Nail Polish 411

I know I’m not alone here, but as I opened the bin that contains my nail polishes the other day, I couldn’t help but notice the pile of discolored and separated looking polishes in my collection. I know some of these polishes were from the low-end to high, yet a majority of them exhibited some type of color discoloration or what looked like an oil/water reaction. As I opened a few of them, I noticed that some were dried out, some were too thick for use, and some I could not open at all. It led me to wonder about the shelf life of nail polish.

The U.S. Federal Drug Administration does not designate the shelf life of nail polish, so the manufacturer determines the appropriate date. Apparently, unopened and properly stored polish will last at least 18 months, possibly 24 months. But, two years seems a tad early to chuck a barely or half-used bottle. So, it is important to look for signs of expirations. I provide a few suggestions below.

  • Clean the necks of the bottle with nail polish remover.
  • Throw out if the texture has changed (thick, clumpy, or runny).
  • Store polish out of direct sunlight in a cool and dark setting as light and heat break down the polish.

If you follow these easy tips, you should be good to go! Happy painting!

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