The Best Breathable Nail Polishes
ORLY launched the Breathable range in 2016, and it has since expanded to offer more than 70 shades, with more arriving each season.
Inglot’s 02M Breathable line credits its ability to allow water and air to pass through thanks to a highly advanced polymer. This line of polishes pairs perfectly with their Breathable Top Coat.
This three-piece set by 786 allows you to select your three favorite shades, inspired by cities across the world. This brand is PETA verified as cruelty-free and vegan friendly.
This brand’s nail lacquers are certified 100% breathable, water permeable, vegan, cruelty-free and Halal. They’re also 9-Free and available in over 30 beautiful shades.
If you’re looking to try something new for your nails, give breathable nail polish a try. With the potential for improved nail health, endless color options, and a simple application process, it’s something we can totally get behind.
Orly Breathable Treatment + Color
Ive been a big fan of Julep nail polishes for a while now. In my eyes, there arent too many brands out there that compete with their long-lasting, pigmented, breathable formulas, streak-free application, and ever growing shade range that is, until I came across the Orlys new Breathable Treatment + Color line released just this fall. Heres a little bit about what makes their new line stand out.
Orly Breathable Treatment + Color Review
First off, the whole application is a breeze. Between the dense brush and thicker formula, ORLYs Breathable Treatment + Color polishes apply smoothly, evenly, and completely streak-free. They easily build up to opaque coverage after just two coats . The polish also has a decent amount of shine that just about mimics an actual top coat.
Drying time is pretty quick Id say around 2-3 minutes after the first coat, and 6-10 minutes after the second
Now lets talk longevity. After my first test, just two coats of the ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color polish lasted me an impressive 5 days without any significant chipping . At that point, there was only some light wear to the very tips of 3 of my nails. I had expected some of the shine to wear off, but instead it lasted for the full duration of my mani, keeping the polish looking fresh and a little glossy.
After a whole week of wearing the polish, surprisingly I noticed no staining whatsoever. My nails were also in great condition, and not at all dry, brittle, or peeling at the ends . Instead, they looked strong and healthy the same as theyd look if Id gone without polish.
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How Is It Different From Regular Nail Polish
From a technical standpoint, Pink explains that, “creating a one-step, permeable nail color required the use of more porous film formers compared to traditional nail lacquers.”
Orly’s line is created as a one-step product, as it has “added special agents to give it a high-shine finish without a topcoat,” while other lines, like Inglot’s 02M Breathable Nail Enamel offers polishes as well as a Breathable Base and Breathable Top Coat, for a more “traditional” 3-step manicure.
Orly Breathable Treatment + Color Swatches
Here are swatches of the three ORLY Breathable polish shades I tried out. All swatches are of 2 coats of color .
ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color in Power Packed is a light grey .
ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color in Love My Nails is cherry red.
ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color in Nourishing Nude is a sheer nude.
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Kwame Onwuachi An Award
Through the partnership, the two have released a limited-edition Breathable 1-Step Manicure collection that takes Onwuachi’s creativity beyond the kitchen.
“I got into doing nails four years ago when my nieces asked me to go with them for a manicure, and I have been getting them done ever since,” said Kwame. “Just like I express myself through food in the kitchen, style is how I express myself everywhere else, and a well-groomed nail with a sleek color is a part of that.”
The Benefits Of Breathable Nail Polish
- Combats Waterlogged Nails: One of the goals of Orly’s unique breathable line was to combat waterlogged nails. “Nail cells expand and contract as they absorb and hold moisture, which makes nail polish split, chip, and peel, so we created the Breathable formula to be more permeable than our traditional nail lacquer,” Pink says.
- Healthier For Your Nails: By now you’ve probably heard the recommendation to let your nails “breathe” or take an au naturale vacation in between frequent manicures. But by using these water-permeable polishes, your nails have the potential to stay more hydrated and moisturized, even with product on top.
- Less Harsh Chemicals: Unfortunately, all polishes contain chemicalssome more than others. While lacquers and polishes that are 5- or 7- or 9-Free are widely considered to be the most “safe” and non-toxic, breathable polishes tend to contain fewer harsh chemicals when compared with their more-traditional counterparts.
- It Dries Faster: Because oxygen can permeate through the polish as it dries, you’re likely to experience a shorter wait time for your nails to dry completely.
- It Lasts Longer: Breathable polish just might be more durable than regular polish. How? The oils that build up underneath traditional polishes can cause chips since polish won’t properly bind with oil present. But with breathable polish, your nail’s natural oils can move through, and eventually, off of your nails, which can make your manicure more durable and last longer.
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What Is Halal Nail Polish
Also referred to as breathable nail polish, Halal nail polish is permeable, allowing water and air molecules to pass through. Nail experts argue this is better for the health of the nails.
Pink explains that in the nail industry, “the name ‘breathable’ was initially met with skepticism since nails get all the nutrients and oxygen they need from the bloodstream, not the air, but the inspiration behind the name is more nuanced.” For a polish or nail lacquer to be considered breathable, there is a bit of chemistry involved. A breathable polish’s molecular structure allows for microscopic water and air molecules to pass on through, which contribute to improved nail health. According to Pink, permeable polish allows oxygen and excess moisture to travel through the polish more easily, “which helps the nail to maintain its natural integrity and therefore minimize chipping and peeling.” Halal nail polish is also commonly used in the Islamic faith, as its porousness allows those who wear nail polish to participate in Wudu, a pre-prayer cleansing ritual.
Applying Breathable Nail Polish
Brittney Boyce, consulting nail artist for ORLY explains that before applying breathable polish , “always file, buff, and cleanse your nails with alcohol to remove any natural oils,” for a longer-lasting manicure. Orly’s formulation is a 1-step application, so if you’re using the product, all you’ll need are two coats. For other breathable polishes, they’re typically applied just as you would “normal” polishjust be sure to follow any instructions or recommendations provided by the manufacturer.
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Colors In The Collection Include:
- Eggplant: a deep purple shade of eggplant with a slight masculine touch and shimmers to mirror the versatility of the vegetable itself.
- Chefs Kiss: Onwuachi’s signature color a creamy black was Onwuachi’s first manicurea nod to his roots, this versatile shade goes with everything.
- Saute: The kitchen is his home and temple, and this metallic silver is a cool callback to the fast-pace kitchen.
“It was important to me to find a partner that, like me, thought out of the box and had exacting standards,” said Kwame. “For someone constantly washing their hands, the Breathable formula, which prevents water logging and is resistant to chipping, peeling, and cracking, matched everything I was looking for. The high quality matches my demanding expectations, and most importantly, the versatile colors celebrate style in and out of the kitchen.”
Onwuachi and Orly have agreed to have proceeds from the collection go to Big & Littles NYC, a nonprofit group that provides one-on-one mentorship to children to help them succeed.
The collection launches March 15, 2022, and will be exclusively available on ORLYbeauty.com.