There’s a shocking cocktail of chemicals used in the manufacture of conventional nail polish. Known carcinogens including formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP are used to harden nails and give the enamel its shiny, quick-drying and flexible properties. Most at risk of ill-health are manicurists and frequent patrons of poorly ventilated salons, pregnant and breast feeding women. Although it’s argued that the chemical amounts present in nail polish are so small that the occasional manicure is probably fine, frankly WHY TAKE THE RISK IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO?
I was thrilled to discover Melbourne-based nail polish brand Kester Black for SOOOO many reasons. Kester Black produces cruelty-free, vegan friendly, toxin-free, sustainably manufactured, professional quality nail polishes. And it gets better.. the brand’s founder is the super inspiring Anna Ross, winner of the 2016 Young Victorian Telstra Business Women’s Award, and boss of the century (my made-up award) for giving her staff every Friday off! The Kester Black success story began in 2012 when Anna developed her first range of on-trend and design-led, ethically produced nail polishes – quickly striking a chord with consumers wanting professional quality colour sans the “nasties”.
Sustainability and service to community are values at the heart of the brand. Kester Black donates a minimum two percent of revenue including in-kind donations to registered charities every year. Its recent social impact initiatives include a collab with Y Gap on the “Polished Man” campaign, developed to highlight the issue of violence against children in society and to raise funds for sufferers. The business has also implemented a raft of sustainability measures including the use of local manufacturers and recycled cardboard packaging, 100% renewable energy consumption, and work flexibility to encourage staff well being.
Whats more the brand truly “walks the walk”, having achieved accreditation with bodies including Choose Cruelty Free, International Cruelty Free, Vegan Society, Australian Made and B Corporation.
And if all that wasn’t enough for you to fall in love with Kester Black, you need to check out the brand’s killer instagram account, resplendent with incredible Dali-esque pics.
I was excited to road test Kester Blacks’ gorgeous Perennial and Terrarium shades from its Summer 2016/17 collection.
I ordered online and I was chuffed that monies from my purchase went to charity (I got to pick the charity too). Delivery was speedy, packaging and the personal note were very cool. Application of the polish was smooth and rather effortless and the colour looked pretty much the same as it did on Kester Black’s website. The manicure survived almost a week of frequent baby bottle-washing, among other “new mum” manual labours, before needing a touch-up. I really didn’t notice any difference in staying-power between Kester Black polish and other professional nail polish brands so it’s a big thumbs up from me.
Kester Black products can be purchased at kesterblack.com