Getting Your Manicure and Staying Non-Toxic Too

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Going to the salon for a mani/pedi is one of the ways I like to relax and unwind. But worrying about toxins in the nail polish that is used can really be a buzzkill. A while back, chemicals in nail polish, specifically dibutyl phthalate (DBP), were linked to birth defects in future baby boys. Finally, the big nail polish companies have caught up and created a distinction called “3-Free.” That means that the polishes are free of DBP, toluene and formaldehyde. These chemicals have all been linked to ailments from headaches and dizziness to more serious conditions like cancer and reproductive issues.

Here’s a great article from All Lacquered Up that breaks it all down. Basically, DBP is a plasticizer that’s used to prevent chips and cracks, toluene is a solvent that makes nail polish easy to apply and formaldehyde makes the finish tough and resistant, but is usually not found in polishes so it’s less of a concern.

The author of the All Lacquered Up article says she’s not sure these chemicals are bad for you, but I say why take the chance?

Popular salon brands like CND, Essie and OPI have 3-free bottles. All the Essie polishes with a blue label are 3-free, as are green-labeled OPI bottles.

If you want to chose a polish made with even fewer chemicals, try brands like butter LONDON, Aquarella or Honeybee Gardens. There are even some brands for kids like Piggy Paint, so you and your little ones can look polished without the fumes, toxins or worry.

Ladies – Do yourself a favor and get a professional bra sizing

Photo Credit: Andrew McCaul

Ok, so this is a little off-topic for this blog, but just consider this my public service announcement to you. The next time you want to treat yourself, head over to a professional lingerie shop and get yourself sized. I’m not talking about Victoria’s Secret here… I mean a place that employs women who have been trained for years to size you. Women who work with you one on one while you try on the bras so you get the perfect fit.

I was fed up with my ill-fitting bra this week, so I headed over to Linda’s Bra Shop in Murray Hill. I’ve featured Linda in segments I’ve produced in the past and purchased bras from her before. But weight gain and loss combined with bras wearing out meant it was time for another visit. Linda measured me and recommended a size that I never would have chosen for myself. I was skeptical, but as soon as I put on one of her choices, it was like a whole new world. I felt supported but free at the same time. Free from the band digging into my back or a shoulder strap that doesn’t stay put. I left the shop wearing one of my new bras. Linda kindly tossed my old one. These bras are not cheap – it was definitely a splurge for me, but one that makes me feel better all day every day.

Here is some bits of bra wisdom I’ve learned from Linda
* When you buy a bra, make sure the band is snug on the largest hook. As the bra stretches, it will get bigger and you’ll be able to make it tighter
* Bras should be replaced about every 6 months
* Your breasts should rest about half way between your shoulders and elbows with your bra on

For answers to some common questions, check out Linda’s bra school here