How to Make Fun, Fabulous & Safe Fingernail Polish with Your Kids – Good Parenting Brighter Children

by Sharlene Habermeyer

Inside: Want a fun and fabulous activity to do with your daughter or granddaughter? One that will be perfect for holiday gift-giving and more? Here’s a suggestion: make your own fingernail polish! It’s fun, easy and a great way to bond with your child. Who knows…this may be the start of an entrepreneurial venture!

Looking for a fun, easy, and addicting activity you can do with your daughters or granddaughters? One that will answer the holiday gift-giving dilemma and more?

Here’s a perfect idea…teach your daughters (or granddaughters) how to make fingernail polish! Girly-girls love fingernail polish and they love giving their friends homemade D.I.Y. gifts at holiday time, birthday time or anytime!

Here are 4 reasons to teach your daughters or granddaughters how to make fingernail polish:

1. Brain-Building Experience

Believe it or not, making fingernail polish can be a brain-building experience. They have to measure, mix and create colors which require critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Sometimes they won’t add enough pigment which will create a glaze polish rather than a dense polish. Sometimes they will pour more base into the bag which will alter the pigment color. What should they do? How can they solve the problem?

2. Entrepreneurial Adventure

When I was 12 years old, I started a babysitting company. I was a popular babysitter, but starting a fingernail polish business would have been so much more fun! After your child gets proficient in making polish let her decide if she would like to start a small business making it for friends, etc. Or maybe she would like to sponsor fingernail polish parties. She will learn the A-B-C’s of entrepreneurship including gaining an understanding of marketing, finance, and branding.

3. Understanding of Chemicals

Dangerous chemicals are everywhere and in everything.  Making fingernail polish will teach your child about the dangers of chemicals found in beauty products and that it is possible to make something safe. Below is a list of many chemicals found in commercial fingernail polish. Surprisingly, these chemicals do not need to be added to create a beautiful polish.

4. Bonding Activity

Any activity that will bring your closer to your child, create a lasting memory and build a bond is worth the time invested. This is something fun to do with your daughter or granddaughter while building bridges of love and creating forever memories!

Let’s get started…

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Girls love making “girly-girl” things! Here is an easy recipe for making all different colors of fingernail polish. It will give your daughter (or granddaughter) a creative outlet and allow them to experiment with colors and ingredients.

How to Make Fingernail Polish: 7 Supplies Needed 

First, this is an organic fingernail polish recipe and the ingredients are safe for children. I purchase my supplies from TKB Trading. Their products are high quality, and their customer service is excellent. The Nail Polish glamour base is vegan, cruelty-free and does not contain the dangerous ingredients listed below. Even though this product is safe, err on the side of caution and make the polish in a well-ventilated room.

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Here are all the ingredients that you need to make fingernail polish: pigments (you don’t need this many, but it’s fun to experiment), bottles, caps, brushes, steel balls, scoops, funnels, ziplock bags and fingernail polish base. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to make!

Here are the supplies you will need to make the polish:

1. Empty Nail Polish Bottles 4-6ml Duchess Caroline Standard B2 white (comes with bottles, caps, brushes)

2. Nail Polish Glamour Base Lot #18.13.l0219

3. Wooden Stir Sticks (optional–the only time I use these is if I’m adding more pigment to the bottles and want something to stir with)

4. Petite Funnels

5. Scoops 

6. TKB Small Monster Beads (QE-101-30)

7. Zip Lock Bags (2×2)

8. Glitters, Micas, Pigments. These colors are available in starter kits. You do not need all of them, but it’s fun to have lots of colors to experiment with. In the video, I use the following color combinations:

  • International Orange mixed with Pearl Basics
  • College Blue mixed with Headtrip Glitter
  • 24 Karat Gold
  • 82nd Avenue (pink) mixed with Adam & Eve glitter

Instructions: 6 Steps to Making Fingernail Polish

Click HERE to watch this short video to see how to make fingernail polish. Then follow the steps below. 

First, every bottle holds 5ml of nail polish base.

