Updated: Jan 11
Nowadays you can barely see a lady without her perfect manicure. Every woman enjoys their painted nails but how many of you know the history of nail polish? Did you know that it was invented in ancient times? I have some interesting facts to share with you, so let's start from the beginning.
What is actual nail polish/varnish? - it is a quick-drying cosmetic lacquer or polish that is applied to the nails to colour them or make them shiny. Historians agree that nail polish was invented c. 3000 - c. 1900 BC. The practice of wearing a nail polish was to protect nails. In ancient civilisations it was also a status symbol or an indication of wealth.
Nail Polish History
5000 BC — Although the exact origin of nail treatments is murky, many sources say it began in India as women dyed their fingertips with henna — a practice that continues to this day!
3000BC - in ancient Chine woman soaked their nails overnight into the concoction made of bee-wax, egg-whites, gelatine and dies made from orchids and roses to tint their nails.
50 BC - Cleopatra was the first woman of her area to tint not only her nails but whole hand. Her colour of choice was red made from the plants.
1870s - one of the first salons were open in Paris. Manicurists used creams, powders and tinted oils to clean and buff nails to make them shine.
1932s - the first nail enamel was launched by brothers Charles and James Revson and chemist Carles Lachman. Later they opened the company named Revlon.
1957s - American dentist Frederick Slack created an artificial nail using aluminium foil and dental acrylic. After his family patented the first acrylic extensions.
1975s - Hollywood makeup artist Jeff Pink created French manicure - pink and white.
2010s - CND introduced Shellac 14+ Day Colour to the market (these days we call it gel polish). It took about 5 years to research and develop a product.
Nowadays gel nail polish continues to be one of the most popular beauty trends. The busy lives of women make it difficult to look after their nails often, but gel polish has solved this problem.
It has quick drying properties. There are no long waiting periods or needing to keep your hands idle while your colour dries. UV lamp instantly reacts to the gel polish and colour adheres to your natural nail in less then one minute. You can enjoy shiny nails for up to 3 weeks and a busy schedule will not be further burdened with an additional task.
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