|Leesha experienced Onycholysis and a staph infection due to Mentality polish.|
Update – Mentality have issued a full recall on all polish produced with the Arminex base between April 2014 and end of June 2015. “The label will have citric acid as the final ingredient, or a gloss label, or a 5 free label, or all screen printed bottles.” See image below for full information.
|Full Arminex base recall|
There were comments on some Mentality updates that the reactions people were having looked like the reaction you can have to gel polish. Those comments were quickly deleted by Mentality at the time but they have now made an announcement admitting that the “images submitted bear a strong resemblance to UV Gel burns”.
|UV Gel Burns|
Now, to the point of my post, despite all of this, I will still actively support the indie nail polish community and the sellers I buy from. Some people have said that because of the issues with Mentality Polish, they will be much more wary about buying indie nail polish in future, and some have said they won’t buy any ever again. I think it is very sad that the actions of one are effecting the many, but that’s how things go. I can’t tell you what to do for yourself, but I will tell you why I will continue to buy and blog about indie nail polish.
I have very sensitive skin which also translates to sensitive nails. Using nail polish remover too often causes my nails to really dry out and eczema to flare on my cuticles. Because of this, I will always be the first to react to a product, I have accepted that, but I haven’t once had an issue with any of the indie polishes I own. I mainly buy from Aussie indies but I also buy from a few International indie brands too. I know who the supplier of the Australian pigments and bases are, they are a reputable company who are dedicated to supplying safe items for use. They are in fact discontinuing their neon supplies because of this Mentality situation, despite selling them for years without issues. I know that there are Aussie indie polish makers who had planned releases with those same supplies but aren’t going to release them, despite using them for years without issue too. They are doing this because they care about the health of their customers. All the indies I buy from are so dedicated to their business and their customers and would be devastated if their product caused harm to someone.
|Some of my indie polish brands|
I can’t say that there will never be another person harmed by indie polish again because reactions to nail polish and cosmetics can happen to anyone. I frequently react to products from large companies and am lucky to get a reply email from them. But the Mentality polishes in question are not just one isolated case of “sensitivity”, this is instead a large group of people who are all reporting similar reactions where their nails lift from the nail bed – Onycholysis.
I like to think, that if this happened with an indie that I buy from, that they would rectify the situation immediately. The consensus within the Australian indie community is that they would recall all polish causing harm and completely stop production of everything until they had sorted out any issue that was reported to them. They would also ensure that everyone who has purchased their products was notified of the situation by email and social media postings. The only problem I have had with an Aussie indie polish is it being broken in the mail by the post people. That’s not even the fault of the indie but they still happily replaced my items and apologised over and over for it. I have had issues with one polish from an international indie that had white pigment sinking and they happily sent me a replacement even though I had bought it from a reseller over a year prior. On many occasions I have purchased the wrong thing, too many or too little of something, or asked an indie to hold my package until I could afford more polish to make the postage worthwhile, and every time I have spoken with the indie maker, they have been very willing to fulfill my request and will often go over and beyond what is needed. This is what the indie community is normally like. They are dedicated to their brand and their customers.
I will continue to support and blog about indie polish because my experience to date has been amazing. The polish is so unique and fun to wear but the customer service is what brings me back time and time again. Mentality seem to be one bad egg who do not represent the rest of the community. If you are still wary and unsure about trying a new product or brand then ask questions. Ask them how long they have been testing the product you want to buy and ask for the ingredients listing. I wouldn’t know what to do with an ingredients listing but if they refuse to give it to you (as one dodgy stamping polish brand does) then don’t buy from them. If they won’t disclose the ingredients to you, then chances are, they aren’t safe. This whole Mentality situation may result in there being tougher laws around making indie polish and cosmetics which will be welcomed as long as it isn’t outlawed all together. Until that time, there is a large nail polish community on Facebook and Instagram which is a great place to go to see reviews and opinions of others about indie polish. It is a very nice and welcoming community so don’t be afraid to ask the questions you need answered. If you want to show support for the indie polish community then you can use #ITrustIndiePolish on Instagram.
|#ITrustIndiePolish Instagram repost photo|
Before I wrap up this long post, I just wanted to address a couple of things that have come up around all of this Mentality drama. Some of the swatchers experienced nail sensitivity but didn’t report it to their followers. I know they expected Mentality to address the issue for them, but I want to make it clear that I will always be honest about anything I review, even if it does put the maker of the polish off-side. My loyalty as a blogger is to you, my reader, and I would feel terrible if someone reacted to a polish when I could have said something and prevented that from happening. Also, many people are now “swatchers”, not reviewers. To get out the amount of swatches required in the limited time available, many people will only leave the polish on long enough to get a photo and therefore won’t have been exposed to the polish long enough to experience the sensitivity that many buyers did. I will generally wear each polish for a few days at a time and report back if I have had issues, but that’s because I like to focus on the review rather than just the swatch. Neither way is better or worse, just different, and you need to be aware of that when looking at pictures on instagram. There will usually be blogs with reviews of that polish out there, if that’s what you’re looking for.
I hope I have covered everything but there is so much information out there right now that I’m sure I haven’t. I still trust indie polish and will continue to buy it despite the drama that Mentality Polish have caused within the community. I have always received fantastic customer service and great products from indie polish makers, but if that were to ever change, I would let you know.
What do you think about all of this? Will you be supporting indie polish in the future?