In your green efforts, you may have come across eco-friendly nail polishes and wondered what they were all about. I did myself, so when Auum – The Honest Nail Salon opened up specialising in vegan, animal-cruelty free and eco-friendly nail services, I knew they could answer a few questions for us. I spoke with the owner, Lung Lung, and she not only opened up a lot on the subject, but even gave us an awesome nail art DIY tutorial to do at home!


Here’s what Lung had to say:

on natural nail polishes

Conventional polishes contain chemicals called plasticisers which fix the colour onto your nail. These are the same chemicals used for painting cars – which already paints the wrong image, but the worrying part is that these same chemicals pass through your nail bed, and into your blood stream.

Lung talked about the importance of people knowing their options. Many, especially pregnant women, are not aware of how harmful these chemicals can be. We’re already bombarded by so many toxins in our day, so why not use products that cause the least amount of harm. Lung reminds us that no polish can be completely natural, but there are better options:

  • “3 Free” polishes – water based polish, void of the top 3 offending chemicals
  • “5 Free” polishes – water based polish, void of the top 5 offending chemicals

So how do you know if a polish is truly water-based? It has no smell! That’s something I noticed right away in The Honest Salon, there were no nauseating chemical smells at all!

on animal testing

This can be tricky for most consumers, because even though a product may not have been tested on animals, their parent company may have. A lot of well-known brands are owned by a larger corporation, who test their formulations on animals’ skin, fur and eyes for allergic reactions. We’re talking about nail polish here, and it’s just insane to think that we would contribute to that kind of cruelty, for the sake of a manicure.  Luckily there are a few brands out there who are completely cruelty-free! Lung’s favourite brands are:

  • Scotch – 3 Free, animal-cruelty free (they also do a Soy Oil-based polish remover which Lung loves to use)
  • Priti NYC – 5 Free, animal-cruelty free

on performance

So how do water-based polishes hold up against their plasticised counterparts? Lung says that your manicure will last up to 2 weeks – you may find that Priti NCY hold up a bit longer than Scotch, but they both come in so many colours that you’ll have fun switching it up anyway! Lung loves designing nail art  at her salon, and has shared with us her technique to create a really fun and super simple design yourself at home!


  • Step 1 – Apply a first layer of base coat and let it dry. The base coat helps the longevity of the manicure and prevents the likelihood of dark coloured polishes staining your nails.
  • Step 2 – Apply two layers of the first colour, allowing each layer dry a little . Before moving on to step 3, ensure your nails have dried.
  • Step 3 – Gently position a small piece of tape on your nail so the tape’s edge runs down the center of your nail. Apply two layers of the second nail colour to the exposed side of your nail.
  • Step 4 – Checking that your nails have dried, apply a new piece of tape horizontally across the nail. Make sure the edge of the tape cuts the center of the length of your nail accurately. Apply 2 layers of the last nail polish colour to one side of the nail. *Do not remove the tape applied in Step 3 before you apply the additional tape for Step 4.When your nails have dried, gently peel off the tapes on your nail and apply a single layer of topcoat.
  • You’re done! The secret to this DIY nail art is patience! Ensure each layer has dried sufficiently before removing or adding on tape to avoid smudges and fingerprints.


Thanks a million to Lung for sharing her knowledge with us all – she’s on a mission to “educate consumers, one manicure at a time!” If you’re in Singapore, definitely check out her eco-friendly nail salon! Everyone can get more nail art inspiration on their Facebook page, where they share tons of pictures of their work!

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