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A Brief History Of Nail Polish

Anything can become weird if you think about it too much. Like how if you say your name over and over again, it begins to sound like nothing but weird sounds? That’s kind of what happened to me yesterday when I zoned out during my manicure. As I watched the polish going on my nails, I got to thinking, How did we ever think to cover up our nails? Who did it first? Why? What did people use? When did the shiny lacquers we have now become commonplace? Style nerds, rejoice: I’ve compiled a brief history of nail polish for you to digest.

  • Class Act: Nail polish is thought to have originated in China as early as 3000 BC when the Chinese used to paint their nails (with a mixture of egg whites, beeswax, and arabic gum) according to the colors of the ruling dynasty. Apparently, wearing nail polish was a marker of class: only the upper class sported it. If you were lower class and tried wearing nail polish? Death penalty. (At least, some sources say.)
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