I have never been to a nail salon. When I lived in London, fancy nails were all the rage. My daughter's keyworker at nursery school had the MOST amazing nails ever, with tiny caribbean sunsets painted on them, embedded "diamonds", golden tips, stunning crescent moons... all deeply unnatural but absolutely eye-catching! Dalston was the place for nail salons back then. Maybe it still is?
But my flirtation with nail art stretches no further than the occasional wedding-induced coat of paint. Three summers ago I bought a bargainous multi-pack of Butter London polishes (5 for £10) and at various times since I have tried out all the colours on hands or toes... and they made me smile, they really did! But all good things must come to an end and they have all started separating and drying out.
So, with Me Made May around the corner, and my pledge to try a bit harder with my "look", I thought it might be time to re-grow my picked-at mis-shapen nails and invest in a few fresh nail polishes.
Now... you may not have heard of Butter London. The reason I chose them back in 2008/9 was that they are "3 free". From their own website: "butter LONDON products are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens. butter LONDON was the first company to sell non-toxic nail lacquer in the United States."
You hadn't thought of nail polish as being toxic? Just think of the smell! It is evil stuff! Those poisons leach into your body in the same way that the chemicals in a mother's hair dye can reach an unborn child. I realise I am sounding a bit preachy, but this stuff bothers me!
So if I am going to paint my nails (an unnatural activity, I admit) I at least want to choose my polish responsibly.
Time has passed, so I thought I would have a look to see what is available nowadays:
Butter London is still around and still making amazing fashion colours. I fancy Jaffa.
But I also discovered a new high-end brand, Scotch Naturals which is based in the USA but has given its colours suitably Scottish-inspired names. The name of the colour is very important, don't you think? If only I could have a job inventing the names for colours...!
It is available in the UK from a couple of websites.
It is even "cleaner" than Butter London, containing only: "water, acrylic polymer emulsion, butoxy diglycol and non-toxic colorants". Inevitably it requires special care - but there are instructions for the perfect finish on the website which sound very therapeutic and soothing!
|Velvet Kilt, £13.50|
I really like the look of Velvet Kilt: a deeply mysterious purple!
You will have noticed that neither of these options is cheap... but I definitely view this as a luxury one-off pampering purchase.
I did find some cheaper brands: Suncoat Girl is aimed at kids and costs £5.99. It also "peelable". I really truly cannot bear the thought of peeling off my nail colour - shudder!
The adult range, Suncoat, is £7.95, but the colours are very pedestrian. (Or grown-up, depending on your point of view!)
Boosily looks like another teen-targetted range, but I am attracted to two of their colours: Sweet Tangerine and Blue Dragon. At £5.75 each, it might be worth trying. (Ingredients for the blue one: Water (60%); dibenzoate, monoether, copolymer, mica, iron oxide, titanium dioxide, carmine, ultramarine.)
Starry Trail Violet is a delicious nude.
California Bluebell is.... blue!