DIY Jelly Polishes For Milky-Sheer (And Sparkly) Winter Nails

How to mix your own versions of the underappreciated jelly and crelly nail colors.
Publish date:
January 20, 2015
glitter nail polish, nail trends, diy jelly nails, jelly nail polish, sheer nail polishes

There are some trends that just have a failure to launch; either they come out at the wrong time, or live in the shadow of another trend, as is the case with jelly polishes.

The similarly-named UV-cured gel manicure has dominated beauty and nail blogs for the past few years, so jelly polish was kind of left in the dust, which is an absolute shame. Jelly polishes are essentially just translucent polishes with shiny, jelly-like finishes. They come in a variety of textures, from the semi-opaque "milk" or "crelly" to glitter-infused jellies to simple, sheer colors.

They can be tricky to apply, but a simple hack makes even finicky crellies look subtle and lovely. There’s something about being able to see through to your nail line that’s

The only problem I’ve had is finding them. Outside of a few polish sets, jellies are notoriously hard to find, and even more so if you’re looking for crellies or non-glitter jellies. If you’re limited to a drugstore selection, you might be completely out of luck, save for a few glitter jelly polishes. But this is why we DIY, my dears!


Gather up a selection of polishes--glitter, opaque white (essential to making crellies), cremes--and a few bottles of your favorite clear polish. I love Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish, because I’m not a patient person, but the brushes in Essence Nail Polish are my absolute favorite.

Instead of just going to town with entire bottles of polish, try mixing just a few dots on a paper plate to get an idea of proportions, or see whether your chosen color combination works at all. Make sure to play with nail polish in a well-ventilated area!

Depending on your desired level of translucency, you’ll want to use anywhere from 2-10 drops of colored creme-finish polish to an entire bottle of clear polish. Make sure to experiment and swatch beforehand--remember, you can always add more color, but you can’t take it out.

Glitter And Milky Jellies

For glitter jellies, you can start with a glitter polish and mix in either a creme color or even white to create a milky-toned glitter. Too much white or color and the glitter will look gross or be lost altogether. I used just four drops of white polish in an entire bottle of Maybelline Color Show Diamond in the Rough to get a really lovely, creamy finish that still had sparkle.

A Crelly Cocktail

Speaking of mixing, here’s a creamy, fruity cocktail recipe to celebrate creamy jellies. If you’re a fan of White Russians, you’ll probably love this.

1 ounce Stoli Vanilla Vodka1 ounce of milk2 tablespoons of berry syrup (blended fresh berries is fine too)

Start by mixing the vodka and berries in a short tumbler glass. Fill the glass with as much ice as you can pack in there and then top with the milk. Swirl casually, and garnish with fresh berries. Enjoy!

  • Are you a fan of jelly polishes?
  • Have you ever mixed your own polish?
  • What fizzled trends do you wish had stuck around longer?