The History of Nail Polish – The Formula

By Inspirationail

The History of Nail PolishRecently we’ve been sharing interesting bits of nail polish history and we are quickly coming to modern times. It’s a long, strange history and one that many different cultures would like to take credit for.

Quick History

We think that nail polish itself originated with henna decorations in India during the Bronze Age. This is a trend that quickly spread and soon the Babylonians adopted the idea using kohl to stain their nails. Around the same time the Chinese took it even further using flower petals to expand their range of shades. Although it’s unclear when Egyptians took on the trend some of the most famous names in their history coloured their nails.

With the death of the last great Egyptian dynasties, the furthering of manicure or nail polish technology slowed. People continued to stain their nails, however the trend didn’t get become a craze again until well into the 20th century.

Glossy Car

Images © Coldspire

The Polish We Know & Love Today

Interestingly enough, the catalyst for the nail polish we know today was the invention of high-gloss car paint in the 1920’s. Credited with the actual invention of modern polish, French makeup artist Michelle Manard had the colourful idea of applying the new technology to nails.

Creating A Viable Product

Manard played with the formula until she was satisfied (it wasn’t too different from conventional polishes we use today). Her employer at the time knew a good idea when he saw one and perfected the formula.

In 1932, they went public with the recipe and began to sell the first modern nail polish under the name of Revlon.

Moon Manicure

Images © Cait Harri

Manicure Innovation

After the first nail polishes were created it was inevitable that creative manicures would emerge. The first manicure style of modern times was the moon manicure, polish was applied to nail but not to the moon and sometimes tip. Often tips were filed to points to make the look even more extravagant.

More Polish History

Be sure to learn about how the Indian’s invented nail polish, how the Babylonians took it to the next level with manicures, the Chinese made nails even more sophisticated and the Egyptians made it famous.


Nail Porn

Scratch Magazine
Salon Guinea Pig
Advertise here

Looking for something?





Inspirationail 207 Regent Street. London, United Kingdom. W1B 3HH.
This site uses cookies & analytics tools. All Transactions are securely processed by Google Checkout, ApplePay, Spreadshirt or PayPal. All other logos and trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. ® and ™ denote registered trademarks in their respective countries.
© 2019 Inspirationail. A Vuild product.