The Top 10 Types of Nail Polish

The type of nail polish you use has a big impact on your manicure. From traditional creme to innovative holographic formulas, there are tons of options out there. But which one is right for you? We spoke to the pros to find out the 10 main types of nail polish that will help you pin down your signature look.

Modern nail polish has a long and complicated history, reflecting advances in twentieth century chemical technology. Although covering the nails has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years—ancient Egyptians used henna to dye their hair and fingernails—the formulation of nail polish in its modern form was developed in the 1920s. The main ingredient is nitrocellulose cotton, a liquid containing microscopic, ground-up cotton fibers. This is mixed with solvents, resins and plasticizers such as butyl stearate and acetate compounds, and coloring agents. The exact formulation of a particular nail polish is often kept a secret, since it depends on choices made by chemists during the research and development phase. The colorants—which may be soluble or insoluble in the solvents—are also crucial, and must be compatible with the other ingredients.

A creme nail polish is the classic option for those who want their nails to last. Its thicker formula is similar to gel polishes, and it doesn’t require a base or top coat. It’s fast-drying, chip-resistant, and comes in a huge range of colors. The best creme nail polishes are made by brands that are committed to using safer ingredients, and many of them have been labeled as 3-free, 10-free or 21-free, meaning they’re free of toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and more than 21 harsh chemicals.

For a trendy nail polish with a cool, futuristic vibe, a glitter or flake option is a great choice. These are usually formulated to be sparkly, with small glitter or specks of iridescent color that change hue depending on the light you’re in. They can be applied over a creme nail polish for a festive or holiday-themed manicure, or you can wear them on their own as an eye-catching accent to your regular color.

During the recent holographic makeup trend, we saw a lot of nail polishes with light-reflective properties, making them look super magical. A holographic nail polish will give your nails a rainbow effect, and can be worn alone or over a solid-colored manicure.

There are some nail polishes that claim to do more than just add a pop of color, such as ones that promise to make your nails grow stronger or to stop them from cracking or splitting. However, nail polishes are not intended to be medical products and should never be used as such.

There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with different types of nail polish, but it’s always best to consult your doctor before applying any new product to your nails. Your dermatologist will be able to advise you on the best option for your unique skin and nail condition. Vernis à Ongles

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