6 Things You Didn't Know About Nail Polish

Long before I officially hit puberty, I was playing with nail polish. Before I actually started painting my nails at the age of 12, I used the stuff for a variety of purposes, but there were also a lot of things I didn't know about nail polish to be learned. Back then, I used nail polish to paint weird art on my walls (art that definitely proved I would never be a famous painter). In an attempt to get the same look as my mother's polished red nails, I painted my Barbie's nails only to have them look like they had just committed murder with bright, red stained hands. During the holidays, I went around the house painting the white Santa Clauses that decorated our house in brown nail polish, only to achieve what was definitely Santa in black face (I swear, I thought I was being helpful because we could never find black Santa in New Hampshire). Yes, I was definitely a little punk with nail polish as my weapon of destruction.

Eventually, I found more productive ways to use nail polish. Actually painting my nails with it, for example. At first, I just used standard black nail polish to show off my teen angst to adults, but eventually the polish industry went crazy in the best possible way. DIY nail art became a weekly pastime of mine and I couldn't get enough of all the different texture topcoats. Oh, and glow in the dark nail polish was definitely a thing I couldn't pass up.

Remembering all the different reasons I used nail polish as a kid and as a teen made me reflect on all the things I didn't know about nail polish. I'm talking about weird facts beyond using clear polish to stop a run in my tights (a tip that has saved me on more than one occasion). Here are some random facts you probably didn't know about one of your fave beauty products.

1. In Paramus, N.J., It is Illegal to Sell Nail Polish on Sunday

Let's hope you never find yourself without clear nail polish and a snag in your pantyhose in Paramus, N.J., on a Sunday. Thanks to a 17th century blue law, it's technically illegal to sell polish on Sunday in Paramus. Fortunately, blue laws are rarely enforced and few stores are likely to deny you nail polish.

2. Nail Polish Can Waterproof Matches

If you are going to need matches on a rainy day to light a fire, be sure to put a coating of nail polish on top to protect the spark. According to Food Storage and Survival's website, one of the best ways to waterproof your matches is by painting the heads of the match with fingernail polish. Add this tip to your guide to surviving a power outage or an apocalypse!

3. Nail Polish Can Save Your Cheapest Jewelry From Tarnishing

Reconsidering that gaudy ring you purchased at Forever 21? No need to return it in fear of your new piece turning green — clear nail polish is a great way to save your cheap jewelry from losing its luster. My advise is test this home remedy on a piece of jewelry that you don't really care about because there are some serious claims about this trick chipping the paint on the jewelry as well. However, according to, nail polish is a great way to save your costume jewelry.

4. The Production of Neon Nail Polish is Technically Illegal

The idea that neon nail polish could actually be illegal was a huge to-do in the media at one point. Sources like Perez Hilton, the Daily Mail, and the Daily Makeover couldn't help but point out how seemingly ridiculous it would be to have certain colors of nail polish be against the law. Fortunately, you don't have to shove your hands in your pockets when you walk by the police with a neon colored manicure because wearing neon nail polish is not a crime.

5. Drinking Nail Polish Was Definitely a Thing Once

MTV's article "A Brief History With Russia's Failed Prohibition Campaign" states that folks in Russia with a dire need to remain tipsy during a prohibition campaign used several ingredients that today are considered very toxic — though I'm pretty sure they were back then too. Just like during the U.S. prohibition era, the Russians used cologne AND nail polish to fuel their not-so-sober good times. Definitely not something I recommend, no matter how undesirable that walk to the liquor store seems in this weather.

6. In Some States, There's An Age Limit on Buying Polish Remover

Being from New England, I am used to having to present my ID when I need to purchase allergy medication at all drug stores. In an attempt to prevent the production of methamphetamine, CVS went one extra step in 2013: New England stores started to request ID cards for the purchase of nail polish remover, which contains acetone, a main ingredient in meth-making. Fortunately, most nail polish addicts will not be confused with meth addicts (not that you can't be both) and don't have to worry about being on a nail polish black list. In August, the Huffington Post announced that only CVS stores in states that require the sale of products with ingredients used to make methamphetamine to be reported will ask for your ID when purchasing nail polish remover. Phew.

Image: MPD01605, Jane Dominguez, Mike Mozart/Flickr; Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson; oneinchpunch/Fotolia