Nail Polish Myths: Busted!

Just call us Adam and Jamie, because we’re busting some myths! (MythBusters reference, get it? No? Ok). Teresa King, nail artist at cityMANI and all around manicure badass, spilled the beans on why those things you believe are wrong. Teresa knows a thing or two about nails – she’s a backstage fixture at all the biggest fash week shows, she works with some the worlds best designers, and she polishes celebs in her spare time. Pow! Consider yourself educated by the master.

Storing nail polish in the refrigerator does not make it last longer. All nail polish has a shelf-life (approximately one year) if it is stored in optimal conditions – at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Putting it in the refrigerator causes it to crystallize and actually breaks down the formula, ruining it. Nail polish at room temperature is a must for polish to spread evenly on your nail.

Putting your hands in cold water does not make nail polish dry faster. Nail polish dries when a chemical reaction between the formula and the air causes evaporation. Quick dry drips or fans can help, but drying times can still differ depending on the brand of polish used and how thick/how many layers have been applied to the nails.

Cutting cuticles is a no-no! Not only is it illegal in NY state (and most other states), it exposes clients to bacterial infections such as staph, MRSA, etc. It also causes the skin to grow thicker, harder cuticle and eponychim because the living skin is being attacked and the body’s natural defense is to protect it. Most people mistake the eponychium for the cuticle – eponychium is living skin, the cuticle is dead skin that has grown down onto the nail plate as the nail grows out (and should be removed ONLY with a cuticle removing solution and pushing back with a stick).

When nail polish gets thick/clumpy in the bottle, do not pour polish remover or pure acetone into it. Doing that actually breaks down the chemical composition of the polish and will cause it to chip quickly, discolor, and dry out the product in the bottle even worse when the acetone evaporates. Instead, use a few drops of Nail Polish Thinner – which can be purchased at any beauty supply store.

Elise Wright

Elise is a social media strategist from Sydney, now living in NYC, who has a long standing love affair with the beauty industry- especially the nail industry!

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