Saturday, 28 April 2012

Scotch Naturals Seaboard Swatches and Review

Hello folks, my exams are finally over and the summer break is a-calling! I imagine balmy summer afternoons spent lazing on an armchair, a good book and a glass of Tom Collins in hand, though what will most probably happen is a summer job to support my spending habits, which have been put on hold by the "recession" that has hit my bank account.

Regardless of my summer job plans, I have other big plans for my approximately 3-month long break before I head to Switzerland on student exchange of about 4 months. Yes that's right, I'm heading off to the land of cheese fondue and snowy mountains. Fret not, I'll still be updating the blog from time to time. As for my summer plans: I recently jumped onto the DIY nail polish jewellery bandwagon! I've always been a creative person, and love doing crafty things. After seeing so many beautiful nail polish jewellery and accessories made by many talented nail polish lovers out there, I have decided to try my hand at making them too. I got some ring bases and glass cabochons recently, and will be posting updates on this project soon as a few of these rings materialise, heh.

To start off my exciting summer break, let me introduce you to a brand of water-based nail polish I've been really curious about. I'd been hearing a lot about water-based nail polish, but never had the chance to try it until Andrea from SG Nails kindly sent me Scotch Naturals Seaboard for review!

I ripped open the package in record time, and found a mass of bubble wrap waiting for me, which I proceeded to rip open too, unearthing this gem...

Read on for swatches and review!

Scotch Naturals Seaboard is a beautiful deep inky blue polish contained within a rectangular glass bottle, capped with a sturdy black plastic cap. The label design is minamalist yet classy, reminiscent of scotch whiskey labels.

It was love at first sight. Of course, being a discerning nail polish user, I was curious about the ingredients that went into formulating this water-based nail polish. 

What's in it?
The thing that struck me about this list is that it only contains 4 ingredients, with water as the top ingredient. According to the clever little card containing instructions and notes that came with the polish, Scotch Naturals nail polishes are non-toxic and eco-friendly and do not contain chemical emulsifiers that are present in most nail polishes. It is safe enough for pregnant women and those with health problems to use, making it an attractive alternative to nail polishes that contain unsafe chemicals (non B3-free etc.)

How about the smell?
Upon opening the bottle, I noticed that the smell of the polish is tolerable and definitely not as strong as other nail polishes, even those that are B3-free. I remember a blogger commenting that it smelt like chocolate. I think it smells more like wet paint, but nothing too strong or intolerable.

How was the application?
While the instructions recommended two coats of polish, followed by the Scotch Naturals top coat, I did three coats with no top coat. The first two coats applied smooth as butter but dried slightly streaky. Even with the third coat it was patchy in places under strong sunlight. Seaboard dried semi-matte but still glossy and smooth. I was very pleased with the colour, a murky deep blue-green colour that strongly reminds me of the underwater depths in which giant sea monsters lurk... The uneven patches only served to heighten the murky effect, so that wasn't a real problem.

Did you like the colour?
Yes, a million times yes! Seaboard is an elusive nail polish that looks very different under different lighting conditions. Under strong sunlight, it appeared to be blue-green and sun-dappled, reminiscent of the sea, its waves constantly in motion as shafts of water pierce its depths. Under white light and in shade, it appeared to be an inscrutable navy blue that was close to black, like the sea at night, dark and abysmal, ready to ensnare all living creatures in its thrall. Truly, it lived up to its sea-inspired name - ever-elusive, with depths one cannot fathom. I couldn't quite capture Seaboard's dazzling facets of colour though - it looked too blue in every picture I took. Interestingly, Seaboard is navy in the bottle, but blue-green on the nails. Once again, this difference couldn't be captured by the camera.

This first picture comes closest to representing the true colour of Seaboard - a dark, brooding blue-green bordering on teal, that lures you into its depths. Here's Seaboard looking a little more navy-blue, as it appears under white light and in shade.

I don't have another colour like Seaboard, and couldn't help staring at my nails for the whole day.

How about the wear time? Does it stain?
I'm sad to say that Seabord started chipping within about 4 hours. Tip wear was most evident on my middle finger and least on my pinkie. I'm giving Scotch Naturals the benefit of doubt, because the instructions state that
Scotch Naturals WaterColors works best with healthy, hydrated nails. If you have dry, parched nails, your first couple coats of polish may chip or streak.
That sounds like the problem many a nail enthusiast had when they tried Scotch Naturals polishes for the first time. To solve this problem, the instructions recommend buffing jojoba oil into the nails before polishing so as to "hydrate the nails and create a longer lasting bond" with the polish. It's really too bad I don't have jojoba oil on hand to try this out. Perhaps a long period of using Scotch Naturals polishes instead of others will also help my nails become stronger, allowing the Scotch Naturals polishes to adhere better to them. It's also possible that the top coat (not available at SG Nails) could have extended the wear time and prevented chipping.

By the way, there was absolutely no staining! A++ for that.

Okay great, but how do I remove water-based polishes?
You can use normal nail polish remover or Scotch Naturals soy-based nail polish remover, which does not contain acetone and is much better for the health of your nails.

So, should I buy it?
To sum up my review, Scotch Naturals Seaboard is a lovely blue-green coloured polish that really represents the murky depths of the sea and lives up to its name. Application was smooth and hassle-free, and the smell was inoffensive. You need to be cautious about applying the polish though, because mistakes cannot be cleaned up with acetone/nail polish remover since it's a water-based polish. You must also be sure to wait long enough (1-3 minutes) between coats, or the polish will drag and create uneven patches.

Wear time for me was poor, with the polish chipping after about 4 hours. This could be due to my less than ideal nail health and the absence of top coat though, so I definitely have to test it out for a longer period to give a more conclusive opinion of wear time. For polish enthusiasts who have unhealthy, peeling nails, you should give Scotch Naturals a shot and give your nails a break from chemicals. I personally feel that Scotch Naturals is a healthy alternative to other non water-based polishes, and will continue using it to test its claim that as you
continue to use our conditioning polishes your nails will become healthy and stronger without the use of jojoba oil, allowing your polish to shine in all its eco-chic glory. 
It's a big claim, but I hope it works to create and maintain healthy nails! Scotch Naturals WaterColors nail polishes can be purchased locally from SG Nails for S$22.90.

Once again, I'd like to say a big thank you to Andrea for kindly allowing me to review and share this gorgeous nail polish on my blog. Do visit her e-store for more polishes including a-england, Art Club, Color Club, Models Own and Nerd Lacquer!

Have you tried Scotch Naturals nail polishes? What are your opinions on water-based nail polishes?

EDIT: I added a "How to remove" section, because I noticed some people were searching for ways to remove water-based polish.

Disclaimer: I received this product for review. My opinions are completely honest and solely my own. No compensation was received for this review.

Rachel loves sharing about the beautiful things in life from different perspectives. She writes on beauty and lifestyle in Cherchez Beauté , and does more abstract stuff on Antelune . When she's not writing, she's playing with her dog Holly, doodling and reading fiction. You can follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .