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I love Nail Varnish.

I’ve always loved nail varnish. When I was very small, I wasn’t allowed to wear it, but there was a lady I used to see from time to time who had her own nail salon. She always had beautiful long, painted nails. I used to admire them, and swore that when I was old enough, and had saved up enough pocket money, I would have a full set of nails just like hers. At that time, I used to bite my nails, as did my mother. I used to look at my mother’s bitten, stubby nails, and knew I didn’t want mine to look like that. This lady told me that if I wanted my nails to be nice when I was grown up, I must stop biting them straight away. So I did. I must have been no more than seven years old.

Fast forward to now

I still love nice nails, and nail varnish. I’m not so keen on the fashion styles such as the coffin and stiletto shapes, or the very square nails that were popular in the 2000s. I prefer oval or almond shapes – classic and stylish. I never did have the false nails I so coveted, though – having stopped biting them so young, they grew nicely, and are naturally a nice shape.

Nail Varnish and eyeshadow
This is the first nail varnish and eye shadow combination.

A while ago I read a thing on’t’interweb about using old eye shadow to change the colour of nail varnish. I had a couple of unimpressive nail varnishes, and an eye shadow that had started crumbling, so I tried it. I broke up the eyeshadow, added it to the nail varnish, and shook it. (And shook it. It took ages to properly mix in.) But it worked! Instead of having a full bottle of nail varnish I didn’t like, and a crumbling, mostly-used eye shadow, I found myself with a nail varnish I really loved! FOR FREE! This was exactly the shade I’d been looking for! I was absolutely delighted, and resolved never to throw away a disappointing nail varnish again.



A few months ago, I bought a nice nude-coloured nail varnish, and was somehow shocked when it was barely visible. (I know, I astonish even myself at times.) I put it in my drawer, and there it stayed.

Having no eye shadow of a suitable colour that could be donated, it occurred to me that the colourant used in eye shadow is mica, the same as what is used in soap. Hey, I make soap. I have mica!


Nude nail varnish with mica
Nude nail varnish with mica

Yesterday, I finally got around to digging it out, and dumping some mica in there. This is the result: (Obvs I should have taken a “before” picture, but what can I say? I’m not one for thinking ahead.) Another totally wearable nail varnish.

I’m guessing you’ve got the odd nail varnish you don’t wear. And even if you don’t have mica, you’ve very likely an old eye shadow that’s past it’s best. If you decide to try this out, come and join us in the Facebook group Relax – it’s Bathtime! and show us your pics. (Oh, and remember to take a “before” pic too!)

Oh, and that lady who inspired my lifelong love of nail varnish? Turns out she’s renowned in her field, and is the author of a book that holds bible-like status among nail techs!