We review the Nail Inc Paint Can polish and answer all your questions, like “is it super messy?” and “no, really, is it super messy?”

When Nails inc announced their revolutionary spray-on nail polish formula, I alternated between “Shut up and take my money,” and “that’s as ridiculous as the shotgun makeup applier Homer invented in The Simpsons”.

As a nail polish obsessive (seriously, I have more than 100 bottles, it’s an illness) I kind of resented the idea of something that cut my polish time in half. Doing my nails was my time to chill, forget the world, and try not to swear at the top of my lungs when put a dint in my high gloss sheen. Nothing kills zen faster than smudged polish.

But being a beauty fanatic, I had to try this “lazy girl” polish for myself.

It wasn’t hard to miss in stores… Just look for the packaging that looks like it belongs in a hardware store. Yep, it resembled a teeny tiny little spray paint can (appropriately called Paint Can), although a slightly more chic option than what you’d find at Bunnings.

Nails Inc

My main bugbear is with how much mess this had the potential to create. See, I’m Little Miss Clumsy when it comes to… oh, you know, LIFE; a spray can of polish could mean an accidental new spatter coat for my glass table, or a pink-flecked carpet if I wasn’t careful.

After I made my purchase, I decided to put it off for a while. Wait until I felt good and ready and not clumsy… and for when my boyfriend was out of the house, because if he knew I was experimenting with spray anything inside, there would be words. I figured it couldn’t be as bad as the time I knocked over a neon green polish bottle so it splattered on the cream carpet, walls, bedside table and doona cover of the person whose house we’d been guests at. Right?

When the time came I covered the carpet with plastic, and taped some up the wall for good measure. I then lay a sheet of cardboard down on which to create my handiwork. First step, according to the instructions, was a top coat. For simple ease of use, I used Nails inc 2 in 1 Base and Top Coat.

Nails Inc

Apparently after that dried, all I needed to do was spray, then apply a top coat. It couldn’t be that easy. could it?

Turns out it could. In fact, as it happened, this polish was pretty much perfect for klutzes like me. I literally did exactly what it said on the bottle: sprayed my fingers and nails with the colour; marvelled at how funny my fingers looked coated in paint; waited about a minute for it to dry then applied the top coat. I was surprised at how quickly both the polish (or should it be called paint?) actually dried, and even more surprised when the top coat was both touch- and bump-dry within 60 seconds.

So now I had beautiful, evenly painted nails (mostly, except for where I went back and tried to “fix” something and messed it up). But I also had fingers covered in the same paint and unless I wanted to try to start a “reverse fingerless gloves” trend I needed to fix that pronto. According to the instructions, one simply had to wash ones hands in warm, soapy water and the finger paint would magically rub off, leaving the nails intact.

Nails Inc

Ha, I thought, here comes the trouble bit where I wash off all my hard work. But, you guys: IT DID EXACTLY WHAT IT SAID IT WOULD DO. Fingers came away totally paint free, nails smooth and coloured, and probably neater than when I use polish with a brush, to be honest.

There were spots where the colour was a little translucent on the nail bed, like I needed a second coat. And there are teeny parts at the side of my nails that could have used a thicker coat, had I not gotten so excited and gone a little too quickly. But it was my first go, so give me a break! Pretty sure this is gonna be one trend that’s super easy to perfect.

And as it turned out, I didn’t even need to have covered everything in sight in “just in case” plastic: the tiny spray can left behind only a tiny, quite pretty little print on the paper.

I’ll refrain from saying it’s goof-proof, though… just in case there’s someone more clumsy than me out there. It’s available from Sephora and selected David Jones stores for $33 a can.

Nails Inc

Tips for perfect application


● Use the basecoat, or you won’t get a proper finish.
● Figure out how much 10-15cm actually is before spraying, rather than guessing like I did.
● Make sure you spray evenly and slowly for perfect coverage.
● Use a top coat, and wait for it to dry before trying to wash off the excess. Seriously. Or else you’ll scrub off your hard (OK not so hard) work.


● Worry about the mess on your fingers, as I mentioned this washes off.
● Try to go back to spray the bit you missed… instead wait a little and do another slow, even coat. I tried to go back and fix a nail, and ended up with a bit of a splodge of paint.
● Forget to lay something down under your hands for the overspray. You don’t need to be as excessive as me, but don’t just spray on without some sort of surface protection.