PAX Polish RAYDAR Interview

PAX Polish: An Innovative and Nourishing Approach to Nail Health

Meet PAX Polish, the groundbreaking nail beauty brand that perfectly blends style, health, and sustainability. Born from the vision of its founder, Emma Louise Paxton, it’s an Australian-made, female-founded brand that has quickly gained the admiration of beauty bloggers, eco-conscious consumers, and animal lovers alike.

Emma’s quest for a natural, health-enhancing nail polish without compromising on performance led her to create an innovative formula boasting 82% sustainable plant sources and enriched with active nutrients and botanicals. The 10 Free promise guarantees the exclusion of ten harmful ingredients commonly found in conventional nail polishes, such as formaldehyde, toluene, and animal-derived ingredients. PAX Polish is a clean, cruelty-free, and vegan alternative that delivers a high-quality, long-lasting manicure without sacrificing your well-being or the environment.

The PAX Polish experience is as luxurious as it is eco-friendly, offering quick-drying, flawless color coverage with a radiant, glossy finish that is chip-resistant. The unique color and treatment formula promotes nail health through a blend of active ingredients, including celery seed extract, and pomegranate seed oil, as well as vitamins B and E. With PAX, you can truly have it all: on-trend nail colors, a glossy finish, and nourished, healthy nails.

Since its debut in 2021, the brand has captured the hearts of beauty enthusiasts everywhere, proving that a glamorous manicure can also promote nail health. So, get ready to indulge in the world of PAX Polish and treat yourself to a guilt-free, eco-friendly mani that shines in more ways than one.

What inspired you to pursue a career in beauty, specifically in nails?

For me, nail polish has always been about 2 things: self-care and self-expression. The seeds of PAX were sown when I was pregnant and started investigating the ingredients in the nail polishes I was using. I found there were a lot of nasties that I didn’t want to use, whether I was pregnant or not. And there is something about a fresh mani that just makes me feel like I’ve got my life together, I didn’t want to give it up!

So, I went on the hunt for something more natural, something that enhanced nail health and still delivered superior performance. I began trying various green brands. Some didn’t work well, some had packaging to make them look natural when they really weren’t. I found that what I wanted didn’t exist. 

After a year and a half of perfecting a clean and green formula, that I felt really proud of, I launched my own Australian-made eco-lux alternative in PAX Polish.

Can you walk us through the creative process when it comes to putting together a nail polish collection?

I’m kind of obsessed with beauty and fashion trends – past, present, and tick-tocking. I am constantly inspired by our friends on the internet, I love questioning what draws me in. Whether it’s a trend, a style, or a color – I break it down, see if there’s an opportunity to make it my own. 

It’s so important to run with your ideas, see where they take you but also be ready to cut your losses and move on if something doesn’t work. We release colors seasonally, there is always a new collection in development.

Let’s talk about the formulas, what can you tell about the active ingredients in your polish and how they benefit nail health?
Nail care is just as important as skincare. There’s been a real shift from nails that just look good to nails that are healthy too. I think it makes total sense. It’s a widely known fact that you should check the label on anything you put on your body. This doesn’t just apply to skincare – the same goes for your nails, too. Since they’re porous, your nails absorb any substance you put on them. Cuticles are also sensitive.

At PAX our superior, eco-luxe formula not only looks and feels great, it promotes nail health. With PAX you’re treating and coloring your nails at the same time – the formula is enriched with carefully selected active ingredients:

  • Celery seed extract aids in nail repair and cell regrowth, helping to restore and rebuild beautiful nails.
  • Pomegranate seed oil is high in omega 5 fatty acid levels, delivering strong anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties by helping to fend off free radicals.
  • Vitamin B helps to promote healthy cell growth and aids in the metabolism of protein-building amino acids that are essential for nail growth.
  • Vitamin E has moisturising benefits that help prevent peeling, cracked and yellowing nails.

I love the bottle that the polish comes in—How did you come up with the design for the applicator?

