What Is a Good Middle School Science Project Using Nail Polish?

A good middle school science project using nail polish is to create an experiment to prove if shiny nail polish lasts longer than matte nail polish. Traditionally, shiny nail polish offers a glossy finish, while matte polishes provide a dull, non-coated finish. The experiment will show if one is more durable than the other.

Include adequate research in the science project of the common ingredients found in both styles of nail polish. Since the matte nail polish does not contain a protective layer like the shiny counterpart, many people believe it is not as durable. Gather the materials below and follow the steps for a successful science project.

Materials needed:

  • Three bottles of glossy nail polish
  • Three bottles of matte nail polish
  • Fake nails
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Pen and paper for notes
  1. Paint the fake nails
  2. Paint each of the nails using a different polish, making notes as to which type of polish is on each nail. Allow time for the polish to fully dry before moving on to the next step.
  3. Apply sandpaper
  4. Apply the sand paper to the nail in a swift and forceful motion. Make notes after each pass as to how many swipes it took to scuff the polish and how many it took to remove the polish.
  5. Repeat process on remaining nails
  6. Repeat the sand paper process to each of the remaining nails one at a time, making notes about each one. 
  7. Compare data
  8. Compare the notes to determine which nail polish held up the best against the sand paper. Create a chart to display all the data. 
  9. Repeat for accuracy
  10. Repeat the process a few times to ensure all the data is accurate before turning in the final analysis as a science project.