6.9.15
The Non-Toxic Manicure: 5 Things To Make You Think Twice About That Cheap Mani

Oh boy. Manicures – of all things – should be fun and simple. They’re a non-essential beauty treat we all love to get and the perfect way to kill an afternoon with a bud. There’s no reason your painted talons should cause anyone distress – right? 

We don’t want to kill anyone’s beauty vibe, but, the truth is, there’s a lot of discussion lately about nail salons – the fumes, the health of the salon technicians – and of course, the quality of the nail products you’re using in and out of the salon (something we talk about often.) Get the full scoop on the debate about health and salon employees here at the New York Times. It’s pretty intense, and, if you’ve logged as many hours in a nail salon as most girls, you can guess what the issue might be. There are questions about the overload of chemicals, the fumes and soaking materials, as well as the treatment of workers who are largely young female immigrants vulnerable to the abuse of labor laws.

We know it’s a lot to take in. Is a fresh coat of coral paint before our next beach trip too much to ask for? Navigating the world of beauty these days isn’t always so pretty. But it doesn’t have to stay this way.

Below, we’re offering five quick ideas to help take your manicure in the right direction. No need to kick your grooming habits to the curb entirely. Just find a few practical ways to improve what you’re already doing. We’re including a few of our favorite products along with tips from Sarah Gibson Tuttle, the owner of the Beverly Hills’ nail salon we love, Olive & June.

5 Things That’ll Make You Think Twice About That Cheap Mani

1 – frequent salons with Mindful practices: Finding salons that use 3-free polishes and the like is becoming easier and easier. Sarah of Olive & June says, “Working with soaps, lotions, polishes, and polish removers that are non-toxic or organic, is better for everyone. Every time a technician applies a moisturizer to a client, they are applying it to themselves too. They come into contact with it more often than anyone else! Better for them that they are able to work with products day in and day out that are free from potentially harmful chemicals.”

2 – Ask your salon owner Questions: The ethical treatment of salon employees has become a point of concern in many cities. As a salon owner herself, Sarah advises, “Ask the manager how they compensate their employees. Someone who is operating an ethical business will be happy to share. It will help you make an informed decision. “


3 – Trust your gut: This one is easier said and done. Many of us feel a little “off” about the fumes that fill an average salon, and everyone’s been in a salon whose staffing situation makes you wonder. Sarah notes, “If you feel like prices are too low and suspect that things may not be on the up and up, then choose to have your nails done elsewhere. Or, if you have a manicurist that you have really connected with and want to continue to support, tip based purely on performance, not on price. Do what you feel is right and fair.”

4 – To Gel Or Not To Gel:The gel manicure is as popular as ever these days. But is there any cause for concern? Here’s where we stand on the popular gel mani: Short Term Beauty Fix Or Long Term Health Risk?

5- At-Home Mani Picks: If you’re more of the DIY kind of girl when it comes to manicures, stick with a few of our favorite “3-Free” and “5-Free” brands that formulate without the most toxic offenders. The non-toxic manicure has come a long way. We love neutral colors from RGB and brights from Aila and Kure Bazaar. Great salons, like Olive & June, keep non-toxic polish options stocked, but remember you can always also bring your favorite 5-Free polish from home when the time comes for a pro job.

5 – Non-Toxic Polish Remover:Some green beauty choices are easy to make: we hate the smell of nail polish remover, changing to a non-toxic formula is a simple choice to make. We’re obsessed with this natural polish remover from Aila, it’s the best we’ve ever tried!

Get more info on the socially-responsible manicure with #HandleWithCare! Pay attention to what they’re up to in New York and get involved. 


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Leave A Comment

  1. Love this article! It is so easy to get in a habit and not think about the consequences of our beauty must-haves. Beyond the toxin issues – make sure you look for a place that feels clean. It is easy for infection to spread in a less-than-clean salon.

  2. Definitely agree! I always try to bring or buy less toxic nail polishes like Priti. I also found this article really helpful on things I could do to make getting my nails done less detrimental: http://bit.ly/1S58EHx

    AKH | 06.10.2015 | Reply


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