nail polish

Nail polish: types, which is better, how to use, manufacturers

Nail polish is a colorless or colored solution consisting of a plasticizer, polymer, pigment and solvent. Uniform film coating is provided by the nitrocellulose included in the composition. Synthetic and natural resins are responsible for the adhesion to the nail surface, shine and shine.

Types of nail polishes

The general classification of nail polishes is as follows:

Base – a transparent base to smooth and nourish the surface.

Color – a decorative coating.

Fixer (top) – is applied as a top layer to protect and firmly fix the color layer, for quick drying.

Decorative varnish has a huge number of subspecies, differing in color, texture, gloss:

Thermal. Able to change color in accordance with the temperature regime at the time of application. Allows you to achieve the effect of a French colored manicure.

Sandy. When applied, it looks like colored sand. It is not allowed to topcoat this lacquer, because the effect of sandy texture will disappear.

Chameleon varnish changes its shade depending on the light and viewing angle. It glitters brightly, comes in two-color and multicolor.

Pearlescent is able to give gloss and color to coat due to the content of the smallest pearlescent particles. It is used together with base lacquer. It is most often made of natural nacre (fish scales or seashells), but also of synthetic substitutes – hectoring and polyester.

Holographic creates volumetric rich color, easy to apply, resistant.

Mirroring creates metallic color (gold, bronze) due to the content of the smallest iridescent particles. Self-leveling and long-lasting on the nails.

Cracker produces a crackled effect when drying. Requires the application of a topcoat.

Neon – a lacquer coating of acid color (lettuce, bright pink, blue).

Cream color is a classical varnish of pastel color, it has smooth opaque covering, it is durable.

Fluorescent is a lacquer that glows when exposed to UV-lighting (in nightclubs).

It has a matte finish. It has the effect of absorbing the gloss and shine.

It contains metallic particles which line up in the pattern when the magnet is brought to its surface.

Glitter varnish. It contains in its basis sparkles of different colors, sizes and forms. Transparent or colored, hard to remove from the nail plate.

Mica – a colorless jelly-like structure composed of mica.

Shimmery – has a complex texture with light-reflective flecks. Looks on the nails, voluminous and shimmering in artificial light. Persistent, hard to remove from the nail surface.

Variety of base lacquers

Base nail polishes level the nail plate and protect it from the chemical effects of the color solution. Base varnish improves the quality and speed of adhesion of the colored layer to the nail. It contains vitamins and useful substances for nourishing and strengthening the nails.

Base varnishes are divided into the following subgroups:

Strengtheners – level the nail surface, preventing brittleness and splitting, giving the nails a healthy look.

Restoratives contain nourishing oils and vitamins (A, B, E, C), which regenerate the nail plate.

Complex strengtheners are aimed at restoring nail structure. They contain calcium, essential oils, magnesium, sodium and complex vitamins.

Varnishes-conditioners stimulate active nail growth, moisturize and prevent nail breakage.

Reinforcing nail polishes-conditioners are designed for bending soft nails. Such composition restores nail plate structure, extends the term of decorative nail polish and prevents splitting and breakage.

Leveling bases – contain silk fibers, talc and other trace elements that fill the uneven space. Such varnish is applied in two directions: along and across the nail plate.

Base coatings can be used on their own, in which case it is necessary to apply a top coat. They come in pale pink, white and colorless.


Decorative varnishes have one function – to cover the nail with color. The most harmless of this category are water-based formulations, because bonding with the nail plate is done with gentle polymers.

Advantages of colored varnishes:

easy to apply and remove on their own at home;

choice of colors and textures;


for women-allergic people created gentle formulations with a minimum of chemical ingredients.

Pros of topcoats:

dry quickly;

Protect from breakage and mechanical damage;

Fix the lacquer evenly on the nail surface;

Prevent color burnout;

provide additional shine and luster.


When using a decorative varnish with a complex texture, you may encounter some problems. For example, pearlescent composition is difficult to apply, emphasizes the irregularities of the nail plate. And glitter is difficult to remove with a liquid remover and can damage the surface. Therefore, to achieve the proper effect, use a colored coating in conjunction with the base.

Other disadvantages:

Toxic formaldehyde content;

Resistance up to 7 days;

The slightest chipping or mechanical damage will lose the original effect;

pungent odor;

Some ingredients in the color composition (ethyl alcohol and solvents) make the nail plate brittle and fragile;

long drying time of each layer: if you do not keep the drying time, there will be smearing of all layers.

Use strengthening and healing bases with caution, as their abuse will make healthy nails brittle and flaky.

How to choose

When choosing a nail polish, pay attention not only to the color and the stated advertising on the label, but also to the composition, consistency and brand.

What nail polishes are made of

Obligatory ingredients in nail polish:

polymers (nitrocellulose, formaldehyde resins, acrylamide) – for strength, gloss and creating a hard outer film;

plasticizers (camphor) – for elasticity and durability of lacquer;

pigments (mica, silica, citric acid, bismuth chloride) – for color and shade

solvents (ethyl acetate, propel acetate, butyl acetate, benzophenone-1, dimethicone and sterilalkonium bentonite) – for even distribution of lacquer on nail surface and fast drying.

The composition of the coating should not contain:

Formaldehyde. A preservative with a pungent odor. Causes migraines, heart pain and disrupts the central nervous system.

Toluene. A solvent that affects the nervous system and liver.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP). A plasticizer that has been banned in the U.S. and Europe because it causes malignancies and hormonal imbalances in the body.

Give preference to water-based formulations as they bond to the surface through polymers rather than solvents

nail polish

The bottle

Choose trusted brands, as they guarantee quality. Reputable manufacturers do not use harmful chemical elements, cherishing their image.

Also pay attention to the following points:

The inscriptions on the bottle should be clear without scuffs and irregularities;

A flat plain bottle for free mixing of the consistency;

a cylindrical cap;

metal beads for optimal consistency and longer shelf-life;

wide, flat base of bottle;

amount of varnish in the bottle.

The shelf life indicated on the label is 6 months to 2 years.


When choosing a shade, evaluate the saturation after applying a second coat. Also adhere to these rules for color selection:

The shade of nail polish should match or be slightly lighter than the color of lipstick or eyeshadow.

Consider the season of the year (in winter matte varnish is preferable, in summer – nacreous).

Bright warm shades (red, orange, pink) will do for women with fair skin, burgundy, wine and blue for medium shade, and plum for dark skin (but avoid metallic colors).

For business style, use calm pastel colors and French manicures, for parties – bright red or metallic shades, for other occasions – glitter or mirror-glossy textures.

If you have weakened nails, use a healing base containing vitamins and plant extracts. To strengthen the plate, choose coatings containing calcium and to prevent breakage – with wheat, proteins, camphor and vitamins A, B, E, F.

What is the best nail polish

A quality product meets the following parameters:

Does not contain formaldehyde and chemical solvents, safe varnishes are marked on the label “CAB”.

Medium to high cost.

Smooth application on the surface without streaks or air bubbles.

Liquid consistency, dripping in a single drop.

A thick, elastic brush that forms a semi-open fan (takes the shape of the cuticle) when applied to the nail.

A good medium-hard brush leaves no streaks, the hairs are gathered together.

The transparent bottle is rectangular, square or round, with clear, easy-to-read labels.

Medium-length brush does not touch the bottom.

Shelf life is no more than two years.

Metal balls on the bottom and a cylindrical handy cap.