sheswai lacquer – an eco-chic solution for nails

The we heart this Green Monday review of the breakout brand

photos: Gianna for we heart this

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the easiest, quickest and least expensive way to stay current in the world of fashion can be achieved with the stroke of a brush. A nail polish brush, that is. So allow me to introduce you to a new line of nail lacquer that is not only beautiful and playful, but stylish and green at the same time.

Sheswai Lacquer just might win my award for cutest nail polish bottle ever. Do you see the adorable graphics? And that beautiful wooden handle is a great example of their eco-chic style and is made from “sustainably harvested wood, grown on family owned tree farms”.

As if that weren’t enough Green Monday goodness, Sheswai’s non-toxic formula is big three-free (made without Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde and Toluene). Additionally, a portion of all Sheswai sales are donated to “organizations that help educate, and sustain our beautiful planet”. A company that gives back to people while working to protect the environments is always a plus in my book.

But perhaps the coolest thing about this new line is its founder, Debbie Leavitt. Talk about a dream-career! After several years of working as a manicurist in some of the top salons and spas in Los Angeles, Ms. Leavitt moved on to international fashion campaigns, magazine editorials, film, television, and red carpet events. And not just any ol’ magazine editorials: try Jennifer Hudson’s famous “Got Milk” ad, Lindsey Lohan’s chartreuse nails for Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia, Kate Moss for Donna Karan, Jennifer Lopez for Elle and the list goes on.

So it makes complete sense that someone with this experience, background, and eye for nail color would want to create her own line of lacquers. And my, what lovely lacquers they are! For Sheswai’s introductory collection, Ms. Leavitt “got back to basics” and created 7 colors to “suit any location…or dress.” There are sheers, brights and darks in this collection and the shade I received for review, Totally ($16) is a sophisticated fuchsia crème. In my opinion, it is a rich, deep combination of wine, plum, berry and purple. It’s a stunner.

The formula of Totally is a breeze to apply. It’s smooth, it glides on the nails easily (not too thick, not too thin) and I can achieve almost 100% opacity with just one coat. And two coats is just perfect. I was able to get about four days of wear from this polish before I started to see tip-wear, which is great considering that I’m very rough on my nails.

As for the brush, I think I’m so used to those huge, flat brushes that everyone seems to be using these days that I forgot how lovely a small, round, traditional brush can be. And that is exactly what Sheswai has.

The price tag is a bit steep, but not outrageous. Considering the green formula, eco-chic packaging, charitable donations, great shades and quality formula, I think it is worth the price. I wonder if the review team will agree with me? Don’t forget to check in the comments to hear their thoughts on shades like Honeyfox (a true bright red ), So Cute (a soft peachy coral ), and Perfecto (a natural light beige). I think Sheswai Lacquer is definitely a brand to watch and I cannot wait to see their next collection.

Readers, testers and honeyfoxes, do you agree Sheswai Lacquers are just perfecto?

3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 53 votes, average: 5.00 out of 53 votes, average: 5.00 out of 53 votes, average: 5.00 out of 53 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Check out the entire line at Sheswai Lacquer!

Gianna is our expert on drugstore and budget beauty. She is the writer/editor of Nouveau Cheap, a blog that’s devoted to finding quality products that don’t break the bank.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

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Written by nouveaucheap

24 Comments

  1. Profile photo of lyssachelle
    lyssachelle

    Nail polish is my obsession. I’d change my polish every night if I could. These sound great; I’ve said it before but I really love as company that is bold enough to go, “here. We’ve got these great products in very wearable shades, and that’s all you need.”
    I’m not gonna lie, I do love lots different color options. (I’m sporting an electric green mani right now…) But there are just some colors that you keep coming back to, and it looks like sheswai has them all!

    Great review, G!

  2. Profile photo of Tyna Werner
    Tyna Werner

    First of all, love the pictures @nouveaucheap – purty flower!

    I tested Perfecto – which is perfect for me. I love light beige/pink/white nails. It gives such a clean, polished look AND hides chips better than bright or dark shades. This shade is a sheer beige with a yellow/gold undertone. Two coats give a milky sheen of barely their color, that nicely highlights and flatters nails and hands. I gave myself an at home manicure – so easy with a shade this forgivable – and got almost an entire week – 6 days- before I felt I needed to start anew – a great track record for me, most of my self-manis last a day or two – I’m not gifted in that department!

    As for the brush, I like the classic shape = it was a breeze to work with – three swipes per nail. Add in the eco factors, the totally adorbs bottle and the charitable donation, I’d be willing to pay the $16 price for another bottle. 5 stars for me.
    Tyna Werner recently posted..Faves from my bookshelf- Fall 2010 wishlist

  3. Profile photo of nouveaucheap
    nouveaucheap

    Thanks for all the kind words about my review, ladies!

    I really love “Totally” because, well, what’s not to love? The color is absolutely on-trend (even prettier in person), the formula is flawless, the bottle is gorgeous, it’s eco-friendly and the company gives back to charity. It’s win-win-win! A solid five stars from me.
    Gianna recently posted..My trip to Rite Aid

  4. Profile photo of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    I got to try Honeyfox, and I have to say, I’m kinda in love. It’s a true red, no sparkle, no borderline color description; just bright, pure creamy red. I’ve been so obsessed with holo-foils and chunky glitter lately that I’ve forgotten how pretty clean, shiny color can be. And that’s exactly what this is.

    It really does look great with one coat. I applied 2 out of habit, but I don’t think I will on future applications. And with a top coat, I got a full 4 days without a chip. Makes you wonder what the purpose of those big 3 are anyway?

    I agree with @nouveaucheap, good consistency too!

    I too love the traditional brush. I am not a fan of the flat wide brushes. And the wooden handle, beautiful.

    Yes, $16 is on the high end, but that’s what you are getting; high end. Just for comparison, Lippmann is $18 a bottle, NARS is $16. It’s a splurge for sure, but I think you’ll find they’re worth it (especially if making green choices is important to you). And hey, 1 coat coverage will make the bottle last longer!

    This is an 5 stars from me. Can’t wait to try more!
    Stef recently posted..Thymes Hand Lotion Review – my secret weapon against dry skin

  5. Profile photo of brooklynshoebabe
    brooklynshoebabe

    @Gianna, you’re right, everyone does seem to be using flatter and wider brushes which I actually prefer but they are harder to use when you’re painting the tiny toes of children. As I mentioned before, my daughters like to partake in the mani-pedi routine with Mommy so tiny brushes would be very beneficial. :-) The colors in the photographs are beautiful.

  6. Profile photo of Amanda
    Amanda

    I tested out “So Cute,” and the name says it all!

    I first noticed the wooden handle, as many others have. It was surprisingly light, but had a nice organic feeling in my hands. The bristles are beautiful, no matter how much I use this polish they never stick out at weird angles or drag the polish.
    So Cute is the perfect interview nail polish. It gives a great “my nails but better” look, totally chic! One coat is perfect, not too opaque but not too light, and two coats gives a perfectly opaque, true to the bottle color.

    I love knowing that my polishes are big three free, and knowing that this company is founded on beliefs that I can support I’m tempted to be wooed by the $16 price tag. For an occasional splurge, I’m totally down with the price! Four Stars overall.

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