The 7 Types Of Nail Polish, Decoded By Look, Formula, And Lasting Capacity.


The 7 Types Of Nail Polish, Decoded By Look, Formula, And Lasting Capacity.


Nail polish has gone from a basic way to groom and spruce up your look, to a full-blown art tool. Thanks to the rage that is Instagram nail art, newer, more advanced techniques of application have come to be, causing brands to innovate and give us new formulations as well.

While that is great for consumers who love trying new things, it is also confusing for those of us who aren’t well-versed in manicure lingo.


The most basic of them all, crème nail paint is the standard nail polish formula we are used to applying. It has a slight shine and usually comes in loads of colours now.



Metallic nail paint, as the name suggests, resembles a metal in its finish. It doesn’t have large or visible particles of sparkle like glitter nail paint does, but has a certain lustre which we see in metals like silver, gold, and bronze. Not only that, these don’t have a coarse texture like glitter nail polish.

Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Color – Ready To Propose


Gel nail paint is often confused with crème nail paint, but is more long-lasting, chip-resistant, and expensive. Initially only applied if the finished look involved processing the colour under a UV lamp, this can now be used at home to get similar-looking results.

However, if we were to get technical, then there is a difference in how creme nail paints set in comparison to their gel counterparts. Gel is basically a name that came about to describe the hard UV gel that bonds and sets under a UV lamp.

3ina Brown Gel Nail Polish


While many nail polishes out there are marketed as chrome, this is more a type of manicure than anything else. You *can* always buy chrome nail polish, but to get the mirror-like reflection characteristic of this, you need chrome powder, a sponge applicator and a nail lamp, in addition to regular nail polish and a clear top coat. Our advice? Head to a salon if you want a quality job. This long-lasting treatment is worth it!

Nykaa Mirror Chrome Nail Lacquer – Copper Age


Pearl nail polish was a huge rage in the 90s and early aughts. It contains fine pearlescent particles which give the polish a uniquely delicate sheen. Usually, paler colours like shell and white pearl are common in this.

Nykaa Unicorn Potion Nail Enamel – Sugar n Spice, No. 235


When there are visible particles of glitter, be it round, star-shaped, or square, suspended in clear polish, that is usually glitter nail paint. This is best applied on top of a solid colour, or layered many times for drama.

Colorbar Pro Unicorn Fantasy Arteffects Rose Wings Nail Lacquer 5

However, it is important to note that there are several kinds of glitter nail polish. Some of them have big glitter particles, while some of them have more minute sparkles which are more concentrated.

LOreal Color Riche Les Goldleaf Top Coat 920


Matte nail polish involves taking the polish out of the equation, and keeping nails coloured but shine-free. When buying matte nail paint, try to go for unique pastel shades. This is because colours like true red, electric blue, or magenta pink in matte often end up looking like you filled your nails in with sketch-pens.

Lakme 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Nail Color – Blush


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