DIY: Eyeshadow Nail Polish | Makeup Mondays


Admittedly, I am a bit of a makeup hoarder. Not only do I buy products impulsively, but I seem to be the wastebasket for all my friends and family. If they have colors/products they don’t want, they know I will take them off their hands to grow my personal collection, whether they work for me or not.

Eyeshadows are probably my biggest weakness. I want every color to be at my personal disposal, despite the fact that most days I stay comfortably inside the brown and taupe family.


In the spirit of early Spring cleaning and recycling, I have been looking for a fun DIY to repurpose those problematic eyeshadow shades that are either :

A.     Completely out of style. [I’m looking at you frosty pink Revlon Quad.]

B.     In a color palette that does not work for your complexion. [Maybe you bought it for a costume or lied to yourself and tried to make work, before realizing that you and lime green sparkle did not have a future together.]

C.      Smashed to smithereens. [All you ladies know the dagger in the heart that occurs when you drop a brand new pricey shadow on a tile floor. As it tumbles through the air, you pray that it has somehow fallen on an invisible cloud…before facing the reality that it has met its untimely demise and it is now an unusable pile of dust.]

Now you can turn lemons (or misfit eyeshadow) into lemonade (or lovely satin finish nail polish)! It is surprisingly simple, and the beauty of it is that you can use existing things from your makeup drawer. What I thought would turn into a total pinterest fail instead turned out really cute!


Here are the tools you will need:

·      Clear nail polish or topcoat (for my mad sorcery, I used one that I already had)

·      Eyeshadow

·      Small piece of Paper for makeshift funnel (post-its work great!)

·      Tweezers or butter knife

Optional extras:

·      Zip top snack baggie

·      Glitter

·      Nail polish remover

Pro tip: Before you begin the process, lay down a sheet of paper over your workspace (I used wrapping paper to make it purty!). Otherwise, you are liable to be sweeping up the rogue shadow bits for weeks to come

Step 1:

Find an eyeshadow that you don’t mind ruining and pulverize it. [The nicer or pricier, the more pigment it likely has and the less you will have to use. The particular shadow I used was Laura Mercier “mermaid”. It was a higher end color, thus it was highly pigmented. Because of this, I only used half of the square.]  It’s a great way to get out aggression. I used a set of tweezers and just smashed up the shadow clumps into a finer powder right there in the palette. [If the shadow is getting out of hand you can also put it in a sandwich bag and pound it through the bag with a blunt object.] Either are fun options!


Step 2:

 Remove the lid and make a funnel out the piece of paper! [If you are using a brand new bottle of clear polish, make sure you have poured out about 1/8-1/4 of polish to make room for the shadow/pigment.]

DIYMatteNailPolish_kimmie_nerdsandnomsense-1Pro Tip: Make sure not to leave the lid out of the polish for too long, as most formulas dry very fast. The key is to work quickly, because there is nothing worse than a stiff brush! If you are a “take your time” kinda crafter, pour some nail polish remover into the bottle cap, and set the brush in there while you work. This will keep it from drying out.

Step 3:

 Pour the crushed powder into polish bottle. Remove funnel and put the lid on. Now for the fun part; take your polish and swirl, roll, shake…really whatever works to make sure the color fully is distributed.


Step 4:

Test the polish out on a bare nail to see if it is the opacity you desire. If you like a sheer wash of polish, add less pigment (maybe 1/2 of a tray). Personally, I like to use as few coats as possible, so I used about ¾ of the eye shadow and found it to be the perfect 1-2 coat consistency.


Voila! Now you have a pretty bottle of custom polish with a satin matte finish.

 If you are feeling additionally creative, you can peel off the existing label and add your own artistry via stickers or sharpie marker. Since I named my pretty shade of satiny sea green “mermaid tears”, I embellished the bottle with an anchor to really knock you over the head with a nautical theme.



Crafter Conclusions:

 Originally I doubted projects similar to this thinking they seemed too good to be true, but I’m happy to report that they weren’t. I really had fun with this DIY, and frankly can’t wait till another eye shadow busts into a million little pieces so I can have an excuse to do it again. Next time I’m definitely going to try adding in loose glitter or maybe even mixing two shadow colors together.  Really the possibilities for variation and customization are endless.


Let me know in the comments if you have tried this before or if you have any genius variations! I am always on the lookout for awesome new nail polish colors! 


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