Difference Between Nail Polish and Nail Enamel

Nail Polish vs Nail Enamel

When it comes to personal care, cosmetics are very important. However, different parts of the body need different methods of care and for this, a wide variety of beauty products have been introduced in the world of cosmetics. When it comes to nails too, the wide range of products available in the world today can cause great confusion, especially since a variety of names and labels are being used to refer to a single product. Nail polish and nail enamel are two such words which have caused confusion among many a fashionista.

What is Nail Polish /Nail Enamel?

Nail polish can be defined as a sort of lacquer that can be applied to the human finger or toe nails with the purpose of decorating or protecting the nail plate. Nail enamel and nail varnish are two more names that refer to the same product. Nail polish comes in a small glass bottle with a twist cap to which a brush is attached that makes it easy for application. The liquid in the bottle adds colour to the nails when applied and forms a thin shell like layers when it hardens and dries.

Nail polish is available in a whole gamut of colours so that one has the freedom to pair it up with whatever outfit they will be sporting on a particular day. The use of nail polish can be traced back to 3000BC China while, around 600 BC, the Zhou Dynasty preferred the colours gold and silver on their fingernails. During the time of the Ming Dynasty , nail polish was made out of a mixture of egg whites, beeswax, gelatin, vegetable dyes, and gum Arabic.

Today, nail polish is made up of a film-forming polymer that is dissolved in an organic volatile solvent. Nitrocellulose in butyl acetate or ethyl acetate is the more common combination. In addition to that, plasticizers such as Dibutyl phthalate and camphor, dyes and pigments such as chromium hydroxide, ultramarine, chromium oxide greens, stannic oxide, ferric ferrocyanide, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, carmine and manganese violet, opalescent pigments to allow a bit of shimmer, an adhesive polymer to ensure the adherence of the substance onto the nail’s surface, thickening agents and ultraviolet stabilizers to resist colour changes are also incorporated into this mixture.

Nail polish further exists in three modes known as the top coat, base coat and gel. The base coat, often also called ridge fillers strengthen the nails while restoring moisture to the nail and is applied prior to applying the coloured polish in order to prevent nails from getting stained due to coloured nail polish. The top coat is applied on the nail after applying the coloured nail polish and forms a hardened barrier on top of the nail so that the polish may be resistant to chipping or cracking. Gel nail polish is more of a long lasting nail polish that is applied on the nail like regular nail polish, but does not set unless exposed to ultraviolet or a LED lamp. It lasts for more than two weeks and is more difficult to remove than regular nail polish.

What is the difference between Nail Polish and Nail Enamel?

There is no difference between nail polish and nail enamel. Both refer to the coloured lacquer that is applied on top of the nail with the aim of giving the nails a coloured and more polished appearance while giving it protection and strength as well.

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