DIY Sheer Tints Nail Polish

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diy sheer tint polish

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of hype around the OPI Sheer Tints polishes and Sally Hansen Palm Beach [super sheer] Jellies.  If you haven’t seen swatches, Frazzle and Aniploish has excellent comparisons of both here.  However, I have heard bad things about the OPI formula and the sheerness of the Sally Hansens, so I though I’d experiment with making my own sheer tints.

DIY Sheer Polish-2-2

The Ingredients

They were very, very simple to make. I used red, yellow, and blue NYC polishes I already had (swatched here).  You can use cremes or jellies, but make sure that they don’t have a strong white base – that won’t work as well.

I wanted to make small bottles, so I bought inexpensive Sally Girl clear polish (you can use any clear polish or top coat, or use suspension base).  I simply poured out enough clear polish so that I could fit 3-4 drops of colored polish in the bottles, added the colored polish drops, shook the bottles, and voilà! Sheer tints!

DIY Sheer Polish-3

DIY Sheer Polishes

They are a touch streaky (which could probably be fixed by mixing them more thoroughly), but work beautifully for nail art, which is why I wanted them in the first place.

DIY Sheer Tint Polish

One coat of each; the red is a little bit more opaque than I intended, and you can see that they’re a bit streaky.

DIY Sheer Polish

Super easy nail art!

Do you ever franken (mix) your own nail polishes?

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  • Helena

    You are a genius!

  • Awesome idea. I have mixed nail polishes in the past, but for some reason never thought about doing this. Looks like it works perfect. I’m going to have to try it out myself!

  • Great idea!

  • Karyn


  • Your nail art looks great! It looks like a watercolor painting.

  • !!! those are so pretty! what a brilliant idea!

  • robin

    Emi this is absolutely brilliant!!!!! I would totally do it if I hadn’t already splurged on the OPI mini set.

  • Brilliant idea, I would never of thought of making my own!

  • Kedren Elliott

    Brilliant idea, I’m going to give this a go! Love the tie die nails you did!

  • Jordan

    Love this idea, I also really like the look of the nail art with the sheer polishes but I don’t think it would be worth it at all to have them just for that purpose.

  • Lani Noda

    Love this.. I mix my own colors, but didn’t think of the sheer tint mixing.. Darn and I just bought an Opi

  • Rachel Dawn Ankrom

    I’ve frankened plenty of polishes before, and I’ve recently been into frankening jelly polishes. I had the same thought process as you…I want the yellow sheer tint so badly but I can’t justify paying $9 for a nail polish that I’m only going to use for nail art. I had the same train of thought…adding just a few drops of polish to a clear polish. I’m glad it works so nicely!