Nailed It!

Development of New Nail Polish that Detects Date Rape Drug

By Georgina Hartono (Contributor)

For years, nail polish shelves at department stores have been dominated by the likes of Sparrow Me the Drama, Pink Friday, My Address is Hollywood, and countless other shades that are known under equally ridiculous names. Other than adding a little more color to the fingers of its users, these nail polishes serve little to no purpose, but that is all about to change! In the following years, thanks to a bit of chemistry and some dedicated geeks, a new revolutionary anti-date rape nail varnish named Undercover Colors will change the landscape of cosmetics forever.

The group behind the invention is composed of North Carolina State University Materials Science and Engineering majors: Tyler Confrey-Maloney, Stephen Grey, Ankesh Madan and Tasso Von Windheim. Their invention is a drug-detecting nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with well-knowndate-rape drugs, such as Xanax, Rohypnol, and GHB. These drugs generate a chemical transformation confirming the presence of an unwanted substance in the drink. “Through this nail polish and similar technologies, we hope to make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman’s drink because there’s now a risk that they can get caught,” states the Undercover Colors Facebook page.


Even though many resembling technologies have been created over the years, such as drug-detecting coasters, straws and cups, the four students’ innovative idea may be the most effective solution, largely due to its subtlety and the quickness of the chemical reaction. This can be extremely helpful for people who suspect their drink is spiked, because it allows them to be discreet when checking the legitimacy of their drink.

However, the four founders have yet to reveal specific details about their product, which started as an entry to a competition at their university. This is because it is still in the early stages of research. Confrey-Maloney, CEO and one of the founders, confirm: “We are in the early development of our nail polish. One of our main priorities is to ensure that we develop a product that tests for a comprehensive set of drugs before we release it.”

Although Undercover Colors has been receiving a huge wave of media attention lately, the team of student researchers are still currently looking for investors to ensure the progress of their venture. With the necessary funding, one can assume that it’s only a matter of time before this marriage of modern chemistry, fashion, and public safety hits the shelves and the bars all across North America.

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