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The ancient art and rituals of colourful painted nails


Colourful nails make us happy and following the trail of history on nail polish, we may conclude that this striking act of nail embellishment has been making women happy for over 3000 years already. That’s right. 3000 years ago the Chinese at the royal courts invented the art of nail decoration.

During the Zhou Dynasty royals applied real gold and silver to make a regal distinction, but red and black lacquer soon replaced these metallics as the royal favourite colours.

By the time the Ming dynasty was in place in China, nail polish was often made from a mixture of beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, vegetable dyes, and gum Arabic. Basically glue with a bit of colour and lots of shine.

If we look a bit later in time we find that in ancient Egypt during the reign of Cleopatra women went as far as adhering precious stones onto their nails. That must have been a very costly process to maintain, but then again doing the dishes was absolutely no part of these women’s daily routines. The Egyptian upper classes wore a distinctive red polish which was more difficult and costly to make and thus only available to the rich. The lower classes had to make do with pale colours.

Modern times

Nowadays you can choose from numerous different ways to enhance the look of your nails and luckily it’s affordable for everyone. Glitter, animal print, little paintings or fake nails with diamonds. If you can name it, you can have it. And if you feel really bold and brave you could of course try your hand at some nail art. Here’s an interesting link that explains different designs easy to follow even for beginners:
But if you really want to have perfectly groomed nails, visit one of our Hand and Nail bars located at selected RITUALS stores. That’s not only very convenient but also extremely relaxing!

The best

Our nail varnish contains a special formula composed of natural minerals enriched with a blend of powdered gemstones. No doubt you’ll feel as glamorous as Cleopatra. For the summer of 2014 we launched a beautiful palette of matching colours. Check out our complete collection of summer nail polishes 

So now at last we have to ask you.

What is your favourite nail polish colour?

This post is also available in: Spanish


  • September 7, 2014 Reply


    I just stumbled over your Blog cause my mailccount was full an so i didnt receive that notifying message efore.
    Asking about the favorite nail color? Unfortunately you took it out of rogram recently but i was lucky to get the last three bottles of MOON at “my” store…
    Looking forward to seeing a new every day jewel like that to wear on my nails, it was just perfect.

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