Clean nail polish: Four conscious nail care brands & a chat with their founders

Did you know that the majority of all nail polishes on the market may contain ingredients that are suspected of being harmful to your health? Causing cancer, hormonal imbalances and reproductive problems which can be detected by the toxic substances in our body only two hours after a single application. We still don’t want to miss out and love to paint our nails with the most beautiful colours but in a more caring and healthier way. We had a chat with the founders of the brands that make an innovative change in nailcare

 

 

GITTI, Jennifer Baum

IRMA: What makes your colours stand out ?
JENNIFER BAUM: GITTI is a real innovation in the nail polish industry. We’re cruelty-free: no animal is ever harmed – neither for our colours nor in production, which is by the way absolutely environmentally friendly and takes place at our certified partner laboratory in France. Since GITTI colours are completely vegan. Our aim is to use as many natural ingredients as possible. We are proud to say that GITTI is not only better for you, but also for our environment. GITTI is not just a nail colour, it’s a completely new vision in the industry.

IRMA: Can you use nail colour every day ? How can you treat and take care of your nails in-between nail polish and should you have a nail polish break in-between, if so, for how long?
JENNIFER BAUM: Yes, you can use nail colour every day. We recommend doing a little break every once in a while. A couple of weeks ago we launched two new products, which keep your nails healthy and strong. Especially nowadays where we use a lot of disinfection sprays. a probiotic nail serum and a nail & cuticle oil. We also are very proud of our 100% natural remover, which is very nourishing for the nails.

IRMA: How do you choose your colours?
JENNIFER BAUM: We observe the market and trends very closely to know which colours go well with which seasons. Nature is a great source of inspiration because there are so many great colours. We use trend forecasts; statistics and we ask our community for their favourite ones. It is very important for us that our community gives us feedback and is present at every step. We always try to realize the colour wishes of our community. We have a mix between all-time classics and trend colours. It is important that all GITTI colours are specially developed.

IRMA: What will be the top trend colour in 2021?
JENNIFER BAUM: There will be a palette of ones which work together in harmony. The multicolour nails trend will be still there in 2021 – we will launch an exciting spring palette which will bring you in the right mood for spring/summer next year

IRMA: Is there a styling tip to integrate a nail colour to your outfit?
JENNIFER BAUM: We think it’s important to be true to yourself and the colour you choose should always be the one you really want to wear on that day. My all-time favourite is GITTI number 101. I wear it almost every day. The vibrant red is created by red seaweed extract which is rich in magnesium and calcium to strengthen the nail .

IRMA: What makes your brand unique?
JENNIFER BAUM: Our vision: To make the world a more sustainable place where you set your own beauty standards and where your inner- and outer-beauty become one.

 

OZN, Nina Skarabela-Brennstuhl

IRMA: You are a graphic designer; how did you get the idea to create a nail colour brand?
NINA SKARABELA-BRENNSTUHL: Before OZN I had my own small beauty label for a few years, so the industry was not foreign to me now. The fact that I was able to gain experience there helped a lot, of course. My graphic skills are also worth it, I do all the artwork myself, I can realize all the ideas myself exactly according to my own ideas, and I can edit the pictures myself, so I don’t have to give anything away. I think this contributes a lot to the fact that OZN is something very special and is perceived as such from the outside, everything is well thought out and created with a lot of love. It makes a difference whether you design something for a customer or put your heart and soul into your own product.

 

IRMA: What distinguishes your colours?
NINA SKARABELA-BRENNSTUHL: We work as little as possible with harmful chemical ingredients. This means that we largely avoid substances that are suspected of being harmful to health. Of course, you cannot use purely organic or natural ingredients for nail polishes. But there are alternative solvents and compounds that are biodegradable and therefore do not harm health and the environment, such as butyl acetate, a solvent derived from acetic acid.

In addition, we have added vitamins A, C, E and Pro B5 to the paints for perfect care.

 

IRMA: How can you treat and care for your nails between nail polishes?
NINA SKARABELA-BRENNSTUHL: If you have naturally brittle and thinner nails, you should take special care with nail polish remover to ensure that it does not contain any harmful ingredients, so that your nails do not dry out even more (it is best to use the one from OZN). Nail oils can also help. How long and how often you take a nail polish break, everyone must find out for themselves, because the nature of the nails is really very individual.

 

IRMA: As for the different brushes, which one do you think is better, a smaller or a larger brush?
NINA SKARABELA-BRENNSTUHL: The opinions are divided on the strength of the brushes. I prefer a thicker brush for my hands and a thinner one for my toenails. Nail art is also often easier to apply with a thin brush. To solve this problem, we at OZN are currently changing our packaging, in the future the paint will come with two different brushes so that you can easily choose which brush you want to use.

 

IRMA: What will be the top trend colour in 2021?
NINA SKARABELA-BRENNSTUHL:
Light yellow, light grey and light red. Minimal Nail Art or Cut Out stories will also be top trend colours in 2021. Both styles are very modern and urban and can be worn super in everyday life and even combined with each other. The great thing about it, everyone can easily copy them! With Minimal Nail Art, for example, paint the nail rose and then set a black dot in the middle above the nail bed. Or the painted nail with a coloured French Nail edge. With the Cut Out only a part of the nail is varnished, so that the natural nail can shine through. Also, here you can set a point on the nails painted only with clear nail polish again or paint only the upper or lower half of the nail. Inspiration can be found by the ton on Instagram

 

IRMA: Where do you find inspiration for your next product?
NINA SKARABELA-BRENNSTUHL:
That’s really hard to say, actually almost everything inspires me. But for me there is a lot about the look, when I see beautiful things, art, but especially beautifully packaged products, then my thoughts turn, and I mentally reassemble everything I see into something new. I can spend hours in stores like Goldhahn and Sampson in Berlin or Liberty in London and admire all the beautifully designed packaging. I store it all in a huge database which I can access when I have something to design again.

