Nailed It!


This has been a stressful week, at least for me. One of my methods of self-care is taking some time to either be creative or pamper myself. You know what checks both of those boxes? Painting my nails! In an ideal world I’d be great at nail art, but my left hand ends up looking like it graduated art school and my right looks like it got high and thought it could taste colors, so I typically refrain. Occasionally, I’ll go for a party nail- that way when I’m typing at work I’ll notice that reflective glitter and convince myself I somehow stuck it to the Man.

My go-to brand has always been Essie, but it looks like that’s about to change. So that we have a common frame of reference, here are the ingredients that are toxic in nail polishes:


and here is what to look for when buying nail polish:


Most big brands (e.g. Essie, OPI, etc.) are 3-free, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are in the clear. Especially when some the less-toxic brands listed below are the same price and have amazing colors.

Here are some recommended products (click on the photos to go to the product website):



Zoya ($10)

  • 5-free: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor
  • Shows how it looks on a variety of skin tones: +1 for inclusivity






Suncoat Nail Polish ($10)

  • 7-free: toluene, formaldehyde, phthalate plasticizer, acetates, alcohol, acetone, and VOCs








Acquarella ($16)

  • Vegan
  • A lot-free: formaldehyde, formaldehyde-like derivatives, toluene, ketones, petrochemical solvents, DBP, phthalates, polyurethane, polyurethane film-formers, parabens, camphor, mercury, lead, FD&C, coal tar, gluten, wheat by-products, and aromatic hydrocarbons






LVX ($18)

  • Vegan
  • 7-free: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, xylene & parabens







Butter London ($18)

  • 8-free: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and TPHP






The downside of nailpolish: you get about 3 days in, you’ve been looking glam, and then it starts to chip and it’s all downhill from there. So let’s look at some nail polish removers.

Last week I attempted to use a non-acetone, drugstore brand, nail polish remover. It took me literally 20 minutes and 3 hand cramps to remove my nail polish. Never again. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) doesn’t rate acetone too badly, but there are a lot of negative associations with it. My understanding is that if it is used infrequently and in small amounts (let’s not stick our whole hands in it), it shouldn’t be too problematic. My suggestion would be to use it in a well-ventilated room (so grab a fan or open a window) and then wash your hands thoroughly after you’ve used it to remove your polish.

Here are a few polish removers that the EWG suggests. These are all rated well on Amazon, so I have hope for them.


*the Acquarella remover supposedly only works with Acquarella nail polishes

Enjoy your pampering time and as always contact me if you have any questions!


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