Once upon a time, if you were devoted to clean beauty, your options were remarkably limited. Fast-forward to 2022 and the space is growing like crazy, with more products being sent to our (home) offices than ever before. The progress we’re seeing in clean beauty is remarkable, but there have been a few straggling product categories we’ve been waiting to see go clean: mascara, dry shampoo and a good gel mani.
Within the last two years, we’re thrilled to say that we’ve found excellent versions of them all — great mascaras from ILIA, Kjaer Weis and Honest Beauty, eco-safe aerosol dry shampoo from Fekkai, and a gel manicure alternative that we’re completely unpacking for you below.
I get asked about clean gel manicure alts as often as anything else and have promised to report through a good find as soon as I encountered one. Finally, the Manucurist Paris is on my radar, available in the US market, and ready to give you the manicure of your dreams. Here’s what you need to know:
What It Is:The Manucurist Paris is a French nail care brand that just landed here in the US with the new Manucurist Maison, an exclusive, invite-only nail and content studio in Beverly Hills. The brand’s polishes and treatments are 10-free, plant-based, and HEMA-free. With them, the brand is hoping to educate Hollywood stylists and influencers about the value of a a non-toxic manicure.
Haven’t received your invite to the maison? No problem. The Manucurist’s Green Flash Kit can be ordered to your home, including their LED light, top coat and more.
Why we love it: According to the Manucurist, “Green Flash is not a new gel. It’s unique: the formula, the way it looks, the way you apply it, the way you remove it. It’s not a regular nail polish, nor a gel. It’s the best of each.”
This brand was incredibly appealing to me from the start –who can resist French beauty these days? And the promise of a gel-like, non-toxic manicure at home that lasts had me seriously curious. Naturally, the first step was to put the products to the test of time.
After receiving the full Green Flash Kit, I almost immediately gave myself a manicure and said a prayer. After layering three coats of polish onto clean nails, curing each one with the LED fixture for just a few seconds, the real test would be the week to follow.
For 10 days, I put my manicure through hell — I’m talking difficult jewelry clasps, home projects, dish washing, and opening all kinds of awkwardly-taped delivery packaging. Let’s not even begin talking about all the purse-rummaging for keys, cards and pens (the ultimate manicure killer).
My manicure survived in style and I was blissfully rewarded with a weekend free of the chore of repainting my nails.
About ten days later, I was actually getting impatient. I knew so many readers and friends would be interested in the products, but I needed to know how difficult the polish would be to take off. Relieved, I found that the polish came off as easily as regular nail polish. Even though the Kit had come with Nail Clips to help you soak the polish off, I barely needed them and the old polish came off quickly.
How to Get It: The Manucurist has just arrived in the US from France, but we expect them to grow quickly. Their exclusive studio here in Beverly Hills is available for appointments by invitation only, but the at-home kit is available online and worth ordering immediately. This is one of the clean beauty hacks we’ve been waiting for and I cannot wait to get more feedback from our community.
The Green Flash Kit comes with the LED curing light, base coat, three polish colors of your choice, top coat, nail clips and remover. Our only word to the wise is that the Manucurist’s colors sell out fast, so grab them before they’re gone. Everything comes in a smart green bag, an instant mani kit that’s easy to grab when you finally need to remove and repaint!
Have a clean manicure dupe we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!