The History of Nail Polish – Technicolor

By Inspirationail

The History of Nail PolishLately we’ve been sharing the history of nail polish in bits and pieces and we’ve hit the 20th century. About the time modern nail polish was created from car paint, technicolor changed the world forever.

Quick History

We are pretty sure that nail polish originated with henna decorations in India during the Bronze Age. This trend spread quickly and soon the Babylonians adopted the idea using kohl to colour their nails. Around the same time the Chinese took it even further crushing flower petals for more shades. Later still the Egyptians made coloured nails famous.

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Today we get fashion trends from celebrities every day, but the original black and white movies wouldn’t do much to boost cosmetics sales.

Bringing Fashion to the Silver Screen

Technicolor was introduced in 1922 and it probably affected the fashion & cosmetic industries as much as it did Hollywood. Dull, grey movies were a thing of the past and the latest films were shown in glorious shades of colour.

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Rita HayworthSuddenly women could see the lovely red nails & lips of their favourite movie stars and quickly they scrambled to emulate the looks. This had an obvious effect on the cosmetic industries and they rapidly stepped in to fill the market gap.

Having perfected the formula, Revlon stayed on their game and created a varied line of polishes.

Creating A Craze

The evolution of movies and television has had an indelible effect on the fashion & cosmetic industries. From hair to lips to nails Technicolor gave cosmetic stylists a voice, allowing makeup to become the star. Trends and styles of all shapes and sizes have come from those reflected on a screen.

Decades of Nails

Each decade of the 20th century has it’s own specific style and that’s why we love them. We’ve explored the ancient history of nails and the more immediate invention of varnish itself. Next we will be looking at nail fashion by decade, (starting with the 50’s).


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