Inside New York's Hottest Nontoxic Nail Salon

Sundays Studio‘s story began like so many other modern startups: After launching a successful chain of traditional nail salons four years ago, beauty entrepreneur Amy Ling Lin noticed a gap in the pro manicure space. “I realized that there was a huge problem in the nail industry; the nail polishes contained ingredients that are toxic and can harm both the customer and employee,” Lin told Amodrn. And so, New York’s chicest, most minimalist nontoxic nail salon was born.

Located in Nomad, New York, Sundays takes a new, healthier approach to manicures, using only earth-friendly, non-toxic polishes and fresh home-made hand lotions and scrubs on clients derived from essential oils and coconut milk. Meditation is also integrated into treatments for that full ‘look good, feel good’ experience.

Lin’s natural focus isn’t just about appealing to health-centric customers, she’s also trying to lead a revolution for staff working in the industry. “Nail care is a small step towards self-care. Just think, your favorite nail artist will be exposed 50 more times in a week to toxic chemicals found in most salons! Your nail specialists breathe in the product, and we care about keeping them safe, as well as your hands,” she explained. That means using 10-free and 7-free nail polishes, and a non-acetone polish remover from Zoya, which is more gentle than other acetone-based products (which means healthier nails!).

sundays studio
Image via Sundays Studio

Specifically, the ingredients Lin avoids at Sundays (and you should too!) are dibutyl phthalate, toluene, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, parabens, TPHP and tert-butyl hydroperoxide. When you see polishes labelled as 10-free, these are the ingredients they’re avoiding. (Find out more about their harmful effects here).
Sundays Studio
Image via Sundays Studio

Her salon also uses products that are free of ingredients that could be derived from animals, because, as Lin puts it, “that would be gross!” Shockingly, animal products are actually quite commonly used at traditional nail salons. “Animal-derived chemicals like plasticizer and preservatives are to ensure the durability of the polish but can seriously affect your hormones and cause respiratory irritation, dizziness and headaches. We don’t want this for our beloved clients or our cherished staff,” Lin said.

As well as traditional shape-and-polish manicures, Sundays uses a 7-Free polish called NYLCA to offer longer-lasting, gel nails, and cute-as-hell nail art. Exhibit A and B:

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