3 Reasons why you should use Cruelty-Free Products

At Mint Nails Spa & Studio, we are proud to be 100% cruelty-free, using polishes that are vegan and non-toxic and making homemade scrubs using grapeseed oil and organic sugar scrubs. All of our products have been researched and are either listed on PeTA’s website to have never been tested on animals or contacted the company directly to ensure that no animal testing was involved. Another side bonus for being cruelty-free in the US is that all of our products are made domestically, like our Dazzle Dry polishes that are made right here in our backyard in Chandler, Arizona.

Below is a list of why you we are cruelty-free and why you should be too!

#1 – No Animal Testing

PeTA’s list of companies that animal test

Make-up has been around for a long time and the same ingredients used to make your eye-shadow, lipstick and more hasn’t changed much in the over 100 years consumers have been using make-up, so why the need to animal test? The simple reason – profit. Countries like China requires animal testing to sell their products overseas. But times are changing, and many countries are shifting their laws to ensure products brought to their country has never been tested on animals. Countries like India and the European Union are examples of countries that will even go so far as to not let products tested on animals be sold in their countries at all.

So how do I know if a product I’m using has been tested on animals? PeTa has a list of companies that still animal test. Here’s the link: http://www.peta.org/living/beauty/companies-that-still-test-on-animals/

Fortunately, the tides are changing and it’s easier then ever to find products at your local drug store that do not animal test like E.L.F. and Wet n Wild, so check out these products the next time you buy beauty products.

 #2. Less Chemicals & the Non-Toxic Movement

A great benefit of being cruelty-free is that many products use less toxic chemicals or are considered non-toxic. The average woman puts over 500 chemicals on our body every day from the body wash, deodorants, lipsticks, the list goes on and on. And these chemicals seep into our skin and pores and can cause serious illnesses and damage to our body. Cruelty-free products such as our polishes, our lotions and more are made without cancer causing chemicals or are paraben free. So give your body a break by moving towards less toxic and cruelty-free products.

#3 – Vegan Products are Healthier for you

When you purchase products that are labeled vegan, you are using a product that is made with more natural properties and are hypoallergenic. Natural ingredients means less harsh chemicals in your body that can harm you. Make sure you read the label carefully, because many natural products feature coconut or peanuts, so those with a nut allergy need to be cautious when using these products.

So be a conscientious shopper and do your research on the products you use and see if they are animal tested or vegan. You’d be surprised how many companies are, but also how many of the products you use are not.

Gel Polish – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

When we opened  Mint Nails Spa & Studio in January 2016  our focus has always been to use products that are a healthy,  environmentally & socially conscious, that’s why all of our products are cruelty-free.  We were fortunate to find popular products that meet are strict criteria of being cruelty-free, even when sometimes that don’t promote being as healthy as we want them to be.  In the months since we opened the shop, we discovered that in the Phoenix area, many customer comes to our shop with destroyed nails damaged by gel nail polish. We want to dedicate this post to discuss this hot button issue and why we at Mint Nails Spa & Studio are taking action by phasing out Gel polish from our salon completely.

MisaTo get this topic started, let’s discuss the GOOD – the positives of a gel polish manicure. Gel nails or sometimes called chip-free polish or shellac, revolutionized the nail salon industry. Finally, customers can get a longer wearing polish that will last 2 weeks free of chips, smears and smudges. Plus when you left the salon, your nails were completely dry. Salons jumped quickly on the bandwagon offering a variety of Gel polishes that typically required a UV or LED light to cure the polish on the nail. This manicure typically takes longer than a basic manicure, which is why gel manicures typically run you $30 or higher.

But what many customers don’t realize about Gel nail polish is the process that is involved. Which leads us to BAD. The process to cure Gel nail polish requires the use or a LED or UV light, which emits a low amount of radiation. While the amount of radiation is small, it still is enough to have the Skin Cancer Foundation recommend that you apply sunscreen on your hands at least 20 minutes prior to’ your appointment. Another negative aspect of gel polish is the removal process. Salons have to “soak off” the polish from the nails, which requires the use of lots of toxic acetone on your hand that can dry, redden and irritate your skin. The soak off process can take add 10 to 15 minutes on top of your appointment, and many salons charge to upwards of $15 to remove gel polish, especially if you got the manicure at another salon. So not only are spending more time to get this manicure, but now it can cost you more money.

