Go Polish Free at Tierra Mia Organic Nail Spa!  How can you go wrong with the Columbiana service, nail shape and buff…!

COLOMBIANA Mani/Pedi: Relax as you take in the scent and feel of a beauty ritual that originated on a remote Colombian beach. Hands and feet soak in warm, skin-softening saltwater before being refreshed with calming cucumber-basil puree. Massage with rich, moisturizing shea butter and lemongrass oil follows. The treatment finishes with a cool mist of organic aloe vera gel, nail shape and buff.



This illustration shows components of a healthy fingernail.


Your nails are composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin, which is also found in your hair and skin. Each nail comprises several parts, including the:

  • Nail plate. The nail plate is the part of your nail that’s most visible – the hard portion you see when you look at your fingernail.
  • Nail folds. This is skin that frames each of your nail plates on three sides.
  • Nail bed. Your nail bed is the skin beneath the nail plate. Cells at the base of your nail bed produce the fingernail or toenail plate and are responsible for holding on to the nail plate.
  • Cuticle. Your cuticle is the tissue that overlaps your nail plate at the base of your nail. It protects the new keratin cells that slowly emerge from the nail bed.
  • Lunula. The lunula is the whitish, half-moon shape at the base of your nail underneath the plate.

Your nails grow from the area under your cuticle (matrix), located at the base of the nail. As new cells grow, older cells become hard and compacted and are eventually pushed out toward your fingertips. Nails grow about 0.1 millimeter a day, which means that it takes a fingernail about four to six months to fully regenerate. Toenails may grow at a slightly slower rate. Healthy nails are smooth, without ridges or grooves. They’re uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration.


Rittenhouse Square. Philadelphia. Center City. Best of Philly. Manicure. Pedicure.

According to iVillage.com research, nail care has been a concern since as early as 3000BC. Ming Dynasty records indicate that Chinese royalty painted their finger nails in black and red shades. Egyptian nobles considered deep red nails indication of high status, and Roman warriors painted their nails prior to heading off the enemy. It is likely that a similar idea exists behind nail care today.

Naturally, individuals who take great care with their hygene- even going that extra mile to make their hands bright and colorful- could be perceived as more aware of their surroundings, more in-tuned to themselves, and even wealthier.

Additionally, perhaps the earliest recorded history of nail adornment in China lends support for the reign of Asian populations in the establishment of nail salons.

The Rule

It’s all based on one simple rule: Women want to look perfect. We want to be like the images in magazines and posters. Some women view having perfect nails as an important detail to this image. Women of all types, professions, and ages take part in this ritual. Perfect hands give them confidence, and that helps get the job done.

Tierra Mia Organic Nail Spa


To find an eco-friendly nail salon, you may have to do some legwork. As you ask around, keep in mind that the most important thing when it comes to greener nail care (and in protecting your health) is to minimize or eliminate your exposure to chemicals. That means you’ll want to find a nail salon that uses no- or low-chemical product lines and is adequately ventilated over all other eco-concerns.

  • Inquire at salons in your area: Perhaps the easiest way to find a green nail salon is to call or visit some in your area and ask questions about what they’re doing to reduce their environmental impact and protect the health of their employees and patrons. Questions to ask include:
    • Do you use low-chemical or chemical-free products?Conventional nail polish and nail care products often contain a cocktail of chemicals—such as acetone, toluene, ethyl acetate, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and formaldehyde—that can pollute the environment during production and threaten human health when inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Products that are labeled as free of these chemicals, and those that are labeled as water- or plant-based or low-VOC are safer for the environment and human health.
    • Is the salon adequately ventilated? Even with low-chemical products in use, a good nail salon should be adequately ventilated so that the place doesn’t have that heady chemical smell when you walk in the door. Many of the chemicals used in nail care products pollute indoor air and cause health problems when inhaled.
    • Does the salon itself feature any eco-friendly attributes? Some nail salons have made improvements to the salon itself, such as installing energy-efficient lighting and energy-saving equipment, or using renewable bamboo flooring. Even better, ask if the salon is powered by solar or wind energy.
    • Do you recycle? In addition to ensuring that the salon you choose recycles their nail polish bottles and other supplies, ask if they use products housed in eco-friendly packaging, made from recycled-content materials.
    • Do you use natural cleaning products and laundry detergents?Methods used by your salon to clean laundry, instruments, and building structures should also be green. Ask if they use natural cleaning products, laundry detergents, and pest control techniques.
    • What sanitation measures do you follow? Health risks associated with nail salons that do not involve chemicals primarily involve bacterial infections that can be picked up easily if tools and equipment are not properly cleaned and sterilized. For example, in 2000, 110 patrons of a Santa Cruz, California, nail salon contracted infections from a pedicure bath with an uncleaned filter.[1] Make sure that the salon you choose properly sanitizes all equipment and follows strict sanitation policies.


