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Nail polish from A to Z.

Nail polish from A to Z.

It seems that nail polishes have always been with us, but in fact, this beauty tool is not much more than 80 years old! They loved to decorate nails in ancient times, using henna and other natural dyes, compositions based on resin, wax and vegetable oils. However, the first varnish in the form we are accustomed to appeared in 1934 and immediately took its place in the first beauty rows. Since then, varnishes have not lost their popularity. Everything you need to know about this tool can be found in this article..

What are nail polishes – 18 types.

Nail varnishes are decorative and medicinal. The latter, as the name implies, are aimed at solving problems: they strengthen nails, help to cope with delamination, fungus and other troubles (read more about nail care here). Decorative varnishes are responsible for interesting nail images: let’s talk about them in more detail.

Liquid glossy varnish.

Lacquer-progenitor. A single-color finish with a glossy effect is still considered traditional today. And even if you do not belong to the community of nail maniacs, you will definitely find several bottles of bright or nude varnishes. Sometimes this type of finish is called cream or enamel..

Mother-of-pearl varnish.

For decades, pearl lacquer was the most popular – partly because, for example, in the Soviet Union others were not available. In the 2000s, they forgot about it, but a few seasons ago, leading brands made sure that pearlescent varnish triumphantly returned to the beauty arena..

True, this tool has several drawbacks – the pearlescent varnish is able to visually “age” your hands. In addition, it emphasizes all the irregularities of the nail plate. Therefore, with this choice, it is important to ensure that your hands and nails are in perfect condition..

Matt lacquer.

One of the hottest trends in recent years is the non-shiny lacquer coating. There are colored varnishes on sale that initially guarantee a similar effect. But you can also buy a transparent matte finish that can turn any glossy varnish into a matte finish. We wrote more about how to make a matte manicure in this article..


Varnish with large shiny particles in the composition. Especially popular are transparent top coatings with abundant glitter, ready to make any manicure festive in a couple of minutes. For a detailed article dedicated exclusively to glitter manicure, see this link..


Perhaps, in the modern world, shimmers are the second most popular varnishes after the classic glossy ones. Delicate shine is provided by small sparkling particles in the composition. If the varnish is light, then it can be used in everyday manicure. It is important to emphasize that such varnishes differ from glitters in a smaller size of shining crumbs..

“Sand” varnish.

Varnish with small particles that make the coating lumpy, “sandy”. The same effect can be achieved if you buy a special powder in a shop for professional craftsmen and apply it over regular varnish. The main disadvantage of such a coating is that it is prone to chips more than others..

Caviar coating.

Like the “sand” varnish, this tool belongs to the type of texture, but at the same time includes larger colored particles that resemble small beads. Such varnishes are rarely produced ready-made, more often “caviar” manicure is created with the help of friable pigments.

Duochrome and multichrome.

Chameleon varnish changes its shade depending on the angle of view due to small shiny particles that glare differently in the rays of light. If the varnish shimmers in two shades, then you have a duochrome, if there are more shades, then we are talking about multichrome.


Shimmers on the nails with all the colors of the rainbow, resembling the stains of a gasoline film. By the way, this technique is now in trend in the field of makeup..


They create the effect of a foil coating – silver, gold, copper or bronze. Metallic manicure has become one of the main trends of the last year, which has remained with us and is not losing ground. How to create such an image, read here.


Changes its shade depending on the ambient temperature. It is enough to substitute the nails under a stream of warm water for the color of the coating to change, as if by magic. You should not expect radical changes (blue will not turn into red), but you can instantly create an ombre effect on the nails with a smooth transition from one shade to another..


Creates a “cracking” effect on the nails. For a more impressive look, first paint your nails with a contrasting colored varnish, and then apply a craquelure coating on top: the first layer will “peep” through the “cracks”. Such varnish must be fixed with a transparent top coat, otherwise it will not last long..

Fluorescent varnish.

In daylight it looks like an ordinary varnish of a bright “acid” shade, under ultraviolet rays it starts to glow. The very thing for a disco!

Magnetic varnish.

The composition includes the smallest metal particles that form intricate patterns if you bring a magnet to your nails.

Lacquer jelly.

