Nail Polish Buying Guide
Types of Nail Polish
There are several different kinds of nail polish on the market that a nail polish wearer can choose from. We have listed the different types below with some characteristics of each so you can understand what the differences are between the types. It would take a long time to list all of the types, but we have covered the most common ones. There are two basic types of nail polish and within those types there are color choices and other factors like metallic, glitter, matte, etc. The two main types are:
- Enamel Nail Polish – The most common type of nail polish is enamel. It is patterned after enamel paint with each bottle being a mix of enamel acid, resin and alcohol which is one of the reasons nail polish has such a strong smell. Once applied to the nail, the polish will harden into a thick coat. Enamel nail polish takes awhile to dry so it is best to allow yourself some down time to allow it to dry thoroughly if you don’t have a nail dryer or you will only smudge it.
- Acrylic Nail Polish – Acrylic nail polish is water based and some say that it is more eco friendly but this isn’t always the case. Acrylic nail polish is made from acrylic polymer emulsion and acrylic resin. Upon application, the water base evaporates or gets absorbed into the fingernail. What is left behind is a strong, hard coat of color. Acrylic dries faster than enamel does and doesn’t have the same overly strong, chemical smell.
Nail Polish Coats
There are different kinds of nail polish coats as well. There are some nail polishes on the market that combine several of the coats into one polish. There are also nail polishes that help nails grow, get stronger or keep a glossy finish. We’ve listed the basic functional polish coats and not all of the ones available on the market.
- Nail Strengthener – the purpose of a nail strengthener is to keep the nails hard so they don’t bend and peel. It also helps them grown by adding vitamins to the polish. The only way a strengthener works is if it is applied directly to an unpolished nail. Use the strengthener before you apply the color and the nails will get the benefit of the strengthener.
- Base Coat – The first step in painting your fingernails after the strengthener is the base coat. This is a clear polish that provides a smooth surface for the color to adhere to. Base coats will also help the nail not absorb all of the chemicals that are in the polish. This leads to healthier fingernails over all. Always use a base coat before your color coat.
- Color Coat – This is the color nail polish that goes on the nail. Certain brands will last longer than others so it is in your best interest to find a good quality color polish that customers are reporting lasts a long time even when you use your hands. When choosing a color, remember to keep in mind where you spend a lot of your time. If you work, you need to keep the nail polish simple and classy unless you work in a place where wild nail polish colors are part of the dress code.
- Top Coat – This is also a clear polish and is applied on top of the color polish after it is dry. It makes the color shine and helps strengthen the polish so it doesn’t chip or fade so fast.
Nail Polish Finishes
There are many different finishes that a nail polish can have. This gives you a lot of variety when it comes to choosing the different style and look you want to achieve. We’ve listed the different finishes below. Most people that paint their nails regularly, have a large selection of different colors and finishes.
- Quick Dry – this nail polish dries faster than the regular formula of nail polish. The average drying time for regular polish to be completely smudge proof and dry is one hour. Quick dry polish dries in about 20 minutes. This is good to get if time is at a premium for you.
- Crème – A crème color provides the wearer with a matte look. They are duller than the other finishes but sometimes people like this classic and simple look. The majority of crèmes tend to be pale colored or nude. They can also make a great base for a sheer glitter finish.,
- Foil – Foil polish is also known as shimmer polish. It is great for the holidays due to the sparkle it adds to the base color you’ve chosen. Foil resembles metallic but it is used over colors that are not usually metallic like green or red.
- Glitter – Glitter polish actually has real glitter in it. It creates a beautiful sparkly finish than what metallic does. Some nail polish uses real gold In the polish for the sparkle.
- Luster finish – This type of polish has a pearly coat and is typically used with gold or solver. This finish reflects light and makes a beautiful display.
- Shatter – shatter finish goes on top of the color coat. It is applied to the color coat. When it dries it starts to crack revealing the color coat underneath. Shatter polish come in many different colors and add another way to add fashion and style to your hands.
Painting your nails with nail polish is a great way to add color to your hands and also your feet for those who paint their toenails. Most women have multiple bottles and colors as well as finishes at home in their makeup kits. Some even have extensive nail polish collections and other nail polish supplies because they are so serious about painting their nails.
With all of the choices available on the market, it is very easy to change colors and paint your nails according to whatever holiday is coming. Nail polishes provide a lot of creativity and style to the wearer. The choices are endless.
Make sure that you look at the function of the polish you are purchasing. Some sets offer several coat types included in one package. Whatever finish you like, color you like and how many different coats you are going to use, the main thing to remember is to purchase a nail polish that is high quality and that is going to last and stand up to the work you do with your hands. You will be glad you took the time to sort the good nail polishes from the ones that are not good.