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Color Changing Nail Polish | Ultimate Guide

Color Changing Nail Polish

Why settle for a single nail paint color when you can have color changing nail polish for your beautiful nails? Forget the nudes, pastels, and neon nail polish. That is so yesterday, am I right? That is why I am here to enlighten you about color changing nail polish.

Color changing nail polish can refer to a variety of things. Most people think of mood polish, which changes color in reaction to temperature. However, the color changing catalyst may also be sunshine or even the angle from which you view the polish. 

Let’s go through the many varieties of color changing nail polish in this talk.


Have you heard of this yet? A thermal nail polish. If not, let’s get over the basics.

What is thermal nail polish, and how does it work?

Thermal implies that the polish’s color varies with temperature, as you may have guessed. It is similar to putting a mood ring on your nails, except instead of displaying the entire rainbow, it switches between a few colors.

However, this chilly or warm effect does require some chemistry. Thermal nail paint changes color due to the presence of a substance known as ‘leuco dye.’ 

Leuco is a Greek word that means “white.” This ingenious dye comes in two varieties: transparent and colorless, and the difference between the two arises when heat is applied. Heat, light, or pH can all produce reversible changes.

It results in thermochromism, photochromism, and halochromism, respectively. Finally, you characterize irreversible reactions, usually by reduction or oxidation.

Thermal nail paint changes color with temperature, so your frigid morning drive to work may result in an entirely different color than when you’re cuddled under a blanket in the evenings- and that’s what makes it so much fun!

What do thermal polishes look like when they’re hot?

When the temperature rises, the polishes change to a lighter hue. Your nails would have a more balanced color scheme at normal temperatures.

Do thermal polishes change colors based on your mood?

All thermal polishes will change color somewhat as your body temperature fluctuates, which might be caused by mood swings.

However, it is essential to note that the color will not change dramatically due to your mood; rather, the alterations will be extremely subtle, as is true with all mood polishes.

Environmental variables, just like entering an air-conditioned room, cause the polishes to undergo dramatic alterations.


We just talked about thermal nail polishes, but how about a nail polish that changes based on our moods? 

Mood-changing nail polishes are not that effective. Why? mood-changing polish is thermochromic, a temperature-sensitive compound that changes with exposure to heat. So it is based on temperature. 

Are you still confused? Thermochromism is the ability of substances to change color in response to temperature changes. A mood ring is an excellent illustration of this phenomenon. 

Thermochromism has more practical applications, such as infant bottles that change color when cold enough to drink or kettles that change color when water is at or near boiling point.

They called these nail polishes ”mood-changing” as a selling point. You can even call this nail polish thermal nail polishes. Do not get confused. 

However, some say otherwise. For example, some believe that significant changes in your emotional state might induce color-shifting in some mood polishes.

It is because your emotions impact your body temperature, which causes the polishes to change color. So when you are pleased or furious, the shades of your polish will become more prominent.

They added that it is due to a rapid increase in blood flow in your arms induced by adrenaline and endorphins, which raises the body’s exterior temperature and causes the polishes to change color.

It is crucial to remember that these changes will be minimal, so the hue will not alter dramatically due to your emotions. It is because they require more considerable temperature variations to create a significant change in shade.

Most polishes require a temperature adjustment of at least 5oF or 3oC to cause a significant color alteration. 

Your emotional fluctuations cannot significantly affect your body temperature enough to cause a significant color change, as would dipping your nails in cold water.

If such were the case, I would recommend seeing a doctor.


Temperature is the main reason why these thermal or mood nail polishes work.

Nail paint that changes color with temperature isn’t all the same. Some products only change color when your nails are dipped in cold water or exposed to the heat of a blow drier or hot shower. 

Other kinds are so delicate that the tips of your nails may be a different color than the base. Again, reading reviews before purchasing is the most excellent method to learn how a polish performs.

These nail polishes work due to thermochromism. We have discussed this earlier, but let us dig deeper for more information.

What is thermochromism?

Because of thermochromic ink technology, our goods and paintings may occasionally change color. Thermochromic inks use thermochromism. It refers to materials that change color in reaction to temperature changes. 

Do you still despise that lime green? If you spend enough money on the correct paint, it may go from a Kermit the Frog shade to a more good sunny yellow on a hot day.

