I posted a guide on mixing polish back in July, but I didn’t feel it was very helpful because you couldn’t see what I was trying to explain. I’ve now taken the time to explain this a bit better, along with pictures, so you can mix your own colors. This can save you some money! (This was taught to me by the wonderful Robin Moses. Click here to follow her on Tumblr and click here to go to her YouTube channel!) The two main things I’m going to discuss with you are the color wheel and the color white.
1. The Color Wheel
The color wheel is a beautiful thing that can take your imagination and perception of color to a whole ‘nother level. “How is this wheel so great, anyways? It’s just a bunch of color.” I’m here to change your outlook by showing you the following. Take a look at the photo below.
In this photo, I’ve included six colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet/purple. The primary colors, colors that can’t be made by mixing other colors together, are red, yellow, and blue, and the secondary colors are orange, green, and violet. You really only need red, yellow, and blue to make all the other colors, but this is only to show. This is the basic color wheel!
I purposely placed the colors in this order for a reason, and not just because I like it in the order of the color spectrum. One, the colors are placed across from their oppposites, which are formally called complementary colors. You’ll see why I’m mentioning this later. Two, the primary colors are separated by the secondary colors that are made when two primaries are put together. For example, red and yellow are mixed together to make orange. But, to expand the spectrum even more, you can mix two colors right next to each other to go from having only 6 colors to 12 colors! Here’s my example below.
By mixing a primary and a secondary, you will make tertiary colors: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green (teal), blue-violet (indigo), and red-violet. Now you can make colors that are perfect for you. Maybe you have a red polish that you want to have a little orange to it, or perhaps you want a teal color that’s a little more on the green side? You can do all of that with this.
“I want a yellow that isn’t so bright. How do I fix that?”
Most people would assume “Add some black!” but the color outcome doesn’t always come out in a flattering way. Remember about two paragraphs ago when I mentioned those complementary colors? By using this strategy, you can expand your color variety even farther!
Again, I’ve put the complements across from each other. What I’m going to show you is called tinting. It’s very simple — all you do is add a little bit of the opposite to the color you’re using. You want to make an antique/mustard yellow? Add some purple, and you’ve got it. I’ve done all of the colors to show you how each turn out, generally.
See how just by adding a little bit of the opposite mutes the color? If you want that blood red color, add a little green. If you don’t want your blue to be so bright, mix a little bit of orange in it.
2. Keep white in your collection at all times.
If I were to ask “If I add white to this color, what’s going to happen?” most would answer that it’s going to make the color lighter. While that is true, I’m going to use white for another purpose.
If you like to do nail art like I do, you’ve come across this dilemma many times. You have a color that would be absolutely perfect to paint a design with. Use red for example. When you go to paint the red on that purple background, it looks muddy and doesn’t even show. Here’s where the white comes in.
By adding a little bit of white to your polish, it may not be as bright as it was in the bottle, but it will stand out a lot more and be more “bold”. Don’t believe me? The “problem polishes” in Lacquer Land are gold, red, neons, green, and yellow. Once you add that little bit of white to your color, you can paint that color on any background, because you know it’ll stand out. There’s a chance that you have those beautiful colors that just painting your nails with it takes 3 coats just to make the color show up in the slightest. You want to use those? Not a problem! Add some white to it and you’re good.
I hope that with the two things I’ve showed you, you’ll use them to create more colors and more art! This is a great thing to remember and refer to because this is how I save money! Whenever I’m painting and I want a specific color just to do small detailing, I don’t want to have to go out and pay however much money for a whole bottle. Unless I REALLY like the color, I’ll just figure out a way to mix it myself. As much as I paint, I could have spent hundreds of dollars on polish that I wouldn’t even be using that much. If you already have the basics needed, you might as well make it yourself for free. You can even make colors that nail polish companies may not have made yet (this could be very helpful for those that like to make “frankens” and possibly sell them)!
The color wheel and white polish are your best friends. Use them to your advantage!