3 Tips to Make Your Nail Polish Last Longer in the Bottle


We’ve all been there. You pull out one of your old favourite nail polishes only to find it’s gone thick, lumpy and completely unusable. Taking proper care of your nail polish collection can delay the process, but sometimes, no matter how much you coddle and love it, it will still end up gloopy. And for that, there’s one holy grail product that will bring your polishes back from the brink of doom. 

1. Sensible Storage

Out of direct sunlight

If you’re going to have your polishes on display, keep them away from windows and sunbeams. If you want to take extra precautions, or have a huge stash to store, there are endless storage solutions out there. Some like a rack on the wall, boxes in a shelf, or drawer sets.

Personally, I keep my stash in an Ikea Helmer. These are a favourite among collectors as they’re a compact and efficient option for collections of a few hundred or more. The drawers are the perfect height for most bottles so it makes good use of your space.

I cut some pieces of non-slip mat to fit in the bottom of each drawer so the polishes don’t slip and slide about. I also covered it with Marble patterned vinyl and sprayed the handles white (but they’ve chipped a bit now) for that premium look.

Keep it upright

Take care to keep your polish bottles upright. If they end up on their sides or upside down, the polish can seep into the neck/thread of the bottle and dry in there – essentially cementing the lid on. You can sometimes claw it back from this point with perseverance and sheer strength (you might also need a good pair of pliers!), but it’s always better not to get into that sticky situation in the first place.



2. DON’T Put it in the fridge

I’ve heard a lot of myths that claim storing nail polish in the fridge is beneficial: it will make it last longer, it makes it dry faster, it’ll be easier to apply etc.. And I used to believe them until I learned the old fashioned way; from experience! IT’S ALL LIES!

Storing your nail polish in the fridge will cause it to thicken much quicker than it would at room temperature. There is science behind this… somewhere. And you can Google it if you don’t believe me!

3. Use nail polish thinner

Even if you keep your nail polishes out of the fridge and away from sunlight it’s kind of inevitable that most will thicken over time as the solvents in them evaporate. Next time you pull out a polish only to find the consistency is just too thick for it to be paintable, don’t throw it in the bin. Add a few drops of thinner, give it a gentle roll across the table and it’ll be back to normal. And I’m serious, it takes like 5 drops to restore a goopy nail polish.

It works for everything – your cremes, glitters and even top coats will benefit from a few drops every now and then so you can make it all the way to the end of the bottle and get your money’s worth.

I always get the ‘Profile Nail Polish Thinner’ on eBay and it’s available on Amazon too. It’s about £5 for 30ml, but like I said… 5 drops!


  • Sudheeksha Sudhakar

    These tips are very useful! I in fact didn’t know that keeping nail polish in the fridge harms it!

  • thanks for sharing

  • LinvanT

    The one about the fridge always gets me. And even if it worked; am I supposed to buy fridges just to store my polishes? Some say storing polishes cap down helps. That it’ll lock the air in preventing it from drying out, but I don’t think it works

  • These tips were so helpful to know. Thanks!

  • Thanks for the tips! I looked up the thinner, it costs about $45USD here! Ack! At that rate, I could have it sent from the UK to US! Does anyone have suggestions for a good one that’s cheaper in the US?! Thanks!

    • Jennifer Smith

      I bought one at Sally beauty supply for a couple dollars. It’s a huge bottle and works wonderfully.

  • Thank you for sharing, these are very useful tips! 🙂

  • Patti

    Usefull tips !!! I use thinner from Trind, but I need about 15 drops, ans sometimes a few days later the polish is thick again …

  • Swati

    I love your easy tips!

  • these are great tips. I also LOOOOVe your Helmer! I’m totally stealing that idea!