I'm super conscientious when I'm choosing nail products because animal testing was at the forefront of my veganism. For me veganism definitely isn't just about what I'm eating, it's what I'm wearing and where my money's going when I shop too. I actually stopped buying animal tested household, make up & personal care products years before I quit dairy, eggs and honey but I would still say that it's the the most challenging part about being vegan. Why? Because big companies and corporations are shady as hell when it comes to animal testing! They make confusing statements which will insist that they didn't test the product on animals (so, they paid someone else to) or that the final product wasn't tested (read: but we did test the individual ingredients / paid someone else to do so on our behalf) and then there are the parent company issues which mean that even Vegan Society certified products like Original Source aren't actually cruelty free because they're owned by PZ Cuzzons one of the worlds biggest animal testers. Amimals die in horrific ways in laboratories every day and buying products from a company who are owned by someone who tests on animals, like with The Body Shop and L'oreal or Tom's of Maine and Colgate, means that your money is supporting that. Same in the case of companies like Urban Decay who recently made the decision to sell in China despite knowing it meant that they would need to test on animals, to simplify that decision they basically chose profits over bunnies which isn't cool at all.
I definitely know vegans who think that these parent company issues don't matter and I think it's up to you as an individual to draw your own line but these issues matter to me and I think I'm showing that it is possible to avoid giving money to these companies if that's what you want to do. I'm not claiming to be perfect (I still haven't found an acceptable alternative to Mitchum's antiperspirant deodorant) but this is an ideal that I strive towards. To find out more check out this guide from Uncaged or come and chat to the beauty obsessed peep's in The Mall area of The PPK forums.
The reasons I've just laid out are why I was so happy when I got an e-mail from local salon The Final Nail a few days ago letting me know that after 6 months of research and sourcing products they are now the place to go in Brighton if you want a 100% vegan & cruelty free manicure or pedicure. How awesome! I've actually e-mailed many local salons in the last two or three years trying to find someone to fancy up my nails and had come up with nothing, sure there are some places with vegan nail polishes if you're willing to let the cruelty free thing slide or places where yep they know what's in the polishes and they're ok from a cruelty free perspective but they have no idea about polish removers, hand creams etc. The Final Nail is refreshingly different and I could tell after a quick e-mail convo that they knew what they were talking about, excitingly they also use Floss Gloss, a brand I'd been dying to try for a while.
I went in yesterday for a complimentary mani pedi from Alex and Lilli the ladies behind this alternative salon where piercings and coloured hair are a-ok.
We started with the manicure and after Alex put on the Orly base coat I picked Floss Gloss's Con Limon which I luuurve. It's SO BRIGHT which is getting me extra excited about it only being six days until I'll be lying on a beach in the sun. It was topped off with Seche Vite's topcoat which is what I use at home thanks to my make up loving buddy Sal's expert recommendation.
Tofu 4 Lyfe
Having a pedicure was just as lovely as getting a manicure and I chose Floss Gloss's Wet which just so happens to match the flowers I have tattooed on my feet. Perfect.
Despite having wanted to give having a mani pedi a go for a while I was a little nervous about the whole experience but Alex and Lilli were ridiculously easy to talk to and soon an hour and a half had whizzed by and my nails had been all fancied up!
The Final Nail is located below PORTA at 4 Bond Street which is wonderfully close to all sorts of vegan eateries including Catwalk Cakes, Infinity Foods Kitchen and Moshimo. Vegan manicures start at £25 and they also do vegan & cruelty free Gelicure manicures and nail art. You can find The Final Nail on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.