When you first open that gorgeous new nail polish and start to paint your nails do you ever smell an alcohol-like odor that seems to be coming straight from that pretty little bottle? Concerned those chemicals you are inhaling are bad for your health? While some of the ingredients in nail polish may be mysterious, many brands have made a commitment to letting the consumer know that their products are “3-free” and removing questionable chemicals. This means that toluene, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin are absent from the polishes. Zoya led the way and has been “3-free” since its inception. Since then it has also removed DBP and camphor. Many brands have followed Zoya’s footsteps and also removed these chemicals.
If you are an animal-lover and want to know if your polish is vegan, you will want to know if the unknown ingredients in the bottle are products derived from animals. Of course, animal testing would be a big no-no. You might want to take a look at the company’s website to determine how it tests its products.
Green Celebrity Manicurist, Jenna Hipp, spoke to us about what to look for in taking our beauty products green or vegan.
Jenna Hipp, Green Celebrity Manicurist, shares her tips for going green or vegan.
What are some animal ingredients in nail polishes that people might not be aware are used?
“Pearl” or “guanine” is still sometimes made from small fish scales and skin. It’s cleaned and mixed to create metallic colors like gold, silver, and bronze tones. Also, crushed beetle wings are still being used to create metallic and shimmer finishes. If you’re not sure, dial the company and ask them directly. Read these articles on Made How or Yahoo to learn more.
In your experience have vegan polishes also been free of the “3 free” or “5 free” ingredients? Do you find a lot of overlap in vegan nail polishes and polishes that use eco-friendly/organic ingredients?
As reported by Good Morning America/ABC News, just because a polish brand says 3 or 5 free on the label, that doesn’t mean that is necessarily the case. So how can you know? Go with brands you know and trust. Brands like Scotch Naturals, Zoya, RGB Cosmetics, SpaRitual, and Priti have gone the extra mile, especially by marketing their brands as vegan and free of main carcinogens. However, just because a product doesn’t label itself as vegan and/or 3 free doesn’t mean it isn’t. Many high end designer labels such as Tom Ford, Dior, Nars and Chanel have taken note and have claimed reformulation of their polishes to be safe and animal friendly. I’ve noticed if a company is going to reformulate to 3 or 5 free, they generally opt for vegan ingredients like mica instead of scales. In general, beware of discount salons and cheap polish. Just like most things, you get what you pay for.
What are some of your favorite “green vegan” nail polish lines or products?
Of course the brands I’ve had the pleasure of working on are my favorites! I’ve been extremely hands on in every part of the process with each color and product, so I have an emotional attachment to each one.
I LOVE RGB Cosmetics as they were among the first to remove additional carcinogens such as formaldehyde resin and camphor from their color line. Together, we launched the HIPPxRGB Skintone Specific Nail Color System, a nude shade for each skin tone from light to dark. It quickly became a favorite among my celeb clients for magazine shoots as the coverage is fresh, clean, simple, and best of all – safe.
My new Jenna Hipp Collection just launched in Costco and contains 12 of my favorite summer shades in mini bottles. I love this collection because it instantly brings you up to speed with the season’s best – in a 5-free, vegan formula, of course! Plus, it allows you to try shades you may not typically gravitate towards but will end up loving! Think powered pastels, rich jewel tones, and glitzy glitter! The kit is $14.99 at costco.com. Yes please!
A polish alternative, nail wraps are taking the nail industry by storm. There are endless patterns, colors and designs available. The best part? No dry time and they wear up to two weeks! My favorites are NAILING HOLLYWOOD x NCLA as they are specifically designed by top industry nail stylists. Try “Stephanie’s Galaxy” for nails that are literally out of this world or “Dita Did It” for a vintage throwback to Old Hollywood glamour. “Orbit Ring” is a rendition of Madeline Poole’s famous “outline nail”, which was worn by Zoe Saldana on the red carpet and on her Latina Magazine cover. I’m really proud of “Jenna’s Nude Moon”, also known as the ultimate professional nail. See them worn by on Rachel McAdams for her “To The Wonder” red carpet premiere.
Do you have any tips for people who want to switch over to “green” products, but don’t know where to start?
“Greening” up your beauty routine shouldn’t just be about switching out your nail polish. Carcinogens can be found in everything from shampoo to moisturizers to laundry detergent. Invest some time into doing a little online research. Just like with anything, learn as much as you can and make your decision based on your new knowledge. To learn more about the products you’re using, visit the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics website,www.safecosmetics.org or go to the Skin Deep website to see your products’ toxicity on a number scale from 1-5.
[Rachel McAdams Image: Getty Images; Jenna Hipp images courtesy of Jenna Hipp; Contributions by Allison Pomrenze]