Acquarella created a water-based, non-toxic, environmentally friendly, non-flammable, virtually odorless, free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates and other noxious chemicals nail polish that’s so safe you could actually ingest it without any permanent damage.

Be forewarned: Once you start using Acquarella you’re not going to want to use anything else. And at that point, your entire cabinet of nail polish products will be obsolete. And the next time you finish a bottle of Acquarella polish, wash and recycle it. It’s that clean.

Acquarella develped a  nail care system based on the most prevalent compound in the human body – water.





Tips and tricks
While WaterColors Nail Enamel may look and act like traditional solvent-based polish, it does have its eccentricities. Most of our customers tell us they would rather have to do an extra step if necessary rather than use polishes which contain potentially toxic ingredients. Here are some special instances and ideas which can help you create the perfect manicure.

1) Dry Nails
We’ve found that individuals with dry skin and dry nails tend to have a more difficult time removing our polish. For those folks, we recommend moisturizing the nails first before applying polish. Rub a little cuticle oil (or any good oil like jojoba, sweet almond, olive, etc.) into nails until the shininess disappears and the oil is absorbed into the nail. Then polish the nails as usual. You may want to remove the polish after one week of wear. Moisturize after removing polish.

2) Cold Temperatures
Since our polish is water-based, it can thicken in cold temperatures. We recommend storing our polish at normal room temperature. If polish does thicken, add ONE drop of water to bottle and shake well. This should return the polish to normal consistency. If it does not, the polish had been too cold for too long and needs to be replaced.

3) Length of Wear
It’s rare we ever hear that our polish doesn’t last long enough. However, if you find the polish isn’t wearing as long as expected, the problem probably comes back to application. We recommend that you try to polish your nails at night if possible. Though our polish is tack free in no time, it takes longer to cure at the molecular level than traditional polish. So the longer you give it to set up without exposure to water, etc., the better it will wear. That being said, everyone wears polish differently. How long the polish lasts on you also depends on your body chemistry, daily activities and environmental exposure. Applying a clear top coat can extend the wear of polish. We also recommend a base clear coat under our darker colors such as Vintage Merlot, Risque and Desire.

4) Removal
The film that is formed by the water-based system becomes more difficult to dissolve as time passes. For this reason, we recommend you remove the polish at or before one week of wear the first time you use our polish. Apply Honeybee Gardens Odorless Remover to a cotton ball or remover pad. Hold the wetted cotton ball on the nail for a few seconds, and then proceed to rub the polish off while applying gentle pressure. Do not scrape at the nail. It may take a few swipes longer than you’re used to, but the product will come off. People with dry, ridgy or porous nails may need to work at it a bit longer. Acetone-based removers will not work because this is not a solvent-based system. Wash hands with soap and water thoroughly after removal. If you have naturally dry skin, you may also want to use a moisturizer. Some customers have told us they have success applying our remover to a piece of white craft felt or even an old white gym sock (turned inside out) and then using it to remove the polish. The added texture from these items helps to hold the remover on the surface of the nail better and acts as a gentle exfoliant to better remove the polish.

Tierra Mia Organic Nail Spa


“Without getting too technical, let’s explore the fundamental differences between solvent-based and water-based systems. Solvent- based polishes are simple solutions of nitrocellulose resins in strong solvents. Nitrocellulose is used because it forms a very hard film easily as the solvents evaporate from the base. These harsh, bad-smelling solvents, are then also used to remove the polish by dissolving the film. By contrast, water-based polish uses an emulsion resin in the form of billions of very small particles suspended in water. As the water evaporates, the particles touch each other and form a hard film which is no longer soluble in water. At first, it may seem that these systems are similar, the only difference being the carrier base. But they are in fact as different as night and day. One cures by reversible solvent evaporation, the other by creating a tightly knit film. One is easily dissolved, the other not so easily. Several states are beginning to regulate VOCs (volatile organic compounds) emitted by nail polishes and nail polish removers. WaterColors Nail Enamel has very low VOCs.”


