Summer is finally here and we have freed our toes from the prison of snow boots and sensible shoes! Now is the perfect time to experiment with color. This Summer season, everything from metallic to muted pastels are gracing the fingers and toes of beauties across the globe. Let one of these ideas inspire you to step outside of your nail color box!
BRONZE - Typically thought of as a Fall color, bronze is shining this summer! Pair with gold sandals or when wearing a neutral color dress to add a touch of shimmer like LVX color Malbec.
DEEP BLUE - Heading to the beach? Match your nail shade to the deep blue sea. Don’t fret about matching your outfit! Between the blue skies and blue water, this nail color will help you fit right in! LVX colors from left to right: Viola, Indigo Bleu and Tribute.
BRIGHT YELLOW - Nothing says sunny skies like a bright and beaming yellow! Many people find yellow hard to wear in their clothing, so painting your fingers and toes in the hue is a great way to test it out! Bring out the color by adding a skinny brilliant yellow belt or chunky bracelet to your wardrobe. We guarantee this sunny color will grow on you! LVX color in Saffron.
BUBBLEGUM PINK - Bring out your playful side with a shade reminiscent of days when we had all summer off and spent it by the pool popping bubble gum. Even if we do have to spend our summer “adulting” for the most part, our nail color can bring us back to the glory days of zero responsibility. Colors by LVX in Orchid and Voyage
MINT GREEN - A hint of mint can cool you down when things get too hot! This refreshing shade can balance out a bright outfit, or even calm your mood. Especially effective when sipping a mojito. From left to right, LVX colors: Viridian, Mynt, Turkoise, Jade and Lush.
SILVER SHIMMER - Let loose and gloss a layer of shimmer over your nails! Since shimmer reflects light and color, it goes with anything, channels your inner diva, and can fuel long nights spent dancing, whether it be under the stars or a disco ball. LVX colors from left to right: Luxe, Graphite and Haze.
What's your go-to Summer color? We'd love to know in the comments below. Don't forget to share your Noktivo Summer manicure or pedicure with us by tagging #GlamWithoutTheGarbage on Instagram. See you in the nail salon soon beauties! XoXo
A sneak peek of our mission for 2016! We're putting together a plan to really be a part of the change the nail industry desperately needs. From voluntarily replacing our entire nail polish line because of new research to helping lobby Capitol Hill, we will always be striving to be the healthiest nail experience around. We want to be your trusted resource when you have questions, or need a product recommendation. We want to be the nail salon you can feel good about patronizing from the fume-free environment to the way we provide a healthy workplace for our employees down to the earth friendly products we use. Noktivo is for people. For planet. ALL for the love of pampering. Here's to a beautiful 2016! *If you love our mission and want to be a part of it, join our new Cleanup Crew. Leave us a comment here so we know you're interested and next week we'll be sending out details of how you can help.
By Jenny Buttaccio
Last month, we gave you an introduction into a few of the tricky Ingredients that might be hiding in your beauty products. This month, we delve a little (skin) deeper into a list of questionable chemicals often the subject of debate in the beauty world. We know that the skin absorbs up to 60% of what’s put on it; substances absorb through the skin and enter the bloodstream (Edmunds, 2013). We want to educate you about different chemicals so you make informed choices about the products you put on your body. Here are 4 ingredients you’ll want to consider when pursuing sustainable, green beauty.
1. Talc- Talc is a mineral consisting primarily of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. It’s a common ingredient in products such as baby powder, deodorant, cosmetics, mineral makeup, and more. In its powder form, it’s used to absorb moisture and keep skin dry.
The safety of talc has been in question for decades. Research on the subject yields a mixed bag of results about the dangers of its use. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS, 2014), talcum powder (the crushed up form of talc) historically contained asbestos– a substance linked to cancer of the lungs. While consumer products have contained asbestos-free talc since the 1970’s, there’s a hazy connection between the present day use of talc and an increase in ovarian cancer (ACS, 2014). Although studies have not produced any conclusive evidence of this connection, the carcinogenic uncertainties of talc are a cause for concern.
