Different Types of Nail Varnish – My Awesome Guide to Nail Polishes

If you’re a nail-newbie, it can be daunting to see so many types of nail varnish and not know what to do with any of them – but never fear, here’s a bit of a how-to when it comes to figuring out what to put on your nails.

Treatmentsthere are a variety of treatment products you can get, and most tend to be in the exact same type of bottle as usual nail varnish. They’re generally a clear liquid (gel or oil) with a brush – so you would be forgiven for assuming there were just a lot of clear nail varnishes on sale. But from Revlon’s cuticle oil to Tropic’s organic nail nectar, there are options for every budget when it comes to buying treatments to protect your nails in between painting them.

Base and top coatsnow, these are clear nail varnishes: with a twist. Base coats prevent the pigment in the actual nail varnish from staining your nails, which is especially important with bright colors. Base coats also ensure the color goes on evenly and looks as opaque as possible. When it comes to topcoats, there’s a lot of choices and it entirely depends on what you want. There are top coats with different colored glitter, topcoats that make your nails look extra shiny, and OPI even do a top coat that turns a glossy nail varnish into a matte one!

Basic colors – we’re getting into the exciting bit now, but there’s still a variety of options when it comes to colors. Your basic colored nail varnish is the most readily available, and pretty much every beauty brand does them from Make Up Revolution to Essie, so there’s something at every price point.

Gel colorsgel colors are a bit thicker, and last longer, than your basic colors but for the most part you can only get them done in a salon or with your own UV lamp, which takes time and effort (and money!), plus you have to have them properly removed. A lot of brands like Barry M are starting to bring out their own gel-like colors: again they’re thicker, they last longer and they’re shinier than the basic nail varnish on offer.

Nail art pensnow, you won’t get these mixed up with your traditional nail varnish offerings, because they tend to come in long thin tubes, but it’s worth noting that they are available. You can get a whole range of different nail art pens, with different tips and brushes, all for different things.

Apart from these main types of nail polish (and to be fair, the most common ones), you can also find the full detailed guide on every imaginable type of nail polish there is here.

So now you know what you can get in terms of beautifying your nails, you can start being proud of your pincers!


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