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I Still Support Indie Nail Polish

25/08/2015
I am very ill at the moment and currently moving house but I have taken the time to write this post as I feel it is information I want my readers to know.The last month there has been a huge amount of drama in the nail polish community, especially within Facebook groups, over the Mentality Polish “sensitivity issue”. If you still don’t know what has happened, I will give a brief overview. Mentality Polish changed the base they were using at the end of April without thoroughly testing their polish. This resulted in some customers having a severe reaction where their nails started lifting from the nail bed. Mentality made one Instagram post about this referring to it as simply a “sensitivity” to their new polish base and tried to sweep it under the carpet. Mentality have admitted to there currently being 40 cases, but there seem to be many more when you read all the reports on facebook and instagram.

This didn’t go down well within the nail community for a number of reasons. The first being that they didn’t spend time testing the new base with their pigments. If they had accepted blame at this point and done everything necessary to rectify this issue then they could have saved their business. Their subsequent actions have probably doomed their business to failure now. The first reports of issues with the polish seem to have come from their swatchers but it still took weeks before Mentality notified the public. They were still selling the polish with the “bad base” during that time. When they did make an announcement, it was just one instagram post that quickly got lost within all their other posts. They should have sent out emails to all those who purchased their polishes, but they didn’t. Originally they were offering refunds or replacements but just this past weekend (on the 23/08/2015) they announced that they would no longer be offering refunds or replacements to their customers. They have cut off communication to their stockists and have been rude to their customers on social media. The whole time they have blamed the new Arminex base that they started using but people are reporting the same problems with their polishes dating back as far as 46 weeks ago. This has led to people believing that their neon pigments may be the cause of the issues and not the base, but actual testing needs to be done on the nail polish to know what is wrong with it. They continued with their downfall when they made a public announcement yesterday that they are terminating all of their bloggers, but didn’t inform the bloggers themselves. Mentality have done so many things wrong that I can’t condense my summary to any less than that. If you want to know more, there is a lot of information in nail polish groups on facebook and some bloggers have written in depth posts on the issue as well. The situation is still changing.

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?

Love, Alinta

6 Comments

  • boo 25/08/2015 at 7:53 pm

    I also have delicate/sensitive nails (to the point where I generally avoid glitters and polishes that are known to stain because of the extra effort involved in their removal). But I have a huge stash of indie polish that I love and use without any concern. I do admit that I tend to stick with certain brands because I know the makers are conscientious about their product and its testing.

    • Alinta McMurdo 26/08/2015 at 5:44 am

      I tend to stick with the brands I know and love too, mainly because I can't afford to love any more brands lol Peel off base coats have been a life saver for me when it comes to glitter polish 🙂

  • phonakins 31/08/2015 at 9:59 am

    So happy NOT to have that sort of sensitivity to items, that certainly sucks!

    Fiona @ http://littlelioness.net

  • Christine Chipman 11/09/2015 at 5:56 am

    I agree with absolutely everything you have said, Alinta, and will definitely continue to support our fabulous Aussie Indie makers. They have been so helpful and supportive to me, and nothing is ever too much of a problem. Like you I've had bottles broken in the post, but the packages where this has happened have had huge great boot prints all over them, and this is a regular occurrence – the boot prints, not the breakages. Love your blog, and hope you are feeling better soon. Also hope your house move turned out OK.

    • Alinta McMurdo 16/09/2015 at 6:50 am

      My new post office seems so much better with deliveries. I have certainly had my fair share of packages arrive with tyre marks – how does that even happen … :/
      Thank goodness for good indie brands hey 🙂

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But there is good news. We know what the problem is and we know the solution. We can avoid the worst case scenario if we act now. De-carbonising the economy needs to be our top priority, we simply cannot rely on fossil fuels any longer. The most important thing you can do is to get involved and apply political pressure. That means voting for the people with the best climate policies, emailing your local representative, going to climate protests, physically blocking new fossil fuel infrastructure, telling everyone you know to also act - whatever it is you can do to make change, do it. 
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Picture from a Bloomberg article of a graph showing world average temp over 2000 years with obvious uptick since 1850. Title saying heat spike. 
#climatechange #climateaction #ipcc #ipccreport #lovealinta

