Painting my nails in a clean kind of way

I’ve become very mindful of what I put in or on my body in the past year, much more so than I have in years past.

I’m not big on long fingernails, but I do like the idea of painting up my practical shorties. I like deep and rich funky colours, but I so rarely spend any time making up or painting on. I have one friend who is regularly posting pictures of her latest nail masterpiece. Me, I’m lucky if I can find any polish in my house. I like nail polish, really, I do.

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About a year ago, I went on a pedicure date with an acquaintance. For the first time in my life, I found myself in a nail bar as opposed to a salon or spa. You know the kind, where you’re lined up with your back against a wall, one of 10 people being run through the process as quickly as possible to get the next person’s ass into the vibrating chair. I’ve looked in through the window plenty of times, but I’ve never crossed the threshold. I’d read countless pieces about the risks of these kinds of pedicure factories and their tiny metal skin shavers. Ewwwwww!

On the day I found myself in one, I rolled with it. I hadn’t really thought too much about the location, though the acquaintance’s selling price point (“only $25!”) may have tipped a more aware person off. I went in, I sat down, I had my feet primped and toes painted and the end result was better than what I had going in. The whole time I sat there listening to the woman I was with chatter away and the technicians who were working on us speak only to one another, all I could think about was the fact that we were all just letting them put who knows what chemicals onto our bodies and nobody was even asking what chemicals they might be. That and the fact that they were SHAVING THE SKIN OFF MY FEET. Ewwwwww! Because, hey, it’s cheap so who cares. Wait, WHAT??

From that point on, I was pretty certain that I’d never step foot in another nail bar. I haven’t yet and I feel pretty confident I’ll stick to my guns on this one. I’m not sure what happened that Saturday afternoon, but it was the turning point for me. I’m by no means 100% natural, but I am much more aware of my options and I definitely spend more time investigating what goes into the things I put on/in my body. Our skin is our biggest organ and the simplest way for chemicals to enter the body is through it. When we slather chemically based lotions and soaps on, we make it drastically easier.

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So, at some point after that, I found myself wanting some safer, not to mention vegan nail polish. There were a few bottles at my local vegan store, but no colours that I liked. A few quick Google searches and I found Scotch Naturals. I make regular window shopping visits to that site and have abandoned countless shopping baskets there. One of the reasons I’m hesitant to shop there is a common Canadian problem: shipping costs. To get the products across the border costs significantly more than it does to ship them within the US. Evey helped me out with my first order and brought it to me when we all met for a Seahawks game in Seattle. I had two bottles of polish sent to her in Portland and avoided the increased cost of importing it.

With my first order, I cheaped out. I ignored the recommendation of purchasing base and top coats and only bought lacquer and remover. I chose Seething Jealousy and Balmoral Punch, a very unintentionally Christmasy combination. I loved both colours, but what I didn’t love is that it started to chip and wear away within the first day. Let’s just say I learned my lesson quickly. Scotch Naturals lacquers are what nail polish pros call paint and peel. In order to maintain it, you need something to protect it. The recommendation of base and top isn’t just a cash grab, it’s a requirement.

With our trip to Arizona on the horizon, I decided to take advantage of being able to ship to our destination and this time, I went with a full on Detox Package which includes one lacquer, a fortifying base coat and a deluxe top coat. Buying the package also gives you the bonus of getting 10% off other polish or remover. This time, I went with Queen of Scots, something vibrant for spring, and Smokey Martini because I thought grey would be a nice neutral and, okay, partly because of this guy.

SmokeyIf Smokey could, he would totally drink martinis.

As it turns out, they were right. When you take the recommendation and use the trio of products, the colour is much more durable. For someone like me who isn’t into spending a lot of time on painting my nails, this is a game changer, but I’m happy enough with the product that I don’t think it will be a deal breaker. Each coat (one base, two colour, two top) goes on smoothly and dries in a minute or two. When all is said and done, you’re left with a bright and shiny set of nails that are non-toxic and vegan, cruelty free and all that good stuff. Added bonus: none of the products stink! That includes the soy-based remover.

photo 2There are a lot of things I love about Scotch Naturals. As with most of my favourite brands, they have a strong social program. The price tag on their products is higher than regular drugstore brands, but the laundry list of trade-offs is well worth it to me. Being an occasional nail polish wearer, I want something that is going to last when I put it on and a range of colours that appeal to me. Scotch Naturals provides both.

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