What is nail polish?
Nail polish is a cosmetic product that dries on and changes the color of fingernails or toenails. Nail polish is not eligible for reimbursement with any consumer-directed healthcare plan because it is a cosmetic product and does not treat, alleviate or prevent a medical condition or disease.
Nail polish is a type of lacquer. It is also known as nail varnish, and it is decorative in nature. Nail polish is sold in hundreds of varieties of colors and is applied either uniformly or decoratively with small designs. Nail polish is often considered part of fashion or its own fashion accessory.
The oldest evidence of nail polish is approximately 3000BC in the region where the country of China is located today. The Zhou dynasty was known at that time for painting their nails with gold and silver. Ancient Egypt was also known for developing nail polish (Mental Floss).
There are several types of nail polish and their application techniques vary. Nail polish also often may accompany a base coat, which is a color or milky-colored lacquer that fills the nails' ridges and allows for better transmission of moisture and air to the nail and underbed before covering the nail with polish.
A top coat is a type of nail polish that is used over the actual colored polish. It protects the colored polish with a clear coating that forms a hardened barrier which provides increased protection against chipping and flaking, and gives the nail a more finished appearance.
Gel nail polish is made of methacrylate primer and is painted on similarly to traditional nail polish. Gel nail polish, though, does not dry like traditional nail polish. Gel nail polish requires an LED or ultraviolet lamp to cure the material.
Matte nail polish, like the name suggests, is not shiny. Instead it is dull and can be used in contrast with shiny nail polish to produce desired aesthetic and artistic effects.