Nail polish and nail art are rapidly growing beauty staples. As nail polish grows, so does the terms we use to describe nail polish. Have you wondered what a creally is? What is the different between gel and jelly? Listed below are some of the most used terms below with examples, hopefully this helps you navigate the polish world!
Did we miss anything, have a burning question? Ask below in the comments and we will do our best to answer, and add to the post if needed!
3 Free: A polish that does not contain Toulene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) & Formaldehyde in its ingredients.
4 Free: A polish that does not contain Toulene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) & Formaldehyde, and Formaldehyde Resin. KBShimmer is 4 Free.
5 Free: A polish that does not contain Toulene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) & Formaldehyde, and Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.
Boutique/Boutique Polish: Polish companies that may be owned and designed by one (or a few) people, but are made and bottled in labs. RBL, Cult Nails are examples. Some companies in this category may select predesigned polishes from a lab vs. designing on their own, but still often connect directly with the consumer.
Crelly: A polish finish that can be layered to cover the nail line, but still has some sheerness to allow glitters to show through.
Example: Oh Splat! A white crelly polish that has a rainbows worth of glitters that shine through.
Crème/Cream: An opaque polish with a glossy finish. Usually opaque in 1-2 coats and that completely covers the nail line.
Example: Stonewashed, an opaque polish that covers in 1 coat.
Duochrome: A polish that shifts between two colors depending on the angle and lighting.
Example: Lilac Dreams (Now discontinued), a lavender polish that shifts to pink depending on angle
Foil Method: The technique used to remove glitter (and gel) nail polish. A cotton ball/cotton pad and pure acetone is placed on nail, the foil is wrapped around the finger and cotton and left for 5-10 minutes. Glitter or gel polish should slide right off. Tutorial Here
Gel: Polish that is cured or hardened with a special light. This polish is most often found in salons, and will not harden without the use of special lights. This is a type of polish, not a finish.
Glitter Top Coat: A type of polish finish that has glitter suspended in a clear base, best worn over a cream color.
Example: Clown Puke, our multi-colored glitter topper.
Holo/Holographic: A type of glitter that reflects and refracts light, giving off a rainbow shine when viewed in the light.
Example: Hexy Bikini
Indie or Indie Polish: Nail polish that is designed, created, and sold by independent owners. Most often, this term is used to mean that polish is hand blended and bottled by the designer directly for sale to the public. Indie company owners often connect via social media directly with the consumer. KBShimmer is owned by Jason and Christy Rose, who still hand make most of the products offered, and are proud to offer unique glitter combinations to adorn your nails. You can find Christy running the KBShimmer Facebook and Instagram Page.
Jelly: A colored polish that has a transparent finish that may show the nail line. Jelly polishes are not the same as gel polish.
Example: I Got A Crush On Blue, a blue jelly polish with holographic glitters
Linear Holographic: A version of holographic glitter finish that is so micro fine, when applied the glitters line up to form the rainbow effect in a line, strongest in sunlight or direct light.
Example: PT Young Thing, a silver linear holographic polish
Mainstream: A polish made by a large company such as Zoya, China Glaze, OPI, which can be found in larger stores such as Wal-Mart, Ulta, Sally’s Beauty. These polishes are mass made and there is little, if any direct interaction between the owner(s) and consumers.
Multichrome: A polish that shifts between multiple colors depending on the angle and lighting.
Example: Pigment Of My Imagination, a polish that shifts from golds, to reds and orange, to blue and indigo depending on the angle.
Nail Line/Visible Nail Line (VNL): The nail line is the area where the nail passes the skin at the tip of the finger, often this area is whiter in color and therefore can show if polish is sheer or if too few coats of polish are used.
Example: You can see the slight VNL on the ring finger, this is our jelly polish, Bell Of the Mall
Quick Dry: A type of polish that is designed to dry to the touch in 1-2 minutes, and get fully hard within 5-10 minutes. Clearly On Top is a Quick Dry Top Coat, but KBShimmer polishes themselves are not quick dry.
Example: Clearly On Top
Texture: A glitter polish that dries to a rough, bumpy finish.
Example: Partners In Lime
Vinyl Nail Decal: A sticky nail art sticker made of vinyl that can be left of the nail to create nail art.
Example: Tribal Pieces from the Tribal Vinyl Decal Sheet.
Vinyl Nail Stencil: A vinyl nail piece that is intended to be placed on a nail, then removed to show the color underneath in a pattern.
Example: Wavy Lines
Big Thanks to all the bloggers who have sent us photos to use, including The PolishAholic, Nail Polish Wars, Adventures in Acetone and LacquerLoon.
And lets not forget to throw in a few memes.