Happiness is Freshly Painted Nails

Strangers tend to comment on my nails. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. They ask for the brand, the color, if it’s shellac, and so on. For the past five years, I’ve shared my secret with many: Zoya. Once I learned about the terrible chemicals used in nail polish, the term “three free” (free of formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate) and possible organ system toxicity, carcinogens, and potential birth defects, I knew I needed to find an alternative.¬†Hell hath no fury like a woman without nail polish, I say. If those chemicals sound like fairy tails to you, formaldehyde should at least sound familiar from biology class dissections. It’s a ferocious chemical.

You may know how much I dislike bare nails. It never bothers me to see others with natural nails, but I’m not of fan of the look on me. It makes me feel unfinished, unpolished if you will. Recently, I discovered my little league photos and there I was, bat in hand, nails painted, at 10 years old. A year later, I remember sharing my distaste for natural nails with my eldest sister’s friend from college. I can only imagine how she restrained herself from laughing or rolling her eyes. Anyway, my point, I have always loved the finishing touch that nail polish provides. At the height of the nail art craze in high school I even trained myself to paint designs, French manicures, and triangle tips. It was all the rage.

These many years later, I’ve maintained my love for nail polish and my desire for freshly manicured nails (sans designs this go around), solely using Zoya polish. Zoya is “big 5 free” of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and goes so far as to call itself “the healthy color of fashion.” It’s also vegan. Somehow, it still works – even better than the usual suspects. I won’t say that its EWG rating would be perfect (not even present, which isn’t a good sign), but if you need manicured nails, you should try Zoya.

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Zoya Nail Polish in Max

The other incredible reason you should try Zoya polish? It’s basically chip resistant – no wonder it’s gained traction since its debut. I’m hard on my nails, typing all day, washing dishes without gloves, etc. and my polish always lasts for two weeks. Granted, I prepare my own nails and paint fairly thick coats of the lacquer, but following these systematic steps works for me: Zoya base coat, two coats of color, and Zoya top coat.

For those of you interested in my choice colors, I typically wear about four a year – deep red in the winter, candy apple red in fall, pale pink for certain occasions, and bright red in the summer. My current favorites are Sam, Carmen, Laurie, and Max. Call me old fashioned, but you can’t go wrong with these classics.

Zoya’s polishes sell online for $9.00, in certain beauty supply stores, and in Whole Foods Markets. With over 300 available colors, you’re bound to find something that strikes your fancy.

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