Here’s 20% Off Own Nail Polish Brand Our Beauty Editor Swears By
When it comes to do my own nails, I consider myself quite advanced. There are very few nail polish brands that I haven’t tried, and I can usually identify friend manicures down to the specific company name and shade. (Applause.) A rare and elusive mark? Ella + Mila, best known for its range of vegan nail polishes in all the colors of the rainbow. (The company is named after the co-founder’s twin daughters.) I’ll be totally honest: as someone who obsessively collects Limited edition OPI collections in adolescence and has a wall of Polish EssieI was skeptical of how a vegan formula might compare to salon brands. With nothing to lose and a lot to gain, I embarked on a journey of trading my favorite system with all of the Ella + Milas. And, as a very special gift (because we love to share our best secrets), Ella + Mila is giving R29 readers an exclusive discount to experience the polish yourself. Simply enter the promo code R2920 at checkout for reduction of 20 your ellamila.com order and enjoy a new world of clean nail polish.
With fall in full swing, I chose the shade Holiday fantasy, a beautiful deep burgundy, for my inaugural Ella + Mila manicure. After filing and shaping, I applied a thin layer of the mark Everything about the base base coat on clean, dry nails. Then come two coats of varnish. Compared to other brands I’ve tried, Ella + Mila’s polish dried relatively quickly between coats – a big plus to make sure your manicure sets properly. I will say the application was a bit streaky on the first coat, but completely opaque and richly dark (fading) after two. Once I let the second coat dry a bit more I used a quick dry top coat shot from the brand, Hurry, to seal everything. (Ella + Mila actually makes an impressive range of topcoats ranging from gel finish To mattifying, but I tend to prefer the quick-drying ones because I’m impatient.)
Right off the bat I noticed that the brushes for the bottles are very short. While this is great for not taking up a lot of space, the shorter the brush, the harder it is to apply. If you don’t have a steady hand, or you’re not very good at painting with your non-dominant hand, you may need to clean up after polishing. Another option is to get an ergonomic handle (like the Olive & June Poppy pictured below) to add stability to your polish application. Last step: Finish your manicure with a few drops of cuticle oil (I used Ella’s Lavender + Mila) to moisturize the cuticles and make your nail polish even more shiny.
At the start of my test, I didn’t expect Ella + Mila’s polish to be indestructible – and that’s good! Personally, I try to use clean products whenever possible in my beauty routine, knowing full well that a natural deodorant will not work as well as a traditional antiperspirant tube. For the purpose of this review, I did two back-to-back manicures using only Ella + Mila; after the first one I (unintentionally) ended up doing a bunch of household chores and usually used my hands a lot. This resulted in fleas after a day. After a week, I took it off and redid the manicure from scratch. For the second round, I ended up being a lot less busy and mostly took it easy at home. It made a significant difference in the hold of my nails: my polish was still shiny after three days (without reapplying topcoat) and I only had chips at the top of my nails – the first area to show signs of wear and tear.
Overall, I was quite impressed with the performance, considering this is a No 17 formula and therefore one of the cleanest on the market. (Many formulas are 5 or 7 free, which means they don’t include ingredients like dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde and / or formaldehyde resin and camphor.) Ella + Mila takes it one step further without any listing that also includes acetone, the animal ingredients (shellac resin, a common ingredient in gel nail polish, is actually derived from female milk bugs) , and gluten, parabens, sulphates, among others. The brand is also PETA certified.
As a nail polish addict who has tried Ella + Mila with a stacked list of favorite brands, I didn’t think I would be so blown away by what a vegan nail polish is capable of. (My reasoning was, If it’s 17 free, then what is * actually * in it?) Although they may not replace my entire Polish wardrobe, I am very happy to start creating my Ella + Mila collection and will recommend them to my friends and family who are looking for a plus ingredient-conscious manicurist. Plus, I like that you can easily find them in places like Target and Ulta.
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