FridayDeal-Mani-PediKit

Nail polish has always been a hot topic of convo in the green beauty world: It’s pretty, and some of us have had a really hard time giving it up, especially when you consider the awesome pampering feeling you get from a mani-pedi after a stressful week or before a big event. Who wants to give that up?

But even some of the five- or seven-free brands we consider safer to use than conventional polish still contain chemicals that you don’t want near your skin if you’re, say, growing a baby inside of you (or if you’re a complete purist—more power to you!).

That’s why Conscious Beauty is teaming up with Scotch Naturals and Organic Bath Co. to give you an incredible Friday Deal. No longer do you have to worry about interacting with potentially dicey ingredients in the foot scrubs, base coats, colors and top coats when you want to get your nails done professionally. Instead, bring a clean, green Mani-Pedi Set with you and be sure you’re getting a toxin-free experience.

Scotch is one of the cleanest brands on the nail-polish market. The line is water-based, with absolutely no chemical solvents, so you can count on it being safer than three-, five- or seven-free brands in terms of purity. Says Merlyn Ellis, co-founder of Conscious Beauty, “I like to recommend this product for the purist, children or expecting mothers.”

If you’ve been around the green beauty world for a while, you know that just because you give up toxins doesn’t mean you have to give up quality products. Thankfully, Scotch Naturals falls into that category of knocking your socks off (in a good way!), sans harmful chemicals.

Pair that with Organic Bath Co.’s organic sugar scrub body and you have a winning team of products to tote to your next mani-pedi. The scrub is lovely and luxe and comes in a few lovely scents (my favorite is RefreshMINT, an invigorating essential oils blend that wakes you up, and gives you a bit of a do-over after a not-so-great day). Plus, they’ve got fair-trade ingredients like sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil and sunflower oil. Yum-my.

Convinced you need to add these products to your arsenal? Here’s the deal: From now until Sunday at midnight PT, get 20% off a BYOB Mani-Pedi Set from Conscious Beauty, Scotch Naturals and Organic Bath Co. The set, usually priced at $70, includes one Sticky Base Coat, your choice of one color and one On the Rocks top coat from Scotch Naturals, plus your choice of one sugar scrub (RefreshMINT, Stress Less or Zesty Morning scents) from Organic Bath Co. Oh, and there’s that cute little reusable bamboo spoon as a bonus. Just use code NMDL at the checkout.

ScotchNaturalsOnce you snag your very own BYOB kit and get ready to bring it to your next profesh mani or pedi appointment, prep yourself for a convo with your manicurist about how to use these cleaner products. Because Scotch is water-based, application of the line requires a few additional steps that you wouldn’t implement with traditional spa brands. To make sure you get a great experience, we’ve compiled a few tips + tricks for a long-lasting mani-pedi. Share these with your manicurist and you’ll be golden.

Application

  • Make sure nail bed is completely clean and free of cuticle oils or alcohol that are often applied in salons prior to application of the unique, sticky base coat. This will ensure a proper base.
  • Scotch calls it the “Sticky Base Coat” for a reason: It doesn’t dry or feel like most base coats. Trust us though—it works and it’s a key part of the system.
  • Wait about two minutes at minimum in between each coat. This allows the polish to set a little before each application.
  • You may need three coats to achieve a completely even look. Err on the side of more coats, as once you apply the base coat, the polish sets even more.
  • After your mani, avoid long stints of contact with water such as washing the dishes, or bathing. Says Merlyn, “I usually do my mani/pedi in the late afternoon or evening and it will stay for around six or seven days beautifully!”

Removal

  • Due to the awesomeness of the Sticky Base Coat, removal can be a challenge. But rest assured that your long-lasting mani or pedi will come off with the proper steps.
  • Soak your nails in water (or better yet, plan on removing the polish after a nice shower).
  • Directly spray the nail beds twice with the Scotch Naturals Soy Remover.
  • Let the remover sit on the nails for a couple of minutes—you’ll start to see the polish lift off the nail a bit.
  • Using a paper towel or something that has a little bit of traction, wipe the polish off your nails (it should come off in clumps and sheets, like it’s just peeling from the base).