Furthermore, repeated inhalation of products that contain talc– such as daily use of traditional baby powder– can potentially result in a rare, inflammatory lung condition known as Talcosis (Frank & Jorge, 2011). It is unclear what percentage of the population this affects.
Despite ambiguous reports, Health Canada’s Consumer Product Safety lists the use of talc as restricted in baby products indicating it could be dangerous to infants and children (2014). The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates talc as a moderate health risk, citing contamination of asbestos fibers, which can contribute to lung issues and cancer (n.d).
2. Titanium Dioxide- This ingredient is a natural occurring mineral in white crystals or powder form. Because of its white pigment, it’s used in everything from paint and plastics to sunscreens, mineral makeup, and other cosmetics (“Carex Canada,” 2015). The use of titanium dioxide in skincare products has been a source of controversy in recent years; this is mainly due to emerging technology that reduces the particle size to ultrafine nanoparticles used in many face and body care products. The impact that these particles have on people and the environment are not yet well understood. However, research suggests that continuous inhalation of titanium dioxide nanoparticles could accumulate in the lungs posing an irritation and inflammation risk, and potential exposure to a carcinogen.
Additionally, titanium dioxide nanoparticles, like those found in some sunscreens, endanger our environment. After we apply sunscreen and go swimming, much of the sunscreen washes off leaving those chemicals in the water. Preliminary studies show titanium dioxide nanoparticles threaten the growth and development of precious coral reefs (Studholme, n.d).
3. Silicones/Dimethicones- Silicone is a synthetic slip-agent found in lots of products the average person uses daily. There are several kinds of silicones (Chanler, 2012), but the most common and cheap type is dimethicone (Ewell, 2014). The reason silicone is such a popular additive in skincare is because it gives products spreadability, smoothness, and a velvety texture. What initially looks like desirable qualities for a product, may actually backfire with prolonged usage, leading to a whole host of skin woes.
Let me explain. Silicone creates a barrier on the skin, which inhibits the skin’s normal functions like sweating and sloughing off dead skin. Bacteria and oil can become trapped underneath this barrier causing irritation, breakouts, blackheads, or dryness. Consequently, this chemical is likely to perpetuate the signs of aging.
4. Phenoxyethanol- Phenoxyethanol is a frequently used chemical preservative providing an array of antimicrobial activity against bacteria, mold, and yeasts. Manufacturers use it as a replacement for parabens; it’s one of the few preservatives that doesn’t release formaldehyde. Because of this, even skincare products claiming to be “all natural” contain phenoxyethanol.
In high concentrations, it’s been linked to skin and lung irritation, and toxicity of the kidneys, nervous system, and liver (“The Dermatology Review,” n.d.). Therefore, the current FDA standards recommend phenoxyethanol be used in concentrations of less than 1% in product formulations.
Nevertheless, in low concentrations, some experts believe phenoxyethanol is still toxic. For example, EWG (n.d.) lists it as a moderate hazard and mentions skin, eye, mouth, and lung irritation as possible side effects. According to The Dermatology Review (n.d.), it can also cause allergic reactions, worsen Eczema, and be harmful if ingested by infants. As it turns out, phenoxyethanol may be transmitted to infants through breast milk; it’s best for new mothers to avoid this product altogether.
At Noktivo, we believe in Glam Without The Garbage. We try to avoid chemicals that could potentially be toxic to our bodies, our children’s bodies and the environment. As an alternative, we offer high-quality products free from talc, titanium dioxide, silicones, and phenoxyethanol. Please visit our online shop to find an amazing selection of green, beauty options for you and your family. We have a great selection of body serums, facial serums and oils, and moisturizers that will leave your skin hydrated and nourished the way nature intended.
Did you find this article helpful? As always, we would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave us a comment below.
