Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


How do you deal with nail polishes that stain? Have you found a foolproof way to prevent it?

Temptalia's AnswerSometimes using a base coat of white polish can help. Generally, I use Zoya’s Base/Top Coat and that has prevented most staining for me!

Thanks to Lynnie for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

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36 thoughts on “How do you deal with nail polishes that stain?

  1. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ashley Ashley

    I bought a teal nail polish from Forever 21 and it stained my nails so bad! Also, I bought a light frog green color from Sinful Colors and it turned my nail a sickly green color for 3 months!

  2. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ana Ana

    let my nails breathe a few days, it really helps :)

  3. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Quinctia Quinctia

    Pro: Nail polishes don’t stain my nails.

    Con: Nail polishes don’t like to stay ON my nails.

    • collier

      ^^ I’m with Quinctia. EXCEPT : Zoya’s new matte/rough Pixie Dust glitters wear like a MOFO on me, and Nubar’s “Hot Lime” made my nails dingy fluorescent yellow-green until they grew out [months later].

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Quinctia Quinctia

        I’ve had good luck with the Pixie Dusts, too! Just had to take off London, though it still looked perfect after four days, because I wanted to attempt something springy looking for Easter.

  4. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    I’ve only had this happen with one polish, a deep red that turned my nails yellow, and I just left my nails unpainted for a couple of days, and most of the staining dissipated. When I had to go back out in public, I used a very pale pink, just to cover the yellowness, and prevent further staining, until it faded completely. It took a few weeks, but it wasn’t so bad. Now, when using deeper, or more unconventional shades (greens, blues, etc), I make sure to use a basecoat, and I don’t leave the color on for more than 24 hours.

    • MYALIBI

      You only leave it on for less than 24 hours? Wow.. i can never do that, always wanted to wait for at least 5 days before i take them off… But yes, base coat is a must!

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

        I usually only do that with a polish that I’m not too familiar with. After a few runs with it, I may go a bit longer. Between most polish chipping and/or flaking on me after only a few days, anyway, and the fact I get bored after that long, it’s not that big a deal for me. Also, I also have to wear more “conservative” shades, as well.

  5. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of rebecca blueraccoon

    Stick to gel polish. :P

  6. Nikki

    If I’m going to use a color that I’m concerned will stain, I do two coats of base coat. Also, I never, ever skip my base coat with any color. Also I saw on Pinterest that you can do a nail soak with denture cleaner. I had some Efferdent tablets (I use them to freshen up my Sigg bottles) and so I tried it. It didn’t work 100%, but I did notice a difference.

  7. When this happened to me once I heard you should use a nail file to file off the stained layer. I tried that and then tried to put base coat over it. It was a little weird texture but it kind of worked.

  8. As I’ve become nail polished obsessed, I am spending a lot more effort and time in keeping my nails in good shape. The drugs prescribed to me in the past years–low dose chemo–have done a nasty number on my hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and nails. For me to keep good length on my nails I have to baby mine a whole lot more than some. I do not leave polish on my nails for very long which goes a long way to avoid staining issues. I also try to use a basecoat for every manicure, but sometimes I’m just too darned lazy. For sanded polishes or pixie dust polish, they recommend you do not use a base coat. Other tricks in my arsenal: After removing a manicure I give my nails a spa treatment and leave them nekkid for a number of days before the next manicure. This also helps to get rid of residual staining. Moisturize your hands and nails a lot during the break. My nails are now strong enough to withstand wear and tear without polish.

    I find the super shiny top coats to be particularly drying and also yellowing and while they make your nails look amazing, after 3 days, my nail tips look smaller as the top coat shrinks and starts to curl my nails a bit in at the sides. I hate this. It’s not noticeable in the summer when the humidity levels are higher, but in the winter when it is dry, I notice it the most. I find the CND product does not shrink as noticeably as Seche Vite.

    Last, nail hardeners are really bad for staining as well and many of them contain formaldehyde. They can do wonders for your nails for the first few months, but eventually they all promote dryness and cracking. Occasionally I will put a gel with calcium coat on my nails for 2 days. Otherwise, I take liquid silica (silicium) to help keep my nails stronger. Oral biotin doesn’t work for me personally. Hope some of these tips help.

    The End.

  9. Rebecca

    I have heard lemons rubbed on your nails will help whiten them from polish stains.

  10. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Katherine katherine

    I’m rarely without nail polish. If one does stain it’s not an issue because I almost always have nail polish on anyway. I use a base coat so I really don’t have much problems with staining. I have used lemon juice to remove stains and it worked fairly well in the past.

  11. Let my nails soak in remover for a bit, then scrub ‘em with cotton.

  12. I always use a base coat; that helps. I actually don’t mind too much if it stains my nails, since I always paint my nails so they are covered. However, the ones that stain my cuticles when I go to clean up the edges…argh! Wearing a beige polish next usually helps to lift some of the staining for me.

