How to Thicken Nail Polish

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No matter where you apply polish to your nails, whether you’re at home or in a nail salon, too-thin nail polish can causes problems.

We’ve put together this article on how to thicken nail polish.

  • Additives can be added to make nail polish thicker
  • Opening the lid and exposing it to air can make it thicker
  • Thickeners can sink to the bottom. A good shake can thicken things up.

Here we have easy ways to thicken nail polish quickly without too many tools and ingredients. Both ways work well to thicken that extra runny polish.


Why Does Nail Polish Get Thin?

OPI Nail Polish

You are likely using thin nail polish because of the following reasons:

To create long-lasting and vibrant effects, nail polish is formulated from polymers, resins, and color pigments. 

Each nail polish has the same compounds but differences in color and thickness. So if your polish is too thin but purchased from the same brand as you always do, what could be the cause?

It could be the components in the polish settling or changes in the brand’s formulation.

It could be the components in the polish settling or changes in the brand’s formulation.


How to Thicken Nail Polish: Tips to Thicken Polish

1. Shaking the Bottle

The next time your nail polish feels too thin, do this: rub the bottle between your palms, rolling it like you’re warming it up in the winter.

A thicker polish can be achieved through friction between your hands and the polish. 

The faster the polish moves, the more thoroughly the components are mixed, the better the polish will blend.

The faster the polish moves, the more thoroughly the components are mixed, the better the polish will blend.

Nevertheless, too much shaking can cause air bubbles to form in your polish, causing air bubbles to appear on your nails… and this is not good for your nail beauty. 

2. Use a Thickener to Thicken Nail Polish

Xanthan gum is a common thickener for nail polish. It prevents ingredients from separating by thickening and stabilizing them. As a thickener for polish, it is widely accepted and works well.

The powder form of xanthan gum is easy to use and lasts a long time.

Be sure to mix the first amount very well and check the consistency before adding more.

Take a toothpick or orangewood stick to inspect the consistency, and add small amounts until it’s thick enough.

Overdoing the xanthan gum may cause your polish to be excessively thick. Using pure acetone, just a drop or two, should solve the problem.

If shaking doesn’t work, try air, then the thickener to gain the consistency you want. Some nail polish can be harder to thicken due to the chemicals.

3. Leave the Bottle Open

If the polish is too thin after shaking it up, open the bottle. Use nail polish remover to wipe over the brush. 

Keeping the brush damp ensures that it does not dry out when the polish thickens.

The best place to put the polish is near a fan, open window, or door. The more airflow, the quicker it will thicken up. Do not place the bottle in the sunlight, as this can cause the color to fade and change shades.

Do not place the bottle in the sunlight, as this can cause the color to fade and change shades.

A nail polish’s ability to thicken depends on several factors, including temperature and circulating air. So check the viscosity often and keep an eye on it.

The polish thickens for some people within minutes, but it can take others days to thicken. 


Is It Possible to Paint My Nails With Thin Nail Polish?

Maybe you were planning to wear that stylish green dress and need to have the right nail polish to go with it. You can’t just use any color in these cases!

Can you apply that thin polish to your nails?

Yes, thin nail polish can be applied to nails. But you must apply several coats to achieve the desired shade. The correct color cannot be achieved with a couple of thin coats of polish. 

Let’s start by putting on some thin nail polish. Because it is watery, scrape the inside of the bottle’s neck with your nail brush to remove excess polish. This will stop it from dripping on the table or your skin.

Initially, the nail polish color only appears very light.

The extra time you give the nail polish will ensure it dries before adding another layer. Insufficient drying can cause the polish to stay sticky.

Apply more coats until the final color is what you want. A total of four to five coats may be required.

Apply more coats until the final color is what you want. A total of four to five coats may be required.

You are now ready to apply the topcoat.

Additionally, the consistency of your nail polish depends on its purpose – nail stamping, for example, requires a thicker polish.


Does Thickening Nail Polish Have Any Drawbacks?

Nail polish can be dried out and used for nail stamping, but it’s not very useful otherwise. Using it for its normal painting will no longer be possible. This will waste nail polish if you don’t do stamping frequently in the first place. 

Is There a Better Option?

A nail art stamping polish is a good alternative – it’s specially designed for the right thickness for stamping. The whole process is simplified by stamping polishes. There is a natural thickness to them, as well as a greater pigmentation.


Can Out-Of-Date Nail Polish Be Thin?

Basic nail polish has an expiry date of 24 months in most cases. The fancier gel polishers can last for up to 36 months. Nail polish will start to deteriorate once you open them. So don’t open the bottle until you need to use it.

It is also important to store the nail polish as per instructions. 

Basic nail polish has an expiry date of 24 months in most cases. The fancier gel polishers can last for up to 36 months.

They can go rancid if the polish is stored in direct sunlight and moist rooms like the bathroom. Outdated polish can go thin or the opposite, extra thick. If the same polish you buy often has a different consistency and smells yucky, throw it out.

The expired polish can carry bacteria, and it will lose the bright color pigment, and chemicals can start to separate.


Conclusion

There is no right or wrong consistency for nail polish. It might be easier to have thicker stuff for stamping. On the other hand, you might prefer thinner as it’s easier to apply and might not be as bright.

Thinner is no problem. You just need to add a few more layers than normal.

Written by Kayla Young

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