The Fascination With Nail Polish


Nearly all women when asked admit that they are prepared to spend over the odds for any bottle of nail polish and most of them also have a lot more than ten nail decorative colors within their beauty cabinet. The fascinating aspect about this is that although women use these intensively, very few of them know much about the origin of nail polish and how it has evolved over the years.

It is worth understanding this in some detail.

The first reference of individuals using nail polish in order to embellish their finger nails can be traced back to the times of the Incas, who used it to paint pictures of eagles. They used nail decoration in order to communicate their hierarchy and position. Additionally, it is not very uncommon for the Inca tribe men to paint colorful images of the many gods on their nails, with the sun god accorded the prime status. It is believed that the Incas might have been practicing this as part of their culture going back over 4000 years!

A brief history of nail polish or nail coloring as a trend begins way back in 3000 BC The Chinese are accredited with using a unique kind of nail enamel on their fingertips that could turn the specific fingernail a reddish or pink color. Similarly, people in India also use the Henna dye to paint their fingernails especially during festivals and during weddings.

The color that is achieved after this henna is washed off ranges from brilliant orange to darkish red. In certain ancient communities, such as the Egyptians, the various colors on the fingernail had their own social importance. Higher classes could sport the red color where the lower classes were only allowed to wear white.

Vibrant hues on nails brought about by the use of synthetic or enamel nail polish first created a splash in the 1920s. They were immediately seen on Paris runways and became very popular from the fashion perspective but there was some resistance from those who were advocating African-American rights. The use of trendy colors on fingernails was thought to be offensive to colored women and they went ahead and boycotted these products.

It is strange but true that some of the psychiatrists of that era even considered the use of nail polish as subjecting oneself to some kind of self mutilation. But over time, the allure of nail polish products and the trendy colors was too overpowering to women of all classes and race with the result that many cosmetic companies started coming out with their own distinct brands.

Just have a look at these figures and you will understand how much cosmetics and its various derivatives have influenced fashion and style. The turnover crossed $ 250 billion in 2011 and nail polish products make up for a fundamental chunk of this turnover.

Nail polish products have indeed come a long way and with advances in technology as well as refinements in the manufacturing processes, they are all set to capture new peaks.