American Cancer Society. (2014, November 21). Talcum Powder and Cancer. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum-powder-
Carex Canada. (2015, March). Titanium Dioxide. Retrieved from http://www.carexcanada.ca/en/titanium_dioxide/
Chandler, A. (2012, September). The truth about silicones. Best Health. Retrieved from http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/beauty/the-truth-about-silicones
The Dermatology Review. (n.d.). Phenoxyethanol. Retrieved from http://www.thedermreview.com/phenoxyethanol/
Edmunds, T. (2013, June 6). Food for Thought: The body absorbs what is put on the skin. The News-Herald. Retrieved from http://www.thenewsherald.com/articles/2013/06/06/ile_camera/localnews/doc51a67839c14c6578254558.txt
Environmental Working Group (n.d.). Talc. Retrieved from http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706427/TALC/#
Environmental Working Group (n.d.). Phenoxyethanol. Retrieved from http://www.thedermreview.com/phenoxyethanol/
Ewell, K. (2014, July 14). Silicones: Separating The Good From the Not-So-Good. xoVain. Retrieved from http://www.xovain.com/hair/silicones-in-hair-and-skin-products-to-avoid
Frank, C. & Lascano, J. (2011, March 2). An uncommon hazard: Pulmonary talcosis as a result of recurrent aspiration of baby powder. Respiratory Medicine CME, 4 (3), 109-111. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1755001711000091
Health Canada. (2014, April 22). Consumer Product Safety: Changes to the Consumer Ingredient Hotlist. Retrieved from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/cosmet-person/hot-list-critique/changes-modifications-eng.php
Studholme, J. (n.d) Sunscreen Nanoparticles Harm Sea Life. Skuba News. Retrieved from http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/sunscreen-sea-life-vulnerable-toxins.html
By Jenny Buttaccio
If you haven’t added pumpkin to your beauty routine yet, now is the time. We love these seasonal recipes from Noktivo owner, Jenny Duranski, of her homemade, pumpkin pie body scrub and face mask. Not only are these yummy concoctions great for your skin, but they’re also an excellent way to reuse your leftover pumpkin and reduce waste.
Pumpkin is a multitasking fruit. It’s loaded with healthy vitamins A, C, and E to age gracefully and packed with skin-soothing zinc, potassium and magnesium. And, I haven’t even mentioned the luscious antioxidant assortment yet! These phytonutrients are free radical scavengers defending your skin from wrinkles and reducing age spots. Pumpkin gently exfoliates leaving your skin glowing from head to toe. Plus, these comfort-food-for-your-skin recipes are incredibly easy to make. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen— So grab a pumpkin and let’s get started!
First: Prepare Your PUree
To begin, cut the top off of your (hopefully) organic pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and stringy innards from the cavity. Separate the seeds and place them to the side. We’ll come back to those later. Next, carve your pumpkin if you so choose. After carving, cut off small pieces of the pumpkin’s meat. Toss the fibrous strings and pieces of meat in a blender. Blend until you have a puréed, paste-like consistency. If you aren’t carving a pumpkin this year, you can use canned, organic pumpkin instead. Ready? Let's beauty bake!
Recipe 1 - Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub
Add ingredients into small mixing bowl and stir together. The consistency of a good body scrub is that of cookie dough so if it's too thick, add a little bit more oil. If it seems too thin, add another teaspoon of sugar. Massage into skin in the shower using circular motions to gently exfoliate, use caution on bottoms of feet as you will be slippery. Rinse well. Follow with your favorite body serum or moisturizer.
REcipe 2 - Brightening Pumpkin Face Mask
Gently apply the mask on cleansed skin and allow mask to sit for 10 minutes. Dab off with a warm washcloth. Follow with your favorite green beauty balm or moisturizer.
Inner Outer Beauty: Eat Your Pumpkin Seeds
Simply spread the seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite sea salt. Roast in the oven at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes, making sure to stir the seeds occasionally. Seeds should be golden brown when finished. Presto! You have an easy, fun snack with skin nourishing nutrients like zinc, copper, magnesium, and a host of antioxidants. These little seeds truly are food for your skin.
Did you try our pumpkin pie body scrub and face mask? How did you like them? We want to hear from you. Leave us a comment below, or tag @noktivo in your post to share your love of beauty baking with us. -XO
Some of you reading this might already be making the switch to more natural products (bravo!) but even products labeled natural can be tricky. I recently read an article on clean beauty that put it best, by comparing it to food. (They had me at cheese.)
