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Nail Polishes Facts

Tags: facts about nail polish  how to thicken nail polish 

When one says “nail”, the word that most often goes together with it is “polish” because the small bottles of colored nitrocellulose can safely be named one of the symbols of the 20th century and it is more than certain that they will have their place, though probably with altered chemical composition, in this century as well. It is unknown what percentage of women regularly use nail polish but it is a safe bet that more than half of the women on Earth use it at least once a month.

Colored nail polishes were invented in the 1920s and the first nail polish was launched by Revlon. Though the chemical composition has changed over the years, the main formula is the same. Basically, a nail polish is made of nitrocellulose dissolved in a solvent, to which various pigments are added. Some of the other ingredients of nail polishes include methacrylate and vinyl polymers, formaldehyde, camphor, acetone, ketone, toluene, suspending agents, etc. Since not all ingredients are harmless and some are known to cause cancer and other diseases, or are simply poisonous to breathe, nail polish manufacturers have seen pressure from the public to change their formulas.

The chemical composition of nail polishes is close to that of car paints, which constantly raises questions, but it looks that environmental issues alone are not convincing enough for consumers to stop using nail polishes. Probably the demand is too high and the fact that it is technologically impossible to make a nail polish out of natural ingredients only, make nowadays nail polishes acceptable to people.

Nail polishes come in different colors. There are manufacturers that offer more than 100 shades! There are also transparent nail polishes that only add gloss and protection to the nails. Also, there are many crazy nail polishes with huge chunks of glitter in them but they are harder to apply and often the glitter fades away after a couple of days. No matter what color you have chosen, the techniques for applying it are the same.

After that brief introduction to the history and chemical composition of nail polishes, let's get down to some interesting and useful facts, like:

  • To preserve nail polish for longer periods of time, keep it in the fridge. Also, avoid leaving the bottle open because this way you not only make it dry but you expose yourself to the poisonous substances it contains.

  • If the smell of nail polish makes you dizzy, you can go to the terrace and apply it there. When you are in the open, the smell is less suffocating. In any case, ventilate the room properly, after you have finished polishing your nails.

  • Even skilled manicurists spill drops of nail polish on the bottle or on the table. If this happens to you, remove the drop quickly because it will leave permanent stains on the table. If you don't remove nail polish drops from the top of the bottle, the bottle might become glued shut.

  • The most professional way of making manicure is to make a base coat, two layers of nail polish and a top coat. (Manicure secrets are revealed here.) Each layer must be thin and done in three strokes. Top coat can be applied daily (if the layers under it are intact, of course) and this way you can prolong the life of your manicure.

  • When you apply nail polish, don't mistake it with paint. Being generous is not good because the thick layer of polish might not dry out for a long time and additionally, a thick layer tends to be uneven and falls quickly.

  • If you want to minimize chipping, “wrap” the polish – i.e. paint a little across the edge and under the nail tip. This thickens the polish and increases its changes to stay for longer.

  • Don't use nail polish if it is old. The shelf life of nail polish is 2 years in general, so if you have older polishes, just throw them away.

  • Polished nails don't like water. So if you need to wash dishes for more that 15 minutes, rubber gloves are indispensable.

  • Most nail polishes are flammable, so avoid placing them, even for a short time, on things like cookers, heaters, etc.

  • If you are fed up with traditional (i.e. one color) nail polish, you can try nail art. Nail art combines two or more colors, arranged in a shape (i.e. vertical lines) or includes small figures painted on the nails and it can be really fun, especially for teenagers. Of course, if you are an important business lady, having hearts painted on your nails is hardly a good idea but for everybody else who can afford a crazier look, nail art is great.



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