As many of you are well aware (sorry for all the spam), at The Ritualist, we are rapidly expanding our business and reach with our very first concept store opened in Paddington some six weeks ago. Along with the change from pure play to ‘bricks-n-clicks’ we have some exciting new brands and cult beauty finds that we’ve been madly testing and adding to our existing curated list of hair and beauty essentials.
While I’ve always been passionate and nail art and think there is (almost) nothing better than well groomed hands, I’ve been concerned for some time about the growing evidence about the toxicity of nail varnish, not to mention the reports in the media of late around dangers to nail technicians from inhalation of toxic fumes and the alleged low pay and poor conditions that these technicians have to suffer in Australia just to make your hands look great. It is one of those strikingly obvious issues, noticeable every time you go for a cheap mani-pedi, yet like homelessness or domestic violence in this country, too often it goes unreported or ignored.
So when choosing to partner with brands in the nail care department at The Ritualist, ethical integrity and low-chemical innovation were firmly on my list of ‘must haves’ before even engaging with the idea. Frankly, I wanted no part of anything that would possibly damage one’s health in the name of so-called beauty; largely because I need to sleep at night, but mainly because that’s just stupidity in my book!
With that in mind we discovered a relatively new and exciting nail brand that is disrupting the status quo in this controversial part of the beauty industry. Kester Black, founded by Anna Ross, is a high shine, chip-resistant nail polish range that follows the “Five Free Formula” – meaning it contains no Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin or Camphor. Better still, they offer a beautiful selection of hand crafted soaps that contain absolutely no palm oil, parabens, sulfates or petrochemicals. To top it all off, they guarantee that all of their products are 100% vegan and not tested on animals so you can be both morally, and style, conscious.
Anna’s story resonates almost exactly with the reason we started The Ritualist:
“Being an ethical consumer, I believe in the importance of moral purchasing decisions. That is why when I began researching environmentally friendly nail polish and soap brands, I was concerned by the lack of cruelty free and carbon neutral options available. While I did find a few Green alternatives, I was uninspired by the limited selection of colours and fragrances.”
Filling a market gap that consumers and retailers have been crying out for is no mean feat in an industry that is shamefully cemented in its old ways, but Anna Ross has managed to capture significant market share and interest with Kester Black. We are very excited to be partnering with the brand on a number of upcoming initiatives and our expert beauty team, led by Australia’s most celebrated manicurists and skin experts, have hand selected the hottest new colours for Spring/Summer 2016 to feature on the site.
So we are thinking that Nail Art is the perfect way to spend a Saturday or Sunday (or evening) beauty ritual, takes barely any time at all and is caring for you, the environment and those who deserve a fairer workplace. No brainer right? Pour yourself some delicious tea (we love Perfect South Matcha Gen Maicha, which you can buy here), get your KESTER BLACK hand book out so you can follow along and dot yourself to fabulous with your new polishes! Not a polish girl but could use a little nail TLC – try the base and top coats from KESTER BLACK as they offer the highest quality and care for your nails, but without all of those nasty chemicals!
Want to know our faves for the upcoming season? We are obsessed with punchier, fruitier colours in hair, fashion and nails so Kester Black’s new Summer range ticked all of the boxes for us. Here are our top pics:
As seen on the runways of New York Fashion Week, Acid Yellow is this seasons hottest citrus hue!
The almost yearly resurgence of differing hues of coral since 2011 makes us wonder if this punchy pink ever went out of style?
Anyone who collabs with this band gets a big Ritualist tick. Better still, your fingers will be getting substantial attention with this delightful and punchy sky blue adorning their tips!
So there you have it – style and a better ethical framework to boot! Let us know how you go and be sure to grab a copy of KESTER BLACK’s Hand Book, which has all the tips and tricks you need to get creative with your new weekend ritual!