In my search for less toxicity and better health, everything has come under scrutiny. Including my polish collection. I started collecting more than the typical bottle or two of polish about four years ago.
When the 3-free (toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate free ... perhaps it goes to show my own obsessiveness that I didn't even have to look up the spelling for those) craze started up several years ago, I tossed all my old lacquer formula (gave them away) and started collecting 3-free only.
Now the new 3-free formulae have reached the point where there is a big difference in toxicity levels.
I run the ingredients list through the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com, and use that as a basis for my opinion of the lacquers.
According to ingredients lists, the lowest toxicity lacquers available today are: CND Colours & Effects, Nfu-Oh, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, and $ephora by OPI. All four companies have a 3 out of 10 toxicity rating according to Skin Deep.
I think it is time for all those other companies to re-think their new formulas - Diamond Cosmetics, Ginger + Liz, Illamasqua, NARS, Orly, and SpaRitual ... along with anyone else who hasn't yet converted to a 3-free formula.
butyl acetate; ethyl acetate; nitrocellulose; acetyl tributyl citrate; phthalic anhydride/trimellitic anhydride/glycols copolymer; isopropyl alcohol; titanium dioxide; adipic acid/fumaric acid/phthalic acid/tricyclodecane dimethanol copolymer; adipic acid/neopentyl glycol/trimellitic anyhydride copolymer; sucrose acetate isobutyrate; stearalkonium hectorite; citric acid; ethyl tosylamide; iron oxides
I have found the new CND polishes to be fairly opaque with one coat and have little to no cuticle drag. They dry quickly. Longevity is a bit of a crap shoot, some last for close to a week, some last only two days before tip wear is obvious. I have not had chipping problems with this new formula.
Ethyl Acetate; Butyl Acetate; Nitrocellulose; Acetyl Tributyl Citrate; Isobutyl Acetate; Isopropyl Alcohol; Adipic Acid/Neopentyl; Silica; Styrene-Acrylates Copolymer; N-Butyl Alcohol; Cl 26100
Nfu-Oh are a weakness inducing polish. They have a huge amount of finishes and an absolutely astounding array of colors. It is a good thing that more of the line is not carried here in the states, or my collection would be much bigger (and I've got plenty as it is TYVM).
I have had good luck with the Nfu-Oh formula. It is fairly quick drying and long lasting. I usually get a minimum of three days without tip wear. I rarely experience chips with this polish.
However, their holographic polishes, in the low/mid 60s number range, have the same poor wear that every other company's holographic polishes display. Nfu-Oh's holos are unique due solely to color range. The seafoam, 66 is really too cool for my skin tone. The peach, 62, is perfectly beautiful ... for about a day.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acrylate Copolymer ; Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Ultramarines, Bismuth Oxychloride, FD&C Yellow #5, D&C Red #7, D&C Red #34, Ferric Ferrocyanine, Mica
I've only worn two OCC polishes, but they do have fairly good longevity, I think I got four days before tip wear became an issue.
I've had one polish dry very quickly, where another gave me sheet marks after drying for an hour. So the formula is tweaked from one to the other. The sheet marks weren't obvious to a casual glance.
I do have a problem with the brushes. I had one replaced because it was so flyaway that application was practically impossible. The other brush I tried was just of poor quality. So application is a bit messy.
Also, the formula on OCC polishes smells very strongly. Much different from any of the other three on this post.
$ephora by OPI
butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, nitrocellulose, tosylamide/epoxy resin, acetyl tributyl citrate, isopropyl alcohol, stearalkonium bentonite, benzophenone-1, silica, trimethylpentanediyl dibenzoate, polyvinyl butyral, cl 77891, cl 15850, cl 77491, cl 77120.
$OPI is a fairly new brand for me. I find their price too high to justify ... unless they are on clearance, or a deep discount. As such, I do not expect to acquire a large or even medium sized stash of Sephora by OPI colors. I have not yet worn one for a full manicure.