History of nail polishes around the world

The Vibrant History of Nail Polish: Across the Globe

Nail polish, a cosmetic staple in today's fashion world, has a rich and colorful history that spans centuries. Its evolution is not only a testament to changing beauty standards but also a reflection of cultural diversity. Let's take a journey through time, exploring the fascinating history of nail polish…


Sunrise & Beginnings:

The origins of nail polish can be traced back to ancient civilizations. In China, around 3000 BCE, nail accents denoted social status – also known as “Hu Zhi (护指, finger protection)” Royal individuals flaunted gold and silver nail guards. Both men and women pursued long nails for beauty, many noble families and literati, all like to keep long nails, to show their own dignity in the state of life.

Whereas others used Balsam, also known as fingernail flower (指甲花), is a brightly colored, with all-natural material that does not harm the nails, and its flowers and leaves can be used to dye nails.

History Of Nail Polish

  History Of Nail Polish  

Habibi Influence:

History Of Nail Polish

Moving forward, the Middle East played a crucial role in shaping nail adornment. Ancient Egyptian women used henna, a leafy green plant native to the region with a rusty brown look, to tint their nails. Henna leaves can be ground into powder and mixed with hot water to form a liquid dye. Though the plant leaves are green, once applied to the nail, the henna dye can range from light orange to crimson. This practice remained popular in Egypt from around 5000 to 3000 BCE. 


Feminist Global Impact and Expansion:

History Of Nail Polish

The 1920s were a time of social change and liberation, especially for women. In that era, a “flapper” was a fashionable young woman intent on enjoying herself and flouting conventional standards of behavior.         

Flappers defied traditional norms with shorter hair, daring dresses, and a taste for adventure. I eventually became a perfect accessory for this newfound freedom, a way to express individuality and embrace the dynamic spirit of femininity, even to this date.

Women’s changing role in society from housewife to vital part of the economy was also reflected in the advertisement industry.

History Of Nail Polish

Advertisements began to portray independent women expressing their feminine side. Du Barry beauty adverts of the time featured working women showing their manicures and pedicures. The nail industry’s biggest supplier Cutex also published images appealing to women to choose their nail color to match whatever situation.

Soon the idea of Nail art was also promulgated as an artistic expression in women’s magazine encouraging them to have a robust collection of Nail Polishes.

History Of Nail Polish 
A popular design of the time was known as the “half-moon” manicure, painting the middle of the nail and leaving the tip and the root of the nail in a crescent moon shape. This elegant design was also practical. One avoided the polish chipping at the edge, and kept the cuticle healthy. Pink had always been a standard color for elegance but a new trend from Paris brought bright red to the market. Red quickly became the wartime standard, the color of passion matching the spirit of the war effort. Later, color-coordination became a key point in fashion and matching clothes, shoes, and nails were essential. This pushed the industry to produce a wider variety of colors for more women to enjoy painting their nails with.

Now as we step into the 21st century, the global appeal of nail polish has soared, with a myriad of brands offering a spectrum of colors and formulations.

History Of Nail Polish

Male and more:

In 1954, Fred Slack, a dentist, broke his fingernail at work, and created an artificial nail as a realistic-looking temporary replacement. After experiments with different materials to perfect his invention, he and his brother, Tom, patented a successful version and started the company Patti Nails.

Nail Polish The Desi Indian Way:

History Of Nail Polishes

India's relationship with nail adornment has deep cultural roots. Traditional Indian nail art, often centered around intricate mehndi designs, has been a part of bridal and festive rituals for centuries. With the advent of trade routes, India was introduced to various pigments and dyes, influencing the local nail embellishment practices.

One of the oldest brands and yet still prevalent being Lakme. Started off as a need for Indian women to be exposed cosmetics catering to their skin tones and understandings, they today cater multiple dimensions of beauty products and are recognized as one of the most brand and affordability being it’s biggest USP.

It has seen multiple endorsements by top actresses in the country, and soon post the 90s the exposure to other brands such as Revlon and Maybelline also started making their mark, and eventually other affordable brands started coming up as well such as colorbar who poised themselves in a premium range experimenting with vibrant tones and a wide reach.

The Brand-Conscious Modern Era:

The early 20th century witnessed a significant transformation in the world of nailHistory Of Nail Polishes polish. Revlon, a pioneering brand, introduced the first opaque nail enamel in 1932, revolutionizing nail aesthetics. This marked the shift from DIY concoctions to commercial products, making nail polish accessible to a broader audience.

While Cutex is well-known for its nail polish removers, it's not credited with inventing nail polish. Cutex  was founded in 1911 by Northam Warren, and it initially gained fame for introducing a liquid nail polish remover that was less harsh than the existing options. Earlier the options existed in the form of pigments that were to be rubbed on the nails to add color to it.


New Nail Hub: I Love My Polish

In India "I Love My Polish" stands out as a one-stop destination for nail enthusiasts worldwide, as it kindles the domestic market to move beyond the cream shades and simply repackage them through aggressive marketing.

While the world sees unique finishes like Holographic, Magnetic, Reflective and so many more with long lasting appeal, India too was deprived of a global basket of Nail Polishes…….until we waltzed in!

Today Indian Nail Polish buyers have an access to a curated collection that showcases the best nail polishes from various corners of the globe.

Now colors and finishes live in a free world of artistic expression, where the whackiest shades are bid for, and it’s only compliments that accrue. Celebrating this spirit, ILMP caters the best Nail Polishes from countries such as USA, Russia, China, Europe, Brazil and also supports indie Nail Polish creators bringing it to your doorstep

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