“This is the thing: We like to have the information we need to make our own choices. Sometimes those decisions revolve around fueling our bodies with super-clean, almost monastic meals; sometimes those decisions revolve around a grilled cheese and fries. But, really it’s about choice. It’s about controlling our destiny.”
But sadly, that choice is being kept from our squeaky clean hands. Quickly, what you need to know:
by Jenny Buttaccio
Fall is the perfect time to switch up your beauty routine. With less moisture in the air, your skin’s hydration needs change with the weather. We’re here to help! We’ve picked a few of our favorite products to keep your skin in tip-top shape through this season and into the next.
With a powerhouse blend of plant oils and potent antioxidants, you can ditch your regular lotion and cream for this super moisturizing body serum that softens and refreshes your skin.
Pumpkin seed oil, rich in zinc and Omega fatty acids 3 and 6, helps to improve skin elasticity. It also contains natural salicylic acid to delicately exfoliate and rejuvenate. With rare Omega-7, Sea Buckthorn oil nourishes and conditions your skin. The pleasant, uplifting fragrance of neroli promotes energy, playfulness, and joy.
Pro tip: Mist serum on your body when skin is damp to lock in moisture. We love this serum because it absorbs quickly and won’t leave behind an oily residue.
The Everything Balm truly lives up to its name. The restorative properties of shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil naturally moisturize dry, chapped, and sensitive skin. It works well on faces and for scrapes, burns, rashes, insect bites and as a barrier from wind and moisture. You can apply this versatile product as needed.
With 100% organic ingredients, you can rest assured this product is safe for adults and children. In fact, the Everything Balm receives a perfect score of "zero" in the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (www.cosmeticsdatabase.com), a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group.
Pro tip: Toss one in your purse, tote or diaper bag. It’s conveniently packaged for all of your on-the-go, dry or irritated skin needs.
With an all-star cast of antioxidants, Mad Hippie's Antioxidant Facial Oil is a necessity for anyone trying to combat dry skin and protect against free radical damage. Don't be frightened by the word "oil." This luxe mixture is lightweight and quickly absorbed, leaving skin with a luminous glow.
The impressive list of ingredient highlights include argan oil, sea buckthorn berry, blueberry extract, pomegranate oil, camu camu berry, broccoli extract, raspberry seed extract, goji berry, hemp seed extract, grape seed extract and sunflower oil.
And at just $25 a bottle, it's an absolute must-have to usher in the new season!
Pro tip: Oils help seal in moisture. Use this preservative-free, antioxidant oil over your moisturizer to boost hydration.
Cooler temps may be problematic for some skin types causing breakouts or blemishes. Harsh anti-blemish creams that leave your skin red and irritated are a thing of the past thanks to No Bull's non-drying Blemish Blaster. With a slogan like, "No bogus ingredients. No chemical crap. No Bull," this company and its products mean business!
Blemish Blaster's amazing ingredients include aloe vera gel, neem extract, licorice root, witch hazel, willow bark, Leuconstoc, tea tree oil, and grapefruit essential oil.
This powerful combination is gentle enough to use twice a day. It can also be applied to blemish-prone areas to prevent breakouts from occurring. Plus, it absorbs quickly so it works great under makeup.
Pro tip: This product can also be used after shaving to reduce redness, rosacea, and discoloration. How great is that!