Thank you, I love it too! When it came to designing our packaging, I really wanted to embrace the “more-than-just-a-pretty-face” aesthetic with a design that was feminine and doubled down on functionality. Solving common polishing pain points – leverage, comfort, control – was key. After all, painting your own nails can either be a soothing experience or a demoralizing mess, depending on how ambidextrous and steady your hands are.

After countless design iterations, I was finally happy, and sure that an at-home manicure could fall under the former description. Our wand is designed to be a natural extension of your hand allowing for more accuracy and control – especially when painting with your non-dominate hand. The brush – which is equally important – is rounded & precise letting you get in close, achieving accuracy with minimal strokes. Together they empower you to an easier, better, faster mani.

Having mastered at-home manicures and created your own formulas, are there any nail care tips and tricks you live by?
Mastering the art of an at-home manicure is a life skill that will serve you well. I have picked up some tips and tricks along the way from the best in the biz. 

Shape. Always remove your existing polish before you shape your nails, you need to be able to see your nail bed to follow its shape. Also, follow the 90/10 rule — 90% of your shape comes from your nail clipper, 10% from filing. If you’re wondering about shape–rounded nails (mirroring the shape of your cuticle) that extend just over the edge of the fingertip always look chic. 

Cuticles. Softly but firmly push back the cuticle with a cuticle pusher. Do not trim your cuticles, it can lead to breakage, rips, and tears, and ultimately an infection in your nail bed.

Base coat: yes always! It preps and primes your nails by smoothing the nail surface and blurring flaws, for a more uniform color application.

Color. Apply two thin coats of color. Start in the middle of the nail bed and work your way to the sides in thin, even coats. Let your polish settle onto the nail, you really shouldn’t need to push it around too much.

Top coat: this is so important. It provides a protective barrier and increases mani longevity. Re-apply every 2-3 days for extended wear and renewed shine.

Much like fashion or anything else in beauty, getting your nails done can be an empowering experience. How do you think different colors of nail polish and nail art reflect a person’s style or attitude?

Are you a sexy red? A classical ballet pink? Or maybe a chic black? Don’t get me wrong I love having a signature nail polish as much as the next person, it’s easy one and done. But as the seasons change, it’s an opportunity to switch up the status quo and try on-trend colors. My advice, try something new, pick a color that will make you happy when I look down at your hands for the next week or two – it’s as simple as that. 

That being said, in comparison to makeup and skincare where there are seemingly new launches every month, the nail industry has been regarded as stagnant in terms of innovation. Do you think there’s still room for more?

From an alternative marketing term to one of the fastest-growing beauty categories, clean beauty is taking up more and more space on our shelves and in our minds. For those who are looking to make the switch to cleaner beauty products, nail polish may not be high on the list of priorities, but perhaps it should be; traditional polishes are laden with chemicals. Luckily, non-toxic alternatives are now available. Not only are these alternatives cleaner and safer, but we also don’t have to sacrifice any of the great qualities you want in a polish, like color, wear time, and shine. 

A premium clean natural nail polish should be 10 Free, plant-based, vegan, cruelty-free, breathable & water permeable. PAX is all of the above.

2020’s pandemic also opened up Pandora’s box when it comes to creative expression. How do you think millennials or Gen-Z view nail polish?

Millennials and Gen-Z, at this moment, are painting their nails – or having them painted – in an act of self-expression designed to signal their mood, their character, their desire, maybe even their politics.

Hands – nails in particular – are not just the “hottest accessory” of the season, as beauty editors at several magazines have pronounced. Nails have become the small, painted canvas of the mind and a silent, powerful voice of unapologetic self-expression of Millennials and Gen-Z.

Do you plan on expanding your brand and making it available in other countries anytime soon?

In the short time since our launch, we have partnered with Sephora and The Iconic in Australia and New Zealand and with Douglas in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Spain.  Get ready to grab PAX in France the US and UK. 

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