    Since the IPCC report was released on Monday I’ve seen a lot of people expressing how overwhelmed and helpless they feel about climate change. These feelings are absolutely valid. The situation we’re in is dire. The report confirmed that we are currently experiencing the effects of climate change which can be seen in the increase in extreme weather events. We’re currently sitting at 1.1 degrees and we will well overshoot 1.5 degrees by the end of the century if nothing changes. This will cause widespread suffering, death and destruction for humans, animals and ecosystems.
    But there is good news. We know what the problem is and we know the solution. We can avoid the worst case scenario if we act now. De-carbonising the economy needs to be our top priority, we simply cannot rely on fossil fuels any longer. The most important thing you can do is to get involved and apply political pressure. That means voting for the people with the best climate policies, emailing your local representative, going to climate protests, physically blocking new fossil fuel infrastructure, telling everyone you know to also act – whatever it is you can do to make change, do it.
    Australia was recently ranked last on climate action against 193 other UN member nations. This cannot continue. COP 26 is around the corner so speak up, tell the Aus gov that you want climate action now. I know many of you don’t have a degree about climate change like I do, so I’ve tried to make this simple and give you examples of what to do, and I’m happy to go into more detail or explain anything you don’t understand, just ask. Do your best to be informed and be prepared to fight for a better future. It will be worth it for every life, species and ecosystem that can be saved.
    Picture from a Bloomberg article of a graph showing world average temp over 2000 years with obvious uptick since 1850. Title saying heat spike.
    #climatechange #climateaction #ipcc #ipccreport #lovealinta

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Thanks to everyone who checked in on me. I’m hoping my recent iron infusion will help me to feel less like one foot is in the grave but only time will tell. 
Leave a comment to let me know what silly things your pets or kids have been up to lately so we can all have a laugh 😊
Picture of a white and grey dog looking at the camera and licking his nose. 
#rescuedog #rescuedogs #dogsofmelbourne #lovealinta

    With Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane all In lockdown, I thought a cute pup picture in your feed might be appreciated. You can swipe to see a cute video of a scruffy puppy Kobi not long after he came into care as a foster dog – he found himself in the pound at 3 months of age.
    Kobi was probably thinking about food in this photo because he is a bit obsessed with eating. He will even happily eat dirt – I’ve had to clean dirt off his chin far too often lately (don’t worry the vet says there’s nothing wrong with him, he’s just gluttonous). His favourite method for dirt eating is face planting straight onto the ground. It’s certainly an interesting technique.
    Thanks to everyone who checked in on me. I’m hoping my recent iron infusion will help me to feel less like one foot is in the grave but only time will tell.
    Leave a comment to let me know what silly things your pets or kids have been up to lately so we can all have a laugh 😊
    Picture of a white and grey dog looking at the camera and licking his nose.
    #rescuedog #rescuedogs #dogsofmelbourne #lovealinta

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Pic description: selfie of me in a mask with neon yellow sticker that says I have had the covid-19 vaccine, taken just after my second vaccination.

    It’s been 6.5 weeks since my first Pfizer vaccination and 3.5 since my second, but I still feel like death warmed up. This isn’t surprising. My immunologist, GP and I all knew I would suffer, but that doesn’t make it easier to deal with. This isn’t a covid vaccine specific reaction, I react to all vaccines in the same way. I was out of action for 2 weeks after my meningococcal vaccine last December and most people don’t have any problems with that vax. My vaccine reactions are specific to only me, because of my unique immune deficiencies. My immunologist has never come across anyone else with the combination of immune deficiencies that I have. Unfortunately, one of my worse deficiencies is that of Memory B Cells, which means I don’t make immunity to many vaccines, and when I do, it doesn’t last for long. I still get vaccinated despite this, because it matters. So the point of this post – please get your covid vaccination when you are eligible to. Many vulnerable people like myself are relying on herd immunity and we’re just not going to get there if everyone doesn’t do their part. I didn’t get a pretty sticker but the potential of covid antibodies is better than any sticker.
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Oh and don’t forget to show up to the climate strike on Friday 😊
Pic description - white lined notebook on black background with handwriting that says First Nations People’s and Earth Based Governance. 
#climatechange #alwayswasalwayswillbe #lovealinta

    I think I’ve made it pretty obvious that I care about Indigenous rights as well as the environment. So I am particularly interested in how Indigenous people want to combat climate change because climate change action desperately needs to be decolonised.
    Unfortunately, those who are the least responsible for climate change are the ones who ones who will suffer the most, and many Indigenous people will be more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of colonisation. Indigenous people and their knowledge are frequently left out of climate discussions and that needs to change. My climate change uni subject focuses on exactly that this week.
    For a long time I’ve wanted to post about this sort of thing but I haven’t known where to start. I have no idea where the level of environmental and climate knowledge is at with the general public so I would love if you could let me know how much you know about it. Then at least I have a place to start.
    Also, thanks for sticking by me, it has been very hard to get through this subject whilst going through all my health stuff plus vaccines. I have my second vax on Thursday and a few more weeks of uni and then I’ll be around more often.
    Oh and don’t forget to show up to the climate strike on Friday 😊
    Pic description – white lined notebook on black background with handwriting that says First Nations People’s and Earth Based Governance.
    #climatechange #alwayswasalwayswillbe #lovealinta

