Despite what some people believe, nail polish has been around for a long, long time. Some people believe it’s a recent invention because of the chemicals that it contains. However, nail polish has been around since ancient China, where it is believed to have been invented. Supporters of this theory claim that from China, it was exported to other civilizations, like the Egyptians and the Romans, which took them to Europe first, and then the rest of the world.
Back in those times, nail polish wasn’t merely a matter of choice. Like clothes, it had a strong symbolism and it was often used to indicate the status of a person in society. For example, some colors of nail polish could only be used by the upper classes, while the lower ones had to stick with earth colors or colors that didn’t vary much from the natural color of the nail.
In a similar way, some colors of nail polish were thought to have magical properties, and special textures or tones were reserved only for certain rituals. Even the higher classes, or religious leaders wouldn’t wear them out of such rituals since it was considered blasphemy.
Today is a different story. Nail polish is not the religious and class symbol that it’s used. Instead, it’s a form of individual expression and beauty. Contrary to what some men believe, nail polish is a fashion and personality statement.
The beauty industry has seen the rise of several brands and names over the decades. Some of them last a few years and disappear, never to be heard of again. Others pass the test of time and become a classic. Manufacturers and designers have understood the appreciation of color by women, and have developed several collections and tones in order to appeal to their customers. Some brands cover the biggest size of the market, while others tend to serve a small, but well positioned niche.
This level of competition in the market has forced companies to comply with the trends of society. As of lately, this means the return to a more natural lifestyle and the preference of natural products over chemical ones. The result is that all big names have studied and changed the composition of their nail polishes, in order to get rid of the chemicals that have been deemed dangerous by various associations. This is great news for lovers of nail polish, as they will have access to better products without the worry that they might get poisoned or have long term effects.
It is difficult to know how the nail polish industry will develop. But we can be sure that whatever the tendencies of the customers and society turn out to be, nail polish will continue to be an important article in every woman’s purse.