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Vegan, gluten‑free manicure 

July 14, 2017

Multimedia Editor

Cover art Samantha Gonzales

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a fresh coat of nail polish will eventually chip and peel, and if you let the dried‑up remnants overstay their welcome, you end up with a graveyard of yellowing nails as a result of your neglect.

What happens next is an awkward dilemma: do you bury the evidence with another coat of polish, or do you do the right thing and expose your bare nails to oxygen (but run the risk of looking like you abused neon yellow Stabilo on the surface of your now‑short and uneven nails)?

Fret not. Like the rest of the startup solutions to the modern world’s problems, a disruption has arrived.

Nail polish giant Orly recently announced a brand new product called Breathable: a formula that combines treatment and color, but really appears as an elixir of nail youth.

I marched to Nailandia at Bonifacio Stop Over some weeks ago for Orly Breathable’s launch, with my unattractively tawny fingertips and an allowance for doubt.

After all, the missive sounded like a health food pitch. First, Breathable is vegan (and to emphasize that, there was a spread of vegan antipastos from V Kitchen, whose food by the way is heavenly). Second, it is halal‑compliant. And third, as if those credentials aren’t enough, Orly adds that this “healing polish” is even gluten‑free.

I took a bite of a raw vegan cookie butter ball and let the mani‑pedi begin.

There was a massive array of colors accompanied by whimsical names. Namaste Healthy, for example, is a brick red crème that will remind you of your eclectic yoga teacher. Aloe, Goodbye, is grey with a green iridescent shimmer. Then there’s a taupe grey cr&‌egrave;me that reminds me of matte liquid lipstick, whose name is (my favorite word!) Staycation.

Like a true millennial though, I picked Pamper Me (my favorite phrase), a baby pink crème that’s the national color of my generational cohort.

Breathable requires no base coat or top coat. Two swipes off the bottle are enough because of “shine additives and adhesion promoters.” Nourishing ingredients are also in the blend—Argan oil, vitamin B5, and vitamin C—and its “technology” is said to be a nod to contact lenses. Like the sensitive medical device placed directly on the surface of the eye, a coat of Breathable is said to allow oxygen and hydration to pass through, hence its name.

My nails gladly chomped it up.

Art Samantha Gonzales

A few days later, I swabbed the polish off my fingertips.

I inspected my hands. Underneath the coats of millennial pink polish were smoother nail surfaces. The tinge of yellow has decreased—not phenomenally, just slightly—but the texture improved. To be fair, my nails were stronger. They didn’t chip that week.

To cop a line from one of the nail spa’s framed platitudes: life is still not perfect, but at least my nails are. But really, what else could be missing in your life when your nail polish is vegan and your fingertips are gluten‑free? 


The official distributor of Orly in the Philippines is Sprint Asia Logistics, Inc. Email b2b@sprintasiabeauty.com or contact +63922-806-5633.