Have you tried Scotch Naturals or Organic Bath Co.? Share your favorite color of scent—or which one you’ll snag with this awesome Friday Deal!

22

A Word About Our Product Reviews

Whenever people preface a statement with “in the interest of transparency,” I assume I’m about to be lied to.

Maybe it’s the Scorpio in me, or the fact that I’ve heard it more times than I can count (especially in the workplace, but only at previous jobs, thank goodness!), but it reminds me of when people say things like “with all due respect.” If someone says “with all due respect” to you, you’re probably about to be served. That said…

In the interest of actual, true, real, oh-my-god-just-believe-me-I’m-too-tired-to-lie transparency, we’d like to talk about how product reviews come about on this site. Because there’s about to be more of them.

I’m convinced that people who don’t work in the beauty business sort of want to know how editorial reviews actually happen. Can you trust them? Are they BS? I’m compelled to address it because I’m about to go crazy with product reviews. I have tried so many new things lately, and I’m bananas about a lot of them. This doesn’t happen a lot! But we want you to be able to trust where it’s coming from, because that’s what No More Dirty Looks is all about. For serious. So here, let us answer some questions we imagine you might have about our review process.

1. Do you just get everything your hearts desire for free?

Heck no. I mean, we get a lot of free stuff, for sure. More on that in a moment. But if we did get whatever we wanted for free, we wouldn’t be forking over mucho cash for Tammy Fender every time we run out of that Intensive Repair Balm, for instance, or loading up on three Infinite Love perfumes at a time on the Lotus Wei site. We also wouldn’t be re-upping on the Kahina cleanser from our own OpenSky boutique, or whining because 100% Pure has been out of stock out on our favorite face sunscreen for months—which we know, because we ran out and wanted to buy more. So yeah. We want you to know that we buy stuff too. Most of it, in fact.

2. But the first products are free, right? Just so you can try it and review it?

Oftentimes, we get sample sizes of things for free to start. Some people send us full sizes, which is awesome—but rare. Sometimes, too, people have asked us to test products that are still in development to offer feedback, in which case those are technically free, too. Once we’ve reviewed something, sometimes people like to spoil us rotten, usually because of two things. First, because we’ve written nice things about their products, every word of which we meant, and they want to say thanks. And second, some of these people have become friends, and sometimes friends like to spoil each other. But this is extremely rare, in any case.

3. Do you endorse things because of paid advertising?

Ha. Well, look around. We’ve obviously found the way around this: We don’t have ads on our site, we do this whole thing for free (aside from the Friday Deals, which we get a flat rate to host). Those deals are the only semi-commercial thing we do on the site and the reason for it was mostly benevolent: Clean beauty can be costly. Plus, you seem to love them. Plus, they keep this site running. Also, as we have said, we only do deals with companies we endorsed beforehand and handpicked because they’re so clean and high-performance.

4. Why don’t you ever rag on products you hate?

We have a policy when it comes to product reviews, and that policy is “if you don’t have anything nice to say, find something you do have something to nice to say about, and talk about that instead.” Basically, if we don’t like something or don’t love something, we just leave it out. Which does not mean that if we don’t review something we hate it. We’re only two people! And we, like you, like what we like!

5. Do you only review things when PR people send you emails about it?

Ha. What a crappy question! You guys would never ask that, we know, but the answer is “of course not.” Honestly, most of the products we try and review here are things we found ourselves, or that we told each other about, or that our retailer pals like Spirit Beauty and NuboNau told us about, or that we read about online. Once in awhile a press release comes our way and we have that head-slapping moment and we just cant wait to get your paws on the new line. It’s honestly amazing when this happens, mainly because it’s so rare. And as much as we try to stay on top of what’s new, that alone would be a full-time job in this exploding clean cosmetics category.

OK so we’re sure we missed some stuff. If you have questions, please ask them. Your trust is really important to us. We’ll try to get to all of them in the comments. And if you just have, well, comments: As ever, the floor is yours.