What It's Like to Make Your Own Nail Polish at Orly Color Labs in L.A.

It only takes 30 minutes, too.

It's one thing to get a manicure at one of L.A.'s many 'grammable nail salons — it's another to get one with a custom shade made just by you. Beauty buffs can do exactly that at cruelty-free L.A. brand Orly's first nail color bar, which opened last year on Beverly Boulevard near The Grove.

We recently carved out some time to mix up the nail color of our dreams at Orly Color Labs. From swiping through the easy-peasy creative process on an iPad to watching our personalized lacquer get mixed and bottled right before our eyes, the whole process takes just 30 minutes and costs only $20. Friends are invited, too: You can book a polish-making party for up to four people.

Intrigued? Keep reading to find out what it's like to make your own nail polish at Orly in L.A., then schedule your own appointment here.

Inside Orly Color Labs

First, let's take a walk through the photogenic nail bar. Orly's colorful 800-square-foot space features design-happy walls and props for Instagram-worthy photos (scroll through the gallery up above to see more). The brand also hosts resident nail artists as well as a regular schedule of events, such as insightful panel discussions, pop-ups, nail art workshops, and more.

On top of shopping the brand's line of vegan, 12-free nail polishes and accessories, you can also pick up other cool items, such as exclusives and Orly's current collaboration of chic stationery and cards with Silver Lake-based The Social Type.

The Step-by-Step Process

The process of creating your own custom shade begins on Orly's iPad, where your first step involves choosing between "Brights" or "Night" moods. Next, you'll pick a color based on inspiration images, such as palm leaves that suggest a tropical green shade or a cup of coffee that evokes latte-inspired colors. We opted for a bright, classic red hue.

In step three, you'll choose a lighter or darker tint of your color. From there, you'll finalize your shade by picking your favorite effect, like pearl or metallic shimmer.

Photo: Amrit Singh/UncoverLA

Finally, you'll put on your creative thinking hat and give your perfect polish a fun, personalized name. Then, it's on to the mixologist!

The Mixologist

Photo: Courtesy of Orly Color Labs

After you've gone through the custom color selection process on the iPad, Orly's in-house mixologist will receives a color recipe with the exact colors to mix so the end result reflects your vision.

The mixologist will pump each rainbow ingredient into a small cup, then mix it by hand using a special tool. Along the way, they'll let you know that you can feel free to make any changes, such as adding more black for a darker shade.

The bespoke service wraps up with the mixologist testing swatches of your polish to ensure that the color is right. If it's good to go, they'll pour the customized mixture into a classic Orly nail polish bottle, then finish it with your hand-picked color name on a label placed on the bottom. Lastly, your custom color is placed in a sleek black case for a chic journey home.

The finished products.

Feeling inspired to test out your own manicure mad scientist skills? Get more info at Orly Color Labs' website and book an appointment online here.

Orly Color Labs, 7621 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 90036; (310) 893-3772; Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., closed Monday

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