Nail Polish: Price vs. Quality

Elementary and Middle School Science Fair Project Ever wonder how drug store brand nail polishes stack up to salon quality products? Kelsey, middle school student at Tauranga Intermediate School, did and decided to put together an experiment to test various nail polish brands to determine how long each lasts and, based on this analysis as well as cost, what brand offers the best value for your money!

A few things to think about...

  • Generally schedules are cyclical. For example, you might have swimming practice every Monday night or clean your room on Saturday mornings. When testing each polish, try to keep things as consistent as possible by applying the new polish at the same point in your schedule - e.g. every Sunday night. Also, set a specific time frame for study (for example Sunday evening to Saturday evening) and note any unusual schedule items that may have affected the polish. An extra swim in the pool. Sitting through an intense movie where you nervously bit your nails. Volunteering at the concession stand where you opened various containers/pop cans throughout the evening. All of these can play a part in the durability of your polish.
  • Always follow the same process. If you clipped and buffed your nails before applying the first test polish, do the same for the remaining polishes. If you used a base coat, two coats of polish, and a top coat in the first go round, do the same for all those that follow. Sample routine: clip (try to clip to a similar length each time), file, buff, apply base coat, apply two coats of polish, and finish with the top coat. [NOTE: Also pay attention to drying times between each coat. Try to keep these consistent from test to test - to the point of timing each - so that your results aren't skewed due to bubbling and/or uncured polish layers.]
  • Consider taking photos of your nails each day. These are not only great for keeping track of how soon polish chipped, peeled, etc., but, printed as small booklets (one for each nail polish tested), they also make a great visual for your display.
  • Project extension - Look at the ingredients in each polish. Some nail polishes contain formaldehyde and other questionable ingredients. Consider not just looking at cost, but also which polish brand is better for your nails.

These are just a few suggestions! Consider taking a peek at Kelsey awesome display and, perhaps, if you have other questions, she'll be able to help you out!