Monday, 3 September 2012

The history of nail polish - part three

Time for part three of the history of nail polish!
If you missed part one and two you can find them easily in my gallery to the left under "Nail polish history".

Nail colouring during 1200 – ca 1930

The first few centuries during this period don’t cast much light on nail polish trends. 
Nevertheless, here are a few notable highlights:

The Inca’s (1200-1500s) are said to be the inventors of nail art. They decorated their fingertips with images of eagles. After this it’s unclear how the practice of colouring nails progressed for a while.

An Inca warrior

During 1500-1800s it’s suggested that nail polish of any sort remained petty throughout these centuries.
Portraits from the 1600s and 1700s include shiny nails, but not much else.

Portrait from the 1600s

Although largely unconfirmed, it’s rumoured that the French manicure made its first appearance in 1700s in Paris. Color wasn’t around so much, and people went more for the simple manicure. You could, however, find nail polish recipes in cookbooks. :D

Portrait from the 1700s

In the 1800s and early 1900s, people pursued a polished rather than painted look by massaging tinted powders and creams into their nails, then buffing them shiny. One such polishing product sold around this time was Graf's Hyglo nail polish paste. 

Ad for Graf's Hyglo Paste

Some people during this period painted their nails with an air brush.

Cuticle remover came in 1911. The remover eliminated most of the tedious and difficult cutting of the cuticles. This made home-manicuring easier, but strangely enough, beauty salon manicures increased immediately. The promotion of cuticle remover had made women (and men!) more conscious of their hands.

Ad from 1909 for a clear nail polish. Notice it's a man getting his nails done!

By the end of the 1800s, nails were often tinted red with scented oils before being polished and buffed with a chamois cloth, rather than simply polished.
The focus eventually shifted away from tinted nails to a clean, polished nail that remained the trend through the 1930s.

But then someting happened that would change it all!!

Stay tuned for part four of the history of nail polish to find out what happened next! ;) 
Next part will also be full of beautiful vintage nail polish ads! :D


  1. Jag börjar spontant att fundera på vad det var för ingredienser i de första nagelprodukterna. Ett tag använde man ju bly i sitt smink innan man visste att de hade ihjäl folk på löpande band. Undrar om det var nått i nagellack och nagelbandsremover osv. då som vi nu aldrig skulle ta i med tång ens :)

    1. Som med det mesta så var det supernaturligt i början, med växtextrakt och ägg och sånt, men sen blev det farliga ingredienser som självantändande medel och sånt, och så ganska nyligen så börjar man ta bort farliga ingredienser, som 3-free nagelack nu t.ex. Man kan säkert forska mer i det där med ingredienser, man jag kör lite basic nu i början ;)
      Appropå det, när kommer ditt nästa ingrediensinlägg på din blogg? Ser fram emot den!

  2. Din blogg e så inspirerande och feck va bra du skriver!!:) jag ser framemot fortsättningen :D


    1. Tack Sabinapina! Det betyder massor för mig att du skriver så!! Tack snälla! <3
      Dy vet att jag bloggar för dig! Puss! :-*


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