Low-Toxicity Nail Fashion

by Laura Naughton


I’m not one to paint my nails pretty, but looking at online fashion blogs lately, there is an abundance of tempting “nail-candy” photos from the runways that are inspiring me to schedule an appointment for a manicure. I have to admit that I’m no regular nail salon goer, mainly because when walking by nail salons in malls, I’ve trained myself to hold my breath while passing as to avoid inhaling the noxious fumes exuding from the doorways. Knowing from research of the side effects of many of the ingredients found in nail products, I haven’t wanted to subject my body to the toxic layer of chemicals for the sake of beauty. To get a closer look at the manicure industry today, I sat down with local nail artist, Chris Kitchen, of Soak By CK, to discuss the trends for nail fashion this fall and find out what products can tame my fear of professional salon nail care.

Kitchen, a licensed cosmetologist and certified natural nail care master through the Creative Nail Design Academy, offers a range of spa and nail treatments using low toxic, eco-friendly and organic products. Researching the industry to find the top products is a main priority so she can offer her clients healthy options for manicures with less fear of harmful side effects.

“The nail product industry has come a long way in regards to being eco-friendly, although there isn’t a 100 percent all natural nail polish on the market as of yet,” Kitchen said.

Chris Kitchen

Realizing this, she has narrowed down the lines she uses to those with some of the least toxic formulas available on the market today, which include Zoya, Nars, Essie and SpaRitual. For this article, we explored one of her favorite lines: SpaRitual.

SpaRitual is an eco-friendly and vegan line started by University of Michigan graduate, Shel Pink. The company offers a wide variety of spa and manicure products including washes, moisturizers, base coats, topcoats and nail lacquers. SpaRitual’s philosophy, “Beauty is the spontaneous expression of mind, body and spirit,” has inspired their product line names which include conscience affirmations like Meditate, Reflect and Evolve. They work to make the products less toxic and more natural by restricting the chemicals used and also using certified organic and fair-trade ingredients when possible. The products are also naturally colored and free of synthetic dyes.

SpaRitual offers nail elixirs and nail lacquer formulas that are free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde and formaldehyde resins. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), these highly toxic chemicals are linked to a plethora of health hazards including skin, eye, and lung irritation, developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, and cancer, and are slowly being excluded from products in the industry. SpaRitual’s nail lacquers and elixirs do contain both synthetic and natural ingredients. However, from researching the ingredients in their nail lacquers, their newer nail lacquers have an overall low health hazard score according to the ingredient health rating system of the EWG. From trying out their products, I can tell you that their products have less headache inducing aromas than previously found.

I’m still searching for a completely organic nail polish line on the market, but in the meantime, I do feel more comfortable having an occasional manicure from nail artists that use low-toxicity products. If you would like to be up to date on nail fashion, check out the list below of hot trends along with products from SpaRitual that will help you don the look through the season.


Trends in Nail Fashion

Outshining the Public
Seen as neutrals with flare, metallic polish was seen all over the fashion runways of Milan and New York. Silver, copper and colored iridescent are some of the favorites to be had by today’s fashion-lovers. Look to SpaRitual’s Hypnotic (Dark Silver), Solid as a Rock (Metallic Sage) and Conversation (Shimmering Copper) for the perfect metallic polish to help you shine in the crowd.

Textures Galore
Textures such as 3D accents, lace, matte colors and matte/shiny combinations are bringing another dimension to nail fashion. To achieve a lace look, apply a base coat of your selected base color such as Midnight Stroll (Dark Blue) and let it dry completely. Apply a second coat of the same color and apply ivory lace cut to the desired size to the nail while the lacquer is still wet. Once completely dry, apply SpaRitual’s Impeccable™ Chip-Resistant Topcoat to seal the lace into place and you’re now ready show off your new dimension.

Dark and Dramatic
Every woman, at some point, yearns to be dark and mysterious when out on the town in the evening. Black, Gray and Oxblood are some of the top nail colors as seen on the runways of Oscar de la Renta and Richard Chai Love. Check out SpaRitual’s nail lacquers Street Smart (Black), Freedom (Gray) and From the Heart (Oxblood) for the colors that will bring mystery to your look.

Clean and Modern
Some women like to keep their nails simple and neutral for all occasions. A monochromatic palette of whites will go with almost any outfit and bring a light decorative pop to your hands. For this look, check out to SpaRitual’s shades of whites: Uncomplicated and Wipeout nail lacquers to look fresh and fabulous

Find more information on SpaRitual vegan nail lacquer at www.sparitual.com.


About the Author:
Laura Naughton Production Stylist and owner of LKN Studio, Laura is also a model and connoisseur of natural regimens for everyday health and beauty. www.lknstudio.com