At this stage of Summer – your sandal game definitely needs to be on point! I managed to squeeze in some time for me time at my favourite on-the-go nail salon on the weekend – Pure Nail Bar on Main Street. The shop uses China Glaze polishes, which are wonderful and the brand is available for purchase – so pick one up to do your own to do touch ups with.
Let’s look at some great polishes of the season that are perfect to accessorize your outfit or mood! We have all heard the old adage that you are not fully dressed unless your nails are painted; it really is the finishing touch.
Zoya, part of Art of Beauty was founded in 1986 by Zoya and Michael Reyzis. Zoya, a classically trained pianist turned Cosmetologist and her husband Michael, an advanced chemist, pooled their collective talents and created Zoya Nail Polish.
Zoya was the first line to create the world’s first toxin free nail polish by removing toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP (dibutyl phthalate) from their formulations making it the first working and long lasting toxin free nail polish.
Now, years later and after more research, they are “10 free” meaning their formulations are free of the big nasties like lead as well. This is, of course, is great news as nail polish is in direct, prolonged contact with the body of our nails, so we are absorbing any chemicals present in the formula as we wear it, and many of these chemicals are known hormone disruptors or are carcinogenic.
If you love a variety of colours and options like shimmer or sparkles, look no further than Zoya. I am partial to darker colours like Blair a blackened red wine colour with metallic shimmer. For my pedi this time around we went with Quinn – a perfect rich reddish purple berry colour that is great year round. They have over 400 colours to choose from so it might be hard to pick just one to use at a time!
Illamsqua Nail Varnishes
I was introduced to this brand through a promotional gift and am so pleased! Illamasqua is a UK based brand that boasts over 100 vegan items in their line and is known for their edgy and interesting product names and their more avant garde looks.
As far as their vegan nail varnish, I am partial to Stagnate – a beautiful gray mauve colour is a perfect neutral mani colour in the Fall. The finish is super glossy and long lasting which is always something to look when getting a manicure. Illamsqua does ship to Canada and you may be able to grab a few great items online at The Bay.
As a company they promote expressing individuality and support S.O.P.H.I.E (stamp out prejudice hatred & intolerance everywhere) – The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. This initiative was started by Sophie’s mother after her daughter and her boyfriend were viciously beaten to death for looking different. The foundation works to end intolerance and discrimination in society and helps to change attitudes towards subcultures through education.
SpaRitual was founded by Shel Pink in 2004. Her goal was to bring her vision of the slow beauty movement to a more enlightened consumer; a return to simple wellness and enjoying the caring for ones-self. The brand is proudly vegan and crueltyfree, and uses non-GMO, organic and fair trade ingredients whenever possible.
SpaRitual offers a selection of over 90 colours-many with interesting glitter or shimmer. One colour I cannot wait to try is Health, Wealth and Happiness a blue with a purple iridescent quality; so gorgeous. I have tried their polish before and loved the staying power and the experience, and it is formulated without DBP, toluene, formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin. The line also features many body care items; the perfect complement to a mani with their polish would be their Handprint Hand Salve formulated with fair trade organic Shea butter, aloe ferox, Marula oil, Griffonia seed extract, and honeybush for that deep treatment that hard working hands need.
To stretch the shelf life of your polishes, keep them in a dry, dark and cool place with the bottle tightly sealed and your favourite polishes can last two years or more once they have been opened, unopened they could last indefinitely but will need to be shaken well before use. When is it time to toss it? Like other cosmetics, texture is the key; if the polish has had evaporation occur, it will become thick and difficult to use, and it will not give you the glassy perfect finish it once did. If this is the case, it is time to move on, but thankfully nail polish is one of the most affordable cosmetics on the market, so change your polish according to mood or season and try new brands as often as you like.
Peace, Love, and Lipstick
Next week: SOS – Serums for Your Best Summer Skin