Monday, August 17, 2009

Nubar: Is There Such a Thing as Healthy Nail Polish?



I stumbled upon a nail polish brand called Nubar today after checking out random nail blogs. The offer is formaldehyde, phthalate, and toulene-free nail polish. If those words sound like Greek to you, it's a safe guess that they're bad for you. And for us chemistry buffs, you know a combination of those three means toxins and carcinogens, which makes me highly self-conscious about the cheap $2 drugstore nail polish I am currently wearing.

Here is an inspiring excerpt from Nubar's website:

In 2000, nubar was founded as the healthy alternative for beautiful nails. After being affected by cancer within his own family, nubar’s creative force, Noubar Abrahamian, was uniquely committed to his role as a pioneer in producing the highest quality nail care products that were free of formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP (phthalate). These common ingredients are included in California’s Proposition 65, which lists chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm, and nubar’s exclusive formula omits these components as well as their derivatives without sacrificing quality.
Though a little skeptical, I have to commend Nubar for making an effort to create healthy alternatives to beauty products. When I removed my flaking pink polish today, my nail polish remover smelled strongly. After opening a brand new bottle of Pure Ice Mint Dream (I still love their colours regardless), the penetrating odor that can only be nail polish spread throughout the bathroom and continued to reek as I waved my hands around while chatting with Mom. Several hours later, the newly-applied polish smell is still very strong on my fingers. I'm sure our evolutionary ancestors could tell you that smells like those signify danger. I hope that someday, makeup companies can develop nearly carcinogen-free nail polish and more natural beauty products for affordable prices. As people are living longer today, pretty soon even little things like nail polish ingredients will draw attention in the worldwide campaign to increase lifespan as much as possible.

From nail blogs' swatches, I can tell Nubar's polishes are really rich, pigmented, and smooth. However, there is a price to pay: $7.49 per bottle (0.5 fl oz). I saw an article on Nubar's Going Green Collection and instantly fell in lust. My favourite colour is green and I am definitely a sucker for anything emerald. Healthy nail polish + beautiful green shades? If I were less broke, I'd be in.

The Limited Edition Going Green Collection features: Conserve, Earth, Forest, Greener, Reclaim, Wildlife plus a bottle of Foundation Base Coat and a bottle of Diamont Quick Drying Top Coat. ($49.95)

Note: Swatches borrowed from Steph's Closet (she has a great blog with cute nail ideas)

1) Conserve (each sold separately for $7.49)



2) Earth


3) Forest

4) Greener

5) Reclaim



6) Wildlife

Now the question is: What price are we willing to pay for healthier nail polish? You may not have ever worried about ingredients before, not in makeup, nor food, but Nubar brings this problem into perspective. OPI Nail Lacquer is around $8, China Glaze is $3 something a pop, L'Oreal is $5, Maybelline Express Finish is $4. So in comparison, Nubar's fees are comparable to medium-priced drugstore brands, but give your nails (and other cells) longer life. I don't wear nail polish religiously, otherwise I'd definitely purchase my favourite shades from Nubar's Going Green Collection, hands down. (I am still drooling over them right now!)

If you have tried Nubar's nail polishes, tell me what you think! I'd love to hear your experiences about how "healthy" nail lacquer compares to ones loaded with yummy toxins.

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