30 March 2009

Lacquer Lundi

One commenter to my blog had expressed concern over the detrimental health effects that could be caused by the chemicals found in nail polish. So, I wanted to provide some information that I have dug up on the subject. Like most lifestyle choices, I believe it is up to the individual to make a decision based on knowledge and personal preference. I have never been one to blindly believe what I'm am told - as a scientist, it is in my nature to do research and weigh the information accordingly. I have obviously come down on the side of nail polish being a very minimal health risk (especially if one is using the polishes created in the last few years).

If you wish to read up on this subject, I have provided a couple of links (and these links contain further links) below that beautifully sum up my thoughts on the subject:

The Big Three: On the blog, All Lacquered Up, the following questions are answered: What are the big three? What do they do? Why are they harmful? In this entry, a list of references and further reading is linked.

"Healthier" Polish: All Lacquered Up provides an excellent list of polish companies, categorized by what they do and don't contain.

Now, on to the pretties:

Rimmel Lycra Wear 10 - Azteque
- purchased at Rexall (chain drug store) for $2.66 CDN

This product claims to be "up to 10 days nail colour." I suppose that is true - my polish started chipping after less than 24 hours, which is technically "up to" 10 days. In all fairness, I was washing out test tubes at school, so that is likely the cause of the shortened wear time. I have a few other bottles of polish in this line, so I will give them a fair go and see if they fare any better under less soggy conditions. Other than the wear issues, the polish applied nicely and was fully opaque in two coats.

I bought this polish because I fell in love with OPI Baguette Me Not (scroll down the page - it's part of their France collection). Since OPI polishes are hard to find locally, not to mention the exorbitant price (usually they run $10- $12), I decided to try the Rimmel as a cheaper alternative. I must say that when I compared the Rimmel to online swatches of the OPI polish, the colour match was pretty good.

Sally Hansen No Chip 10 Day - Chocolate Dream

- purchased at Shoppers (chain drug store) for $6.49 CDN

I love this colour! It is like coating your nails in dark chocolate - the whole time I was wearing this polish, it made me crave fudge. The base is a deep dark brown packed with gold/copper shimmer. Gorgeous! My photo does not do this polish justice - I wish you could see it in person.

The polish applied nicely, although it was just slightly runny. Unfortunately, I have a hard time believing that this polish could last a full 10 days on my nails, as I had a few very minor chips and tip wear (which can be seen in the photo at left) after 24 hours. At that point, I took this polish off as I don't like any chips on my nails (not to mention that I have a ton of other polishes that are screaming to be tried). However, this polish is still acceptable in my books because of the beautiful colour. I may end up using it mainly for pedicures as polish tends to last much longer on my feet.

OPI - My Private Jet

- purchased at Trade Secrets for $ 7.96 CDN

There is some controversy with regards to this polish. There are two different versions of it in circulation - a holographic version (which is highly sought after) and a plain glitter version. Apparently it is nearly impossible to tell which polish you have just by looking at the bottle. It's the application on the nail that makes the determination. So, needless to say, I was disappointed that I got the latter version - at first. Then I started really looking at this polish. It is really wonderful, even if it isn't holographic. The base of this polish is a charcoal grey (which can look dark brown or dark purple as well, depending on the lighting) with tons of multi-coloured micro glitter (the photo to the right is slightly blurred to show the variety of colour found in this polish). It really is a beautiful polish if you are into vampy (dark) colours.

This polish applied well, as with most OPI polishes. It required three coats to become opaque and it wore well for the two days I wore it. I also have to mention the brush - it is such a nice shape and width that I find polishing with it is a breeze.

China Glaze - Japanese Koi

- purchased at Sally Beauty Supply for $ 3.99 CDN

After wearing two dark polishes in a row, I wanted something funky and bright for the end of the week. So, I went for the most day-glo polish I own. Nothing like bright, highlighter orange to sear the eyeballs! I couldn't capture the intensity of the colour in a photo; in real life the orange is even more intense - it almost glows.

This polish is from the INK collection (six polishes that pay homage to tattoo art). I have two other polishes in this collection and I will be adding more if this polish is any indication of the quality of the rest of them.

I love China Glaze nail polishes. The consistency of the polish, the ease of application, the pigmentation, the range of colours, the excellent wear - this is brand is certainly one of my favourites. The only downside to this particular polish, as with all neons, is that they dry matte. So I simply added a shiny topcoat to get the maximum in-your-face look. This is three coats and it is still a bit see-through, but not distractingly so. I wore this polish for three days and other than some slight tip wear, it held up extremely well.

