9 Ways To Make Your Nail Polishes Last Longer

My nail polish hoarding habit was passed onto me by my mom, who has a full crate of nail polishes that she refuses to let go of, regardless of if they're actually still useable. Figuring out how to make nail polishes last longer has been a process since then, though, and I'm happy to report with some tips and tricks, I've finally started taking care of my polishes. Now, they last much longer.

Although it's infuriating when you chip your nail polish, reaching for the perfect shade of pink polish only to open it to find a gloopy mess is even more upsetting. Times as a 20-something are harder than ever and in between trying to dodge stereotypes about being lazy and insensitive, I'm also busy trying to be thrifty wherever possible. That means not binning dried up nail polishes but instead going to the effort to revive them.

Some of these tips are old tricks your mom could probably tell you, and some are literally printed in the storage instructions on the side of the bottle. But lest we forget, I'm notorious for ignoring both my mother and instructions. By compiling my own list of nail polish preservation tips, I can feel that little bit cooler about investigation nail varnish storage strategies.

1. Keep Out Of Direct Sunlight

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You're told to store polishes in a cool, dark place for a reason. Bright lights damage your polishes, so avoid them at all costs, as blogger Michelle Phan suggested. You'll be happy you did.

2. Store Somewhere Cool

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If your storage spot is completely pitch black but also hotter than the surface of the sun, you're still causing damage to your polish. How can you expect them to stay wet with heat radiating through the glass to your precious polish?

3. Store In The Fridge

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This one seems like it would be a myth, but it's totally true from all my years of painting my nails. It's a cold, dark place and a bit of fun for when a guy is rooting about your fridge. Beauty blogger Michelle Phan shared the same tip recently in regards to storing polish. Pretend all girls drink nail polish and that's why we're so pretty.

4. Use It Often

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This is something I've learned from years of polish hoarding and use (or lack thereof). Although depleting your nail polish supply might not seem like the best idea, I've noticed the nail varnishes I've not touched in years are the very first to dry out/go gloopy/separate.

5. Stir Them

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This is a must for me and my nail polish collection. Specifically to ward off separating (although exposing the polish to the air may add to drying out issues), I find stirring polishes I haven't used in a while makes them last a little longer, especially if I don't plan on wearing them for a while.

6. Screw The Lid Back On Tightly

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Well what do you expect if you leave the lid half on and forget about it for three days? Screw the lid on so tight that you get pissed off at yourself the next time you go to use it, at least then you know it's safe!

7. Cover The Bottle While Painting

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Keep a penny handy and while the brush is on your nails, cover the top of the bottle to avoid air getting in! Think how much drying could be happening whilst you spend fifteen minutes painting your nails.

8. Invest In Polish Thinner

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Polish thinner is a separate product sold by most nail brands for you to add to your nail varnish when it starts going gloopy. It brings the polish back to the perfect liquidity for painting.

9. The Cheaper Option: Pour In Some Nail Polish Remover

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Some people will insist that you should buy polish thinner, but personally, I've never gone wrong by the hand-me-down trick of dripping a bit of nail polish remover into a gloopy bottle. It works and it's easy enough to work out how much is the right amount to use — a very, very tiny amount.

Nail polish should last as long as you want it to, and with these tips, it just might be possible.