DIY matte nail polish

DIY matte nail polishMatte nail polish is kind of a big deal right now. It’s a change from the typical glossy manicure and it can give you pretty cool effects when you’re going all out with the nail art. Since I’m a cheapo, I thought it would be fun to do a Pintervention on some of the DIY matte nail polish recipes I’ve seen floating around.

The one I pinned turned out to be nothing more than a photo from Real Simple and I couldn’t find the actual post. Still, it seemed simple enough. The caption said “Add corn starch to clear polish to get matte finish.”

Since it sounded so easy, I decided to kick the whole experiment up a notch by combining that first pin with another one that showed how you can make your own nail colors by mixing eye shadow with clear polish (note: the caption on that pin says to just combine eye shadow and clear polish for a matte nail color, but when you read the actual blog post that it’s pinned from, you learn that she used a matte top coat). Combining unrelated tutorials is usually what leads to my catastrophic pin fails, but this time wasn’t so bad.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am cheap. I’m not telling you to run out and find an eye shadow color that you’d like to use solely on your nails. I mean you could. I just wouldn’t. I happen to have way too many eye shadow palettes that are a little on the old side (OK, some may date back to high school). We’re talking about grody quads that no longer have lids and would make a makeup artist cringe.

I also happened to have clear polish and corn starch (although this little experiment made me realize how old the corn starch is too. We bought it when we lived in our apartment in Woodlawn… five years ago). I had all of the ingredients necessary and my nails were polish free. It was a perfect storm!

Here’s what you do:

diy matte nail polish supplies

1. Gather everything you could need for a little DIY matte nail polish bonanza.

Aside from the essentials (clear polish, corn starch and a nasty eye shadow quad), I used a little paper cup to mix it all up in and some toothpicks for stirring. If you don’t have any disposable cups, tin foil would work just fine.

diy matte nail polish: scrape eyeshadowdiy matte nail polish: combine ingredients

2. Scrape some eye shadow out with your toothpick and then combine it with an equal amount of corn starch.

Pretty self explanatory, right? Get them both in your little cup and combine them like you would the dry ingredients in a cookie recipe.

diy matte nail polish: add clear polish

3. Add your clear polish.

How much you add totally depends on the amount of eye shadow and corn starch you’ve got going on. Just eyeball it. You can’t really go wrong.

One tip I’ll give you though is to make sure you mix it well. You don’t want any lumpy bits sticking together and messing up your mani.

diy matte nail polish: mix ingredients well

4. Paint those pretty little fingers.

Once your mixture is nice and smooth, you’re ready to go. Put it on carefully and in thin coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before adding another (I used two coats). Imperfections stand out with matte manicures, so take your time!

Pretty simple, right?

Since I try and keep things real here, I thought I’d share a little behind the scenes so you can see what I was dealing with while doing this DIY.

DIY chaosFirst of all, as you can see, nothing was as neat as it looks in the pictures. And then there’s my little assistant. She was climbing all over the table, hanging over the ledge, dipping her fingers into my little paper cup and causing a general ruckus.

I ended up with one hand that was decent enough to take a photo of (although I messed it up immediately afterwards), a binky covered in nail polish and a cranky kid.

Multitasking like a mother, my friends. Multitasking like a mother.

VERDICT: I’m kind of amazed that I’m saying it, but both pins totally work. And even better, they work together!

I’m linking this post up with The 36th Avenue, 5 Days… 5 WaysA Glimpse Inside, Serenity NowSomewhat Simple and Tidy Mom.

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.