Category Archives: Nail Polish & Remover

Vapour’s Vernissage Nail Lacquers

Posted by:  Jordan

There was a time in my young twenties when I would treat myself to a bi-weekly mani/pedi, often with my girlfriends.  Those were carefree days with few responsibilites other than stumbling out of bed and making it to my entry-level job, only to email all day about what happy hour we would attend that night and who wanted to go to the nail salon on Saturday morning with me (morning meant around noon).  Fast forward 10 years and on the rare occasion that I have the time to go indulge in a mani/pedi it’s usually squeezed in during my daughter’s nap and I sit there mentally willing my polishes to dry faster so I can get on with my day.

Times change, of course, and thankfully the nail polish companies are changing with the times.  Most of the big companies like Essie, some of OPI, Nicole, and Zoya are going “3-Free” which means the nail polishes are free from the known carcinogens Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DHB), and Formaldehyde.  One of our favorite organic cosmetic companies, Vapour, recently launched their 3-Free line of polishes, which are incredible (also cruelty free and paraben free).  Now, this doesn’t mean that nail polishes that are 3-Free are completely natural and without concern.  They still contain chemicals, and that’s just the nature of the beast with nail polish.  So I try to limit how often I use polishes these days–polish free most of the time in the winter when my toes are hidden.  But, of course, being a product junkie, I still love my mani/pedis, even when I do them myself, so I’m not giving up on polishes.  Vapour’s cuticle oil, however, IS completely natural and organic so pile on that bad boy daily!

When Vapour sent us 4 of their new colors to sample, along with their cuticle oil and top coat, Emily and I were ecstatic to try them out.  We received Captive (a dark, vampy red), Chill (a beautiful dark” greige”), Eternal (a pale lavender-gray and my personal favorite!), and Trance (an edgy shimmery charcoal).  I really pushed myself with these colors because I NEVER veer from the pink/red/coral nail polish spectrum.  So going grayish lavender was pretty much the wildest thing I’ve done recently. ( I know, like I said, times have changed for this mom who used to be nicknamed Dirty Diana!!)  The Eternal color is now my new favorite; just a little edgier than my typical pale pink, yet still sophisticated.  And great news–each time I ‘ve used these polishes, whether the manicure was done at a salon or by myself at home, they have always lasted at least a week.  And I’m NOT gentle on my manicures.  I always like to bring my own polishes with me when I go to the salon so that I can touch up any chips and prolong my rare treat.  So if you’re like me, and need an update to your polish collection, check out these cool colors and feel better about what your polishes contain.

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Filed under Nail Polish & Remover, Product Reviews

Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa and Zoya Nail Polish

Posted by:  Jordan

I went to Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa tonight with my friend Amy because we had both bought Groupons for discounted manicures.  What a darling place!!!  It’s so cozy and girly, and everyone there is just so nice!  I was served some jasmine green tea upon arrival and led to a huge overstuffed couch that I sunk right in to, reading about Brad and Angelina’s potential upcoming nuptials.  What a perfect way to end a Monday!  To my knowledge, it’s the only natural nail salon in New York City.  (If anyone knows of another, please share!)  It’s such a refreshing treat to walk in to a nail salon that doesn’t smell like noxious fumes.  They use Zoya nail polish, which I have been wanting to try, and is also on Emily’s product wish list.  I chose a beautiful pale pink color for my manicure called Sari. 

I was delightfully overwhelmed with the plentiful number of polish colors to choose from with Zoya.  It was a tough decision, and I can’t wait to try more of them when I go back for a pedicure at some point this summer.   I’m incredibly anxious to get my toes on a bottle of Heidi, described on Zoya’s website as “Soft but bright warm orangey-coral creme.”  As all of my girlfriends know, I’m obsessed with coral toenails (and the color coral, in general).  I get compared to an 80-year-old cougar from Boca Raton, but I stay true to my color of choice!  If you’re interested in trying out Zoya’s wide array of polishes, check out their Nail Polish Exchange.  Until June 30th you can send them 6 bottles of your old nasty nail polishes in exchange for six of their healthier options (your color choices, too!)  This is just about the most exciting thing that has happened to my nails since my first pre-teen manicure!


Filed under Nail Polish & Remover, Product Reviews

PeaceKeeper Nail Polish and Remover

Posted by:  Jordan

Since embarking on this natural product makeover, I’ve only had one manicure/pedicure.  To some folks this may not be such a commendable accomplishment, but for this Junkie who used to get them at least once or twice a month, it is a huge void in my life!  I’ve been pushing back my cuticles and buffing my nails so they’re smooth and presentable every week or two.  As a newlywed, I’m still kind of trained on the thought process, “people are looking at your hands, make sure they look pretty!”  I’m sure once I eventually start a family that whole idea is going straight out the window.  But for now, it’s a big deal for me to forego my mani/pedis–especially now that sandal season is upon us!

So why, you may be asking, am I making such a personal sacrifice?  (I know I’m sounding superficial here by calling it a personal sacrifice…whatever, if you yourself aren’t the slightest bit of a product junkie, you probably aren’t even reading this blog!  This is an addict’s safe place, after all.)  Well, unfortunately conventional nail polishes, as well as their cohort, the nail polish remover, are some of the most toxic products out there, along with hair color (another HUGE personal sacrifice, but that’s another post altogether!)  Most nail polishes contain formaldehyde…yep, that nasty smelling stuff that may remind you of frog dissection is a known carcinogen.   They also contain phthalates (that thing I can never pronounce), which are hormone disruptors.  There’s a reason why pregnant women are advised to avoid nail salons.

But sometimes a girl just really wants some pretty nails for a special occasion, right?  Or even a non-special occasion, like a Tuesday.  Enter PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics (catchy name, right?), based right here in NYC.  I bought mine at Whole Foods on recommendation from the sweet sales girl who was more than happy to point out her favorite colors.  She steered me towards a pale pink shade called “Paint Me Tranquil” which is a perfect demure everyday shade for both hands and feet:

It does a nice job of going on smoothly, and seems to be about as long-lasting as my old O.P.I.   This polish is toulene, formaldehyde, and animal-testing Free, and as a bonus, it contains Argan Oil!  Even more of a bonus, all distributable profits from this company support women’s issues.  I assure you, this is a painless replacement product for your old polish.  And it’s only $8, no more than the typical salon brands.

The polish remover isn’t quite as painless.  It requires a bit of time and elbow grease to get your polish off, but it’s worth it to me to have “No Nasty Anything”, which is what their label touts.  The remover is made from sugar beets, rosemary, and spearmint,  and is more oily than your standard nail polish remover, which makes you feel like you’re moisturizing your nails and cuticles instead of drying them with harsh chemicals.  The minty scent is a refreshing change from normal the old toxic removers I used to use.  Everything about PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics is a refreshing change, in fact.  Even if the remover requires a bit more work to get  your polish off, I’m still a huge fan of these products.  Give them a try and see if you can give up your unhealthy nail rituals too!


Filed under Cool Companies We Love, Nail Polish & Remover, Product Reviews