You probably don't give Nail Polish much thought. It comes in a bottle and makes your nails look gorgeous, right? But its history is really quite interesting.
For starters, nail polish is not a new invention. In some form or other it's been around for centuries. The Chinese were probably the first to use it. As early as 3000BC women in China used a concoction of beeswax, egg white, gelatin and vegetable dyes to decorate their nails.
The Ancient Egyptians loved it, too. The colour of one's nails back then also gave a clue to your breeding. Upper-class ladies painted their nails red, whilst the lower classes were only allowed to use very light colours.
Nail polish has contained many different ingredients over time but it wasn't until the invention of the car that the recipe was perfected. Believe it or not, today's nail polishes were inspired by automotive paint.
Cosmetic company Revlon took it to the next level, releasing its first range of colours in 1932. It has to be said that your colour choices were pretty limited back then. It was basically three shades of red. How different things are today.
Nail polish went in and out of fashion over the decades, hitting a high in 2012. Its use shot up around 30%, probably due to an increasing demand for nail art. After that, the sky was the limit.
Practically every colour and finish is available, including matte, gloss, shimmer, glitter, crème, iridescent, duo-chrome and more. The mini works of art created by professional nail art technicians are just amazing.
Many people still favour a classic French manicure, which is designed to look like a natural nail, only better. That simple combination of pale pink and white has been taken to some quite spectacular new levels. Think black and silver, red and black and more.
An inverted French manicure is also popular, where the classic white crescent is painted over the root of the nail, not the tip.
Nail polishes not only vary in colour but also in price. You can pick up a bottle for a couple of dollars, or you can pay up to $250,000. No kidding, Black Diamond King is the most expensive nail polish in the world, as it's made with 267 carats of black diamonds.
There are plenty of weird and wonderful facts about nail polish that you may not have come across before. For example, did you know that an unopened bottle of nail polish can last forever? Some nail polishes kale, garlic and cucumber.
There's another story about a woman being arrested for painting her toenails on a plane. That one's probably a myth. However, there is truth to the old wives tale that you can use nail polish to mend a run in your stockings or tights.
There are plenty of myths about nail polish. Some people swear you should keep it in the fridge. Not so. This will change the chemical makeup of the product and it won't work as well. You should also keep it out of direct sunlight.
It seems to us that the easiest solution is to always have your nails professionally painted. That way you don't have to worry about storing your products correctly or upsetting airline pilots!
Whilst acrylics and gels are popular you do have the option of choosing nail polish when you book in for a manicure or pedicure. It's a lot cheaper than most other services and gives you the option of changing your colours as often as you like.
For all its simplicity there is a real knack to properly applying nail polish. How many of us have ended up with gritty uneven nail colour when doing it ourselves? If you want the job done right, go to a professional.