Thursday 12 June 2014

Non-Toxic Nail Varnish for Children – Introducing Snails and Little Bu

When you have 2 girls, whether you like it or not there comes a time when they become interested in make-up and nail varnish.

You can’t avoid it forever and I find it’s becoming increasingly hard to stop it from popping up on the agenda particularly for Sophia who is almost 8. Her friends play with it and I cringe at the children’s play sets that are sold in shops. Full of toxic ingredients and innocently bought by well meaning family for children to play with at dress up. I’ve ended up having awkward conversations with them about how lovely they are, however in this house we prefer safer cosmetics ! And I keep having conversations with Sophia about it too and have promised to get her some items which are safe for her to use. The word expensive springs to mind !

Personally, I am not one to wear lots of make-up or nail varnish. I used to wear nail varnish for work before having the girls but these days I’m lucky if I get a chance to go to the loo in peace let alone paint my nails ! I seriously envy anyone who has time for that indulgence. However, when we go on holiday I put my foot down and insist my toes nails are painted. If I’m lucky I get to paint my nails (hands) too in between applying sun screen to my little lovelies!

So, when Sophia started to express a more frequent interest in having her nails painted I looked into whether there were any safe alternatives for her to try. I found Little Bu last year and purchased some of their range to try. This year I was approached by another company Snails who offer a similar product range, so I’ve decided to combine this post and share them both with you. 

I am in the process of transitioning a lot of my make-up to natural options but one thing that I’ve yet to get to is my nail varnish stash. Up until recently the girls would have had their nails painted with regular mainstream nail varnish and a few years ago when Sophia was about 6, she shared with me that her nails tingled when it was applied. I wasn’t happy with this so set about seriously looking for something else.

Both Little Bu and Snails offer an alternative in the shape of water based, toxic-free nail varnish made specifically for children. Both brands are made in France and wash off with soap and water. Both are cruelty free and Little Bu market themselves as Vegan too.

Both ranges have a good selection of colours on offer and both supply a top coat within their range, which in my experience is well worth investing in to prolong the life of the nail varnish.

 The great thing about both these ranges is that if they are spilled on carpet or clothes, you just wash it off. No mass panic trying to get it off the carpet because your little lovely has just knocked the whole contents on the floor ! It also allows them independence to learn how to paint their own nails safely without fear of getting it everywhere and ruining everything in sight.

Both ranges offer additions to their ranges; Little Bu have a range of nail stickers, manicure sets and little bags to keep your nail varnish in. Snails also offer a range of different nail stickers, a specific nail wipe which you can used to remove the nail varnish and also a nail art pen. It’s worth noting however, that this pen does contain parabens unlike the rest of the range. Snails also offer a range of nail varnishes for Mums-to-be too. 

It’s worth popping over to both websites for a browse and to read more about them individually. They have their differences and I think a lot is down to which colours and stickers etc you connect with. It’s lovely to see companies offering a safe alternative for children.

For best results use your water based nail varnish as follows:
  • Prepare hands by washing them with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.
  • Apply two coats of base coat and allow each one to dry.
  • For extended wear, apply one coat of top coat and allow to dry.
  • To remove nail polish, wash hands with soap and water. If using a top coat you will require a longer soak.
Whilst we loved both ranges and enjoyed using the nail varnishes the one downfall is that they don’t last that long. Without the top coat you will find that just general washing of hands will make some of the nail varnish come off. On Little Bu’s site they recommend you wait 3 hours for the colour to fully set before having a bath or going swimming. Not sure this is really practical with young children with frequent trips to the loo.

It’s been great for toes though and definitely lasts longer here. Jess seems happier with these nail varnishes than Sophia. Sophia is at the age where she wants a guarantee that her nail varnish is going to stay on for several days if she puts it on, so with her it’s great for a bit of fun and learning to put it on herself, but I think we’ll be looking at the more natural alternatives for adults that are on offer for both her and I in the long term.

Would I recommend Snails and Little Bu? Yes, I would. I think there is certainly a market for this and being safe and non-toxic is a real plus. Just remember to get yourself a top coat.

Have any of you used or come across Little Bu or Snails Nail Toxic-free Nail Varnish for children? Do let me know if you have. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time xx


Disclaimer: In addition to purchasing myself the Little Bu range of non-toxic nail varnish I was sent a selection of items from Snails to try out and review. All view and opinions are my own honest thoughts and feelings on their products.


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