Thermochromic inks initially became popular in the 1970s, when they were employed in one of the era’s most enduring symbols, the mood ring, which allegedly exploited the wearer’s body heat to indicate their emotional condition.

A thermochromic label on a microwaveable maple syrup container recently indicated when it is heated enough. And other beer cans have visuals that show when their hoppy contents have cooled sufficiently to give optimal enjoyment.

Thermochromic inks have advanced at a continuous rate since mood rings. They are still employed in various ridiculous novelty goods, but they also have a wide range of practical and imaginative uses. 

It includes thermometers, clothes, paint, drink containers, toys, battery indications, plastic products of all types, and much more.

What makes sunlight reactive polishes work?

When exposed to UV light, these polishes change color. It is possible because the polishes absorb the energy from the UV light, which momentarily changes them at the molecular level.

It is pretty similar to how the transition lens in your glasses darkens while you’re outside.

It is crucial to remember that they are not thermal polishes, which means they will not alter with temperature fluctuations but will only change when exposed to UV radiation.

Now that we have set the basics aside let’s get shopping! 

Color Changing Nail Polish

What is the best color changing nail polish?

Let us get over the best thermal nail polishes available in the market. It will give you a heads up when you plan on buying one.

1. Sexy Mix Gel Polish

We suggest Sexy Mix Gel Polishes for color-changing gel nail polish. These polishes offer incredible color-changing capabilities for a meager price.

As a result, Sexy Mix is now one of the best-selling color shifting polishes on the market.

Pros of the Sexy Mix Gel Polish

Sexy Mix Polishes are thermal polishes, which change color as the temperature increases and lowers. 

When you apply it, the bottom of the polish depicts how it might appear in warm conditions. And the top section shows how it might appear in frigid weather.

Sexy Mix polishes have a fantastic refund and replacement policy. So, if you are dissatisfied with your polish, you may always return it. It is usually a good alternative for me, especially when I’m trying out a new product for the first time.

One of the most remarkable things about SexyMix Polishes is that they look great even at room temperature. Other kinds of color-shifting polishes, on the other hand, only look beautiful at severe temperatures.

Several videos show people’s nails looking fantastic after dipping their color-changing nails in cold or reasonably hot water. However, their nails seem dull; you will not have this problem with Sexy Mix.

Cons of the Sexy Mix Gel Polish

Because this is a gel polish, you will need a UV or LED lamp to apply it. It is the most significant disadvantage of Sex Mix polishes.

Fortunately, these lights are relatively inexpensive, and if you don’t have one, I believe they are a worthwhile purchase of a few dollars.

Sexy Mix presently only provides eight colors, which you must purchase in a bundle because they are not available individually. It is pretty unfortunate because their polishes are excellent; they should focus on providing additional options.

Another issue is that the Sexy Mix bottles are far too tiny. It only has 7 ml of product. It forces you to buy regularly, which raises your shipping costs unless you have Amazon Prime. In comparison, many comparable polishes come in 10 ml bottles.

Despite the tiny size of the bottles, the polishes are pretty thick, allowing you to use less paint per nail than with other brands.

Plus, they use small brushes. So you may need to apply two coats depending on the size of your nails. It is because the brushes only carry a certain quantity of polish.

As a result, you will take a little longer to do your nails. Not because the polish is too thin, but because the brush is too tiny, you may need two applications.

On the plus side, tiny brushes help you be more precise and apply the polishes more evenly.

Sexy Mix polishes look their finest when combined with a Base Coat and a Top Coat. Of course, they can work on their own, but not with the same dazzling glossy sheen.

Despite these limitations, Sexy Mix still has benefits that exceed the cons.

How to apply Sexy Mix Gel Polish?

Sexy Mix Polishes are simple to apply; the procedure is the same as other gel nail polishes.

To begin, clean and cleanse your nails with polish remover and gently push back your cuticles. After that, apply a base coat and cure it for 90 seconds under UV light.

Then, apply two thin coats of the Sexy Mix polish, allowing each coat to cure for 60 seconds between applications. Finally, apply a top coat to your nails to make them shiny. Allow your topcoat to cure for 90 seconds.

