Vanessa Cruz Nail Polish Durability

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this experiment was to rate nail polish on its durability, how long it lasts when being used. I became interested in this experiment because I want to see which polish stays the longest. The information gained from this experiment will help others make choices when buying nail polish.


Nail polish is a lacquer applied to the human nail for decoration or protection. It’s history dates back to 3000 BC and originated in China. There are many different formulas for nail polish, but most have the same basic parts: film forming agents, resins and plasticizers, solvents, and coloring agents. Ingredients are tested in labs by chemists to find the best mix of ingredients; as new and better ingredients are found, older ingredients are no longer used. For example, formaldehyde used to be an ingredient in nail polish, but is rarely used now.

The main ingredient in nail polish is nitrocellulose; it creates a film that holds things together. It is made of liquid mixed with small cotton fibers. Nitrocellulose must be mixed with other ingredients to form a good coating. To add flexibility and resistance to soap and water to the polish, the nitrocellulose is mixed with resins and plasticizers. There is not any one type of resin or plasticizers that is used; each manufacturer chooses what they think works best. The next ingredients added are the color pigments held together by solvents. The nitrocellulose works to reduce the brittleness of the polish and to help it adhere longer, the plasticizers keep the polish flexible and durable helping to make it chip resistant.


My hypothesis is the Broadway Nails Gel Strong Nail Polish will stay on better than the others. I base my hypothesis on the fact that a gel manicure from the nail salon stays on better than regular polish.


Broadway Nails Gel Strong (Blackest Black)

LA Colors Color Craze (Bloomerang Purple )

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear (Dabbler Light Blue)

Sally Hansen Insta-dri Fast Dry (Snappy Sorbet)

Jamberry Professional Nail Lacquer (Sweet Sangria)

5 Clear Plastic Cups

Nail file

Hand soap

Dish soap

IV: Types of Nail Polish

DV: Durability of Nail Polish

CV: Type of Cup, Person Doing Experiment


1. Gather Materials.

2. Paint one stripe of Polish on the top of each cup. Let dry.

3. Label each cup with a task, one on each cup: Control, Dishes, Dirt,

Hand-Washing, and All 3.

4. Do task listed on each cup once a day.

5. Observe and record observations daily.

6. Measure durability after 10 days.

Observations/Log Data

The first time I noticed the blue on the hand washing got chipped. All of the colors chipped off in the dirt. The dish soap did take the colors off. With all three, all the colors started to chip off.


The original purpose of this experiment was to rate nail polish on its durability, how long it lasts when being used. The results of the experiment were that the Sweet Sangria was the best color to stay in, then Blackest Black, then Bloomerang Purple, then Dabbler Light Blue, and then Snappy Sorbet.
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My hypothesis was the Broadway Nails Gel Strong Nail Polish will stay on better than the others. The results indicate that this hypothesis should be considered not true. Based on the results of this experiment, Jamberry Professional Nail Lacquer is better then the rest of the nail polish. If I were to conduct this science fair project again I would use other types of polish and colors.


I would like to thank Mrs. Soden and Mrs. Hauptmann for helping with my project. I also want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Vance for helping me during the experiment.