Review: Nails Inc Green Fingers Vegan Nail Varnish

Nails Inc. Green Fingers Nail Varnishes title image. Behind the text is a picture of two nail varnish bottles, one dark red and the other pale pink

In the Holland and Barrett advent calendar there were two of the Nails Inc Green Fingers Bio-Sourced nail varnishes, one in a deep red, called Pressed Juniper, and another in pale pink, called Thistle Fade. I think this is a new range, or maybe I’ve just missed out on it in the past, and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians and uses plant based proteins to improve the quality of your nails. At least that’s the plan anyway.

These are the same size as the old standard Nails Inc nail varnishes, with each bottle holding 10ml, though the new square Nails Inc bottles hold 14ml. They cost £11 each so cheaper than the £15 of their standard range with 4ml less in each bottle. They’re also available in a range of colours, though it’s not great and is mainly pastels there are a few different nude and pale pink colours.

The two bottles laying on a fluffy white rug. On the left is the dark red Pressed Juniper and on the right is the pale pink Thistle Fade

I have to admit that I always thought that, as nails are dead cells anyway, you can’t actually improve the quality of any part of the nail that’s beyond the nail bed beyond adding a protective coating to it. Though apparently they do absorb things as I know it’s considered dangerous for certain chemicals in nail varnishes for pregnant women for example, so I was interested to see how they claim to do this. This is the sciencey bit that’s on the Holland and Barrett website:

Enriched with Nails inc’s patented Regenerating Complex (a three-part Aldehyde, Zinc and Calcium blend) and multi vitamins, the polish also works to boost the production of the protective protein keratin, for overall nail strength and health. As a result, the natural physiology of your nails is not only wholly respected, but nourished too. Formulated to be non-toxic, free from Phthalates including DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, Camphor and animal derivatives.

Holland and Barrett website

I have no idea if that makes sense, I’m not a scientist and have no real knowledge of this, so I’ll just leave it there. It does sound impressive but these things always do. Maybe someone reading this can prove it either way, I’d be interested to know.

Anyway, onto the actual review. I do like these bottles, I’m definitely more of a fan of the old round bottles than the new square ones, even if they do store easier. These have that same original style but have a frosted glass finish and I really like the effect, I think I prefer these with the white lid to the originals, though it does make them stand out. The lid is a shape that always looks like it should be uncomfortable to me but I actually find very easy to use. The brush is in the middle of thick and thin and has a flat design so it’s very easy to use and two or three swipes gives a good coverage.

The formula for these isn’t great, it took four coats to become opaque and even. Although Thistle Fade is a slightly thicker, creamier finish it’s got the issue that a lot of pale colours do in that it shows through the skin tone if there’s any unevenness. The Pressed Juniper shade is so pretty, it’s just the kind of red that I love in that it’s not overly bright but could still be a fairly classic colour. It’s just got a very thin consistency and seems to almost pool at times so it appears uneven.

The Pressed Juniper on the left still looks a bit patchy when you look closely, even with three coats

One thing this formula has got going for it, for me anyway, is the drying time. These things dry quickly. The first couple of coats it’s almost a case of the first fingernail being dry to the touch when you’ve just finished the last. The third and fourth coat do take longer but it’s still not a case of waving your fingers around for fifteen minutes waiting for it to dry. You do still have to wait for ages after the last coat for it to fully dry, I made the mistake of trying to do something too quickly and got the normal smudging.

As far as staying power goes these need a top coat, and to be honest for any longevity they need a base coat too, which I feel like defeats the whole purpose of these. I’d think that, unless you go for this line for the base coat too, you’d be adding a layer between it that would be harder for the goodness to penetrate.

I’ve always found Nails Inc to be very hit and miss when it comes to their formulas. Some of my favourites nail varnishes have been from them, there was one called Bluebell from a magazine years ago that I didn’t want to finish it was wo pretty. But then these come in the misses, they don’t last they don’t have great coverage and as far as making my nails feel better I’ve felt no benefits from using them for almost a month now.

I like that they’re going for vegan friendly nail varnishes without the nasty chemicals but I wish they’d done it with a better formula. There are some great vegan friendly indie brands out there that are a similar price point and have a great range. I’d personally rather spend my money on them than buy more of these, which is a shame as it’d be great for their first vegan friendly range to be a hit so they grow it. Judging by the ratings on the Holland and Barrett website I’d say that I’m not the only one who thinks that.

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