Popular Colors and Names

The nail polish manufacturer OPI, which sells more than 40 million bottles of polish a year, is well known for coming up with clever names for its many hues. More than 57 of its shades are pink, one of the most popular being a cotton candy color called "Princesses Rule!". Sixty-nine polishes are shades of red, and "I'm Not Really a Waitress" is the perennial favorite among the reddish shades. More than 40 OPI colors such as "Chocolate Shakespeare," "I'm Fondue of You," "Coney Island Candy" and "Black Cherry Chutney" are named after food. "Black Onyx" is the most requested shade among men.

Nail Polish and Nail Health

Before you indulge in a relaxing mani-pedi, it's a good idea to think about the chemicals in nail polish and their effect on your overall nail health. Fortunately for us, modern technological advances have made nail polish much healthier than its car paint inspired predecessors.

For example, formaldehyde and toluene were once a popular ingredients in nail polish, and although they are still used in some nail products, greener and more natural nail polishes have replaced these chemicals with more health-friendly products. Products containing formaldehyde and toluene also can cause allergic reactions, manifesting in the form of swollen eyelids, in many people. Revlon, Sally Hansen, Rescue Beauty Lounge and OPI products have all phased out these potentially harmful products from their polishes.

If you use a good nail polish product free of harmful chemicals, your nails will likely be stronger and healthier with a little maintenance. To optimize nail health, moisturize your nails before polishing to prevent them from drying out. Also, keep in mind that you shouldn't use nail polisher remover more than twice a month. Instead, touch up chipped nails with polish. When you do use nail polish remover, avoid products that contain acetone, a product that's known to dry out nails.