Category Archives: Nail Art

How to Avoid Toxic Nail Polish

This post will be short and sweet. If you are like me, you try to avoid unnecessary chemicals coming in contact with your life as much as possible. Small changes to daily use products like shampoo, laundry detergent, lip balm, and hand soap can add up to make a big difference in the quantity of chemicals that your body has to process.

One of the largest offenders of hash chemicals in the beauty world is nail polish. Most nail polishes contain hormone-disrupting chemicals, including triphenyl phosphate, or TPP, which has been found in breast milk! (See full article from Huffington Post here).

But alas! There’s good news. well+Good, one of my favorite sites for all things related to healthy living, has just published their list of the Top 25 “5-Free” Nail Polishes. I will admit, as a resident of small town Indiana, I’ve only heard of (or have had access to) 2 of these 25 brands. But never fear, that’s what online shopping is for!

A “5-Free” nail polish is free from Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor. 

Butter Jaffa

I’ve personally tried one of these brands, Butter London, which I’ve found works very well! The label on the bottle says that Butter is a “3 Free” nail polish, so maybe it’s not the best option, but it’s all I can buy in town. A bottle typically costs $15, but if you’re clever you can sometimes find a bottle at TJMaxx for $4.50!

I really like Butter nail polish overall. It definitely takes two layers, but I have found that it dries very fast. Butter nail polish also does not have a harsh smell, which I appreciate. typically my nails chip within 24 hours after painting, but with Butter I’ve gotten then to last up to 4 days without a single chip!

Butter Bumster

Minimize your daily contact with harmful chemicals for a healthier you!

Butter London Nail Polish

Jaffa - Butter London 


If you look closely at the bottom of the nail polish bottle, you’ll see the words “3 Free Nail Lacquer”, but what does that mean?  I added a picture of the back of the bottle that explains that “3 Free” products are free from:

  • Dibutyl Phthalate
  • Toulene
  • Formaldehyde

Butter Jaffa

About 5 years ago I started to change out all of my cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, even laundry detergent and dish soap with product that use less synthetic chemicals.  My purge ended at my nail polish caboodle however.  At the time I didn’t know that less-chemically-harsh products existed for nails.  Now, at $15 a bottle I’m not going to run out and restock my entire nail polish collection, but I have been trying to slowly use up the toxic polishes and replace with “3 Free” and “5 Free” products like Butter.

PRO TIP!!!  Check out your local TJ Maxx or Marshalls for Butter nail polish.  I found 4 bottles (yes, only 4) at my local store for $5 each!  That’s 66% off the normal sticker price at Sephora or boutique stores. 
Butter Bumster

PROs: It dries quickly, the applicator brush is smaller which makes getting close to the cuticle easier, and the bottle shape makes for easy storage.  Plus the bottles are large and contain a lot of polish.

CONs: The price (yeesh!) and you can’t get away with just one coat.  You also must apply a top coat because the polish isn’t especially shiny by itself.

Let me know if you have any questions about Butter.  Not sure if you can afford a bottle for yourself?  Why not buy it as a gift for a friend and then invite yourself over for a manicure 🙂


Valentine’s Day Nail Art Roundup

I put together a small roundup of some of my favorite Valentine’s themed nail art creations from Pinterest.  Enjoy!

Simple Heart Nail Art – Easy Enough for Anyone!

Sometimes the thought of self created nail art is just too daunting, but even the worse artist can do these two easy heart designs with the right tools!

Nail Dot Setup

First is the Dotted Heart design, originally Pinned by @majikbeenz at  For this design just pull out all of the colors you want to use from your nail polish box and place a few drops of each on onto a piece of wax paper.  After painting the nail in your base color, use a marbling tool to add dots in the shape of a heat.  If you don’t have a marbling tool, the end of a bobby pin works just as well (as demonstrated in my post here).  In the original Pin, Majik kept their dots separated. I found it easier to allow the dots to overlap slightly. This makes it way easier for beginners.

