Nail Polish vs. Lacquer: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

As the fashion industry grew up, ladies equally seemed keen to take care of the nails at the same time along with making them look attractive. The varnish named as nail polish, nail lacquer, and nail enamel are applied on the nails to make them look shiny and attractive at the same time. The other benefit of these varnishes is to protect the nail from breaking and splitting. Experts believe that nail lacquer and nail polish are the words for the same type of cosmetic product. Apart from this, the local user is of the view that the nail lacquer is more associated with the protection of nails, whereas the nail polish is more about making nails look attractive.

Comparison Chart

Nail Polish Lacquer
Range Available in the specific colors and range. Present in diverse shades and colors in the market.
Chip Resistent No Yes
Standalone product It is is used as a standalone product with the aim to give nails a decorative look. Can be used both alone and as the standalone product.
Preparation The nitrocellulose is dissolved in the solvent like butyl acetate and pigments and colors are added in it for the preparation of the nail polish. The alcohol is dissolved in a solvent in the nitrocellulose for the preparation of the nail lacquer.
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What is Nail Polish?

The term nail polish is used for the varnish that adds shine and colors in the nails of the user other than protecting it from breaking and splitting. It will be relevant to mention here that, the term nail polish is on the market for the cosmetic industry across the globe stood established. Roughly speaking, people often refer it as paint for the nail, but it shouldn’t be taken into the literal context as it is a special kind of varnish that isn’t harmful to the nails. Even many of the people are of the view that nail polish adds up the much-needed moisturizer for the surface of the nail, which works in the growth of the nail. According to the experts, the nail polish was first used in China, thousands of years ago. At that time, the mixture of vegetables dyes, wax and egg white was used as the nail polish. The basic component of the nail polish are resins, plasticizers, coloring agents and the solvents. The nitrocellulose is dissolved in the solvent like butyl acetate and pigments and colors are added in it for the preparation of the nail polish.

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What is Lacquer?

The nail lacquer is the other term used for the nail polish. Experts believe that lacquer is the similar product with a different name. Although, users are of the view that lacquers share many similarities with nail polish at the same time there are many noticeable differences between both of them. Alcohol is dissolved in a solvent in the nitrocellulose for the preparation of the nail lacquer, which ensures the smooth and glossy finish to the material. It is said that lacquer is thicker material as compared to the nail polish. Therefore they require more time to get dry. Other than this common perception regarding the lacquer is that this type of varnish is handier for the protection of the nails as compare to the cosmetics for the nails. As we know that they provide thick covering on the surface of the nail, it protects nail either from breaking or splitting. The users also believe that the lacquer acts more like a chip resistant as compared to the nail polish. The lacquer is also known for providing the shine and glow, some of the people prefer to make the lacquer coating above the applied nail polish. On the other hand, many people use it as a standalone product which also works efficiently.

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Nail Polish vs. Lacquer

  • The lacquer is more associated with the protection of nails, whereas the nail polish is more about making nails look attractive.
  • The nail lacquer is available in the specific colors and range, whereas the nail polishes are present in diverse shades and colors in the market.
  • As lacquer adds up the thickness to the nails, so it is more of the chip resistant as compared to the nail polish.
  • The nail polish is used as a standalone product with the aim to give nails a decorative look, whereas lacquer gives thick covering along with making the shine and glow in the nails.
  • The nitrocellulose is dissolved in the solvent like butyl acetate and pigments and colors are added in it for the preparation of the nail polish. Contrary to this, the alcohol is dissolved in a solvent in the nitrocellulose for the preparation of the nail lacquer.

Explanatory Video

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