Step #1: Scoop pigment & glitter into ziplock bag

Add approximately 6 scoops (total) of mica, pigment, and/or glitter into the ziplock bag. Keep in mind that since this is an organic base, you may need to add more than 6 scoops of pigment to have a rich color. Have your child experiment and see what works best.

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Put approximately 6 scoops of pigment, glitter or mica into the ziplock bag.

Step #2: Fill the ziplock bag with the base

Fill the 2×2 ziplock mixing bag 1/2 full with the nail polish base. Pour slowly and zip the top of the bag to see if it is 1/2 full. If you are using a 3×3 ziplock, fill the bag 1/3 full.

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You can put the polish base into the ziplock bag first, or you can put the pigment in first.

Step #3: Blend and mix

Zip the bag closed and start blending and mixing with your fingers until there are no speckles (except glitter). Test the intensity of the color by using one of the nail brushes and put some of the nail polish on your fingernail. If it is too light, you will need to add more pigment. It’s easier to add pigment now–before you put the polish into the bottles.

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With your fingers mix the base and the pigment until all the specks disappear

Step #4, #5: Monster bead and pour into the bottle

Drop a monster bead in each bottle.

Put the funnel on the top of the bottle for easy pouring. With a scissor, cut the edge of the ziplock bag and pour the polish into the funnel. Fill to the shoulder of the bottle and leave room for the brush.

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Carefully pour the nail polish into the bottle. Use a funnel to avoid drips.

Step #6: Insert brush, screw on cap

Insert the brush on the bottle first, then screw the top onto the bottle. The brush will attach to the bottle cap. Shake the bottle. Unscrew and test to make certain the brush has attached to the cap.

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Put the brush into the bottle.

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After you put in the brush, screw on the cap. The cap and brush will connect and you are done!

Now you’re ready to try out the polish with your friends! But don’t stop there–make another bottle with different pigments, glitters, pearls and mica. This is addicting fun and an activity your daughters or granddaughters will love!

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Girls love to make fingernail polish with their friends. They will find that this is an easy recipe and one that will provide loads of fun for many hours! And, it’s the perfect gift for holiday gift-giving, birthday parties and more…

Concerned about fingernail polish safety? You should be!

Many commercial brands of fingernail polish are dangerous to your health because they contain harmful chemicals and solvents. Here are 7 dangerous chemicals found in most fingernail polishes and why making your own polish is a good idea.

1. Formaldehyde (and Formaldehyde Resin)

Formaldehyde is used in fingernail polish as a hardener and/or preservative. It’s is a colorless, strong-smelling gas that you used in high school biology to keep those frogs from decomposing before you could dissect them.

It’s a carcinogen meaning it can be a cause of cancer. In 2011 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services updated their National Toxicology Program Report on Carcinogens (RoC) and stated that formaldehyde is “known to be a human carcinogen.”

2. Toluene

Do you get annoyed if you have to shake your bottle of fingernail polish to mix the color and distribute it throughout the bottle? Well, meet toluene! It helps suspend those colors so you don’t have to shake it often. And it gives the polish a smooth texture.

However, scientific research points out that chronic exposure to this solvent can cause issues with the central nervous system; causing headaches, dizziness and even act as a reproductive and developmental toxin to a fetus.

Solution: put some of your own elbow-grease into shaking up that bottle of nail polish to evenly distribute the color. Ditch the toluene—your brain will be glad you did!

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These fingernail polishes were all made from ingredients I purchased from TKB Trading. They are safe and organic and do not contain any of the 7 dangerous ingredients found in most commercial fingernail polishes. As you can see, the colors are vibrant and beautiful! Your kids will LOVE making these polishes!

3. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) also called Phthalates 

Simply put, phthalates (as they are most often called) are plasticizers. They improve the lasting power of nail lacquer and reduce the chance of your polish cracking and becoming brittle. But, they are also linked to cancer, infertility in humans, and can cause issues with your endocrine system (think thyroid). According to Jenna Hipp (founder of The Green Celebrity Manicurist), they are especially dangerous to pregnant women. Unfortunately, this chemical is found in a lot of cosmetics.