Simple Heart Nail Art

Another easy nail art design for beginners is a simple heart outline.  I used a gold background (a little less obvious than hot pink for those of us who like to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a subtle way) and a black accent.

I Heart Nail Art Tool Kit

I bought a kit that has the pinstriping brush and the marbling brush together like the one pictured. The best way to apply a thin line is with a pinstriping brush. It’s easiest to start by forming the round tops of the heart. Place the brush so that you are “pulling” it, not pushing, to get the best result.

Happy Pinning!

Stick Figures in Love Valentine’s Day Nail Art

Stick Figures in Love Nail Art

This nail art design was originally created by @NewlyPolished.  Check out their Instagram for more amazing nail art.

 (Click on the image to view in Amazon Marketplace)

I wanted to paint my friend Julia’s nail and asked her to search Pinterest for some fun ideas.  She found this incredibly cute stick figure idea and we fell in love with the design.  I used the Kiss Nail Art fine line Black paint to make the stick people and a regular marbling pen with pink polish to make the hearts.  This kit can be bought on Amazon for less than $7!

Remember, love is for everyone, even stick figures!

Indiana University Finger Nail Art (Go Hoosiers!)

It’s officially basketball season which means it’s time to show our spirit through nail art!  What better way to show off your teams logo than on your nails?

Here’s my second version of IU Nail Art.  You can also see my IU Hoosiers Toe Nail Art here.

IU Hoosiers Nail Art


I painted the base coat in IU Crimson, and then used the I <3 Nail Art white detail pen shown here to make the IU symbol.  WARNING you have to put a layer of topcoat on top of the detail pen or it will come off the first time you wash your hands.

The detail pen might also require two layers to get a strong white detail.

Snowflake Nail Art

Originally Pinned by HomadeCosmetics

The perfect nail art for winter.

Snowflake Nail Art Collage


Start with a white nail base (I used Essie “Blanc”).  Use a detail brush or pen to add snowflakes.

The original Pinner used the same design for all of their snowflakes, but I decided to mix it up.  Some looked better than others, but it just didn’t seem right for all of my snowflakes to look the same!

You can also try this design with a navy background and white snowflakes.






Happy Pinning!


Santa’s Belt Christmas Nail Art

Originally Pinned By Polish Polish

Even if you are not a pro at nail art, you can definitely do this design. All you need is a red base coat and black and silver polish.  I use Kiss Nail Art fine tip paints for the black and silver, but you can always use regular polish and a fine tip brush from an art store.

Santa's Belt Nail Polish

Not much to explain, just paint on a stripe of the black and add a buckle and voila! This would also be cute with a gold buckle, but I went with silver because that’s what I had in my nail polish box.

Santa's Belt Nail Art in Two Steps

Send me a picture of your attempt at this fun and easy nail art design!

Happy Pinning!


IU Hoosiers Toe Nail Art

To celebrate the IU Men’s B-Ball making it to the sweet sixteen I have dedicated my toe nail art to support the Hoosiers (bummer it’s not flip flop weather yet…).

If (when) they make it to the elite eight I’ll do my finger nails as well. IMG_0084

Fairly straight forward, I just painted the nails white and used a paint brush to dip into red polish and make the IU symbol.

For the small toes I did the classic IU pinstripes. It’s that easy!

Happy Pinning!

Panda Nail Art

I wanted to do a quick cute accent nail and stumbled upon the idea of doing a Panda on Pinterest.

Panda Nail Art Base
Panda Nail Art Base
Panda Nail Art with Ears
Panda Nail Art with Ears

Basically you just paint a semi-circle onto the tip of the nail.  Then paint on the ears in black.  I used the end of a bobby pin (as demonstrated in my Valentine’s Kisses Nail Art post from a month ago) to get nice round circles.  Then using the fine tip of a detail nail art brush you can paint the face.  I think my Panda turned out a little “special” but it just made him extra cute!  Let me know how your panda turns out if you give it a try!

Finished Panda Nail Art

Happy Pinning!