Meet The Future Of DIY Manicures



Wearing colour on my nails is new for me. I’ve never been a fan of manicures. In the long list of beauty procedures in which I’m willing to invest my time and money, getting a manicure sits somewhere below facials (every month or two) and above getting my legs waxed (never). This is partly down to the nasty chemicals in nail polish. (Think formaldehyde and toluene which have been linked to headaches and reproductive issues). It is also partly due to a lack of time and a complete inability to keep my nails chip-free for more than about six hours.

But after a hiatus, a new innovation has lured me back to the world of manicures: natural, “clean” polishes, which offer the promise of long-lasting, high-quality manicures without all the chemical additives. Let’s be upfront. The natural nail polish industry can be confusing. Scientific jargon and eco-friendly claims are thrown around with carefree abandon, and although the words “non-toxic”, “free from” and “clean” seem positive, they actually mean very little.

If you want a healthier nail polish, look for the words “3-free”. This means they are made without the so-called ‘toxic trio’ (formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate). Or check the packaging to see whether these ingredients are included. Good news: the newest natural nail polish brands are taking things a step further by creating ultra-safe, eco-friendly formulas that are 7-free, 9-free and even 10-free – all without compromising on colour, wearability and shine factor. Here’s what that actually means...

5-Free: Free from formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate (a plasticiser that’s linked to developmental and reproductive issues). 7-Free: Free from formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, dibutyl phthalate, ethyl tosylamide and xylene. 10-Free: Free from Toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, animal by-products and fragrance.

“Nail care should be just as considered as your skincare. It’s a widely known fact that you should check the label on anything you put on your body. The same goes for your nails too. Since they are so porous, your nails absorb any substance you put on them..”

– Emma Louise Paxton, founder of clean polish brand Pax

Pax $29

Nelson Made $299

While no nail polish is entirely natural or chemical free – they all contain synthetic chemicals – you have a choice now on how many of the above ingredients are absent. From sheer pinks to bold blues and rich autumn reds – here’s my pick of the best natural nail polishes:

manucurist $33

manicurist $24

OPI $11.50

Kester Black $28

Improve your inbox.  Sign up to our free  weekly newsletter.


Would You Pay $100 For A Face Massage?


Yes, You Really Should Be Using Acids For Your Skin


“Should I Have Kids?” One Woman On The Mother Of All Questions


Want more stories?

Meet The Future Of DIY Manicures