Now let’s discuss the UGLY aspects of a Gel manicure. Because of the timing issue, many salons, especially ones that are highly motivated to churn customers in and out to generate high revenues, often take shortcuts to remove the gel polish off the customers nails. These salons resort to bad practices including removing the gel polish with a high volume drill DIRECTLY on the natural nail! This can cause the nails to become extremely weak and brittle, which can take months to grow out. Even when soaking off the nail properly using acetone, you are still having to scrap the gel polish off the natural nail, and oftentimes removing a small layer of your nails in the process. While it’s a far better process then drilling, you are still weakening the natural nail utilizing this process.

249A419A-7302-426A-BBCE-D0DE7DEF983CA notable mention that lies between the Bad and the Ugly is the use of gel polish on  your toes. A good pedicure will typically last you a month before the polish either wears out or new growth appears. If a salon recommends you put Gel on your toes and you are not a yoga instructor, ballerina or any profession that is hard on your toes, just flat out refuse. The money, time and headache of having gel on your toes is not worth the hassle or extra expense. Polish should stay on your toes no more then 4 weeks. If after 4 weeks you still have polish on your toes, it’s recommended you remove it right away or else you will run into serious health issues including the forming of mold, bacteria and fungus underneath your toes.

In the months since opening the salon, many customers have come to us with very weak and brittle nails because of long term or even one time use of gel polish. We hear horror stories everyday how salons remove the gels with a drill and customers nails are now paper thin.

We get it, Gel polishes are popular and have a lot of great benefits,  but what if there was an alternative that gave you the same last and drying time but did not require the use of an UV/LED light and only needs nail polish remover to remove the polish?

Well there is and its called Dazzle Dry, and it’s developed right here in Arizona.

We have been using Dazzle Dry polishes for over a month and our customers are amazed at how much healthier there nails are, how fast the polish dries completely (only 5 minutes) and especially how long there nails last! This graphic below illustrates perfectly the benefits of Dazzle Dry.

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If you are ready to try a healthy alternative to Gel, book our Chip Free Wellness Manicure, Pedicure or Combo service that includes the Dazzle Dry’s exclusive product line-up of nail prep, base and top coat, lacquer polish and natural cuticle oil. Start today on a healthy trend to keep your nails strong, healthy and natural!



What exactly makes polish vegan?

At Mint Nails Spa & Studio we pride ourselves on our line-up of cruelty free products that include our non-toxic and vegan polishes. But what exactly makes  our polishes vegan?

Ever wonder why some polishes are really shimmery and shiny? To get that effect, some polish brands use fish scales and skin to achieve that look. Yuck, right! How do you know if your polish has these animal byproducts? Look for ingredients like ‘pearl’ or ‘guanine’ in the ingredient list. That’s why we only use polishes that use no animal byproducts and are NEVER EVER tested on animals.

Pearl or guanine is literally made from small fish scales and skin, suitably cleaned, and mixed with solvents such as castor oil and butyl acetate. The guanine can also be mixed with gold, silver, and bronze tones. (Source: Encyclopedia.com)

We currently offer a selection of gel and lacquer polishes at our Phoenix salon from 2 different companies. Here is an overview on both:

  • Dazzle Dry – Based in our backyard, Chandler, AZ, Dazzle Dry offers a line-up of lacquer polishes that are 100% vegan and dries rock hard in 5 minutes. We love these polishes because the won’t yellow  your nails, they are 6-free, chip free for up to 4 weeks and helps promote healthy, strong nails. Upgrade to our Dazzle Dry line-up of polishes and see the difference in your nails in weeks.


  • Misa Cosmetics – We offer over 200 colors in both lacquer and gel colors that are 5-free, cruelty-free and vegan. All our their polishes are made in the USA!


So come down to our salon and learn more about what makes our products and services special with our excellent customer service and products that are environmentally and socially conscious.