  13. .F. K. S.

    Use a clear base coat, and check the online reviews for reports on staining.

  14. This happens to me all the time! I’m glad that I’ve seen this post, I’m going to try this out before applying my selected nail polish. Because of the staining, I don’t apply nail polish that often, only when there’s an occasion. Ugh, I hope that this would help my nail polish to not stain anymore. Thanks for the help!

  15. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Precious Precious

    I always do at least two coats of base, but staining can be inevitable sometimes (I’m looking at you, China Glaze Four Leaf Clover.), so I soak my fingers in lemon juice to get rid of the stain. :)

  16. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Megan Megan

    I wear nail polish all the time, all colors and I’ve never had a staining problem. I think the key is quality. As long as you use a good base coat then you won’t have a problem. Also manicures can sometimes help with any little issues you have.

  17. Yellowlantern

    Imma be lurking checking out these responses. I’ve only experienced staining once on one nail (the damn green/blue stain is still there), but so far my only solution has been to just keep wearing polish.

  18. Slava

    A good base coat should prevent staining but I used a Revlon one that unfortunately didn’t and after several polish changes I found my nails yellow and it’s embarrassing particularly when you want your mail beds to breathe polish-free for awhile. You can buy nail whitening soak kits at Sally’s or other places but I heard this really weird trick and was curious to try it one time after my nails had yellowed from repeated dark polishes. I’d heard that you can use those cleaning powders you scrub your pots or sink with like Comet/Ajax (they contain some bleach) and scrub your nails with a bit of that dampened and with a nail brush and omg did it work! Not advocating regular use or anything, but if you’re in a bind and not allergic to bleach…

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Ella - FaB Girls Blog Ella

      Catherine Zeta Jones recommends denture cleaning tablets for the same thing. They’re effervescent so lift stains (apparently!)

  19. lara

    Same idea as yours — I always use an opaque polish that’s close in color to my nail bed, in addition to base coat, whenever using any color other than very light or sheer. Seems to help, but not completely eliminate problem. Also go without polish for a few days helps

  20. MYALIBI

    I had staining on my nails when i was using my OPI base coat. But now I switched to the nail polish foundation by Butter London, never had the problem ever since. It’s not clear, has a sheer beige to it, just like a sheet foundation. I am not sure if the color was the reason but just an idea for anyone looking for a new base.

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amanda Amanda

    Apparently brushing your nails with whitening toothpaste will remove stains.

    • It does an OK job!

      I actually had Zoya- Envy stain my nails really badly (which was surprising because I’ve never had staining issues with their polish before). It looked like fungus because of the green color, so of course I went in search of a solution because I want to wear it again if possible.

      I tried the toothpaste trick, and it does work. The stains didn’t come off 100% but it made a huge difference! They looked normal enough that I could wear a light color and it wouldn’t show.

  22. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Joanna Joanna

    As many have mentioned, a good base coat usually prevents it. Gently buffing, using a very mild abrasive like baking soda as a scrub and hydrogen peroxide soaks has worked for me in the past.

  23. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Dinitchka Dinitchka

    Ever since I have become nail polish obsessed I have tried so many different tricks, techniques and trials by error. I ALWAYS wear a base coat. For me the cheaper the better. Lately I have been skimping on the top coat because I have been testing a ton of Pure Ice glitters. The only issue I have had WITH a basecoat is a Spoiled by Wet n Wild green polish and Illamasqua Rare. By the next mani it was gone. I love blues and have never had an issue except the one time I chipped a nail and I quickly fixed it without putting down a base coat. I had a slight blue stain to my nails. By the next mani it was gone. I do use pure acetone. I’m not too sure if that helps to eat away the stain? Or the slight filing I do?

  24. Geneva

    I purchased Essie Pretty Edgy, green polish and it stained a few of my nails. I always use a base coat, OPI Nail Envy. It took about a week for the stain to go away. It’s the first time my nails have ever been stained. I have been reluctant to use the polish again. If I use it again, I will definitely follow some of the suggestions posted.

  25. VickyM

    Well I would simply let my nails without nail polish for some days or weeks depending on hoe long it would take the staining to fade. It would be a plus if this happened in winter since I don´t use sandals or open shoes in cold weather and I only paint my toes. Obviously the offending nail polish would end up in the garbage :) .

  26. I always use a base coat and then a coat of ridge filler (I really like China Glaze’s ridge filler) to prevent staining. Just make sure you let the ridge filler dry completely to prevent bubbles.

  27. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Laura Laura

    Generally a decent basecoat does the trick, but certain polishes just STAIN. I used Illamasqua Viridian a couple of months ago (with basecoat) and the stain is still growing out. It’s a great colour, but what the hell?

  28. Lea

    Protip: Use a thick base coat. Every single time.