2. Cirque Polish

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Cirque Colors are the market’s best premium color shifting polishes. These polishes are incredibly simple to apply and have a vibrant and remarkable color-changing power.

Cirque is a tiny independent firm of six people that creates small quantities of handcrafted polishes. It helps them maintain tight quality control, and as a result, all of their polishes are fantastic.

Cirque’s primary goal is to create unique polishes that more famous brands overlook. They are in Brooklyn, New York, and they produce all of their polishes in-house.

Pros of the Cirque Polish

Cirque Mood polishes change color vividly and dramatically as the temperature rises and falls. And we discovered that they are sensitive enough to vary when your body temperature changes, implying that your mood may influence them.

Cirque Color Changing Polishes are ordinary polishes, not gel polishes, and do not require a UV or LED lamp to cure; they dry naturally. It is one of the most significant benefits they have over gel polishes such as SexyMix.

Even though they are not gel-based, they appear to be on par with or perhaps better than them in my perspective. As a result, you get the beautiful appearance of gel polishes without all of the added labor.

Cirque polishes are simple to apply; two coats and your nails will be opaque and color changing.

Use a top coat to make your nails seem extra shiny, but it’s not necessary; if you don’t, your nails will have a more matte dull finish. Also, if you want your polish to last a long time, use a base coat. 

Cirque polishes are all highly safe to use because they are composed entirely of non-toxic ingredients. In addition, their polishes are completely cruelty-free, which means that they did not harm animals in producing or testing these polishes.

They are also vegan, which means they were made without the use of any animal products. Cirque Polishes are the way to go if you like your polishes to be of the highest health and moral standards.

Cirques Color shifting polishes also look great at room temperature. However, they are so delicate that, at times, the tip of your nails will be a dark shade of color while the rest of your nails are a much lighter shade.

It is because the tip of your nails is usually colder.

Cirque’s different polish hues are a breath of fresh air; each one is distinctive and is sure to stand out. Here are some of the colors they have:

  1. Rothko Red

It’s a deep blood red hue that looks great with fiery red lipstick. When cold, the Rothko Red transforms into a dark oxblood red, and when heated, it transforms into a brilliant crimson red.

  1. La Vie En Rose

The following color on the list is a beautiful shade of pink that complements lighter hues. When you’re cold, it’s a vivid magenta pink, and when you’re warm, it’s a soft petal pink with a holographic shimmer.

  1. Patina

It is a metallic golden tint that goes well with most outfits and is ideal for wearing to work.

Patina offers you a seductive yet professional appearance. When it’s cold, it’s a dark bronze, and when it’s warm, it’s a light bronze.

Cons of the Cirque Polish

Cirque Polishes cost nearly three times as much as ordinary polishes. But the quality is superb!

Cirque Polishes are entirely handcrafted in New York, which accounts for the high price of their nail polish. And the cost of labor is significantly higher there, as most polishes are mass-produced elsewhere. 

Second, Cirque only utilizes high-quality, safe products, which tend to be much more expensive.

Another area in which Cirque may improve is the array of colors available for selection.

Cirque Nail Polishes are thus only for those who can initially afford them, as they are costly. However, it’s ideal for a present because these high-quality polishes are sure to amaze.

Another category is high-end salons, so if you’re searching for a premium color-changing polish for your salon, these polishes are excellent.

Also, if you are very concerned about the chemicals in your polish, it’s because Cirque Colors goes above and above to deliver safe polishes.

3. KB Shimmer Polish

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11/14/2023 12:21 am GMT

KB Shimmer Polishes are thermal polishes with incredible color-changing properties. The extra benefit of KB Polishes is the option to choose between three different sets of colors.

Pros of the KB Shimmer Polish

The KB Shimmer tri thermal Polishes feature the option to switch between three different color combinations. The first color is warm. Then it fades to a pale green. Then there’s cold, which turns a deep blue, and ordinary temperature, which turns a light purple.

It is odd since most color changing nail polish is either warm or cold, and during the transition periods, the colors are simply lightened.

KB Shimmers, on the other hand, has a light purple middle resting hue. Therefore, unless you are in a relatively warm or cold setting, such as an air-conditioned room, it is wintertime, or it is a scorching day, you will notice that your nails will essentially maintain this color during the day.

