We have sussed out the gentlest paint jobs – think water-based polishes, gentle sugar scrubs and gelish nail treatments with minimal filing to make your next mani padi as healthy as can be.
Best-smelling polish remover
Where: The Naturally Better Company, #02-46 Millenia Walk (tel: 6471-7220)
What: Priti Spa Treatment for hands (75min) and for feet (75min). This nail salon uses only non-toxic products from Priti NYC. We hear that its nail polishes are a hit, especially with mothers-to-be, because they do not contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and are low in toxic fumes. The best part: There are more than 100 highly pigmented colours to choose from, and the polish lasts a week without chipping and doesn’t cause nails to turn yellow. The brand’s lemongrass-scented Soy Nail Polish Remover has moisturising and nourishing coconut and soya bean esters to prevent cuticles from flaking.
Where: Nour!sh Naturally, 215C Upper Thomson Road (tel: 6458-3826)
What: Organic Soy Wax Manicure (60min) and Pedicure (75min). Enjoy a sugar hand scrub and a salt foot scrub, followed by a relaxing massage using organic soy wax – made with soya bean oil and gentle enough for those with sensitive skin or eczema – melted from a candle. The salon uses non-toxic polishes from Scotch Naturals that are safe even for expecting women and kids. The unique water-based formula ensures that nails don’t get dehydrated or turn yellow. Bonus: The polish was dry to the touch in two minutes.
No more harsh filing
Where: The Nail Shoppe, #02-10 Breadtalk Building (tel: 8468-1843)
What: Gel manicure (60min). If you love gel manicures, head to this salon, which stocks non-toxic gel polishes from South Korean brand Angel Pro. Available in more than 60 shades, the polishes are free of dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene, which are said to cause skin irritation and medical problems such as reproductive issues. Plus, the soak-off time for Angel Pro polishes is only 10 minutes instead of the usual 20 needed for other gel polishes. The salon also uses acetone-free nail polish remover and there’s minimal filing, so you don’t have to worry about your nails getting weaker or thinner. The gel manicure was completed in under an hour, and nails stay shiny and chip-free for about three weeks.
Where: Auum – The Honest Nail Spa, #01-04 The Fullerton Hotel Singapore (tel: 6463-9713)
What: Signature manicure (30min) and pedicure (45min). This nail spa uses only chemical-free products that do not contain animal by-products, so they’re suitable for pregnant women, cancer patients and even kids. Vegan nail polish stays chip-free even after two weeks, but what stands out most is the impeccable level of hygiene at the salon. All the tools – down to the toe separators – were either disposable, or thoroughly cleaned, then sanitized under a LED light, which is less damaging to skin, to cure gel manicures.
Vegan and organic products
Where: Snails, The Nail Spa, #03-01 Wheelock Place (tel: 6738-0100).
What: Organic Manicure & Pedicure (60min). Only products from American brand Sparitual, which uses certified organic and fair-trade vegan ingredients such as shea butter and marula oil in all its products, are used in the treatments here. Spa ritual products are also free of toxic chemicals such as toluene, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin. The brand’s Affirming Scrub Masque leave hands and feet smoother, while an organic lotion moisturizes calves and feet. The treatment concludes with a coat of colour – there are over 30 to choose from.
Gentle and Hollywood-endorsed nail polishes
Where: Vedure Face, Body & Nails Medispa, #04-06 Wheelock Place (tel: 6732-6448)
What: Sakura Sake Manicure (60min) and Pedicure (60min). My hands and feet were soaked in the Sake Bath from beauty brand Fresh, which uses natural ingredients in all its products, before they were scrubbed using Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish, a gritty but gentle oil based sugar scrub. Fresh Rice Dry Oil was then used to tone skin and seal in moisture. Two coats of Jin Soon nail polish wrapped up the treatment. Founded by celebrity manicurist Choi Jin Soon, the brand boasts mildly scented polishes in more than 30 hues. The chemical-free formula has a high shine finish, courtesy of high-tech polymers and resins.
By Amanda Lai, Her World, September 2014