Best I can figure I haven’t used OPI Black Shatter since February of 2011. I used it over Orly Ancient Jade. Why? I have no idea. Looking at it now I can’t even imagine why I thought that was a good look…
Anyway, I pulled it out of my Melmer earlier today to use it only to discover it was a dried out, thick disaster. It was in a completely unusable state.
Believe it or not, until now I’ve never had this problem. I’m pretty good about keeping my nail polish in good condition. I store it properly and have never really had a problem with polish drying out. I wasn’t exactly sure how to proceed.
After doing a little research, some patience and a lot of shaking I’ve managed to get my OPI Black Shatter back in working condition.
Below the jump is exactly how I restored my dried out nail polish and some tips on avoiding having polish dry out in the first place! (And a couple of things not to do…)
Just a note regarding old nail polish: It doesn’t expire. Really. Many companies put expiration dates on nail polish because they are required to. I’ve heard all kinds of time lengths nail polish is “good” for. None of this is true. So don’t throw away nail polish you like. If it has separated or dried out it can be fixed!
- The nail polish that needs to be restored
- Nail polish thinner. My favorite is Orly Nail Lacquer Thinner. But any and all nail thinners will work! Sally Beauty has a generic Beauty Secrets thinner that’s very affordable.
- Add about 2 drops of thinner at a time and shake the polish. If it’s still too thick repeat the process. Most polishes will be restored by just doing this.
- If you’ve added 2 or 3 drops several times and you’re not getting anywhere add another few drops of thinner and let the polish sit. I let mine sit for about an hour.
- Shake the polish again. Repeat step 1 and 2 as necessary. The bottle of Black Shatter I was working with is an extreme example. I had to add a few more drops of thinner and really shake it even after letting it sit.
- That’s it! Pretty simple.
Warnings & additional tips:
- Whatever you do….DO NOT PUT NAIL POLISH REMOVER IN YOUR NAIL POLISH. Sorry I yelled. But seriously, I’ve read even in magazines that putting a little bit of polish remover in nail polish will restore it. It’ll restore it and slowly destroy it.
- Don’t get overly aggressive with the nail polish thinner. Only add a couple drops at a time. If the polish gets too thin, it’s very difficult to make it thicker. If this does happen to you, leave the cap off and periodically check the nail polish consistency. Eventually this should re-thicken the nail polish.
- If you’re dealing with nail polish that’s basically entirely dry add the thinner then take a toothpick and use that to begin mixing the polish and thinner.
- Before going through all of this make sure to shake your polish really well. It may not even need thinner. It may just be the pigments settled and the polish needs a good shake.
- If you are absolutely dead set on not getting any nail polish thinner and your polish isn’t too thick you can try adding a small amount of clear polish to the dried out polish. I do not recommend this method but it can work. It can also be a disaster. Proceed at your own risk!
It’d be nice not to even have to deal with dried nail polish at all, right? There are a couple of things that can be done to prevent this:
- Make sure you are storing your nail polish properly. I did a post on the best ways to store nail polish. You can check it out here.
- Keep the threads on the neck of the polish clean. If polish builds up on the neck of the bottle it not only will eventually make the polish very difficult to open, but it will let air into the polish, causing it to dry out.
- Don’t leave polish sitting open. I know I get distracted while doing my nails and can sometimes leave the bottle open. This allows for extra evaporation.
If you have any additional tips or tricks make sure to leave a comment!