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Nail enamel is another name for nail varnish or, the more popular name, nail polish. It typically comes in a small glass bottle that has a brush attached to the twist-on cap. The nail enamel is the liquid in the bottle that one brushes on his or her nails to add color. After a few minutes, the liquid hardens and dries, forming a thin shell-like layer over the nails.
The four major ingredients in nail enamel are filming agents, solvents, coloring agents, and resins and plasticizers. Each company has its own formula, which is why there are so many brands and types available. There is a huge variety of colors, ranging from clear to bright neon. Some even glow in the dark.
The main purpose of nail enamel is to work as an accessory of sorts to whatever outfit someone may be wearing. It is also a way to cover nail imperfections such as dents, chips or discoloration, which can look unsightly and cause embarrassment or self-conscious feelings. A little nail polish remover can easily remove the color so another color can replace it.
When applying nail enamel, a base coat typically goes first to even out the surface of the nail and prevent darker colors from discoloring the nails. The next step is to apply the polish, which needs to go on in thin even strokes to avoid it looking uneven or bumpy. After it dries, the top coat goes over it. The purpose of the top coat is to add extra shine to the polish as well as prevent it from chipping, especially on the tips of the fingernails which come in contact with many types of surfaces.
Some nail enamels are an all-in-one, which means they contain the base coat, polish and top coat together without separate applications. Another type of nail polish is quick drying, which dries quicker than the typical nail polish. There is also strengthening nail polish, which is best for those who have weak nails, and long lasting polish, which has a formula specially designed to prevent chipping.
The best way to choose a nail enamel is to evaluate the condition of the nails and decide which polish would be more advantageous. To choose the shade, an everyday color will be best, in addition to several other colors that complement the wardrobe. The polish is typically good for about a year until it needs to be thrown out, but it is important to make sure the caps are screwed on tightly to prevent them from drying out.