We love hearing from you! Have a tip for Fall beauty or a product you love that's not on our list? Leave us a comment below or tag us @noktivo in your posts to share your green beauty favorites. <3
It's slightly embarrassing, but I can't remember the last time I read a book. I can't blame it all on being a new mom. Although in the off chance an extra hour to myself pops up, showering or eating usually win. Amiright mamas? But when I had heard a green beauty expert and formulator, Adina Grigore founder of the organic skincare line S.W. Basics, was releasing a new book, I knew I had to get my hands on it. We have so many conversations in our spa about the ingredients we put on our skin and the food choices we make to take care of our bodies. But think about if that conversation was one? We'd be talking about consuming foods that were good for our skin, and beauty ingredients that were healthy for our bodies. Yes! Exactly! This is what Skin Cleanse is all about. The inner outer beauty connection. Beauty from the inside out. However you want to call it, we no longer can ignore that what we put on and in our body affects our total health, which includes the inside AND outside systems. If you're experiencing acne, do you know to stay away from dairy? What about when hormonal shifts, pregnancy or stress wreak havoc on our adrenal system. It shows up where... our skin! But HOW do we do it? What do we eat? I wanted to learn more about this which is why I was so excited to get my very own hard copy. I called up my local bookstore, Roscoe Books, and picked up this beauty. When I flipped to the contents page it immediately affirmed what I knew, this is going to be an awesome read. Chapters like: Your Body Needs You, Eat Like Your Skin Depends On It, The Beauty Industry is Ugly and Be Your Own Apothecary. I am looking forward to a weekend dedicated to r & r, rest and reading.
Jenny, Owner, Noktivo Spa
---------- If anyone would like to join me on the Skin Cleanse journey, fill out the contact form below and I will send an invite to join our book club and where/ how to purchase your copy. We will be meeting up twice in August to share our thoughts, tidbits, and takeaways. -------------
Since we are a natural nail spa, we get asked a lot if that means our polish will chip faster or not last as long compared to more popular brands. The answer is an enthusiastic, "Not at all!" At Noktivo we give you the same performance, along with a higher quality of service without the toxic chemicals. Because honestly, you don't need em' to get an amazing mani/ pedi. The key to a lasting manicure of course starts with a quality nail polish line, including top and base coat. Which is why we use the Vegan and 5-Free polish hailing from Southern California, SpaRitual. It gets excellent wear time and durability, ousting their dirty counterparts in the long haul. Of course we can't promise it will hold up if you are getting your manicure on moving day, but, we do have some quick tips from the pros to help make your manicure last a little bit longer.
1. Keep your cuticles and sides of your nails hydrated with an oil or balm rich in Vitamin E. As your nail grows, keeping the area around your nail bed moisturized will allow the polish to smoothly grow forward and not 'catch' on dry skin or hangnails along the way. We love Lulu Blossom Dreamsicle Body Balm enriched with shea butter and grapeseed oil, $10.
2. Wear gloves when cleaning to protect your manicure. Nails expand when submerged in water so the polish will chip as the nail bed becomes larger and then shrinks back. If you needed an excuse not to do dishes, there you go.
3. Wash your hands with a saponified oil soap like castile and stay away from products with alcohol listed as an ingredient, such as hand-santitizers. These dry out the skin and ruin the topcoat. Try Zoe Organics Bath Wash an old world style soap made from oils of coconut, sunflower, castor and mandarin, $12.
4. Reapply a thin layer of topcoat on the second or third day after your manicure to reseal and enhance shine.
5. Use your fingers to type, tap and tie, not your nails. Using your nails as tools is a great idea if your living life as castaway, which if you're reading this, it's pretty safe to assume your not. So save your nails (and your manicure!) by using the pads of your fingers to pickup, open and type things.
Have another tip to make a manicure last? Leave us yours in the comments below.
If you have been on the internet in the past four days, it's pretty safe to say you came across a post about nail salons. A recent New York Times expose on the nail salon industry has generated shock waves throughout the country, and even inspired the Governor of New York to declare emergency measures to protect nail salon workers. I mean, holy wow! As a long-time green beauty advocate and natural nail technician since 2009, I am beyond excited and happy to see these issues getting overdue media attention and in-turn, the regulatory agencies taking the steps needed to create reform. It is with a lot of courage from activists, legislators and advocates such as myself, that the beauty industry will finally receive a long overdue makeover.
