Friday, July 29, 2011

Paint me a Garden of HoneyBees

So I consider myself a health-conscious person. For the most part, any product I use on myself (lotion, body wash, foundation) is carefully picked out from my local health store. Except when it comes to nail polish. I'm an a loss to control myself :). But when my pregnant sister told me that she wasn't wearing nail polish because there are issues with the chemicals and pregnancy, I decided to open the door on the holistic/natural polishes out there. I know most of the big ones nowadays are 3-Free or 4-Free, but I decided to go with something a little more natural. Enter HoneyBee Gardens. They have a line of nail polish called "WaterColors Non-Peel Off Polish". It says on their website:
"Our unique water-based polish is free from harsh chemical odors; no more nasty fumes! But perhaps best of all, there's also no need for toxic smelly nail polish remover - this product removes with rubbing alcohol...odorless, non-toxic earth-friendly formula; long wearing fabulous colors; Contains NO:FD&C colors, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, xylene, or formaldehyde

Which sounds good to me. So a friend and I each got a bottle to test out. I got Hippie Chick, and she got San Francisco. Here's the color swatches from their website.

Source: HoneyBee Gardens

Pictures first, and then we'll discuss:

This is 2 coats of San Francisco over 1 coat of Nail Envy. No top coat. Application itself was alright. The good: No nail polish smell! It was nice to not have to air out my lungs after a swatch session. Also, the brush was nice to use, and the bottle was easy to hold. The bad: Super-streaky! This is a very shiny polish, and it was very unforgiving to streaking. Also, I tried removing this with alcohol, but no luck - regular acetone worked better. This isn't really my type of color. It's very simple but a little fancy. Nothing super-special about it, but it you're a whiz with applying streaky colors, I'm sure it would look nice. My friend loved it. Now on to Hippie Chick:

Gosh, I must be REALLY lazy when I do these swatches. That's a little bit of Illamasqua Hectic peeking out from the ring finger. Long story. But above is 3 coats of Hippie Chick. The first 2 are sunshine, the last is in the shade. I REALLY love this color. It doesn't look quite like the swatch on their website suggests, but I like it. Purple with just the right amount of pink. It's like purple from the 80s. It would probably look GREAT with teal and silver. But application was horrible. You can see above how uneven and messy it was. And that's not actually my fault. It was just an uneven polish. I guess it doesn't have the self-leveling awesomeness that most mainstream polishes do. You don't realize how great that is until it's missing. But honestly, I would consider suffering through it for this color. Again, it was great to have no smelly nail polish scent. But it did smell like paint. Real paint; the craft paint you used when you were a kid. And the consistency was similar as well. So I'm guess they used a traditional paint recipe more than a nail polish recipe. More pics:

look how pretty! Strong color saturation :)

close-up can see in the close up. Just not great. Bubbly, wobbly, uneven. And the non-peeling part was a bust as well. Entire nails of polish started popping off. And my nails were super-dry and acetoned-down right before application, so I KNOW it wasn't me. Overall, I like that this is a smell-free polish. But dry time was really long, application was tough, and the color started peeling/falling off. On the plus side, the creme color was gorgeous, and there was no nail staining (I didn't use base coat). I'll probably wear Hippie Chick again, but I'm not certain I'd buy another color from the company for a while. I'll probably give them a couple season to work on their formula and check back. It was overall alright. And if you're looking for a natural nail polish, this isn't half bad as far as colors go. But the wear isn't great, and application is tough. Great for pregnant women! Not so awesome for the everyday polisher. :)

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