When transitioning between colors using KB Tri-color paints, your nails will have streaks of different hues.

It is a double-edged sword since it may sometimes make your nails seem sloppy; picture putting on more than one color of lacquer at random.

Because KB Shimmer thermal polishes are regular polishes, they do not require a UV or LED lamp to cure. As a result, they’re simple to apply and look best with a top coat and at least two layers.

Cons of the KB Shimmer Polish

KB Thermal Polishes cost about twice as much as other thermal polishes, but the tri-color capability justifies the premium price.

Long nails are required to achieve the three-color appearance at the same time in a consistent manner.

Long nails allow each portion of your pin to be at a different temperature, allowing each section of your nail to be a distinct hue.

The tip will be chilly, resulting in a dark blue, the middle portion will be balanced, resulting in a light purple, and the area near the cuticle will be light green, owing to body heat.

KB shimmer only comes in a few hues, and I believe they could extend their color selection.

4. Del Sol Polish

Del Sol Polishes are solar polishes that respond to sunshine. It implies that when these polishes are exposed to sunshine or UV light, they change color dramatically.

The Del Sol Firm is a major, well-known company specializing in creating wearable goods that change color when exposed to sunlight. They’ve been doing it since 1994 with their proprietary method.

Pros of the Del Sol Polish

Along with their light-reactive manicures, they create other very unique goods, such as T-shirts and cool accessories that change color as you walk in the sun. These hue shifts are just transient, and they return to normal when you go inside.

These nail paints are incredible because they change color dramatically when you expose your nails to sunshine. Furthermore, this color shift occurs much more quickly than with thermal polishes.

It’s essential to remember that the hue shifts are transient and will return as soon as you go beneath a shade.

Del Sol polishes are ordinary polishes, not gel polishes, and do not require the use of a UV or LED bulb to cure.

They are simple to apply. However, I find that it takes at least three coats to look very beautiful because the polish is a little thin.

Just a heads up, when using Del Sol, avoid applying a topcoat. It will interfere with the color shift because the topcoat helps to filter out the sunshine.

Del sol has over 21 distinct unique colors to select from, and they are offered individually so that you may try one at a time.

Cons of the Del Sol Polish

The primary issue I have with this paint is that it makes your nails seem too ordinary when worn inside. I prefer polishes that look beautiful all of the time, rather than just because of a particular environmental circumstance.

Even if you’re outside and there’s a lot of cloud and gloomy, the polishes won’t alter significantly. A clear, sunny day is required for them to function correctly.

Del Sol polishes are pricier than other color-shifting manicures. But I believe they are worthwhile, especially if you want to spend a substantial amount of time outside. They also come in big 15ml bottles.

So they are ideal if you want to spend the day outside. They also look great under UV or black lights, which you can commonly find in nightclubs.

Del Sol Polish products may be purchased through Amazon, which offers an extensive range of colors to pick from.

5. BornPretty Polish

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This mixes a thermal and a solar reactive varnish, resulting in a nail lacquer that can change into four distinct hues.

BornPretty has been established for over ten years and is a major well-known brand that produces excellent nail paints.

Pros of the BornPretty Polish

Depending on where they are, these polishes might have four distinct hues.  It can be out in the cold, a warm area, under the sunlight, or out of the sunlight.

BornPretty Polishes are significantly less expensive than Cirque Polishes or KB Shimmer Polishes and are offered in a set of four distinct hues. As a result, you get a couple of shades for a very reasonable price.

BornPretty polishes, like Cirque polishes, are ordinary polishes, not gel-based. Therefore you won’t need a UV or LED lamp to cure them.

Cons of the BornPretty Polish

BornPretty Polishes, unlike Cirque Polishes and most other gel polishes, are not as thermally sensitive. Instead, they tend to change color more when exposed to sunshine or significant temperature fluctuations.

Furthermore, these polishes contain a considerable quantity of glitter, which shines brightly in the sunshine.

To make these polishes appear excellent, I recommend applying a white base polish followed by three coats of color-changing polish. Finish with a top coat; if you don’t, your nails will look bad and won’t last long.

BornPretty bottles are approximately 6ml in size. It is relatively small.

