Plastic free nail polish?

So I was lounging around the other night and could feel spring in the air. I started thinking about things that come with the weather change; sundresses, shorts, cute tank tops, sandals….Sandals, ohhhhh time to paint my toenails! Wait…..there’s a plastic cap on nail polish……And I think there’s even plastic in some types of nail polish, and in the glitter versions. I tried reading this article to get a picture of what exactly is in some polishes but find myself a bit overwhelmed by all the chemical names. I’m not a huge nail polish fan like I used to be, but I’ve always been pretty devout about having my toenails painted. I do my own (I’m weird about my feet being touched) and my pedicures last me about 2-3 weeks with a pinch of in between maintenance.

I have used henna on my toenails before. Not for any cause, but just because I’m a henna head, I was bored and had henna left over. I slapped it on my toes numerous times, one time I even slept with henna applied to toenails, covered with cotton balls and taped to each individual toe (did I mention I was bored?). The color came out underwhelmingly bad no matter what I seemed to do. My mother and boyfriend kept casting my toenails the equivalent of the evil eye. I didn’t keep them up however, some henna heads freshen their hennaed nails often with new henna saying it keeps the stain going. Seems most people end up with a brownish hue at the darkest, orangey or nicotine yellow at the lightest.

But anyways, yeah, nail polish. I have quite a bit left. I don’t know if I’m going to get rid of what I have or not. I do have a few reds that could float me thru for awhile. I decided to scour the Google planet and see what I could find in the way of plastic free nail polish. I didn’t find plastic free (sorry if you got excited), but I found two companies that use a wooden lid, both still have the inner plastic wand and bristles however.

I’m excited about a new business I found on Etsy. L’Essentiel nail polish, shop name OfficialEssentiel on Etsy. Here’s one of their pretty polishes.


I contacted the seller to ask specifically about the cap and the owner responded quickly with: “Thanks for reaching out to us. Our caps do not contain any plastic besides the little wand portion and bristles. The actual cap is made out of 100 percent bamboo and yes, we ship in 100 percent recycled cardboard boxes!” I also asked if they could use a plastic free way to seal the package and owner was more than willing to find a plastic free solution as long as it worked with the post office’s shipping method and requirements. I like the bamboo cap, the customer service, and I like to see a new business with great earth ethics and aspirations.

I also found Sheswai Lacquer.


Their cap is wood as well; I assume the wand and bristles are plastic though. They also wanted to reduce the use of plastic in their packaging in the interest of sustainability. They state that they donate a portion of their profits to different organizations like the Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Foundation. I contacted them rather late today to inquire about their packaging for shipping and other product details and didn’t hear anything back yet. I’ll edit the post when they get back to me.

So there you go, some less plastic nail polish options. Alas not plastic free though. But seeing companies that are trying to minimize their use of plastic in their product containers is definitely a good thing. Now if only other companies would catch on and follow suit.

Please comment if you know of any other less waste companies or alternative ways to color your nails! Found this in Wikipedia about the history of nail polish “During the Ming dynasty, nail polish was often made from a mixture that included beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, vegetable dyes, and gum Arabic.[1][2]” Where are the people from the Ming Dynasty when you need them?


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