Range Review #2.2: Scotch Naturals Nail Polish (Updated!)

Scotch Naturals Review Mani

As promised in ‘ABC: Your Guide to Non-Toxic Nail Polish’ today I’ll review the Scotch Naturals water-based nail polish range.

2014 “Update”-note!

After the following review was written, I was contacted by the brand pr representative who suggested that I try the then brand-new base polish. Having googled around a bit, I found the product, ordered it, had a (pleasant) chat with the brand founder, and will update this review soon.
Sneak peak: together with Sun Coat, a peelable polish, Scotch have since become a staple; the base coat and the top coat create an impeccable and lasting result, depending on the colour used – it seems that not all shades are created equal, and some would behave better than others.

Please feel free to share your best advice on wearing water-based polish!

Scotch Naturals Review

My more-than-25-months-old pick of Scotch Natural colours I bought at All for Eves was a lovely haul: a pigment-free lacquer/ top & base coat (not in the picture), a classic bright red, a dark shimmery burgundy red, a dark neutral, and a beautiful teal shade.

I had a detailed review on the precursor to this blog, but I’m gladly repeating.

And yes, the polishes are still in top condition, more than 2 (update – in 2014: 3) years after purchase!


Are you a sucker for good product/colour names? Because I am, and how! Just meet the colours from left to right:

Blood and sand. Heather blush. Lochness mystery. Kiltlifter. Aren’t those hilarious? Besides, Kiltlifter is a much brighter red than the RGB picture shows – as I see now.


To make this review sweet and short, let me point out the advantages of Scotch Naturals water-based nail polishes:

  • Made of non-toxic ingredients
  • Great colour range (last I checked: 43 colours)
  • Opaque, with good coverage (one exception so far: I had one colour that was impossible to handle, Leprechaun. It was so lovely sitting in the bottle but application failed: the texture was uneven, really chunky in fact, and wouldn not dry at all)
  • Smells like almonds = has no stench of solvents, because: solvent-free
  • Dries fast
  • Fine texture, as smooth to apply as any good salon-quality lacquer
  • Some colours don’t need nail polish remover – the colour comes off the nail in sheets without any harm, especially if you’ve soaked your hands in warm water (and I’ve read other reviews stating the same, so this must be a common experience)
  • Vegan
  • Fragrance-free, paraben-free, gluten-free
  • Biodegradable and hypoallegenic
  • Good Outstanding shelf life

On the minus side however:

  • Some colours dry surprisingly to a matte finish, while some are shiny
  • Chips off within hours (2014 update: fixed that somewhat with the base coat product, however, it wouldn’t last for a week despite my nails being uber-healthy)
  • Leaves flakes of colour everywhere once it has started to chip off (2014 update: well, this one is true: once it chips, it chips hard)
  • Yet costs approx. 15$/15€

So while it’s packaged like your common nail polish, it neither feels nor acts like your common nail polish. It’s good enough for a photo, or for one day at work. It lasts a little bit better if you keep your hands moisturised.

Several bloggers suggested using jojoba oil to buff the nails prior to the application, which I tried too. It didn’t help much. My favourite nail care oil (by Talika) could not help improve the stay either. Meeeh.

The silver lining: I get tired of my nail colour after a day anyway. (Yes, why, I’m one of those glass-half-full-freaks)

BLOG TIP + + + BLOG TIP + + + BLOG TIP + + + By looking up further advice on how to make this wonderfully non-toxic but unfortunately zero-lasting lacquer stay longer, I stumbled upon a fantastic blog dedicated to nothing but water-based nail polish that I highly recommend: Pretty Painted Nails. I’m so adding this to my blogroll! BLOG TIP + + + BLOG TIP + + + BLOG TIP + + + BLOG TIP + + + BLOG TIP + + +


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at BEAUTYCALYPSE.com (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

17 Responses

  1. hello! happy to find an other blog speaking about non toxic nail polish!
    as far as i’m using the Scotch Naturals Brand, here some tips:
    -have your nail totally free of sebum
    -DO use the base coat, this really improves the wearing. I wear my manicure about 5 days because i’m not in fond of gloves for dishes Also as they tell in their instructions, the more you wear it, harder it will be to take it off.

    If you want to see i’ve some photos here about how long a water based nail polish lasts

      1. you’re welcome; i’m glad you liked the photos and that you found a way to enjoy this brand.

        The scotch naturals remover is the best non flammable remover i’ve tested yet but i “prepare” my nail by putting my nails in warm water about 2/3 minutes and then. with 2 “pshit” on each hand i let it work, i use a sponge pad and i repeat an other time an thats it. It seems complicated at first sight i guess but it’s the most effective and economic way to take off any nail polish; indeed this remover is even better on solvent based nail polish. With this one, a single bottle lasted a year and a half with 1/2 manicures per week!

        i’ve tried also the keeki pure and simple and seems to me less efficient.

        I’m thinking about trying the priti remover, i’ve seen a lot of good reviews

          1. Yes indeed i’ve tried Suncoat before Scotch Naturals, i really like the peelable system (almost on travel) but i prefer Scotch for their professionnal finish and the wide range of colors, plus they’re more opaque don’t you think?

  2. Scotch Naturals is less toxic than 3 free or even 5 free nail polishes. You do have to follow a very specific application method which requires you to buff jojoba oil into each nail. Unfortunately, because their nail polish doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients, it will have a hard time staying on extremely dry nail beds that are caused from traditional nail polish and acetone nail polish removers. I hope that this helps!


  3. BLYSS chocolate

    thanks love! am interested in these gorgeous mattes. shall also check out “pretty painted nails” 🙂

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