Last but not least, I wanted to take care of a inquiry by the fabulous Cidell, "Question: how often are you changing the color/using the remover. I've noticed my nails splitting more than usual and am wondering if the two to three color changes a week are to blame. Do you ever let them 'breathe' in between colors?"

In terms of letting my nails "breathe", I personally don't think it is necessary as nails are just dead tissue made of keratin, a fibrous protein, which is incapable of breathing. I think the key is to moisturize the nail, the surrounding cuticle and skin. This will help reduce peelies by getting the keratin fibres to lay down flat, much the same way conditioner can smooth the hair cuticle (which is also made of keratin). On a typical polish change day, I get home from work and remove my old polish, slap on a thick layer of moisturizing balm on my nails and cuticle area, then get on the treadmill to exercise. Afterwards, I shower and my nails are ready for new polish.

I change my nail colour every day or two; at most, I keep my polish on for three days. So, I use a lot of polish remover on my nails. Rather than weakening my nails, I have noticed that in general they break less (I think the polish helps to structurally strengthen them). However, I do have two nails on my left hand that split on a regular basis. However, they did this even when I didn't wear polish, so I think they are just an inherent weakness of these two nails. I have been looking into taking a biotin supplement, as biotin has been shown to strengthen brittle nails. I'll likely post more about this when I have completed my research.


cidell said...

Thanks for answering my question Shannon! I've been using cuticle oil religiously at work and at night. I have a bottle of biotin that I'm not consistent with taking. I think I'll start that over again and be better about taking off polish, moisturizing and then polishing. I REALLY love this feature and hope you keep it up! And, if you ever need to buy OPI on the cheap and the NYC places won't ship, let me know. I'm happy to send and cross my fingers that they won't get you on customs.

gwensews said...

Hooray for nail polish! As I began to age, my very good nails began to change. I have ridges and splits now. I keep my nails about the length of yours, use a ridge filler and nail polish, and rub oil into them at least once a day.

patsijean said...

I too have problems with my brittle nails splitting and "peeling" and they are thin. The problem has been somewhat resolved by applying a cuticle oil than contains jojoba and vitiman E at least once a day. I have been doing that about 1-1/2 years and it has worked wonders. My nails are still thin and I do have some ridges but they are much better. I will try the Biotin.

This website http://www.hooked-on-nails.com/naildisorders.html has an extensive list, with photos, of many nail diseases and disorders. I found information for my nails under 'Brittle Nails' and 'Ridges' which is just below. Right above the information for brittle nails is information about nail damage through the use of MMA (methyl methacrylate) a liquid monomer used for acrylic nails by unscrupulous salons.

Back to nail polish. Before I started to apply the cuticle oil on my nails, I used to use polish a lot but quit because it peeled right off my nails within a day or two. I used base coat and top coat etc. mostly Sally Hanson, but it just isn't worth it.

Mardel said...

I love this feature too. I stopped polishing my nails for a while and they are worse for it. I was contemplating beginning again and here you are starting this feature.

My experience with the OPI holographic colors, and some glitters too, is that they usually take three coats to look good, but hold up really well after you put on the three coats.

Shopping today for the nail basics to supplement what I still have and can use.

kiltsnquilts said...

Love these posts! You have inspired me to start wearing coloured polish on my short, rather square nails! I always thought I had to have long and lovely nails to wear colours! Especially dark and bright ones - but your nails look great! Thanks. As I type I have just applied two coats of a favourite polish previouly only used on my toes :-) My cuticl oil is soaking in - Avoplex by OPI, which is geat and smells yummy!

Thanks again for the inspiration, off tomorrow for some of the latest colours :-)

Sewellen said...

I think you and I are living parallel lives. I recently discovered nail blogs and I am sooooo hooked! I spend almost as much time on these blogs as I do the sewing ones! I just ordered a bottle of polish from Rescue Beauty Lounge based on a review from "All Laquered Up". Well, at least ole' polish collection takes up less space than fabric! And, I agree with you: nail polish, minimal health risk.

kiltsnquilts said...

After 3 failed attempts, my nails are now coated with 2 coats of OPI Russian Navy! Boy, is it hard to use the very dark polishes! I am out of practise, it took me most of the evening Lol!

Loving them now though - thanks Shannon :-)

angie.a said...

LOVE this set of polishes!! Fabulous post, again. :)

Second no-BSG Friday. *cries*

Linda T said...

Will be interested in your feedback on biotin supplement. I've been taking it (on the recommendation of my friend who is a dietetian - did I spell that right???). I think it is helping. I've given one of my horses a biotin supplement for years to help his hooves--works well for him!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inspiration, for those with splitting or breaking nails try OPI's Nail Envy, and a friend used some old Cod Liver Oil capsules to massage into her nails when she watched TV.