Create your own matte nail polish (DIY)

Matte nail polish – yes. It may sound dull but trust me, it’s anything but dull. I spotted a matte black mani on Allure’s website earlier this month and then Kim Kardashian tweeted about her matte black french mani a few days ago. Gorgeous right?

matte nail polish glossy tips black

The mani on Allure.com on the left, and Kim Kardashian’s matte black nails

I wanted to give matte nail polish a try but couldn’t find any. I turned to Google and found a few DIY methods that used old eyeshadow to make matte nail polish (like this one on Beautylish.com) but I recently cleaned out my makeup bag so I didn’t have any eyeshadow I wanted to sacrifice. ‘n Boer maak ‘n plan, so I came up with a different technique whereby you can use any colour nail polish that you already have to turn it into a matte nail polish. Here’s how to do it.


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What you’ll need before you get started:

Something to mix the nail polish in (I used an old tin lid), baby powder, your nail polish of choice, cutex remover, a clear base coat, a clear top coat for the french tip

make any nail polish matte

I used on of my cheaper nail polishes that I picked up on a beauty sale – a nice grey colour that I’ve been sporting often lately.

diy matte nail polish step 1

Step 1: Apply a clear base coat (like always)

create matte nail polish diy

Step 2: Add some baby powder to the lid – not too much. Scrape the baby powder together before you add the nail polish.

make matte nail polish diy

Step 3: Add a teeny bit of the nail polish to the baby powder. Once you’ve mixed the nail polish and the baby powder it will dry / get hard fairly quickly so don’t mix too much at once. With the amount above I could do two nails at a time.

make matte nail polish at home

diy matte nail polish tutorial

Apply the nail polish as usual. Try to not apply too much at once or it will take forever to dry. The more baby powder you add, the ‘thicker’ the nail polish will be and it can look quite streaky if you make it too thick. Once you’ve mixed the nail polish and powder together, the nail polish should still be easy to apply – i.e. glide on easily without clumping. Keep on mixing nail polish and baby powder and applying it to a few nails at a time until you’re done for the best results.

matte nail polish diy

Step 4: Wait a few minutes for the nail polish to dry properly before adding french manicure strips to create the glossy tip. If you don’t wait long enough, the nail polish will peel off with the strip like mine did. You can create the glossy tips by either using the same colour nail polish that you used to mix the matte nail polish or you can use a standard clear top coat like I did.

diy matte nail polish french manicure

Voila! The final result. You can clean up the edges with cutex remover (perhaps I should have done that before taking this pic…). For a first try this mani is not too bad.

diy matte french manicure glossy tips

Another pic of the final french mani. I really like the glossy tips! The grey is nice but I’m going to go find black nail polish so that I can try the french mani in black. Here are some of my key tips for doing this matte french manicure at home.

  • You are going to use quite a bit of nail polish (and waste a lot of it) so if you’re precious about your nail polish, use a cheaper one the first time
  • Clean the nail polish brush with cutex remover afterwards before putting it back into the nail polish
  • If you made a mistake or smudged a nail while still applying, rather clean the whole nail and start again
  • Mistakes show very clearly on the matte polish so take your time to apply the polish

If you have any questions about this tutorial or suggestions to make it better – let me know in the comments.

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