Jacksonville Landing manicure!
Japanese nail art inspired Valentines Day nail tutorial
Honeybee Gardens: A “safer” alternative to Nail Polish


(Review done in Feb of 2013 for the Keep A Breast Foundation)

My friends and ex co-workers know I have an obsession with all things nail art. However with my love for gel polish, and manicures, come chemicals and exposure to harmful UV rays. I know that I’m not perfect when it comes to what I put on my body product wise so I’ve been growing more and more interested in finding better alternatives to every day products like nail polish. For the past few weeks I have been on the search for a “better” alternative to solvent-based polish that contains chemicals and let’s be honest, smells horrid! Through my search on endless websites I came across HoneyBee Gardens (http://www.honeybeegardens.com) water based nail polish.

 The problem with most water-based nail polish lines is that they only contain your grandmothers’ favorite colors, which is not at all appealing to the younger generations. HoneyBee Gardens Water Colors line features 25 unique shades including a black and red matte, and even lavender!

 The folks at HoneyBee Gardens were nice enough to send us some samples to try out (while I worked at the Keep A Breast Foundation) and I was ecstatic when I saw the Red Matte polish called “Wild Fire” was included in the mix. When I first opened the package my first instinct was to smell the polish to see if it was odorless. The only thing I smelled was a light acrylic paint smell, which is a way more mild than solvent based polishes! (ingredients list includes: water, water-miscible acrylic resigns and butyl carbitol)

 The bottle design, and the consistency of the actual polish, all lived up to the store bought kind. Prior to reading the directions that come with the polish I did learn the biggest difference for water-based polishes is that you need to let it “cure” for 4-6 hours, as only 75% of the polish will cure within the first few minutes. Solution? Paint your nails right before you head to bed.

 I followed the suggestion and painted my nails before getting my beauty sleep. Although my nails were dry to the touch (a few moments after painting them) I woke to beautifully done red nails.

 From days 1-3 the polish wore really well with minimal chipping at the tips (I blame the dishes!). On day 4 the polish started to chip a little more at the tips, and at day 5 I was looking to take it off and put on a fresh coat. Another interesting fact about water-based polish is that you will need a water-based polish remover, or alcohol, or even vodka / grain alcohol will work (crazy, right?).  You’re also not supposed to wear it longer than one week (because the polish becomes more difficult to dissolve the longer it stays on).

 HoneyBee Gardens has a clear base/top coat available to pair with the polishes (although I did not use one). I suggest purchasing it in order to extend the life of your manicure. I would recommend water-based polish vs. solvent based because of it’s ease, and similarities (without the chemicals!). It holds up to any of the store bought kinds and is a healthier alternative to UV gel nails!

 If you refuse to go polish-less I strongly suggest trying a water-based line like HoneyBee Gardens with limited ingredients and a chemical-free claim.  At the very least ALWAYS purchase 3-free polishes (rid of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, and Toluene) to ensure you’re not getting those hidden toxic chemicals! And to all you UV gel nail girls out there – make sure you wear sunscreen at your next visit!

Some of my nail art supplies
Classy lady fall nails!
Gel nails with glitter nail art!
Does this coffee make my nails look good?
Distressed nails using some saran wrap (or in my case the outside of a coffee cup wrapper in my hotel room)! Looks great and it’s super easy! 
Even more leopard nail art! (Ombré)
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