Blogger Widgets

DIY Color Correcting Polish for Yellow Nails

Wearing nail polish is a glorious thing. But it does come with a few drawbacks...chiefly the severe yellowing of the nails. For some insane reason, I want my nails to be normal colored and I still want to wear polish all the time. Bleaches, scrubs, and nonsense just don't work for me. It's time to break out some science on this problem.

When you are trying to cancel out a color, generally you choose the opposite. For instance, when you have overly red cheeks (like me) you apply a green tinted primer to cut that down. If your skin is a bit sallow, a lavender primer/powder will brighten you right up. "Complementary colors" are the reason that most eyeshadow kits for green eyes are filled with burgundies and wines. If you look at the color wheel, you'll see that the reds/pinks are opposite of the greens...and when you pair these two next to each other, they enhance. Somehow, when you layer them, they cancel each other. I dunno, I'm obviously not a golfer. If you want a much better explanation, check this post out.

How Its Done
I started with a cheap top coat from NYC. They are 99c when not on sale, and the labels peel off easily which makes me unreasonably happy. Then I added about six drops of Casino Royale by OPI and about 10 drops of Model Behavior by Sally Hansen. I don't actually own a true violet (yet) or even a cream purple, so I had to get creative. If you have a color that looks likely, you may not have to mix. Then I shook the hell out of the bottle for about five minutes. The top coat is very shiny, and a little on the floody side, so you have to be careful not to let it pool at the cuticle, but otherwise I think it worked out pretty well.

during the mix. Isn't it pretty?
Here is what my nails looked like before. You can't see it so well in this picture, but my nails are still stained from the last time I wore Model Behavior. Why blues hate me, I will never know. As you can see, my tips are decidedly on the yellow side, maybe even leaning to orange. If I were to do this again, I think I'd make a more blue-violet shade just for the tips. My natural nails have a very blue/purple tinge at the base, and I didn't want to make it look glaring with the polish.

And here is after one coat + Gelous as my base. On camera, it looks pretty goddamned good. In person, because it was horrible and cold today, my fingers were even more purple than normal and my husband told me I looked like I had zombie nails. Gee, thanks dear. But for days when I don't want to wear polish and don't want to look like I scrub my hands in turmeric, I think this is a fine solution.

I think this would be a good option for the lacquerheads among us who can't wear polish to work for whatever horrid reason. I added NYC Matte top coat, and my nails look almost normal. If you have a job that frowns on polish, but need to disguise your yellowed claws, this might be the DIY for you! 


The best part about this is that you can customize it for whatever shade of staining you happen to have. Some people get green, or orange, or brown...depending on what colors they are using or how long they have gone without going nude. This might even be fun for Halloween...if you were considering going as a Wight or as an Other. Which isn't the worst idea...

an updated version of this post is available at


  1. Good information, thanks for sharing! I never thought of doing anything but using a nude polish to make them 'look' unstained, but that's not truly nude lol. Oddly enough, when I use some blue polishes I get pink staining on my nails. Weird, huh?

    1. That is weird, I wonder why it stains you pink?

  2. This is a brilliant idea! Because I love to paint my nails but sometimes that's not the case & I just want them long & clean.

    1. same here. Sometimes, Im just not feeling any particular color, but my nails are too far gone for nudies.

  3. Some jobs don't allow nail polish because if it chips off, the nail polish then has to go somewhere... Potentially into somewhere where you don't want chips of nail polish going.

    1. oh definitely. I was mostly thinking of my food-service friends who wear gloves most of the time anyway.


We love to hear from you! Your feedback, comments, compliments, questions, etc are always appreciated...especially the compliments! ;)

Please don't post a link to your own blog *unless* you're linking to a related post (same/similar technique, theme, shade, etc). If you comment using your Google account, your blogspot blog can easily be found in your profile. If you want us to check out your blog, please contact us through email or on twitter.

Spam, harassing comments, and those blatantly promoting blogs or websites will be deleted.