As the name implies, it has a jelly texture and lays down in a translucent layer, even if the shade in the bottle seems to be saturated. Large shiny particles are often found in the composition of such varnishes. It doesn’t take much courage to create a jelly-finish manicure, but what about lip makeup like this??

Gel polish.

A coating that threatens to supplant classic varnishes: today, gel polish is almost more popular than conventional ones. And this is not surprising, because such a coating, hardening under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, remains on the nails in its original form for up to three weeks without chips and scratches..

At the same time, externally, gel polish cannot be distinguished from any other! The only inconvenience is that you won’t be able to remove it with the usual liquid, you will have to stock up on a special set. Previously, a gel coat could only be done in a salon, but today many beauty brands produce kits for home use..

Basic coverage.

Transparent varnish, which is applied to the nail plate before using the varnish of the main shade. It is better not to skip this stage in manicure: the base coat protects the nails from the effects of color pigments, prevents the nails from exfoliating and turning yellow. By the way, if the last trouble did occur, our guide will help you..

The top coat is applied at the last stage to secure the manicure. This varnish significantly prolongs the life of a manicure. For the best effect, use a top of the same brand as the base coat..

Fashion varnishes 2021.

We will tell you what varnishes to add to the collection to stay in trend in 2021?

Most likely, you already have such a varnish, and you actively use it in both daytime and evening manicure. But if for some reason you still haven’t bought it or want to replace the existing one with a new one, try to find a polish in the color of pointe shoes, “ballerina shoes”. This shade, judging by the latest shows, will be the most relevant. We have collected as many as 94 ideas for nude manicure in this article..

In general, it is not so important which shade of metallic you choose in the end – no one can accuse you of beauty illiteracy. However, if you come across a deep metallic varnish, do not miss the chance. Combine such a manicure with makeup to match, as in the fall-winter show Alexis Mabille.

Light gray pastel or taupe varnish is at the peak of its popularity. Such a manicure, on the one hand, will not look too gloomy, on the other hand, it will be combined with any outfit and will definitely not raise questions either from the teachers at the institute or from the management at work. And if you want to make it more interesting, paint a few nails with glitter or shimmer varnish..

Is bright green varnish too bold for you? Then try to “try on” a deep emerald shade that looks very noble and interesting. Pair it with burgundy and gold for a go-out manicure. By the way, if you prefer just a golden manicure, then this article will come in handy..

But not bright neon or dark plum, but delicate lilac, lavender or orchid colors. In winter, this will definitely cheer you up, and in summer it will beautifully emphasize your tan..

Red lacquer is all over the place, but the trends of 2021 show that not everything is so simple. Choose options with orange pigments and pair them with equally bright clothes. Find more ideas for manicure with orange polish here..

What does nail polish consist of??

The list of ingredients on a bottle of nail polish looks like a Chinese letter to most of us. What is hidden behind incomprehensible names?

A resin that literally “glues” and holds all the components together. As a rule, there are two types of resin in the composition at once – film-forming (it is she who is denoted by the word nitrocellulose) and adhesive (look for the inscriptions polymer, copolymer or resin). The film-forming resin is responsible for the glossy shine, and the adhesive polymer makes the texture of the varnish more elastic and allows it to better adhere to the surface of the nail plate..

All of these components are solvents that are responsible for easy application and quick drying of the varnish. As the compound dries, the solvent evaporates, leaving the surface dry. The main problem facing manufacturers is to ensure that the solvent does not evaporate too quickly, otherwise bubbles will appear. Alas, the buyer can check this only after applying varnish to the nails..

Thickening additives that help mix the resin and solvent, preventing color pigments from settling on the bottom of the bottle.

UV stabilizer that prevents the color of the varnish and its texture from changing under the influence of sunlight.

These components are plasticizers, they prevent the resin from thickening and prolong the durability of your manicure..

Dyes and pigments that determine the color of the varnish. Dyes are often organic, but pigments are not..

The mica is added to the varnish to add a glossy sheen. In rare cases, particles of natural pearls and aluminum powder are also added to the varnish..

How to paint your nails with varnish.

It seems that it could be easier – to gently distribute the varnish over the nail plate? But many cannot cope with this beauty task on their own, preferring to entrust the process to a salon master. Perhaps our step-by-step photo tutorial can make a difference..

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