Store Fingernail Polish

Bottles with fingernail polish
Q: I usually store my fingernail polish in the refrigerator, in a freezer bag, yesterday I took the bag out to do my nails, about two hours later I was getting ready to put the bag back in the refrigerator & one of the bottles broke (quite a mess, but luckily, only inside of the bag).
Is there a better solution to storing the bottles? This is the second time in a year that this has happened. Years ago someone had told me if you store your polish there it would go on smoother.

A: The idea behind this is that the cooler temperature will prolong the “shelf life” of the nail polish. This has some basis in truth, but has its own problems, since the colder the polish is, the thicker its consistency will be, and the polish should usually be allowed to warm back to room temperature to be easiest to apply. The chemical component in nail polish that keeps it fluid truly only evaporates to any significant degree when the bottle is open.
My own mother and aunt used the “refrigeration” method for storing their polishes, with my mother using the tray/box from kitchen matches to stand her bottles in, while my aunt used a storage bag (like you describe). My aunt did have an occasion where she had to discard the whole bag because a bottle broke, while my mother never had a problem with breakage.
I think the problem you have could simply be a matter of the bottles jostling against one another resulting in damage and possible weakening of the bottles. Simply understand that this opinion is based on my anecdotal evidence.
While keeping your polish in the refrigerator won’t harm it, the benefits are marginal in practice. Consider that the shelf life of nail polish is usually only one year whether it is opened or unopened. The better option might be to invest in a bottle of nail polish thinner, which can be used to restore the consistency of any polish that has become too thick to apply smoothly.
Furthermore, be sure to close up your nail polish bottles carefully. Use a cosmetic sponge (since they don’t leave lint residue) dipped in nail polish remover to wipe the threads clean on your polish bottles before you place the caps back on. This will help prevent the bottles from becoming sealed shut by drying polish. And if you have any polish that is more than one year old, discard it and replace it with a fresh bottle.
Photo: Picsfive/Shutterstock
See also: Manicures and nail care