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25/04/13: Water Based Nail Polish Lustings

If you're anything like me then you spend a little (okay, a lot of) time every so often lusting after a certain item.  Looking up different stores that sell it, reading reviews, looking at swatches...

Well, my current craze is water-based nail polish.

You might have seen that quite a lot of brands advertise themselves as 3-free - admittedly until I started thinking about my beauty choices, I hadn't heard of 3-free let alone water based.   I was quite happy slathering my nails with any nail polish going, until I started reading about the chemicals that were likely to be in them.

What does "x"-free mean?
Three free nail polish means that it doesn't have Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene or Formaldehyde in.  Four free means there is also no formaldehyde resin.  Five-free also excludes camphor.

Dibutyl phtalate has been linked to feminisation in male foetuses, toluene is a possible reproductive and developmental toxin.  Formaldehyde apparently it isn't usually used in nail polish, but its cousin formaldehyde resin, not found in 5 and 4-free polishes, can cause respiratory problems in some people - and camphor is apparently toxic even in small doses.

So why am I interested in water-based nail polishes?
I like to paint my nails.  A lot.  So as I don't understand in particular the ingredients listed above but get the general idea that they might not be great things to have on my nails, then if I can find some polishes that don't have them in, that might be a good thing.  Water based polishes go further than 3, 4 and 5-free polishes and have ingredient lists like this:  water, acrylic polymer emulsion, +/- CI15850, CI77492, CI77499, CI77289, CI77891, and/or mica

It's entirely possible that I'm buying into the hype of 'X-free' nail polishes, but when water based nail polishes come in packages like this:'s hard to resist.

Scotch Naturals, despite the name, are an American company.  If you've got children, you may already know about Hopscotch Kids, which was the precursor to Scotch Naturals, developed by a mother who wanted safer nail polishes for her offspring.

There are a whopping 43 different colours to choose from and a cool soy based polish remover.  Some people have great success with them and others find the formula lacking.  It does state that the better shape your nails are in to begin with the more likely it will look better.  And continued use, allowing your nails to recover from previous colourings are supposed to increase it's longevity.  I can't speak to the effects of that, but for some interesting day by day coverage, check out Pretty Painted Nails review of Loch Ness Mystery - a gorgeous bluey teal.

Sadly, the downside is that one bottle of bluey teal goodness will set you back around £13.50.   It's one of those prices in the 'better for you' product category that is inversely proportional to the number of ingredients.   So for now at least Scotch Naturals are staying on my lust list.

To see more SN polishes, click here.  Or for here for Hopscotch Kids (Scotch's baby sister).To read more about 3-free, 4-free and 5-free, along with swatches of water based polishes here: Pretty Painted Nails - I've spent a lot of time here looking at all her pictures.  Fingers crossed for some new Scotch Natural swatches soon!

Have you tried water based polish?  Loved, hated or indifferent to it?  Let me know.  :)

xo Hephzibah 


Thanks for commenting! For quicker replies find me on Twitter @gfmgfy.

  1. I've had my eye on this brand but since I only wear nail varnish in the summer months I haven't yet invested.

  2. I love how they look - I'm still trying to find their Hopscotch Kids - can't seem to find a UK supplier. I'd love to know if you get a hold of any in the future.

  3. Oooh I didn't know Scotch Naturals were water based! I'd be interested to know what they look like on the nails and how long they last.

    1. Me too - I haven't quite worked up to spending that much on one polish yet, but maybe in the future. If you're interested in longevity - try the prettypaintednails review link as she shows you how it wears. Thanks for reading x


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