Nail Polish: The New Date Rape Detector?

Nail polish is something that a lot of women enjoy wearing, especially when they can experiment with different colors, styles and designs. It makes us feel pretty, unique and most of all, shows off how awesome our nails look. But how much more would we love nail polish if it could save our lives? That’s what four students from North Carolina State University are hoping to do with Undercover Colors (https://twitter.com/undercovercolor?lang=en), a company they created while in school, to help women determine if their drink contains a date rape drug (https://news.engr.ncsu.edu/2015/10/more-than-a-nail-polish/).

The idea came out of a senior design project in their department at NC State. The four students, Tyler Confrey-Maloney, Stephen Gray, Ankesh Madan and Tasso Von Windheim, wanted something that could alert women that they were in danger without bringing attention to them if they were in a sensitive situation, such as with a guy at a bar or at a party. And they thought, instead of trying to create something new, how about using a product that women are already familiar with and transferring it into something that could potentially save their lives.

Undercover Colors nail polish stickers will serve as an early warning system to women to protect themselves and to be aware of their surroundings as all these young men know someone who has been sexually assaulted and wanted something that would prevent sexual assault from happening to anyone else. The nail polish itself will be clear and when dipped into a drink, will change color if the drink contains a drug such as Rohypnol. The hope is that this company will not only bring awareness to sexual assault, but also serve as a deterrent for predators who want to take advantage of women and see alcohol as a perfect vehicle to do just that. This nail polish will serve as a preventive measure and will turn women into survivors, not victims.

With the funding and worldwide recognition Undercover Colors has received, it is now a fully-formed company with seven employees. And it won’t be long until we’re seeing their polish on store shelves across the country—look for Undercover Colors nail polish stickers next year.