Tape it. Even out the sides. Tape the tip of the funnel, then cut a small piece of the tip off. This will prevent your funnel from getting too wet. Thus, you won't have to make a new funnel every time you add color or glitter.

5. Put the funnel into the nail polish bottle. If the funnel won't stay upright, use some tape.

6. Now spoon in some color. Be careful, it might get really messy!

7. Take the funnel out and mix in the color with a tooth pick. If you skip this and put the brush right into the bottle, all the color is going to stick onto the brush which will make mixing the color in really difficult and time consuming. 

8. After mixing, put the tooth pick on top of paper towel. This way, you'll see where the messy color is and you won't get it on your arms/shirt. 

9. Repeat with glitter.

10. And you're ready! :)

I bought my franken set from Etsy. It came with 5 water based glitter suspending nail polish bottles, different colored micas, a little bit of different glitters (not in the pictures), a mask, gloves, tooth picks, a spoon and instructions. This nail polish dries clear. It needs a topcoat, otherwise it would just come off when you're washing your hands. I bought my glitters from Etsy too.

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