All true nailphiles have experienced it.
You’re going through your nail-polish collection, and from the corner of your eye, you see it.
A poor polish is fighting for its life, barely able to gasp for air as its hoarse voice says, “Help me! It’s not my time yet!”
You cradle it in your arms like you did the first day you brought it to your loving home, reassuring it that things will be okay. But then it passes out!
It looks so dry, as though it’s been to the Sahara Desert!
You break into a nervous sweat. What’s a responsible nailphile to do?
Plenty! Roll up your sleeves, be brave, and let me show you how to perform CPR to save your beloved polish from an untimely death!
P.S. Today is the last day to enter my worldwide giveaway for your chance to win the OPI Don’t Speak 18K Gold Top Coat! (Ends tonight at 11:59 pm EDT.)
When nail polish is exposed to the air, it can become thick, stringy, glue-like, and then ultimately unusable. And some formulas (like chunky glitter lacquers) may have a tendency to naturally thicken over time, despite your best efforts to keep the handle screwed on tightly.
Just like how people age with time, the same is true for lacquer. But with nail polish, there’s a way to snap them back to their 20-year-old heydays in a matter of seconds!
(I’m sure that scientists are trying to figure out how to do the same with humans, but well, I’m not interested. I’m happy growing old gracefully, and this grape is looking forward to becoming a raisin one day. I’m thinking about moving to California, so I can become a California Raisin. But that has yet to be determined. I still haven’t mastered the whole singing and dancing routine.) 😉
So don’t abandon your precious polishes just because they’re looking a little rough around the edges (and in the bottle)! Give them some TLC and some “CPR” that I outline in this post! 🙂
One of the chemicals in nail polish evaporates over time, which is what leads to the liquid turning into a semi-solid or even a solid. If you restore that depleted ingredient, it’s like the nail-polish elixir that waves its magic wand and brings it back from the dead.
But don’t seek assistance from your nail-polish remover like what some beauty forums may recommend. As the name would suggest, a remover’s job is to REMOVE nail polish. It won’t add anything to the formula to restore it. Its job is to break apart the lacquer and to send it to a better place in the high heavens. 😉
Instead, I suggest that you track down a bottle of nail-polish thinner, which is very different. I like to use Seche Restore, which can be used to bring a goopy bottle of Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat or pretty much any lacquer back to its original consistency.
Although I’m a fan of the written word, as you can tell from reading the post I wrote about my passion for writing, I think that photos will better illustrate why you shouldn’t be so quick to toss out a nail polish, even if it’s so dry, it looks like it has solidified.
Case in point.
Here’s my beloved bottle of OPI Suzi & the 7 Dusseldorfs.
It’s lying down on its side, and you can clearly see that the polish isn’t tilting in the slightest. That’s because it has become nearly rock solid. It doesn’t even drip slowly like molasses.
To further illustrate its condition, check this out!
Even when I tilted the bottle upside down, the polish inside didn’t even budge! (Haha, I would never attempt this with a fresh bottle of polish, unless I’d somehow be in the mood to clean up lacquer from my wooden floors for hours or days!)
My favourite nail-polish thinner to use is Seche Restore. It’s specially designed to be used with the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, but you can use it for nearly any lacquer.
I buy the “professional” size, even though I’m not a nail technician. You can find this at Sally Beauty Supply. (They also offer the smaller bottles, but I don’t like to keep repurchasing it, so I just grab the big bottle.)
The Seche Restore Professional Kit comes in a box that looks like this:
Inside, you get a clear bottle like this:
To restore your nail polish, use the provided dropper. (Depending on how much your polish has dried up, you’ll need to use more or less of Seche Restore.)
For the polish in this post, it required about one and a half full of the dropper. But if your polish is only a little thick, you can add about 5 drops to bring it back.
It’s always a good idea to use fewer drops and then add more as needed. If you add too many right off the bat, your polish could be very watery. (If this happens, you can rectify it by leaving the cap open slightly, so the chemical evaporates a bit.)
Ta-da! After adding the nail-polish thinner and shaking it all up to mix the pigment and thinner evenly, it’s now restored to the original consistency! 🙂
Before, I couldn’t even get the polish out. Now, I can easily paint with it again.
Here’s the polish swatched on a nail wheel after my CPR. 🙂
I hope that you found this post helpful, and feel free to share it with a fellow nailphile.
The more nail-polish lives we can save through CPR, the better! 😉
Remember, old nail polishes need love, too! Hehe, and with this little trick, you can have even the old ones feeling like spring chickens again!