The mood hit me to paint my nails in a pastel color for Spring. The problem? I didn’t have any that I liked, and I didn’t want to get all the kids in the car for a run to buy some. So I decided to mix up my own! This may not be an original idea, but I thought I’d share what I know about color to help you customize your own nail polish like I did.
White polish is always a good color to have on hand. It’s a staple for the classic french manicure, but it’s also a great base for custom colors. White of course will lighten the hue of any color, while black will obviously darken it. When it comes to mixing colors, first decide what color you want to make. Next determine the base color of the polishes you’ll be using to mix up your custom color. Beige has a brown or orange base, purple will have a blue or red base, and so on. Determining the base will help if you want to intensify the color or fix it if you add too much of something else.
Think of the color wheel. Color starts with primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. Then there are secondary colors made from mixing primary colors together: orange, green, and purple.
Complimentary colors are those found opposite each other on the color wheel, and analogous colors are those found next to each other on the color wheel. When mixing colors, complimentary colors will gray or darken each other.
Visualizing the color wheel when mixing colors can keep you from coming out with an undesired color. Often it just takes trial and error, which is why I suggest adding color just a little at a time. This way, you can see how the colors are reacting together. If it’s looking more gray or muddier than you want, add more of the original base color.
For the lavender I made, I started with a half-full bottle of white. I added some purple, a little at a time, until I got a nice light shade. The purple I had on hand had more of a red base than I wanted my final color to have (it was a pink-lavender and I wanted a cooler more bluish shade), so I had to knock down the red by adding blue. The final color is a cool lavender. Adding more blue to this color would make a really pretty periwinkle.
Here are some examples for mixing colors:
Aqua = add blue to green
Turquoise = add green to blue
Coral = add yellow to pink
Burgundy/Wine = add red to purple
Magenta = add red to burgundy
Brown shades = orange + green
Gray shades = purple + green
Maybe you read this post and are thinking, “way to complicate it, Sarah!” I know. But if you learned something about color, then it was worth the read, right? It’s really not that difficult, and if you mess up and make a nasty color, hey!… maybe you’ll start a new trend! haha! Just have fun playing with colors. We’re not painting a house here, it’s just our nails. Mistakes are welcome. That’s what polish remover is for, right? Okay, now stop reading and go get creative!
HAPPY COLOR MIXING! 🙂