Color Mini-Tutorial

You really only need four colors to franken anything: red, blue, yellow, and white. I thought I’d show you what you can do with just these three colors and white. I chose all cremes to keep the colors consistent. Red: Essie Jelly Apple, Yellow: OPI Need Sunglasses? Blue: Color Club 220 Volt. Oh, and creme white from the Dollar Store.


With this color mixing mimi-lesson, I don’t intend for anyone to follow the directions exactly. In fact, it’s very hard to describe the way to mix these as I just add in colors drop by drop. I don’t use any measuring spoons or anything. I just want to show how many colors you can make from a few basics. The more you know about colors and how they mix, the easier it will be to franken any color your heart desires. I have made colors to match a dragonfly, flowers, outfits…just about anything you can imagine. Like anything else, you get better with practice!

After you get good at mixing colors to produce the color you want, there’s add ins like glitter, microglitter, shimmer, pearl pigment, etc. For this first one, let’s just do some cremes.

The best way to get good is practice. Make sure you use a clean brush (I have a designated mixing brush that lives in a bottle of cheap clear polish. Drip the polish from its own brush into a muffin tin or palette. Don’t mix colors with that brush- use your mixing brush. After mixing+ applying, wipe off the brush and put it back in the bottle of clear polish. The polish will still turn muddy, but at least you won’t be contaminating your bottles. Mix well in a sort of side-to-side motion keeping the brush in the polish rather than dipping the brush up and down. This is to avoid air bubbles. You want a blob of polish about the size of a nickel for every 5 nails. Try a pea-sized blob at first so you don’t waste too much. Try not to mix too vigorously or you will get air bubbles in the polish.

After it’s mixed, just apply like regular polish. Have fun and see how many different colors you can make from just 2 or 3 polishes.




Red and yellow make orange.

Top Row, from large nail to small nail:

Essie Jelly Apple (I’ll call it JA, really smudged-oops)/JA+ a few drops of OPI yellow/50% JA + 50% OPI/75% OPI +25% JA (these two colors look different in the light, really)/OPI Need Sunglasses/OPI NS + few drops of JA + white

Red + white make pink.

Bottom Row, from large nail to small nail: Essie JA, not smudged/50% JA + 50% white/25% JA +75% white/white with a few drops of JA/white with one drop of JA/Color Club 220V + a few drops of white


Top Row, left to right: White + a few drops of JA+ a few drops of NS/Same as nail on left, but with twice as much red as yellow/White with several drops of pre-mixed JA+ NS/Same as nail on left, but with twice as much yellow as red/Same as left but with more white.

Bottom: Color Club 220V with one drop of white/one drop of JA/Two drops JA + 1 drop of 220V in a white base/JA + 220V with a few drops of white/JA base with one drop of 220V and a few drops of white/220V with a drop of red and a few drops of white.


About nevertoomuchglitter

Nail artist. Wanderer. I'm a color-holic, in fact, it was my love of color that brought me to the nail art world. Well, that, and the fact I was too cheap to pay crazy Japanese prices for nail polish while living in Tokyo, so I had to start mixing my own. That's how NTMG began.
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4 Responses to Color Mini-Tutorial

  1. great tutorial! i never knew so many colors could come from just those basic four! I am really wanting to try and franken me something now!

  2. Rachie30 says:

    nevertoomuchglitter – i love your blog! i read it all the time when i’m procrastinating on my work. 😉 i’m addicted to calgel nail art and there is one japanese salon in manhattan that does it! i’m still a novice at mixed my own colors, konad ect. for a beginner like me could you explain what you mean by “fraken” and when a color is a “creme”? thanks!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks for stopping by!

      A “Franken” is a nail polish color mixed out of two ore more colors to make a new color. It’s short for “frankenpolish.”

      A creme is a type of nail polish finish- no shimmer, glitter or frost- just a creamy glossy color.

  3. Rachie30 says:

    Great, thanks! I can’t wait to give it a try!

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