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Is Nail Polish Makeup

Is Nail Polish Makeup? Let’s Settle This Debate Once & For All

Nail polish, sometimes also referred to as nail varnish or nail paint, is a specific form of liquid that is applied to the nail plates of the fingers and toes to adorn or protect them.

With the introduction of new varieties of nail polishes on the market on a regular basis, demand continues to rise. Nail companies are experiencing significant growth across the field, including nail kits, and nail accessories, in addition to nail varnishes.

However, the argument over whether these cosmetic items are makeup or not continues.

So, is nail polish makeup? 

In this article, we will discuss the many forms of cosmetics and conclude once and for all if these beauty items are actually makeup.

Beauty Products/Cosmetics

Cosmetics are made up of a combination of chemical components that come from both organic and manufactured origins. 

Cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and sunblocks are examples of skincare products that are used to clean, exfoliate, and protect the skin while also renewing it. Conditioners and body soaps, which are meant for more generalized personal hygiene, are used to cleanse and exfoliate the body. 

Cosmetics that are meant to improve one’s look, such as makeup, can be used to hide imperfections and highlight one’s natural features. And cosmetics like fragrances are intended to give the body a pleasant scent.

While the legal definitions of cosmetics are more extensive in most nations, certain Western countries believe cosmetics include solely makeup items such as lipsticks, mascaras, and a range of other face products.

Whereas there are many distinct cosmetics used for an array of diverse reasons, there is a broad consensus that all cosmetics are usually designed to be used externally. These applications of these products can be divided into the following groups.

  1. Face (eyebrows, eyes, lips, and skin)
  2. Body (hands, legs, and nails)
  3. Hair

Types Of Cosmetics

Some of these beauty items are meant to be used for skin care, some for personal care, and yet others to enhance the user’s outer appearance. Makeup is a subcategory of cosmetics that generally refers to items comprising color pigments that are meant to modify the user’s looks.

The following are the major categories of cosmetics.

1. Decorative Cosmetics/Makeup

Decorative cosmetics, more commonly regarded as makeup, are cosmetic products intended for the face, hair, and other parts such as the eyes, lips, nails, etc.

2. Skin Care

Skin care encompasses a variety of techniques that promote skin consistency, improve skin attractiveness, and alleviate skin problems. 

A skin-care regimen consists of three fundamental steps: cleansing, moisturizing, and adding sunblock. And, skin care products include cleansers, toners, eye creams, moisturizers, sunblocks, and more. 

3. Hair Care

Hair care is a beauty products category, focused on items intended to improve the look of hair. Primarily, hair care products include hair oils, shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks.

4. Fragrances

Fragrances, often known as perfumes, are scented liquids that may be sprayed to generate a long-lasting aroma. These cosmetic products are made by combining several chemicals. Perfumes can be classified into many categories based on their composition.

5. Makeup Tools

Makeup brushes are the most common type of makeup tools. These special kinds of brushes, made either of natural or synthetic materials, are intended to apply beauty products like foundation and eyeshadow to the body and face. 

Natural brushes are terrific with powder-based cosmetics, whilst synthetic brushes are excellent with cream-based solutions.


Makeup is a sort of cosmetic substance used to tone and accentuate the face, according to Merriam-Webster. Foundations, mascaras, eyeliners, and lipsticks are just a few examples.

The notion, however, is not restricted to face-related items. All beauty items used with other areas of the body are considered makeup. A tanner, for example, is a type of body makeup.

Types Of Makeup

Now, makeup products can further be divided into a number of subcategories. The most noteworthy are listed below.

1. Face Products

Essentially, these are cosmetic products, which are applied to enhance and tone the contours of the face. This category contains two types of products, colored or tinted ones like foundations and bronzers and mattifying or smoothing ones like setting powders. 

2. Eye Products

Eye makeup is a form of cosmetics that seeks to draw attention to and enhance the appearance of the eyes. Some common eye makeup items are eye primers, eyeshadows, and mascara.

3. Lip Products

Lip cosmetics are widely used to provide color, smoothness, and moisture to the lips and to outline their exterior margins. Lipsticks and lip tints, which give texture and color to the lips, are frequently available in a variety of colors and textures, including matte, glossy, and metallic textures.

4. Nail Products

Nail products usually include nail polishes and additional kits and accessories for manicures and pedicures. 

As we know, nail polish is a liquid solution used to enhance the appearance of fingernails and toenails. Certain nail paints, such as clear nail polish, are used as base coats to protect the nail from the chemicals in the nail polish. 

Nail polishes are now produced in every shade of every color and in a variety of textures, like glossy, glittery, matte, and more.

Nail Polish

As previously said, nail polish is a varnish that can be used on both fingernails and toenails. The purpose of this special kind of liquid is to primarily beautify the nails and sometimes to protect the nail plates.

Now, this type of nail polish is made comprised of an organic polymer and many additional substances that bring it its textured surfaces. The composition has been tweaked several times to improve the aesthetic effects, reduce chipping and peeling, and avoid discoloration.

Nail polish is a word that dates back to the times when nails were actually polished rather than coated and lacquered as it’s done at present. 

Is Nail Polish Makeup?

The reason for the dispute over this subject is that makeup is generally interpreted to include just face cosmetics such as foundations, eyeshadows, and lipsticks in several western countries. However, most nations’ legal definitions of cosmetics are much broader.

So, this does not necessarily rule out the possibility of nail paints being used as cosmetics.

Based on the definitions of makeup and nail polish, it can be concluded that nail polish is indeed makeup. That is because cosmetics or beauty goods refer to any and all products used to cleanse, enhance, or modify the appearance of one’s face, hair, body, or nails.

As a result, nail polish is, by definition, makeup.

Unless you’re one of those people who believes that makeup exclusively refers to products that are applied directly to the face, you’ll agree that nail polish is actually makeup.

Final Words

Considering nail polish is used exclusively on fingers and toenails, and not on the face, there is an ongoing debate over the classification of this cosmetic product. 

We have stated our stance on this contentious issue. But what do you think? Is nail polish makeup? Let us know in the comments. 

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