Spotlight on eco-chic nail line Sheswai Lacquer
By Carla Snuggs
Natural nail care has revently been become of great interest to me. I'm learning that nail polish can be harmful because of the toxic chemicals in them and not all nail polishes are created equal. When I tried an eco-chic line of nail polish based in Los Angeles called Sheswai Lacquer I was totally wowed! Sheswai Lacquer is FREE of formaldehyde, toluene, and dbp’s, so they are less toxic. And the packaging: gorgeous! Sheswai uses custom wood turned caps made from sustainably harvested wood, grown on family owned tree farms.
Sheswai Lacquer was recently featured in The Zoe Report - Rachel Zoe’s Guide to Healthy Living and in Refinery29’s “8 Niche Beauty Brands We’re Hoarding”. We knew we had to learn more about Sheswai Lacquer and founder Debbie Leavitt. Read on to learn more about Debbie and this glamorous, yet earthy, natural nail care line in her interview with Posh Beauty Blog.
PBB: Please tell us about yourself and how Sheswai Lacquer began.
Debbie Leavitt: I’m a Cali- girl born and raised; growing up seaside there was a natural attraction to wellness and a great pedicure. I was always painting my nails and doing my friends nails…it came naturally to me to become a manicurist.
After a few years working in salons and spas in Los Angeles I knew it was time to grow & challenge myself. I signed with an agency and started working behind the scenes doing the nails for models & talent on photo-shoots, as well as building a celebrity clientele. As I was growing my business as a natural nail stylist I knew that I wanted to create a product of my own. Nail polish was an obvious choice, however I wanted to make something I had never seen before. The wood caps came to me in dream (literally) and the name came from hanging with some girlfiriends on the beach and playing the name-game. And Sheswai Lacquer was it.
PBB: Why was it important to create an eco-chic line of products?
Debbie Leavitt: It's important to me because it is a reflection of who I am and my style. I wanted to create another avenue for people to explore natural nail care and eco-chic glamour. I don’t want to compromise my love for beauty and style, I just want to be mindful and share that with others.
PBB: What toxic chemicals are normally found in nail polish? What do they do and what is the danger?
Debbie Leavitt: The 3 most harmful ingredients that have been called 'the toxic trio are Formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalates (DBP).
Toluene: This is used to help nail polish go on smoothly. However, inhaling high levels of toluene is said to be harmful to the nervous system, and can cause light-headedness and nausea.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): this is meant to keep nail polish from chipping, but it’s also been linked to cancer and birth defects.
Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is commonly used as a preservative, and to embalm dead animals and humans. And it’s a known carcinogen.
PBB: What products from your collection are must-haves or your favorites for this winter?
Debbie Leavitt: It’s always hard for me to choose a favorite from Sheswai, I love them all! However…we recently launched 2 new ‘seasonless’ colors, Magic and Whisper, that I’ve been obsessed with. They are soft and sheer and a welcome change to all of the nail art and multi-color painting that’s been happening. I like to layer them, 1 coat of whisper (a soft chiffon pink) and 1 coat of magic (a barely there white), It gives the nail a clean glow. Or ‘winesnob’, our deep, dark, almost black shade.