How to Keep Your Favourite Nail Polish From Turning Into a Gloopy Mess

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It can be pretty upsetting when your favourite nail polish — the one you wear on your nails when you want to feel your best — turns from liquid into a gloopy, thick mess. Not ideal! While it might feel like the end of this precious polish, there are a few things you can do to revive it.

The next time your favourite nail polish is seemingly beyond help, try out these handy tips and tricks so you can keep rocking your signature colour for a little bit longer.

Hot Water

This a great starting point on Operation: Gloopy Polish. Fill a bowl of hot water and submerge the bottle into the water for a few minutes. The heat from the water helps to thin the consistency of the polish out.

Nail Polish Thinner

There is actually a product that was created for this very issue — say hello to nail polish thinner. This product allows you to get a little more life out of your polish by thinning out the consistency without ruining the integrity of the polish. Kester Black’s Nail Polish Thinner ($22) is our favourite one to use — you only need to pop a few drops in and you’re good to go!

Roll the Polish

Rolling the bottle of polish between your hands isn’t just good for preventing the polish from chipping, it also helps to thin out the product. This technique helps remove air bubbles from the polish, which in turn, helps to thin it out a little. Shaking the bottle can make the polish thicker and increase the number of air bubbles, so give this a miss.


If you can’t get your hands on nail polish thinner, acetone or nail polish remover is your next best bet. While this is definitely a last resort, it can prove helpful with some polishes but isn’t guaranteed to fix them all. Add a few drops of acetone to your bottle and mix (don’t shake!). According to Miss Malini, while the acetone will provide a quick fix, it will eventually break down the formula of the polish and ruin it, so something to keep in mind!

Seal Your Bottles

Prevention is always more effective than the cure, so to prevent a gluggy texture from occurring, try to keep all of your nail polish bottles fastened securely. According to MindBodyGreen, when oxygen seeps into the polish, it can cause separation and change the texture after a period of time.

Leaving bottle opens can also dry out the formula, which in turn, leads to a more sticky consistency, making it much harder to apply to your nails. As well as sealing your nail polish bottles, it’s also important to store them correctly. Keep your nail varnish in a cool, dark place as both light and heat can also impact the formula.

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