Jane Park, founder of Julep Nail Parlor in Seattle, Washington says not to worry about dumping these 3 ingredients (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP) from your nail polish, “Polish that doesn’t contain these ingredients stays on nails for as long and is just as shiny as those that do, and you can rest easy knowing they are not affecting your health.”

4. Acetone

Acetone is a highly flammable solvent found in nail polish remover. Along with removing nail polish, it removes natural oils from your skin and can irritate the eyes, skin, cuticles, and lungs. If you use too much, it can turn your skin really white (temporarily).

Acetone-free nail polish removers are commonly called “natural” or “organic.” They are safer and not as irritating and many contain moisturizing agents like glycerin, panthenol, or soy that help minimize the drying effect. However, these removers usually don’t work as well and you will have to use more muscle to remove your nail polish.

5. Benzophenones

Benzophenones are UV blockers. They prevent oxidation that causes the color to fade from your nail polish. However, like all chemicals and solvents, there are side-effects. Studies show that benzophenones are carcinogens (when used in large quantities) and have estrogen-like effects (meaning they can increase estrogen levels in your bloodstream).

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The pigments purchased from TKB Trading are very vibrant! Adding about 6 scoops of pigment will produce a beautiful color. You can also add glitters and other ingredients for different looks. It’s a great way for kids to experiment and see what combination of colors produce what!

6. Camphor

Many nail polish manufacturers are taking camphor out of the list of ingredients found in fingernail polish because it’s not needed. Some forms are naturally derived and seem safe but the synthetic versions are made from turpentine oil—a harmful and toxic ingredient. Don’t purchase nail polish with camphor—you have no idea if it is the natural or synthetic form.

7. Methanol

This is a chemical found in non-acetone polish removers and is usually found at low levels.  Some believe that methanol can have the same negative effects as acetone such as nausea, headaches, and dizziness. But, most experts agree that trace amounts of methanol are not harmful.

Nail Polish Fumes Can Affect Your Brain

Have you ever asked yourself—is breathing nail polish fumes dangerous? The answer is yes…and no. It depends how often you are breathing in these potentially dangerous fumes—once a week? Once a month? Once a day?

A study done in 2002 showed prolonged exposure to nail polish fumes can affect the way your brain works. The researchers tested 33 nail salon technicians and found three interesting facts:

  • Nail technicians had difficulty on tests that measured attention and brain processing speed
  • There was no difference in their learning, memory, fine motor coordination or depression or anxiety
  • Their sense of smell was dramatically compromised

If you’re exposed to too many nail polish fumes (made from dangerous ingredients) your brain will most likely be slower and may affect your attention.

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With help, even young children will enjoy making fingernail polish with mom! It’s just plain fun…even for the littlest of fingers!

Try making your own nail polish with your daughters or granddaughters. It’s fun, easy, inexpensive and the end product will be safe for your brain and health

Do you have any experience making nail polish? Where did you get your supplies? Do you have any suggestions about making fingernail polish? What things would you suggest avoiding? Please comment in the section below.

Last, I belong to the Facebook group: “Making Indie Nail Polish 101.” If you decide you want to get serious about making fingernail polish, I would suggest joining this group—there is a lot of great sharing of ideas you will find helpful.

Want to remember this? Post this DIY Fingernail Polish recipe to your favorite Pinterest board!


The post How to Make Fun, Fabulous & Safe Fingernail Polish with Your Kids appeared first on Good Parenting Brighter Children.

Syndicated with permission of Sharlene Haymeyer of

Sharlene Habermeyer is the author of “Good Music Brighter Children.” A blogger (Good Parenting Brighter Children) and educator; she has lectured all over the U.S.; holds a Master’s degree in Education and started a community orchestra in 1999. Visit:

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Patricia is the founder and editor of Little Bytes News, a former elementary teacher, radio talk show host, political activist and political blogger. In 2012, Patricia was nominated one of “Circle of Moms” top 25 political bloggers.

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