If you intend on spending a lot of time outside in the sun, the BornPretty Color Mood Changing Polishes are ideal. These polishes are generally available on Amazon.

6. ILNP Polish

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ILNP Polish stands for I Love Nail Polish. This fancy phrase indicates that the color of these polishes changes depending on the angle at which light hits and bounces off your nails.

It implies that the color of your nail paint will change as you move your hand.

Pros of the ILNP Polish

As you move your hands around, the color of these polishes changes drastically.

ILNP polishes do not require a temperature change or UV light to vary their color; simply change the posture of your hand, and the color will move naturally.

The color shifting is incredible. You will become captivated by the rapid color changes as you move around.

Because ILNP is a regular polish, it does not require a UV or LED lamp to cure.

There is no need for a base or topcoat with these polishes. Your nails would look fantastic with two coats.

Cons of the ILNP Polish

ILNP paints are quite expensive, much more than your typical nail polish, but I believe they are worth trying at least once. But be warned: you may become addicted.

7. Aimeili Gel Polish

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11/14/2023 12:20 am GMT

Aimeili Polishes are among the most well-known color-changing gel polishes on the market. They are thermal gel polishes, which means their color will change as the temperature changes.

Pros of the Aimeili Gel Polish

Aimeili polishes are incredibly temperature-sensitive, displaying a dramatic shift in color as the temperature varies. When it’s cold, they have a dark hue, and when it’s warm, they have a lighter tint.

Aimeili provides by far the most color options when compared to other manufacturers of thermal polishes. At the moment, they have at least 25 distinct hues.

Aimeili Polish is moderately priced and available in a package. However, they also come in considerably bigger 10ml bottles than Sexy Mix.

Aimeili Polishes are applied in the same manner as any gel polish.

Two applications should enough; thin layers work best, and each coat should cure for one minute under a UV lamp.

My recommendation is to apply a top coat and a base coat to make them appear much more excellent. The top and bottom coats should cure for one and a half minutes.

And, like other gel polishes, they may last for a long time, anywhere from 18 to 21 days, depending on how much activity you put in.

Cons of the Aimeili Gel Polish

To cure the polish, you’ll need either a UV or LED lamp, like other gel polishes.

Aimeili Polishes, like nearly all thermal polishes, require a topcoat to get that glossy and lustrous finish.

Color Changing Nail Polish

How to make DIY thermal color changing nail polish?

It is effortless to create your own unique thermal nail polish. All you have to do is combine the dye with a clear or light polish. You will require the following items:

  • Leuco dye
  • Clear, white, or pale polish or topcoat
  • Funnel
  • Empty nail polish bottle
  • Steel or glass ball bearing for mixing

The key to success is to use the correct leuco dye, which you can purchase online from sites like or or pick up at a local craft store. 

Leuco dyes are available in at least 15 different hues and require a minimum temperature change of 5oF or 3oC to change colors. The dye is available in powder, slurry, epoxy, and water-based ink forms. 

You want the powder that contains the microcapsules. Because your nails are colder than your body temperature, use a color with a transition temperature of approximately 88oF or 31oC.

The choice of nail polish is also crucial. If you use white polish, the outcome will be pastel. The final colors will alternate between the original and the leuco-color combination if you choose a light-colored polish. 

As a result, combining a pink varnish with a blue leuco dye produces a lacquer that changes from pink to purple.

Fill the empty bottle with 1-2 ball bearings. Fill the empty polish bottle slightly over halfway with the polish using the funnel. Add leuco dye until the desired color is achieved, approximately 1/8 teaspoon. 

If you’re working in a hot environment, you might need to cool the bottle to observe the results. Then, cap the bottle and roll it carefully while mixing the polish. Shaking it will cause air bubbles to form.

If the resultant polish is excessively thick, thin it with a few drops of nail polish thinner (such as Seche Restore) or a little amount of clear topcoat. Acetone or other nail polish removers should not be used since they will damage the polish.

You may add some glitter or holo if you like.

Color Changing Nail Polish


What a journey that was in getting to know color changing nail polish! Always keep note of the key terms so as not to get confused with these nail polish. Know what you want from the given recommendations, or you make your own. Let your imagination lead you to unique colors!

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