How To Use Your Eyeshadow As Nail Polish For The Ultimate DIY Manicure

There are seemingly endless new trends to keep up with when it comes to beauty, self-care, and fashion, and they often require us to invest in new products and routines. So it's a relief when TikTok embraces a technique that uses materials we already have lying around the house, inviting us to repurpose products that we may have cycled out of regular use.

In 2023, we've seen the flower power nail art manicure pick up steam, and the goth nail trend has continued to slay since Netflix announced Season 2 of its spooky hit "Wednesday." Now, TikTok's favorite new nail trend is the eyeshadow manicure hack. You may be hesitant to use a non-traditional product on your nails, but just look at how other products have transcended their original purpose — think Emily Ratajkowski putting lipstick on her nose and cheeks as a blush substitute. It's time to take the plunge and repurpose your eyeshadow palettes to achieve the airbrushed nails of your dreams.

Start with the second coat

The eyeshadow nail trend may look like a major artistic feat, but it's more straightforward than you might think. Most TikTokers advise us to start with a base coat of a favorite nail polish color. After your first coat, let your nails dry a bit, then go to your eyeshadow palette with a small makeup brush and apply colors however you like. You can also mix eyeshadow with top coat in a separate container to create your own gel polish, as shown in this TikTok video. Follow up with a clear top coat, then repeat with endless color combinations. 

Go for dreamy pastels

The eyeshadow manicure can work with pretty much any nail vibe, just like palettes can range from smoky-eye looks to shimmering extraterrestrial colors. If you're into flowery looks or love the ballerina slipper nail trend, you can mix and match blues, pinks, and yellows for nails as sweet as airbrushed Easter eggs. You can also explore other optimistic color themes: One TikToker stuck with shades of pink with a galactic twinkle design, while another let each nail boast its own colorful vibe using a rainbow palette.

Experiment first with an older palette

You may want to start out by using an older palette for the eyeshadow manicure trend, especially if there are colors you're tired of seeing on your face. This way, you're not throwing makeup out when it no longer suits your eyeshadow goals, but opening up a world of new creative options. If you're still feeling hesitant about using too much of your eyeshadow, one TikToker went for an ombre French tip by brushing the ends of their nails with just a little bit of their colors of choice.

Aura nails are also eyeshadow stars

Another nail trend that's taken off via TikTok is aura nails, which can express the colors of your inner energy through abstract shapes or blurred swirls. The eyeshadow nail technique is perfect for acrylics, gel nail polish, or any at-home interpretation. You can also add additional designs with a thin nail polish brush, creating a stunning mosaic or personalized pattern. If you're feeling extra sparkly, you can use a polish with additional glitter to create a glimmering night sky look.

You can go for an airbrushed blush

If you're not looking for your nails to steal the spotlight, you can go for understated glam using a nude gel base like TikToker aminaoui. Letting one coat of a neutral polish color dry will create an ideal base for you to add eyeshadow with your go-to brush. Then, gold and cream shadow hues can bring out your inner glow, while a clear top coat can provide a final polished look that's adaptable for both professional and social settings.