Women have been using nail polish ever since ancient times. Nowadays, it has become an essential component of beauty kits. It is one of the prominently used cosmetic products which is empowered by implausible advancements of the industrial revolution & new capabilities of the modern chemistry. Let us explore the history of nail polish, how and when was it invented?

When Was Nail Polish Invented?
Use of nail polish was first started in China during ancient periods. It was worn by rulers and the people of high society in ancient times. They used it as a symbol to show that they are powerful and wealthy. Ancient nail polish contained a mixture of gelatin, beeswax, egg-white which was dyed with roses and orchids. It was left on nails for some hours leaving the stain. Reds & blacks and adding in metallic-dust of silver & gold were the common colors. Stained nails were like a symbol of power & wealth.
The nail polish invented in the ancient China was then moved across Africa, India, and the Middle East. The Egyptians began coloring their nails using henna. Cleopatra uses plant-extracts to color her nails using intense blood-red. During 19th century nail-polish & dyeing became common among people in France, US, Italy, & England. But it was in the 20th century, when several advancements took place and nail polish transformed as we know it today.
During World-War 1, the US apprehended German chemical patents- leading to Nitrocellulose release in the American market. Its ingredient included car paint in the 1920s. French manicurist Michelle-Manard improved the ingredients to make an opaque nail-polish. Her boss, Charles Revson, saw it as the best thing, and from that he & his brother Joseph started a new company, Revlon, which had the first-colored enamel for nails back in 1932.
In 1911, Northam-Warren struck gold using his side-hustle a cuticle remover known as Cutex. Since then he provided more nail-products, including the first nail-polish, which was a clear nail lacquer. The company presented it back in 1916 & called it a Nail Enamel/Polish. Later, the rose-tinted liquid nail-polish was added to their collection & created extra colors in the following years.
Rich ladies were free to color their nails with any color. On the other hand, the poor ladies had limited color choices which were mostly pale ones. Zhou-dynasty had silver & gold as their trendiest colors while in Ming dynasty, the more preferred color was red and black. Presently, nail polish is available in all possible mixtures of color & opacity. Nowadays, there’s no limit on the way a lady manicures her nails. She stays natural, opting for a single soft/vibrant color or being creative with embellishments and nail art.

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When Was Nail Polish Invented?