 

IRMA: Is there a styling tip to integrate a nail colour into your outfit?
NINA SKARABELA-BRENNSTUHL:
Allowed is what pleases and depending on the occasion the paint can make an outfit look modern or classic. In winter, with a dark red nail polish every look automatically looks classy, pink always brings freshness into play. And colours like mud green or yellow look modern.

 

 

 

 

KESTER BLACK, Anna Ross

IRMA: What makes your colours stand out?
ANNA ROSS: We love to play with colour. I see bigger brands that only making different variations on the best sellers (pink red and nude) but that doesn’t leave much room for the blue, green and purple wearing customers! I like to look at the polishes in the bathroom in a lovely rainbow, so we try to make colours different to what’s already in the market.

 

IRMA: To your opinion why is vegan nail colour healthier than regular nail colour?
ANNA ROSS: Because you’re not dealing with animal biomass in the manufacturing process, you can get cleaner ingredients. It just doesn’t make sense for animals to be in cosmetics!

 

IRMA: Can you use nail colour every day?
ANNA ROSS: Yes, if you nail polish is good! Nail polish provides a „second layer“ which actually helps your nails grow by providing a strengthening barrier. It also helps to stop water damage when paired with a cuticle oil that is applied daily making your nails grow stronger.

 

IRMA: How can you treat and take care of your nails in-between nail polish?
ANNA ROSS: Nail care has come a long way in the last few years and we have seen the rise of products like nail treatments. We have a Rest and Repair Mask which you leave on overnight. The nourishing formula penetrates the nail bed with oils which keep water out and helps nails stay strong.

 

IRMA: How do you choose your colours?
ANNA ROSS: It’s actually more about my personal preference than anything else! I might design a blue and after wearing it I think, it would be better lighter or brighter so the next time we make a blue we adapt from the previous learnings.

 

IRMA: Is there a styling tip to integrate a nail colour to your outfit?
ANNA ROSS: I think it’s best to stick to a versatile colour like a translucent shade (Babe or Miracle Treatment base Coat) or I’d say to go opposite on the colour wheel. For example, if you are wearing blue in your outfit, then try a red nail. You want your nails to stand out, if they are the same colour as your outfit, then people won’t see how much care you put into your gorgeous manicure!

 

 

 

NAILBERRY, Sonia Hully

IRMA: What makes your colours stand out ?
SONIA HULLY: Without a doubt it is their vibrancy and shine. When formulating our polishes, I’ve always maintained that colour quality is a must. All our finishes are glossy and most textures are opaque, meaning every wearer enjoys outstanding coverage and a truly shiny finish. Wearability is also key – our core polish colours include timeless reds and nudes that have been designed and blended to beautifully flatter a complete range of skin tones and nail lengths.

 

IRMA: To your opinion why is vegan nail colour healthier than regular nail colour?
SONIA HULLY: It is not the vegan-friendly nature of all of our formulas that makes them healthier for nails; rather the fact that we created a patented technology that makes our polishes and treatments breathable and water permeable. Unlike with conventional polishes, our L’Oxygéné technology allows moisture and air to flow through the lacquer, meaning customers can enjoy a high-quality, long-lasting manicure without compromising their nail health.

With regards to my decision to create only vegan nail colour, this came from my personal beliefs around campaigning for animal welfare and supporting the future of nature and our environment.

 

IRMA: How can you treat and take care of your nails in-between nail polish?
SONIA HULLY: Whether it’s down to lifestyle, pollution or a host of other factors, nails can become dry, weak, brittle or prone to peeling. Applying daily moisture to cuticles with one of our nail and cuticle treatments makes a remarkable difference to their condition and health, plus I would recommend applying one of our targeted nail treatments every two days for up to 10 days to help strengthen, hydrate and protect nails.

 

IRMA: How do you choose your colours? 
SONIA HULLY: I think I’m rather different in my approach to creating our nail colour palette… above all else, every Nailberry colour must be timeless and wearable. Rather than focusing on seasonal nail and fashion trends, I’m often inspired by what I see around me; in nature, in art, in people, or during my travels. I certainly have a little more fun with seasonal limited editions, but always consider versatility before finalising and launching a shade.

Personally, I find myself drawn to richer, deeper colours and red hues in winter; in summer I play with upbeat brights and green tones. If I want a more natural look, I always turn to a nude. I also like colours that match whatever I’m wearing that day, though I can usually guarantee that, as long as I’m wearing red or nude polish, it will complement my outfit.

 

IRMA: Where do you find inspiration for your next product?
SONIA HULLY: As mentioned earlier, my travels and, in general, everything around me is an inspiration. Our newest launch – The Gifts of Prosperity Collection – was inspired by what has been going on during the global pandemic. It’s been such an unusual year of change and uncertainty, yet everywhere I looked there was this wonderful sense of community, kindness and hope. I channelled these positive sentiments in both the colours and names of the four polishes in the range – Grateful is a gorgeous, deep mulberry, Harmony is a rich russet red, Kindness is a vintage mid-pink and Peace is a smoky lavender-grey.

 

IRMA: Is there a styling tip to integrate a nail colour to your outfit?
SONIA HULLY: Whatever your outfit or your style, you simply cannot go wrong if you wear red or nude polish. For those worried their nails may be too short for polish, opt for a very dark red – it looks divine and works with everything!