If you have an extensive nail polish collection, you will inevitably have nail polishes whose color will be separated from the oil and chemicals. It happens to everyone, and most people think it is fine to use the cosmetic after slight shaking still.

But is it the right thing to do? Should you still be using a nail polish after its color has been separated from the formula? Let’s take a look into the details of using separated nail polish.

Can you use separated nail polish?

A direct and short answer to the question would be, yes, in most cases you can use separated nail polish.

The reason of separation of nail polishes is the difference of weight in the chemicals used in the cosmetic and with time the heavier ones go down to the bottom. But this issue can be solved by shaking the nail polish or mixing it with hand, and there is nothing wrong with using separated nail polish.

Using a sticky nail polish?

If you’re worried about your nail polish turning sticky, you don’t need to be worried because it does not indicate the end of the lifespan of nail polish. Although it can refer to reaching the end of the lifespan of the nail polish which is usually two years after the cap is removed. You can still use a sticky nail polish without hesitating, but it is better to add two drops of acetone for better quality.

Preventing separation for your nail polish

Everyone would want to keep their valuable and favorite nail polish from being separated. Here are a few things that you can do to prevent separation.

  • Store your nail polishes in a cool, dry place. A makeup box or cabinet is an excellent example. Direct sunlight and heat can cause your nail polish to become separated.
  • Ensure the cap is tightly closed.
  • Keep the nail polish straight and upright. If the cosmetic falls, pick it up straight away. This would prevent the chemicals from being separated.
  • Invest in better high-quality nail polishes. It is obvious that quality nail polishes would be more sustainable, last longer and pays you off better in the long run.

Cheap nail polish is easier to separate and harder to fix.

When to dispose of nail polish?

Goodbyes are always hard and especially when you have to bid farewell to your favorite nail polish. But fear not and think that all good things come to an end. And if you dispose of your old nail polishes, you’re always making space for the new ones.

But when is the right time to let go of your nail polishes? It’s not necessarily when the bottle is half empty or when your nail polish is separated. Nail polish should be disposed when it cannot be fixed from separation, and it is too crumbly to use. The standard life of nail polish is 2years and anything past that time is a bonus. But if the nail polish seems unrecoverable, then it is time to bid farewell to your precious cosmetic.

How to dispose of the nail polish?

It might be surprising for you, but throwing the nail polish in the trash is not the right way of disposing of nail polish. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, nail polishes are considered household hazardous wastes and should be disposed of properly because of their chemical composition.

We do not recommend to throw the nail polish in the trash or pour them down the sink. The right way to dispose of the nail polish or the nail polish remover is by taking it to the nearest waste facility or a waste collection near you. These people would know the proper way of dealing with such cosmetics and hazardous chemicals.


We have seen that there is no harm in using a nail polish which is separated and that you can even fix it by mixing it or shaking it slightly. If the nail polish can’t be fixed and has been more than two years old, it is time to let go of your accessory.