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Picture description: fair hand flat out with fingers spread showing silver coloured ring on ring finger with a green background. 
#ethicalengagementring #ethicalengagement #labdiamond #recycledplatinum #lovealinta

    Here are the ring details as promised. I think you all knew that my ring was going to be ethical in some way. It wouldn’t be me otherwise, would it? I’ve followed @ethicaljewelleryaustralia for years now, so I’ve known for a long time that I would want them to make a ring for me. It’s something that I will be wearing everyday, so I want it to represent my values. So the ring is handmade by #EthicalJewelleryAustralia in the design I wanted. It’s a round diamond with a four prongs that look like little petals. It’s made with recycled platinum and a lab diamond. Diamond and metal mining have a lot of negative social and environmental impacts, plus a lab diamond is far more affordable than a traditionally mined diamond, which means you can reduce your impact on people, the planet and your hip pocket. I hope lab grown diamonds are the choice of the future, as it is far better for human rights and the environment to make a diamond in a lab using renewable energy, than it is to mine them from the ground, using fossil fuels and unethical labor – just look into blood diamonds if you want to know how bad it can get. I also plan on trying to have a more ethical wedding too. I’ve already found a carbon neutral venue, but I’ve got lots of research to do on everything else. Let me know if you have any ideas for a sustainable wedding.
    Picture description: fair hand flat out with fingers spread showing silver coloured ring on ring finger with a green background.
    #ethicalengagementring #ethicalengagement #labdiamond #recycledplatinum #lovealinta

    Love, Alinta
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    View on Instagram |
    5/9
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    With it being #EarthDay, I thought I would share some on my sustainable cleaning products. Everyone has to clean, but supermarket cleaning products don’t tend to be very eco-friendly. Here I’ve got my @ecomaxbrushes Bottle brush which is made from coconut waste products and can be composted at the end of its life – it will just leave the wire which can be recycled. There’s my Safix biodegradable scrub pad made from organic coconut fibers which can be composted when you are finished with it. And @retrokitchenaustralia biodegradable dish cloth in a cute dog print. It’s made from cotton and cellulose and can be composted when worn out. I use them with the @koalaeco Natural Multipurpose Kitchen Cleaner which is cruelty free, vegan and palm oil free and comes in 100% post consumer recycled bottles that can be recyclable when finished. I get the big refill bottles and just fill up my spray bottle. I bought all the above from @floraandfaunaau and they’re actually having 15% off eco items today, so all of these are discounted. Don’t forget to use my #floraandfaunaau affiliate code on my blog if you ever make a purchase, it helps me out. There’s lots of other ways to make regular household chores better for the environment. It can feel overwhelming to charge, but just start with small steps. When one product runs out you can replace it with a more sustainable option. One of the last things I need to change is is my laundry detergent so I’m thinking I’ll try @thedirtcompany one. I would love to hear what you think of their products if you’ve tried them. Also let know what eco swaps you’ve made in your home so that I can get more ideas. #EcoSwaps #LoveAlinta

    Love, Alinta
    5 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    6/9
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We spent yesterday afternoon attempting to take our own engagement photos in the yard with a tripod and this is the result. Having a photographer would be so much easier but my immune system wouldn’t appreciate that. 
Oh and I’ll tell you all about my ring in another post as I designed it ☺️#engagedtomybestfriend #lovealinta

Photo 1 description: close up of the torsos of two people in dark colours standing side by side with arms stretched to the ground and holding hands. One hand over both arms showing silver coloured ring. 
Photo 2 description: man hugging female from behind with his arm around her chest. Her hands are on his arm showing ring. Both smiling at camera with greenery in background.
    I have some news. I’m engaged! As a kid/teen I never thought this would happen as I didn’t believe in love - then I got sick and worried that no one would see past my illnesses. But I have found someone who loves me for me, faults, illnesses and all and I can’t wait to marry him. 
We spent yesterday afternoon attempting to take our own engagement photos in the yard with a tripod and this is the result. Having a photographer would be so much easier but my immune system wouldn’t appreciate that. 
Oh and I’ll tell you all about my ring in another post as I designed it ☺️#engagedtomybestfriend #lovealinta

Photo 1 description: close up of the torsos of two people in dark colours standing side by side with arms stretched to the ground and holding hands. One hand over both arms showing silver coloured ring. 
Photo 2 description: man hugging female from behind with his arm around her chest. Her hands are on his arm showing ring. Both smiling at camera with greenery in background.

