Manicures have always been a fun past time to partake in with our girlfriends. They’re not terribly expensive, and you can sit there chatting while your toes and nails are getting all prettied up! And then all that information about toxic ingredients, cancer-causing, birth defects…ugh. What’s a green girl to do when she wants to get all gussied up?

How’s about a DIY eco manicure?

Step 1: Put a small dab of good quality oil (geranium, grapeseed, Vitamin E, sweet almond, olive, etc) on cuticles and gently push cuticles back with an orangewood stick (available in beauty supply stores). Do not clip cuticles. They help protect your fingernails from bacteria.

Step 2: Fill a bowl with warm water and several drops of the oil. Soak each hand for 3-4 minutes. Alternately you can soak your hands in warm whole milk.

Step 3: Exfoliate your hands with a homemade exfoliant. Try this almond and honey hand exfoliant .

Step 4: Apply a ridge-filling base coat to your fingernails, then apply color. After color has dried, add a clear top coat. Ensure the chosen products do not contain the following: toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), formaldehyde. (Read more about dangerous nail polish ingredients here).

Try these non-toxic nail polish brands: Zoya, Polished Mama, Acquarella,

P.S. When you’re ready to remove the nail polish, opt for soy or water-based, acetone-remover (avoid alcohol-based). Try Priti soy-based polish remover.