Rittenhouse Square. Philadelphia. Center City. Best of Philly. Manicure. Pedicure.

Choose water-based instead of chemical solvent-based nail polish: Conventional nail polish is usually made of about 70 percent chemical solvents, which, when applied, evaporate into the air and give off chemical fumes which the user then inhales. Water-based nail polish replaces most or all of these chemicals with water. Specifically, look for those that say “water-based” on the label and proclaim to be free of the following chemicals:

  • acetone: A solvent used in nail polish, nail polish removers, and astringents that can cause nausea, ear, nose, and throat irritation, and dermatitis. Can contaminate waterways in production and pollutes indoor air: its presence tends to be higher inside homes than outside due to the use of chemical products.
  • benzophenone-1: Can lead to hormone disruption.
  • benzoyl peroxide: Inhalation of this plastics additive can irritate mucous membranes and has been shown to promote cancer in animal studies.
  • dibutyl phthalate (DBP): A specific phthalate, common in nail polish to prevent chipping and add shine, that studies have shown can interfere with normal hormone balance, can cause severe birth defects, and is a suspected carcinogen. Phthalates have also been shown to cause liver, kidney, lung, and reproductive system damage, and the production of phthalates pollutes the air, water, and soil.
  • ethyl lactate or ethyl alcohol: Can lead to neurological damage and irritate the eyes and mucous membranes.
  • formaldehyde: Used as a preservative in some nail polishes, formaldehyde is one of the world’s most hazardous compounds to both ecosystems and health, according to the Environmental Defense Scorecard, and is a known carcinogen.
  • toluene: Used to give nail polish its fluid quality and improve drying time, this solvent is absorbed easily by the body through the skin or inhalation, affecting the nervous system and causing depression, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Toluene has also been found to be toxic to the kidneys and liver and possibly a reproductive disruptor. Toluene is petroleum-based, so its production supports the pollution and greenhouse gases associated with petroleum production.
  • xylene: Like toluene, this chemical solvent is petroleum-derived, toxic, and may be linked to cancer.

Tierra Mia Organic Nail Spa


Conventional nail polish removers use acetone and a cocktail of other chemical solvents, many of which are derived from petroleum and can cause health problems. Green varieties—including acetone-free, water-based, and cruelty-free alternatives—eschew most or all of these chemicals in favor of more earth- and health-friendly ingredients.

What to look for when choosing natural nail polish remover

Find acetone-free nail polish remover: Acetone is the key ingredient in conventional nail polish removers. While it is not a known or probable carcinogen, contact with high levels of acetone can be fatal. Inhaling moderate to high levels of acetone can lead to myriad health concerns, including fatigue, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, ear, nose, and throat irritation, dermatitis, and abdominal pain. This chemical solvent can contaminate waterways in production and pollutes indoor air: its presence tends to be higher inside homes than outside due to its use in household chemical products.

Choose water- or mineral-based, instead of chemical solvent-based, nail polish remover: Conventional nail polish removers are mostly made of chemical solvents, which, when applied, evaporate into the air and give off chemical fumes which the user then inhales. Water- and mineral-based nail polish removers replace most or all of these chemicals with water and other natural ingredients. Specifically, look for those that say “water-based” or “mineral-based” on the label.

Look for nail polish remover that does not employ animal testing: While you’re contemplating green attributes, you may also wish to join the cruelty-free movement. Just keep in mind: a company may claim that they don’t employ animal testing for their products, but without third-party verification, it’s hard to know whether these statements are in fact completely true. 
So stick to those products certified as cruelty-free by looking for products with the Leaping Bunny Logo or the Certified Vegan Logo. You can rest assured that no bunnies (or monkeys or cats for that matter) were harmed in the making of these non-animal-tested products.


“We are replacing the chemicals in conventional nail polish with water,”  “It means that in our bottle, roughly 70 per cent of the nail polish is water, whereas in traditional nail polish, 60 to 70 per cent is chemicals.” Suncoat founder Yingchun Liu.