Monday, 19 January 2015

Less Toxic Nails? - Hopscotch Kids Miss Mary Mack (Water-Based)

hopscotch kids water based nail polish in miss mary mack swatch review

The second contender in my quest to find the best 'non-toxic' polish is this little sparkling black number, named Miss Mary Mack, from children's brand Hopscotch Kids. Water-based polishes were high on my list after reading a lot about how they are much better for you health-wise and having seen some brilliant reviews for several brands.

As the brand is aimed at children the general colour range includes brights and pastels with Miss Mary Mack being the only dark shade currently on offer. As I personally prefer darker polishes I was a little disappointed not to see any options other than black however I understand that I'm not the target market and the range would be perfect for those who love brights and pastels.

Although not similar to that of traditional formulas the polish still has a distinctive scent, much like that of paint but I was pleased to find that this wasn't particularly noticeable whilst using the polish and didn't hang around on my nails afterwards. The consistency of this polish was much thicker than most making it very easy to apply and meaning only one coat was needed to achieve an opaque finish - overall I was very impressed with the application process!

Like all water-based formulas Miss Mary Mack needs longer to set than a traditional solvent-based polish but interestingly the formula works in the opposite way, drying from the top layer down. This means that it will be touch dry very quickly but the underneath layers take several hours to cure properly. The Hopscotch site advises applying the polish before bed to avoid any damage before it is fully set, and because it is water-based, exposure to water before the polish has fully cured can cause problems. With this in mind I applied the colour in the evening and in addition also blasted my nails with the hairdryer for a few minutes to help speed up the drying process. In the interest of keeping these 'less toxic nail' experiments as fair as possible I opted not to use a topcoat to truly test the wear of the polish.

Unfortunately, as you may be able to see from the photo, I woke up the next day to find that the polish at the very tips of my nails had already started to rub away. I'm still unsure why this happened as there are several things that may have affected how well the polish adhered to my nails. Although I followed the Hopscotch application guidelines (topcoat aside) and tried my best to be careful with them I did apply, as always, some hand cream for my eczema before going to sleep which may have interfered with the polish. I'm also unsure as to whether this particular brand, aimed at children and available for around a third of the price of most adult water-based ranges, is designed for long wear without the use of a topcoat.

Sadly the wearing away continued gradually and I chose to remove the polish after around five days. If you're interested in hearing about the removal of this water-based shade I'll be talking more about the process in an upcoming post!

Whilst I really love the concept of water-based formulas - easy application, no lingering smell, opaque in only one coat - and would definitely like to try some of the other brands available I was a little disappointed with the wear this time around. Having said that I will definitely be giving this shade another shot in future as after reading tips and tricks online a small extra step such as prepping the nails with jojoba oil, or perhaps investing in the Hopscotch Kids water-based topcoat could really improve the wear.

If you're just looking to experiment with water-based formulas and don't want to spend out a whole lot of money the Hopscotch Kids range is very affordable and definitely a good starting point.

If you're interested in finding out more about water-based polish I'd recommend popping over to Pretty Painted Nails which has some great information and swatches.
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