Tuesday, 26 March 2013

DIY Leather Nails

Back at the beginning of December last year, I came across the Nails inc Leather Effect polishes and a new lemming was created instantly. I looked high and low but the prices were absolutely ridculous, e.g., an ebay bottle of the black version would have set me back $46!!! No thanks. I could keep wishing...

Last night, when I was trying to do some tiger nails (which were a complete fail), I ended up sponging on too much colour and, in a fit of frustration, I dabbed the whole sponge on my finger. When I looked down at my nail, I saw what resembled the leather effect. Could I satisfy my lemming with my existing polishes?

After putting my trustworthy Ulta3 Black Satin and Rimmel Pro Matte Finish polishes to the test, this was the result:

I don't own the Nails Inc Leather Effect polish so it's pretty hard to do a comparison but you can check some swatches here, here and here. I'd like to think I'm pretty close. What do you guys reckon?

Since, I actually came up with this all by myself, I wanna show you guys a mini-tutorial after the break.


You'll need:
  • Polish of your choice, preferably a one-coater.
  • A matte top coat
  • A small piece of foam

1. Start by painting your nails with your coloured polish and let the first coat dry. Apply a second coat but don't let it dry before applying the matte top coat. It needs to be malleable to get the dints!

2. Apply your matte top coat and let it dry for about 20 seconds. If you prefer, you can use a matte polish as the base to recreate this mani quicker. 

3.  Clean up your cuticles and get rid of any fluff that may be caught in your nails (check out my pinky above), as they will get caught in the semi-dry polish. Don't worry about any dents or imperfections as they won't show later (check out my pinky below).

4. Grab your sponge and make sure it is free of dust, lint, other polishes, etc. In one quick, firm motion, press the foam against the nail. Repeat with all other nails.

Voila! Leather Nails! 

I really can't wait to try it with other polishes to see how they work. Especially looking forward to trying it with pastels.

Till next time,



  1. I don't own the Leather Effect polishes either, but from the comparison swatches, it looks like you've come up with a great dupe. ^_^

    1. Thanks. And to think that it was an absolute fluke! I'm very glad it happened though. :)

  2. Lucky fluke. You've done a pretty good replica job there. Yours is a slight bit more subtle & less bumpy - but think that is kinda cool because it will be easier if you want to over stamp it or something.

    Tried it with anything else yet?

    1. I ended up stamping over this with some gold polish and it look pretty amazing.... But because I couldn't put any topcoat, matte or otherwise, the gold came off after a couple of hours.

      I've also tried it here: http://luckyluckylacquer.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/happy-easter.html. I think it turned out ok, not as good as the black ones but that may have had to do with the quality of the pastel polish.

      I will keep trying this method. I'm really in love with it and it's really easy.

  3. That's awesome, nice work! I'm not a fan of textured polish, but it definitely beats shelling out for something so expensive.

  4. I own the Nails Inc polish and you did a great job duplicating the effect!!!

    1. Thank you! It was such a fluke but it has served me well since i found it.


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