    I have some news. I’m engaged! As a kid/teen I never thought this would happen as I didn’t believe in love – then I got sick and worried that no one would see past my illnesses. But I have found someone who loves me for me, faults, illnesses and all and I can’t wait to marry him.
    We spent yesterday afternoon attempting to take our own engagement photos in the yard with a tripod and this is the result. Having a photographer would be so much easier but my immune system wouldn’t appreciate that.
    Oh and I’ll tell you all about my ring in another post as I designed it ☺️#engagedtomybestfriend #lovealinta

    Photo 1 description: close up of the torsos of two people in dark colours standing side by side with arms stretched to the ground and holding hands. One hand over both arms showing silver coloured ring.
    Photo 2 description: man hugging female from behind with his arm around her chest. Her hands are on his arm showing ring. Both smiling at camera with greenery in background.

    Love, Alinta
    5 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    7/9
    It’s been a while since I posted makeup, so here’s some makeup 🙃 the @meccamax Off Duty BB Cream made it into my 2020 faves blog post, and it’s still my favourite base to use on the rare occasion that I put makeup on. I’ve just been too tired to wear makeup the last couple of months. The #meccamax Off Duty BB Cream is cruelty free and vegan. It however only comes in 5 shades. I use the lightest shade Vanilla, which has a good undertone for me, but I have to mix it with the same amount of white concealer to make it light enough to use. @MeccaMaxima have said they will extend the shade range of their home brands for years now, but they still don’t sell a single base shade that I could use by itself, and I’m sure that’s the same for dark skin tones. The other criticism I have of this product is the packaging. The lack of pump makes it hard to control the amount that comes out, and I would really prefer if it were in glass as that would be easier to recycle. The actual cream itself is amazing though. The formula works so well on my skin. It’s easy to blend with a brush and doesn’t cake up or feel heavy. Have you tried this BB cream? Do you have another favourite cruelty free and vegan BB cream? #meccabeauty #crueltyfreebeauty #veganbeauty #lovealinta

    It’s been a while since I posted makeup, so here’s some makeup 🙃 the @meccamax Off Duty BB Cream made it into my 2020 faves blog post, and it’s still my favourite base to use on the rare occasion that I put makeup on. I’ve just been too tired to wear makeup the last couple of months. The #meccamax Off Duty BB Cream is cruelty free and vegan. It however only comes in 5 shades. I use the lightest shade Vanilla, which has a good undertone for me, but I have to mix it with the same amount of white concealer to make it light enough to use. @MeccaMaxima have said they will extend the shade range of their home brands for years now, but they still don’t sell a single base shade that I could use by itself, and I’m sure that’s the same for dark skin tones. The other criticism I have of this product is the packaging. The lack of pump makes it hard to control the amount that comes out, and I would really prefer if it were in glass as that would be easier to recycle. The actual cream itself is amazing though. The formula works so well on my skin. It’s easy to blend with a brush and doesn’t cake up or feel heavy. Have you tried this BB cream? Do you have another favourite cruelty free and vegan BB cream? #meccabeauty #crueltyfreebeauty #veganbeauty #lovealinta

    Love, Alinta
    5 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    8/9
    It has been a long week here. It’s my uni mid semester break, but it hasn’t been a break at all as I’ve spent the whole week writing things for my NDIS application. I’ve written 5000 words so far and spent far more money than I should have to to access support that I need. I’m trying to get my application in before the independent assessments start. If you don’t know, the federal government is trying to force independent assessments on people applying for or reviewing their NDIS plans. They have had a huge amount of feedback explaining how bad this will be for disabled people, but they just don’t care. Disabled people are going to go without the care that they need because this government is completely ableist. Non-disabled people really need to be speaking up about this right now, because the fed government is too ableist to listen to disabled people. Allies are really needed at times like this, so please show up. 
Picture description: Ableism is connected to all out struggles because it undergirds notions of whose bodies are considered valuable, desirable and disposable - Mia Mingus. Quote on pink and white background.
#ableism #ndis #disabilityrights #lovealinta

    It has been a long week here. It’s my uni mid semester break, but it hasn’t been a break at all as I’ve spent the whole week writing things for my NDIS application. I’ve written 5000 words so far and spent far more money than I should have to to access support that I need. I’m trying to get my application in before the independent assessments start. If you don’t know, the federal government is trying to force independent assessments on people applying for or reviewing their NDIS plans. They have had a huge amount of feedback explaining how bad this will be for disabled people, but they just don’t care. Disabled people are going to go without the care that they need because this government is completely ableist. Non-disabled people really need to be speaking up about this right now, because the fed government is too ableist to listen to disabled people. Allies are really needed at times like this, so please show up.
    Picture description: Ableism is connected to all out struggles because it undergirds notions of whose bodies are considered valuable, desirable and disposable – Mia Mingus. Quote on pink and white background.
    #ableism #ndis #disabilityrights #lovealinta

    Love, Alinta
    6 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    9/9

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