A polish dried out and is thrown away...
But here you have a few simple tips, that can help your polishes to stay alive for many, many years.
I keep my polishes in these drawers, the sunlight cannot reach the drawers making them extra hot part of the day.
I know a woman with 25+ years old polishes (with a perfect formula) stored in her refrigerator.
I think the main thing is to avoid direct sunlight (and light in general) and to try to keep a fairly even temperature if at all possible.
If you want to enjoy your polishes on racks and walls, it would be perfect it the room can be fairly dark, unless you are in there to use and admire your beauties. But you do risk that some of the polishes change their color over time...
Do not store - your polishes in your bathroom, the temperature is fairly warm, and it is ever changing...
And definitely if you buy or receive old polishes from others.
Let me show you a precious vintage Chanel I recently bought, only about half full - and not in a good condition.
My first step is to restore it with a nail polish thinner to make the formula perfect again. I use Seche Restore and this bottle needed 10-12 drops, but there are many other good brands of thinners on the market.
My advice is to stay away from nail polish removers and acetone as thinners, they WILL change your polish one way or another. In my youth many, many years ago I tried this - only to find the polish useless and dried out the next time I wanted to use them.
If you want to learn more about the subject, Michelle from Labmuffin has an excellent post on the subject - click HERE!
A certain evaporation will take place over the years, especially when the bottle is frequently used and gets emptier - but you can minimize it.
In the below case the reason is however obvious:
As you can see someone tried to clean this bottleneck with cotton wool or cotton pads - the lint stuck to the dried out polish, that weren't even removed in the process, and there is a risk that the lint eventually end up in the polish...
The thin end of a dotter can be useful as a scraping tool on the thread of the bottleneck to speed up the process between two soaked pads - see below.
Soak a piece of lint free material in polish remover and place it on the bottle top.
Use a latex glove, if you want to protect the polish on your nails ;)
It might be necessary to repeat this step with several pieces of lint free material, if it is a "bad case", so keep them within reach - as it is best to work quickly to prevent the brush to dry out!
After a few days: Open the polish again. Some dried polish from the lid might have stuck to the thread, so it might be necessary to repeat the process. And do it again after some days - and in any case make sure the lid still is screwed on tightly!
Your new and old polishes will love you if you make a habit of keeping their necks clean - and you will love them even more because they will remain a pleasure to work with!!
Go over you lids once a while to secure that they are screwed on tightly - chances in temperature can make them gradually open more or less - and give them a good shake at the same time.
Do not use tools to open a bottle of nail polish, if it cannot be opened normally. Place it under the running warm tap a few seconds - try again, and if it still not opens, hold it under the running water a little longer to heat it up and make the dried out polish a little elastic.