To give you a little history, Noktivo began with one mission in mind: to offer beauty lovers in Chicago a cleaner, and healthier alternative to their routine pampering and cosmetic purchases. The United States has not passed a law regulating the ingredients in personal care products since 1938. Yes, you read that right. 1938. To top that, the European Union has spent the past two decades banning or restricting more than 1,300 of the over 80,000 chemicals on the market today. The United States has only banned 11 to date. Currently the FDA is the agency in charge of regulating cosmetics, but due to restraints on resources, loose regulation and simply, lobbying power of larger corporations, the FDA has not been successful in making sure that even chemicals that are known carcinogens (like lead and formaldehyde) are still in commerce. And more than likely, you’ll find these ingredients in your lipstick and nail polish.
So what does this mean for the future of nail salons? Quite simply, it means reform. The phasing out of artificial nail services unless proper ventilation and safety wear is provided, banning ingredients from products that are known to be harmful and taking better care of the workers who take care of our hands and feet. Most of the changes you probably won't even notice. That wonderful scrub will still feel the same, but instead of being made of ingredients you can't pronounce, it will be made with things like sugar, salt, honey and oils like we use here. Nail polish manufacturers will soon be required to remove formaldehyde from their formulas which some already do.
We have been at this natural nail salon thing a long time, but if you can't make it into Noktivo, here are a few tips to go green during your next manicure:
While we understand the concerns these articles raise on the consumer side, the last thing us industry professionals want is for our beauties to feel scared to get pampered. Don't be. These articles highlighted salons that were doing things way wrong, and that is NOT the norm. Plenty of nail salons in your neighborhood are doing things right and will continue to do so. This is just the beginning and rise of something new, welcome to a new era of beauty.
Written by: Jenny Duranski, Owner/ Founder and Green Nail Technician of Noktivo Natural Nail Spa
Whether you're expecting yourself (congratulations mama!) or have a friend who has just shared the news, pregnancy comes with all sorts of changes just like the Spring season upon us now. From our bellies stretching to make way for baby to fluctuating hormones affecting everything from itching to nausea. These are my belly and beauty must haves to ease some common pregnancy woes. To celebrate upcoming Mothers Day, we'll be choosing two lucky winners to receive a $25 gift certificate to Noktivo to use on services or your favorite Mom and Baby products! Comment on this post with your favorite thing about your mom or about being one. Responses must be posted by Friday (4/16/15) before 6:00pm CST to enter.
Belly Oil and Belly Butter
Long before strangers felt confident asking me when I was due, my belly itched. Like crazy. Some of it was from the hormones I was told, okay weird, and some due to the stretching skin, okay understandable. So I tried everything; cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil. Nothing. Then I came across Zoe Organics Belly Oil. It's honestly this one product, that made me order the whole dang line to retail at Noktivo. It's first ingredient is Jojoba oil, aka. liquid gold for the skin. But it's the combination of rich Vitamin E packed oils such as Tamanu, Rosehip Seed and Pumpkin Seed blended with calming essential oils of Lavender, Ylang-Ylang and Geranium that did it for me.
Even as I drank more water than I could possibly imagine while pregnant and nursing, my skin would just not hold onto hydration. I love facials oils. It might seem counterintuitive, but they work better than a lot of cream based moisturizers and NO, just because it's an oil does not mean it will clog your pores. I cannot recommend the Mad Hippie Antioxidant Facial Oil enough, it's packed with superfruit extracts like blueberry, raspberry, sea buckthorn and broccoli extract that instantly reduces inflammation. Oils of Argan, Sunflower and Pomegranate that contain vitamins A, D & E and essential fatty acids to revitalize and repair.
Essential oil RemedY
I felt nauseous my entire pregnancy with my daughter, my body did not enjoy the extra hormones one bit. I kept Zoe Organics Refresh Roll-On on me at all times. It's a blend of Organic essential oils that's a perfect pick-me-up for a queasy tummy, motion sickness or calming anxiety. The small roller bottle fits easily in a purse or diaper bag and is the perfect companion for travel. Lightly roll aromatherapy oil behind ears, on neck, chest, temples or under nose as needed. The blend is lime peel, ginger and mint. Very refreshing.
The team from Noktivo shares tips, tricks and tidbits for greening your beauty routine. <3