April 28, 2014

Made in America Series: Mint Nail Polish

We're in Love, and it Feels So Good.

You can be in love with a nail polish right?  I mean, this isn’t just any nail polish.  This is Mint nail polish, and not only is it American-made (yeah!) but it is also a 5-free polish, which means it doesn’t contain Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin or Camphor.  (For more information about why you want to steer-clear of these harmful chemicals, go here). 

But that’s not all we love about Mint.  Mint also offers an incredible spectrum ranging from goddess pastels like ‘I Do’ (a soft petal pink) to siren bolds like ‘Sweet Liberty’ (an incandescent red).  Right now we’re currently channeling our inner-mermaid in the beguiling ‘Original Mint’ (a minty sea-green).

We wanted to know more, so we spoke to the absolutely lovely Greta Huberty, founder of Mint.  Greta gave us such thoughtful responses to our questions that we just had to share all we learned with you.  (She even gave us some names of other great beauty brands that say no to chemicals, and we can’t wait to check them out too).

Read our short but informative interview with Greta below, and then head over to Mint’s website (or any of these retailers) and find your own perfect shade to fall in love with.

When did you first realize that most nail polishes contained toxic chemicals?

After noticing some disturbing fine print on one of my favorite bottles of nail polish - "a chemical in this polish is known to cause birth defects, do not use when pregnant" - I did a little bit of investigating into what these chemicals were, and what their roles are in polish (I ended up creating a page on my site dedicated to the topic). This was 2011. I ended up disposing of almost all of my polish collection shortly thereafter because I was so shocked by some of their ingredients - Formaldehyde, Toulene, DBP - all known cancer-causing agents. Legally, these types of ingredients should not be in cosmetic products.

What's the polish production process like?  Was it difficult to come up with a formula for polish that was 5-Free?
Coming up with a professional-grade lacquer formula that is also 5-free is difficult. Certain colors just don't work. I also wanted to make sure that our base formula was thinner in consistency than most other brands, so that it dried faster. All of this was tricky to achieve, but we finally nailed it, and our first collection of colors were introduced in the Fall of 2012.

What does being a made-in-USA product mean to you?  Why was it important that Mint be made locally?
Creating an American-made product is really important to me. I believe that US manufacturers have higher standards than those in other countries, and there is a certain element of trust that also comes with a "Made in the USA" tag or slogan. I really want consumers to trust my brand. I also personally believe that a strong American manufacturing sector is important to our overall economy, and I feel proud to contribute to it - even if my company is itty-bitty in the realm of things.

Who gets the super-fun job of naming all the colors?  
I have the awesome job of naming the colors - although I usually call on friends and family for their opinions or ideas during the process. 

You have a gorgeous selection of colors; where do you find inspiration?  Can you share your favorite Mint color?
Inspiration comes from all around: travel, flowers, sunsets, movies, and of course, fashion. Whenever I see something that inspires me I take a photo and upload it to one of my many Pinterest boards. Then, when I'm brainstorming new shades, all of my inspiration is organized in one place. My favorite Mint color is ever changing, but Lavender Macaron is always a go-to for me, along with Sweet Liberty, and Tart.

We love that Mint is free of harmful chemicals; are there any other brands of natural beauty products that you could recommend to our readers?
Yes! So happy that you asked this since I have met so many other amazing entrepreneurs over the past two years:

Elizabeth Street Cosmetics. Kelly, the founder creates the most amazing lipsticks, glosses, and balms. All of the products are lead-free, which is pretty rare for lip products. 

Arquiste Parfum. Carlos, the founder, is incredibly talented, and his perfumes are a treat. My all time favorite scent is Flor Y Canto.

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