Friday, 5 June 2015

What does 5 Free mean? And why is it important?

We've mentioned that our polishes are all 5 Free before, (Here) but we wanted to go into a bit more detail, and explain where we're coming from.

Before we start, here's an overview of what 5 Free actually means...

The polish does NOT contain formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, camphor and formaldehyde resin. These are all potentially dangerous ingredients that can do not very nice things to your body. Your nails are made from 'dead' tissue, and since the polish sits on top of them, the likelihood that general, normal use of these chemicals actually causes you health issues is really very slim. But, in the same way we would encourage non-vegans to veganise their make-up bags - a small change can be a positive one. If you have the chance to buy nail varnish that doesn't contain those ingredients, and you still get a huge choice of shades, finishes and textures then we say go for it. If you're a non vegan but you have the chance to buy lipbalm with no animal bits in it, go for it. Simple.

One of the first shades we made, Spring 2014

As the founder of Fairypants, I have worn nail varnish for about 16 years or so - I haven't seen my nails naked for longer than it takes to switch polish since I was about 12. If I had to go without nail varnish IN PUBLIC I would probably hyperventilate.

And as such, my nail varnish collection is extensive. Huge. Too big, even by my own admission. And in my hunt for nail varnish hues and shades I didn't already own, I have been known to buy it from the weirdest places, as well as spending hours perusing the shelves of Superdrug.

In fact, since I used to work in Superdrug, they should just have taken my wages straight back off me, or at least paid me in Barry M. I spent most of my pre and post shift time in store, trawling the make-up stands, and intercepting the deliveries so I was first to see the new stuff coming in. Aaaaanyway, certainly in my younger years I wasn't really interested in what I was actually putting on my nails, I cared more about the final look than what was actually in the bottle. As a result, I have inadvertently used the majority of the icky ingredients I try so hard to avoid now - simply because I didn't care.

And I know that plenty of nail polish users won't care either, but more and more people are realising that they want to know a bit more about the contents of those little bottles of joy. And maybe they'll search for 5 Free, and maybe they'll find this post!

Our super bright Neon range. Much joy.

So, here we go. Fairypants as a whole operates a strict No Nasties policy anyway - all our products are totally vegan and cruelty free. Whether you're a vegan or not, it's nice to know there are no crushed beetles in your lippy, eh?

So in order to fall in with those ideals, our nail polish needed to be as Ick-Free as possible. After a little research I found someone who could supply me with the base product (essentially like clear nail polish, but more professional) and that meant I wasn't mixing hazardous chemicals myself. The base was marked as 5 Free, so I got pretty excited about it.

All I have to do is make sure the pretty things I add (colours, glitter, scent etc) fall in with my guidelines too. Mix them up in the right quantities, and unleash them into the world in a cloud of glitter and pixie dust.

I'm trying more and more to work with a manufacturer to make my polishes for me. Thanks to you guys loving exactly the same stuff I do, I sell A LOT of polishes. More than I ever expected. And sometimes the making sessions can be pretty heavy going. So ideally, I'll collect the days orders, go to my (presumably tidy) shelves, pick out the right bottles, pack them up and post them on - sealed with a kiss. It works a bit like that now, but with huge making sessions every now and then to keep levels topped up.

Our first order arrived from the factory!

Luckily for me, I found a lovely manufacturer who is able to do quite short runs on each line (if I make a new shade of nail varnish, there's no point in me paying for 25000 units, in case it goes down like a lead balloon...) and they also make everything 5 Free as a matter of course. I think in general the cosmetics industry is doing the same, more and more often you see major brands claiming that their polishes are at least 3 Free, so it's moving in the right direction.

One day, every nail varnish made in the world will be vegan, cruelty free and 5 Free. But until then, you should probably stick to Fairypants. We put sweeties in with each order too, if that helps. And it's nice to know you're supporting a small, UK business. We love new additions to our Fairypants family, the more the merrier.


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