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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

No waste November: 6 ways to use nail varnish

I have a secret problem that i will openly admit on here.... I am ... a nail varnish hoarder! I have hundreds of unopened and unused nail varnish. Why? I just like them :) The problem is i bite my nails down till they bleed and despite every new year making a resolution to say i will stop, i still do it. I recently gave alot of my collection away to my daughters school for raffles and for their fundraising activities and kept my favourite colors. Then i found a box i had packed when we moved, sitting in the loft, unopened and extremely dusty! Inside was, yes you guessed it, more nail varnish! 


Image from thegloss.com 

Instead of throwing the little bottles away with the drabs in the bottom i have been looking at ways to reuse what is left instead of wasting it. 

Here is some things i found on google and that i have tried and loved! 


  • Prevent tarnishing on costume jewelry 
I used to have lots an lots of this too. My nan used to paint a very thin coat of clear nail varnish on her (what she calls) "fake rings" to prevent the gold or silver layer coming off and looking nasty. 
  • Make smudge proof labels 
I have a little patch in my garden dedicated to herbs. I usually just write on a lolly stick but they look plain and boring. Simply paint a thin coat of clear varnish over a label to stop the writing smudging when it rains. 
  • Colour code your keys 
I often see those funky decorated keys in the shoe shop where we get keys cut. They charge £15 a key though which is way to far out of my budget considering i have 4 keys. I use the little rubber tops that fit over the keys but they are boring. I wanted some glittery sparkly ones. I would advise only painting the top of the key as the nail varnish will chip on the bottom from being used. You can avoid getting paint on the bottom of the key by using masking tape to separate them. I painted around 3 layers and then added a couple of layers of clear polish just to keep the glitter from picking off. 
  • Paint your shoes. 
I wouldn't advise doing this on a pair of leather shoes but the shiny material works well. I have a friend who regularly buys a cheap pair from Primark and uses nail polish and glitter to turn them into an £80 custom pair that you will find from Facebook sellers. I can not wear heels but i have tried this one a pair of flats i picked up for £3 in a sale. I painted the heel and the toe part and sealed them. So far they have not chipped and they look fantastic. 
  • Stop ladder runs in tights
I think most women do this as its quite well known. If you have a ladder appearing in your tights, dabbing it with clear nail varnish will stop it running further. 
  • Seal envelopes
I personally hate licking envelopes, the glue tastes vile! A few dabs of clear nail varnish will seal it shut and not leave a nasty taste in your mouth.

Here comes the no waste part...

When it comes to the last bits of the bottle, the nail varnish tends to thicken up. Sometimes the brush dries up too. Add a drop of nail polish remover and roll in between your hands a few times to avoid air bubbles and mix the nail polish remover in. It thins the varnish.

I then use the thinned nail polish to jazz up other objects. Around Christmas you can buy the clear baubles (i buy after Christmas when they are cheaper) If you pour the thinned nail varnish into the baubles and swirl them around a little they create a nice pattern. My favourite is a santa bauble. I use a bright red for the coat, and swirl around until halfway up, then once dry i add glitter to the outside for the bear and the buttons. Then for the face i use a thin brush and use a nude colour to paint the inside. They look great against lights.

Another favourite is painting phone cases. My old phone i was constantly changing cases. I would buy very plain coloured ones in bulk for next to nothing and use the remnants of old nail varnish bottles to make pretty designs. Custom made phone case for around £1. 

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