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I Still Support Indie Nail Polish

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


  • 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 @

  • 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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    I’m Alinta, an animal lover who writes reviews about cruelty free products as a distraction from my chronic illnesses. Read more…

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