ASK ANA – Color Changing Nail Polish


color-changing-nail-polish-nailcarehqColor Changing Nail Polish

We all love color changing nail polish, but have you ever experienced your normal nail polish changing color over several days?

In this article, I’ll answer

  • Why a polish can change colors.
  • Why acetone is your friend.
  • How to test whether it’s the polish, the base coat or the top coat causing the color change.


Hi there. Thank you so much for all the information contained on your site. My nails have grown very long for the 1st time since my husband and I split almost 4 years ago. Now I have a new problem lol!!!!!  I am very fond of “natural” colour nail polish. Very pale almost translucent pink shades.  After only a day or 2 of wear, it becomes a horrible non-discript grayish colour. As I follow your 5 step wrap-around nail polish advice, I don’t want to be using acetone any more often than 1 x per week.  Any advice on how to keep my nail colour fresh looking? ~Paula


Paula, this is such a great question.

I was curious, so I did a quick internet search. I found information about the popular color changing nail polishes, but nothing that answers your question.

If it weren’t for my friend Donna, owner of Sweet Baby by Donna, I wouldn’t know how to answer your question.

We used to carry our own line of Bliss Kiss™ base and top coats. She told me that there were two white polishes that our top coat turned a toasted marshmallow shade.

For her, there was an interaction between one or more of the top coat ingredients causing the color changing.

Fear of Acetone

Although acetone is drying to the top surface layers of the nail plate, it’s a very important part of manicures.

We have to remove the polish. But there are ways to minimize the drying effect.

The first way is to only use pure acetone. Non-acetone nail polish removers dissolve polish at a slower rate, so they are actually more drying to the skin and nail plate.

The second way is to NEVER scrub with acetone and a cotton ball.

It’s better to use a piece of cotton saturated with acetone and let it sit on the nail to dissolve the polish.

I explain this in more detail in my Fastest Way to Remove Polish article using my Soak and Swipe™ method. The manicure clips help your body heat warm the acetone so it dissolves faster than when it’s cold.

Another way to reverse the drying effect is to do a mini or overnight hydration. I have the steps listed in my Overnight Hydration article.

These two techniques will change your life and make the manicure process a lot more fun!

Ready To Test?

Here’s how I would test this over 6 days.

When doing any scientific test, you want to decrease your variables to one variable at a time.

Start with just the polish. Don’t use a base or top coat. I would do this on just my pinky nails.

If you were to apply it to all nails, the polish would be prone to a lot of tip wear and chipping on the other nails. We want the polish to stay for at least two days.

If the polish changes color it’s highly possible that sun exposure is changing the color. Not all polishes have SPF ingredients.

Now try again but apply a base coat first. Does the color change in two days? If yes, then it could be an interaction with your base coat.

For the last test, apply the top coat over the color. If the color doesn’t hold after 2 days then the guilty culprit is the top coat.

I’ve Got an Answer, Now What?color changing nail polish

Depending on your results, it may be beneficial to find the base coat, top coat, or both from the same brand as your color polish.

Hopefully, that will solve the problem!



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