What is Photochromic Nail Polish?

Livoliv photochromic nail polish sunlight

The beauty industry is ever changing with innovative technology and nail polish is no exception! Gone are the days where you pick one colour and one colour only- there are a whole host of special nail polish transformations out there to make your manicure extra special.

Our ‘Kind of Magic’ range is a collection of 19 beautiful nail polishes that ‘magically’ change before your eyes, including magnetic, thermal, photochromic and ultra chrome nail polishes. All of which are vegan, cruelty free and non toxic. 

Mood changing, or thermal nail polish works by reacting to changes in temperature- you can read a little bit about the science behind it in our recent blog post here. 

Photochromic nail polish works in a similar way, but the changes appear due to UV radiation (or sunlight to me and you!) some lamps can also emit UV radiation so these are a good way to experiment with your photochromic polish at home. 

So, let’s get our lab coats and goggles on to learn the science behind these clever little nail polishes…

how does photochromic nail polish work?

Photochromatic polishes contain light sensitive compounds which experience a structural change when exposed to sunlight. The UV rays in sunlight is absorbed by the compound and ultimately changes its state- meaning a noticeable change in colour. 

The same technology is used for glasses that automatically change to sunglasses when moving outside. A compound in the glass reacts to the UV rays and changes to a darker colour to protect your eyes from the sun. Clever stuff huh?!

sunglasses photochromic technology

because two colours are better than one

This change of state is reversible, so when you head back inside out of direct sunlight, the compound in your nail polish will change back to its original state- and revert back to its original colour. 

meet our line up…

Here at Livoliv we have harnessed this amazing technology to create a range of mesmerising photochromic nail polishes that are all vegan, cruelty free and non-toxic. Let us introduce you..


Now you see me – this neutral to pink photochromic nail polish has iridescent flakes added, so even in it’s neutral state it’s super pretty. We call it solar powered! Give it a coat of Shining armour and you will have a glossy, colour changing manicure that will last.

 neutral to pink photochromic cruelty free nail polish transition nails

Once I was light a lovely neutral to blue photochromic that has holographic gold glitter running through it for that extra something special. To get the best results, apply 2/3 thin layers of Polish over our Bed Rock Base Coat.

neutral to blue photochromic cruelty free nail polish transition nails

Abbra CadabraA holographic blue to purple photochromic polish that is completely vegan, cruelty free and 5-free.The holographic flakes give it that extra sparkle both in the sunlight and indoors. 

blue to purple photochromic cruelty free nail polish transition nails

Trick of the light– A gorgeous pastel yellow when inside transforms to orange when you step outside in the sun. Our vegan nail polish glides on smoothly and dries quickly. Make sure each layer is fully dry before re-applying for the best results. 

photochromic yellow cruelty free nail polish transition nails

So there you have it. Some nail polishes are far from simple, they can touch on a variety of chemical changes which are vital to achieving that perfect manicure. Livoliv take immense pride in offering a completely vegan alternative to these amazing nail polishes and we work hard to make sure no nasty chemicals are included in any product we sell. You can read a little bit about who we are and what we do here.

Why not follow our journey on Facebook, instagram and Twitter? You can keep up to date with nail news and perhaps be inspired by some of our lovely products! 

Until next week… 

The Livoliv team x