Reader Request: Can You Thin Nail Polish?

19 Sep

Happy Monday, friends! Fall has fallen upon us, meaning I’ve really started to bust out the dark nail polishes – and so have my friends! That means a pertinent nail polish question for the ages comes into play.

Sara asked: Can you thin nail polish? My nice dark colors from last year are all goopy and sticky. So’s my Seche Vite.

You certainly can! Here’s my advice to making sure your polish stays as spreadable as the day you bought it.

  1. Store your nail polish in a cool, dark place. I recommend keeping it in a Tupperware in your closet – out of direct sunlight and away from radiators or anything of the sort is the key!
  2. Make sure the cap is screwed on tightly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often I find that an occasional bottle is slightly open – this makes the polish thick and gunky.
  3. Are the contents separated? This doesn’t mean the polish is no good – roll the bottle between your palms until the colors are blended. Don’t shake! This will cause bubbles in the bottle that will show up on your nails.

If you’re having difficulty doing your manicure because your lacquer has already reached that level of maple syrup thickness on your nails, here’s how you can thin out the texture of your nail polish:

Orly Nail Polish Thinner

Orly Nail Polish Thinner (sallybeauty.com)

DON’T add nail polish remover, though you may have heard this is how to fix your old nail polish. It’s not – it’ll destroy your nail polish, which is bad news for that limited edition color that was so hard to come by. DO, however, add a nail polish thinner, which is specially made for this. Add one drop at a time and then check your progress, because you can always add more – you can never go back! Try this one by Orly – remember, a little goes a long way!

Ahh, the Achilles heel of Seche Viteit gets super thick and very difficult to apply after a few months. I usually just bite the bullet and buy a new bottle after a while, even though it’ll set me back about $7. However, the makers of Seche also have a product called Restore, which does exactly what it says – restores the topcoat. I’m not totally convinced that it brings Seche back to its original greatness, however, which is why I usually just end up purchasing a new bottle. You can check out Restore here on drugstore.com.

Happy painting! Thank you, Sara, for the great question!

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2 Responses to “Reader Request: Can You Thin Nail Polish?”

  1. Sara September 19, 2011 at 6:47 PM #

    Thanks :)

    I figured if there is paint thinner (for walls) then there must be paint thinner (for nails).

    • makeup maestra September 19, 2011 at 6:53 PM #

      you are most welcome!

      oh definitely. i recently read that nail polish is pretty much the same as car paint…

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