I considered my nail polish collection quite respectable with over 50 different shades, until a colleague told me she had close to 80. Clearly I have been way too conservative in my approach to beauty and have a legitimate excuse – no imperative need – to increase my paltry collection. Ranging from Bourjois to Ciaté and quite a bit of Nails Inc, I know what shades work for my skin tone and will happily switch from a butter-wouldn’t-melt nude to a blinding fluorescent orange or crayola yellow. But when it comes to natural nail polishes I’ve struggled to know what to look for and understand what makes a natural formula – is it even possible? The Organic Pharmacy’s makeup range Organic Glam seems like a good place to start, so here’s to building up my nail lacquer collection with these five shades.
Apart from the ingredients list there is no product information on the brand’s website, however the press release claims ‘professional standard polishes in vibrant glossy colours that are free from the toxins usually found in nail polishes’. The toxins referred to are synthetic chemicals DBP and Toluene (solvents), and Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Resin (allergens). There are typically 3 categories of free from nail polishes:
3 Free – excludes DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde, many brands achieve this standard
4 Free – also excludes Formaldehyde Resin like Organic Glam
5 Free – also excludes camphor, a potential skin irritant
The Ingredients List
Ever since I started working in product development, discussing with chemists how to create formulas that deliver the desired beauty result, I’ve been more attuned to the ingredients listed on the back of packaging rather than relying on the ones highlighted on the front. Although I studied Latin at school we didn’t really cover plant names and natural oils so thankfully quite a few brands added the English translation too. Organic Glam have helpfully included details for most of the ingredients on their website, so let’s have a look at some of them.
Acetyl Tributyl Citrate: biodegradable plasticizer found in toxic free nail polishes
Nitrocellulose: powder derived from cellulose (extracted from wood pulp or cotton, can also be produced from corn or sugar cane stalks, oat or rice hulls, bamboo or flax) to achieve a soft velvety effect
Stearalkonium Bentonite: creamy white powder based on clay that helps suspend powders in a liquid
Silica: natural mineral found in sandstone, clay, and granite, as well as in parts of plants and animals. It can be used as an absorbent powder, a thickening agent or to reflect light
With over 30 shades to choose from you are bound to find your match. Organic Glam have a selection of solid or pearlescent colours, here I’m trying both finishes :
solid: my favourite finish, the Aqua, Pale Blue and Violet shades provide a vibrant, high shine pop of long lasting colour. Violet works particularly well in the winter on paler skin, whilst the blue and aqua look great with a tan.
pearlescent: Dorothy (the bronze one) and Sweet Peach will give you less coverage so you may want to add an extra coat. They work well for a subtler look, but for me the bright sharp colours look a lot more modern.
If you’re looking for a high performing natural nail polish Organic Glam manages to combine both. The result is as good, if not better, than some specialist brands in terms of quality, finish, shade range and durability.
The Professionals’ Opinion
When it comes to natural beauty my port of call is usually The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible. The authors Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley have been working together for the last 20 years to bring us an edit of beauty heroes tried and tested by a panel of over 20,000 women, and the scoring can give a fair indication of a product’s performance. Well it turns out that Organic Glam’s nail polishes achieved the highest score in the natural nail polish category, with testers rating the polished look and long lasting effect.
So, can you ever have too many nail polishes ? How many is too many? Organic Glam’s lacquers were priced at £11.50 but the whole range is now on at £5.00 per item, an absolute steal so my advice is get them while they are still available! Have you found some great natural options you’d like to share? Leave a comment below to let me know.