Polish Dictionary

Here’s a list in alphabetic order of different terms one would see in the nail community.

B3F (or Big 3 Free): Polishes that do not contain formaldehyde, toluene and DBP.

BL: Butter London nail polish.

CG: China Glaze nail polish.

Creme: nail polish finish that is your standard nail polish without any shimmer or glitter. Just a one tone color.

DL: Deborah Lippmann nail polish.

Duochrome: nail polish finish that shows two or more shifting colors.

Dupe: when two or more polishes are identical in shade and finish. A very good example of this would be Chanel’s Peridot. It has soo many dupes for the Peridot. OPI’s Just Spotted the Lizard, GAP’s Gold Rush, and DL’s Swagga Like Us are one of the many dupes for Peridot.

HTF/VHTF: Hard to Find and Very Hard to Find. Sometimes, you may see a couple of V’s in VHTF like VVHTF to represent how hard it is to find. I have also seen ITF used (which stands for Impossible to Find)

Lemming: to have an intense desire to own a specific polish (and possibly willing to spend $$$ to get it) especially after seeing a picture of it on someone else’s nails.

Nail Mail: see https://justricarda.com/2013/01/21/what-is-a-nail-mail/ for an in-depth explanation.

No-Buy: promising oneself not to buy any more polishes for a certain period of time after realizing how much was spent on nail polishes.

NOPI: Nicole by OPI nail polish.

NOTD: Nails Of The Day.

RAOK: Random Act of Kindness. When you send someone or when someone sends you a package just because they want to.

SH: Sally Hansen nail polish.

Sheer: a nail polish finish that is usually used for french manicures – sheer enough to see the white tip.

Shrinkage: the little white space with no polish on the very tip of the nail. Often happens with fast-drying top coats like SV.

SOPI: Sephora by OPI nail polish.

Stash: nail polish collection.

SV: abbreviation for Seche Vite (an awesome top coat by the way, but unfortunately it does have some shrinakge).

VNL: Visible Nail Line. This is the nail white that is visible under some sheer or jelly polishes.

WNW: Wet n Wild nail polish.

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