When you walk into a nail salon that chemical smell is overwhelming, ever wonder what those fumes are doing to your body? Kayse Gehret, founder of Soulstice Spa, asked around and what she found wasn't good news. She took matters into her own hands and created a line of nail polish that's 100% vegan, cruelty free, and rid of the three worst toxins found in most US nail polishes. I sat down with Kayse to learn more about Soulstice spa products and quality, vibrantly colored polishes.
I love the nail polishes, I had no idea that there was so many harmful chemicals in them. What was the catalysis to change it?
A few years ago I was attending a spa industry trade show when I met some representatives from the major nail polish manufacturers. From my background in skin and bodycare, I knew there were certain ingredients not recommended for use in personal care products, however they commonly show up in nail polishes in the U.S.
Through talking with the reps I learned that the manufacturers commonly make one formula for most of the other global markets - such as the U.K., Europe and Japan - and use another, more-toxic formula for us here in the United States. They explained that it was easier just to keep making it the way they always had until they were forced through legislation or consumer opinion to do otherwise.
I left my meeting wondering...if they can make non-toxic nail polish for Japan or France, then why not us? Soon afterward I found a wonderful, U.S.-based manufacturer and created a small initial collection. Our goal was to create a polish that is not only vegan and non-toxic, but one that could rival the mainstream polishes in terms of quality, texture and last. The polishes more than achieved this, and our customers have been thrilled with the result.
What are the culprit chemicals we need to stay away from?
The three major ingredients to avoid are Dibutyl Phthalate (commonly known as DBP), Toluene, and Formaldehyde, common solvents and preservatives in the cosmetic industry. All three are suspected carcinogens and toxicants and adversely effect the nervous, reproductive, developmental or respiratory systems. Toluene, especially, is found in many nail polish topcoats or basecoats... check your polish label and make sure it specifies that these ingredients have been eliminated or are "3 Free."
Why is YOUR product so cool?
The Soulstice bodycare line is entirely vegan and cruelty-free, and it was important to me that the nail polishes are as well. We also focused a great deal on creating really beautiful, modern and wearable colors and shades that will look gorgeous on all skin tones and ethnicities. Soulstice Nail Colours are named after the world's most inspiring, unique cities, many matched to a color and place that is meaningful to me in some way....
As with the bodycare line, a portion of our proceeds are donated to a variety of non-profit social and environmental organizations. Our goal is to help people look good, feel good, and do good in the process!
What is in store for you in 2010?
We would love to extend our product offerings and expand our distribution. I want to increase our brand awareness nationally and continue to grow the business in a thoughtful, focused way. Personally, I just had my first book published, Body/Work: Careers in Massage Therapy, and am underway on another... Ultimately I want to combine all my passions under one roof - Soulstice Spa - where we can create, develop and offer our product line as well as spa services.
Where can we locals buy your products?
The Soulstice collection is available online at www.soulsticespa.com as well as top spas, natural nail salons and skincare studios throughout the Bay Area.
Personally, I love your Evolution Shower Scrub because it leaves my skin feeling awesome – what do you personally like?
My favorites vary seasonally, but lately I've been hooked on our Milan nail colour shade - a perfect golden-red for the holiday season and complimentary for all skin tones from fair to tanned to dark. I'm also using the Imagine Body Polish, a delicate exfoliant, to both nourish and gently slough my dry skin during these chilly winter months.
What is your favorite movie Kayse?
Mmmm...Being an avid film-goer, I'm hard-pressed to pick just one! I love French films, detective thrillers, documentaries, and anything with Kate Winslet. Right now I'm most looking forward to seeing the upcoming HBO documentary, Sergio, as well as Jason Reitman's new film; he is brilliant! The movie I've watched more than any other is Watership Down - it's about talking rabbits, a classic that I never seem to tire of watching...
Treat yourself to a pampering session and a feel good manicure with products from Soulstice Spa
Soulstice Spa - 1.888.988.SOUL - www.soulsticespa.com