Blue. Green. Yellow. Nude. Orange. Grey. Purple. Which one of these is your favorite color?
Just like choosing your favorite outfit color to go to a gala dinner or a nude or Russian red lipstick to suit your mood, picking a colored cutex can put you in a tight dilemma too. As I was painting my nails to suit my turquoise top, several thoughts were running in my head:
Who discovered cutex?
My gut feeling told me that the idea of nail polishes must have culturally morphed out from the idea of henna or vice versa. I was imagining a lady in a palace experimenting paint that was extracted out from cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and flower petals. She began to mix those ingredients up to achieve the “EUREKA” moment.
To be more certain of this feeling and figment of imagination that I have, I began to read up the history of nail polishes to further understand how the idea came about.
“Nail polish originated in China, back in the 3000 BC. In 600 BC, during the Zhou dynasty, the royal house preferred the colors gold and silver. Yet, red and black eventually replaced these metallic colors and named as royal favorites. During the Ming dynasty, nail polish was often made from a mixture of beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, vegetable dyes, and gum Arabic.”
“In other societies like Egypt, nail polish or henna signifies a social hierarchy and culture. The lower echoleons of society wore pale colors while those on top, painted their nails reddish brown with henna.”
“In the 9th century, nails or known as “Cutex” were tinted with scented red oil, and polished or buffed. In the 10th and early 20th centuries, people preferred a polished rather than a painted look by mixing tinted powders and creams into their nails, then buffing them until shiny. One type of polishing product sold around this time was Graf’s Hyglo nail polish paste.”
In other sources, acrylic nails was ironically not discovered by a beauty specialist but by a dentist named Fred Slack Jr who broke his fingernail whilst he was at work. He then created a temporary replacement of a fingernail that look quite real. His brother Tom Slack, patented the acrylic version and started a business name Patti Nails.
To make life easier for you, here is an info-graphic summaries the history of nail polish.
What is Peelable Cutex?
I came across peelable cutex when I was roaming around the streets of Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur on a Saturday night. The colors ranged from striking red to soft and subtle pastel colors. Peelable cutex are temporary cutex that can be removed instantaneously by peeling it off gently. Based on personal experiences and inputs gathered from my cousins, it is advised to peel it under a running tap water or wet tissue for greater ease.
To match the red and pink petals, red with transparent glitters were painted on our nails to sink into the beauty exuded by the floral petals.
We even matched our blue bubblegum gelato ice cream with turquoise cutex!
What is the hoo haa about “Halal Cutex”?
Water Permeable Nail Polish aka Wudhu friendly Nail Polish was then discovered which I believe was to adapt to Muslimahs’ requests. I tried Zahara nail polish, a new range of wudhu-friendly nail poil which just launched in September this year.
I got my nails colored with ‘LadyBoss’ shade. Amongst all colors in ZAHARA, I love the elegance and feistiness of this shade.
Take a look at how nail polish has morphed over the years. Its chemical contents may have changed over the years but the purpose remains – beauty.
When my vanity starts to creep up, the curious cat mind in me will continue to pop up several thought provoking questions as I begin to paint my nails:
“How long does water take to seep through the nail polish?”
“In terms of permeability, how different is water permeable nail polish and henna?”
“Can a cosmetic scientist come up with a brilliant idea or producing blue or green colored henna to eliminate these doubts?”
Now that we know the history of nail polishes, ever wonder how will it look like in 50 years time?