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Just Call Me Sacajawea…Part 2

I told you I was forgetting some pitfalls. Thanks to some emails with follow-up questions, I realized I forgot one of the most important ones (well, for the ladies out there anyway):
g) Nail Polish/Manicures: As a lifelong violinist, I can count on one hand the number of manicures I’ve ever had. (Well actually, I can count it on one finger.) Short fingernails are key if you want to hit the right notes. Not to mention, my orchestra director frowned upon anyone’s fingers standing out during a performance…so I spent my teenage and high school years manicure-free and relatively nail-polish-free. I branched out into the nail polish world during my college years but still no manicures since I was playing violin 2 nights a week. Fast forward a few years. My gluten-free life had just begun and I was getting ready to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding. Some of our friends were heading to the salon in preparation for the big weekend and for once I didn’t have any violin-playing responsibilities on the horizon…so I figured why not? Well, much to my dismay, I was feeling ill each time I ate for the next 24 hours before I put it all together. That pungent smell of newly manicured nails hit my nose as I was snacking on a handful of almonds…and that sinking feeling hit me in the gut. I ran to the internet. Sure enough, not all nail polish is gluten free!! And certainly not all those fancy lotions they use to make your hands oh-so-soft.  So before you make the same mistake and contaminate every single thing you touch(literally), here are some safe brands to consider before you beautify those nails:
    1)  OPI– Yes, that brand carried in most salons (with the fantastic names for each color).  According to their rep (and my own experience over the past 2 years) all the COLORS are gluten-free…BUT NOT ALL for their clear nail-strengthening polishes and topcoats. They are super responsive and helpful so if you have any doubt, don’t hesitate to contact them. (

   2)   Piggy Paint: For those of you who can’t stand that nail polish smell (AKA acetone), Piggy Paint has a great line of odorless, hypoallergenic polishes! They use all-natural ingredients (which you can actually pronounce) and they have tons of colors. They also have a really awesome hypoallergenic nail polish remover. It does contain corn for those of us with corn issues, but after a good hand-wash, I’d still say it’s safer than a typical remover. Also, free shipping in the US if you spend over $ either stock up, or shop with a friend!! (
      3)  Keeki Pure and Simple: Everything they make is gluten-free, vegan, never-animal-tested, and as the name suggests: pure and simple. I’ve only used their nail polish (which I loved) but I’ve heard their nail polish remover is also great too. They also carry skincare products, sunscreen, lip balms, etc. It’s worth checking out. (

As for the manicure itself, honestly I’d suggest skipping it. I mean you can bring all your own lotions and color, etc. but at that point why pay someone to do it for you? Just have your friends over and do it yourself! If everyone is heading to the spa, treat yourself to a pedicure if you really need to unwind…the chances of your toenails contaminating anything are minute. At least I hope so…

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