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Nail art is a fast growing fashion technique which involves creative colouring and decorating of fingernails as well as toenails. Several combinations of various colours are used to create patterns which are then used on the nails of the person. It is a popular fashion activity which is offered in numerous salons around the world.
Nail art is not a recent phenomenon but has been in existence since the ancient times. Nail art was used in the ancient Babylon where males used to paint their nails according to their social status. In 3000 BC, the Chinese used to polish their nails with an enamel to get a pink finish. Indians have also practiced nail art since the ancient times and used to paints made from the plant of henna on their nails. The Egyptian civilisation is another where nail art was used according to the social status but it was used by women. Women of higher class wore dark shades of red while the ones who belonged to lower classes wore lighter and paler shades. The paints used by the Egyptian civilisation were also derived from the henna plant. The Inca civilisation is a much better example of the beginning of what we see around usually in today's day and age as nail art – they used to paint images on their fingernails.
Nail art has always been a part of the many cultures and was introduced as a part of many modern manicures in the nineteenth century. A very popular idea for nail art in that time was the moon manicure in which the nail was painted with the moon of the nail remaining unpainted. A revolution came in the nail art industry by the Revson brothers, who named their company Revlon (the 'L' was inspired by the name of the third contributor in their business, Charles Lachman) as they started selling enamels made from pigments instead of dyes to paint the nails. This offered better finish and colouring. The trend grew exponentially and many women fell in love with the nail paints which Revlon had to offer in that era.
There have been many creative improvements and additions to the nail art trends and the use of different materials has been observed. Many nail art designs are drawn onto the nail using a thin tipped brush. The nails are first covered in a base paint (which could be of any color from neutral to a dark and deep shade) and then a thin tipped brush is dipped in a different color and used to draw certain designs. A present innovation in the nail art segment is the introduction of nail wraps which have pre printed designs on them. One only needs to wrap these around their nails and the design is automatically printed onto their nail without the need of using a thin tipped brush.