Mini Mission: Nail Polish

For many women, a luxury that has been cut out in these tough economic times is manicures and pedicures. And while nothing really beats an afternoon of being pampered, it does make better financial sense to buy a nail file and some pretty polish and do it at home. But, did you know that nail polish expires? Ever wonder why your at-home manicure sometimes peels and bubbles moments after it's dry? It turns out that it's the age of your polish. So, as part of my mission to clean out my nightstand (there are a ton of bottles in there) and Works for Me Wednesday, today's mini mission is to clean out your nail polish.

A couple of nail polish guidelines for you. First, depending on which expert you listen to, nail polish has a shelf life of ONE to TWO years. Most actually say you should toss it after ONE year. This is hard for me, since I know I have not purchased any new nail polish in 2009, so I should probably toss all of mine. Aside from the whole germ thing (you're touching your hands with the brush, then it lives in the polish), the nail polish itself changes consistency as it ages. Once it gets thick and goopy, toss it. Notice how when you use an older bottle you get more air bubbles or it peels or chips more easily? It's not you - it's the age of the polish. And you know how after it sits for awhile, it starts to separate? That's a sure sign it's past it's prime. As for me, I'm getting rid of nearly all of mine. I found some super old bottles in my nightstand, and I know that a few of my more "current" bottles are actually nearly 4 years old. Ew.

Next, when you buy a new bottle of nail polish, write the date you got in on the bottle. The easiest way to do this is with a sharpie on the bottom. So the new polish you buy today (because, now that you've thrown away all your old polish, you need to buy new stuff, right?) gets labeled 10/09. That way you can easily see when it's time to toss.

Finally, storage. I know that some people store their nail polish in the fridge - don't. Nail polish is especially sensitive to temperatures and humidity, so keep your nail polish someplace dry and with a fairly even temperature. I like to also keep mine somewhere where I can see it - I'm more likely to use things when I know I have them.


Struggler said...

Ooh, I have some that is way older than that! You're right, it does get kind of gloopy after a couple of decades. :)

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