I’ve loved painting my nails since I was a kid. I’ve bought all kinds of polishes and colors since I was a kid. I’ve had a dryer since I was a teenager. I even bought the thin tiny polishes to do designs (shoddy palm trees and art deco lines) and done bi-weekly touch-ups to make me feel like a pretty princess. Hey, sometimes we all need to pamper ourselves to get through a hard day or week.
With my love of all things nails, I was interested in checking out Breukelen Polished, a new nail polish line started by best friends Ariel Terry and Tauaishu Porter.
The women, 24-year-olds with a love for nail art born and bred in Brooklyn, recently started the line, which is an ode of sorts to the city. And the 14 colors featured in their line are just as energetic as the colors you spot walking around a Bed-Stuy, a Crown Heights, or a Prospect Park. As Terry put it, “When we thought about our line, we wanted it to represent everything Brooklyn.” And that includes the name, which is inspired by the town in the Netherlands that “Brooklyn” originated from.
“As we were doing research, looking into Brooklyn, where Brooklyn came from, we found that the name was brought over here from the Dutch. There’s a city in the Netherlands that is named Breukelen. So we went with the original spelling,” Terry said. “We came up with Breukelen Polished. And the ‘Polished’ part is everything that Brooklyn is becoming. It’s like the new Manhattan. It fit perfect for us.”
I was given three distinct shades. The colors were fun plays on all things Brooklyn: Do It B.I.G., an iridescent shade,Chill Son, a creamy yellow, and my personal favorite, Quarta Wata. The latter shade is a pale blue, a fun take on the small, colored sugar waters you can find at bodegas. “If you bought a sandwich and chips, you would also get a quarter water, and that was like your meal of the day [laughs],” Porter said.
I applied the polish to my nails, excited about the color, and most importantly, by the idea that it was five-free. What is five-free polish? A nail polish that is without formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, camphor, and formaldehyde resin, which are all potentially dangerous ingredients. After dealing with the harsh effects of toxic polishes, Terry and Porter wanted to provide people with something better, something healthier–but without a loss of quality.
“I’ve actually had a nail infection, a fungus infection,” Terry said. “You can treat a nail infection with medication. But if you continue to get your nails done and the polish isn’t five-free, the infection can come back. It’s not really healthy for your nails. We’re all on this health kick. Everybody wants to eat kale and drink green smoothies [laughs]. So why not have something that’s healthy for you on your body? You can use it and not ingest any harmful substances.”
That was quite the perk. Even more of a perk is the fact that the colors are quite vivid. After two quick applications, the blue popped and stood out to my coworkers when I entered the office the next day. As a five-free polish, the scent wasn’t strong. And because it’s such a thoughtfully made brand of polish, after almost a week, it is still sitting on my nails, vibrant as ever, chipping be damned.
If you would like to test Breukelen Polished for yourself, you can purchase one of the vintage bottles for $10 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (the ladies are putting the finishing touches on their website so you can buy the products there in the coming weeks). You can also check out their Instagram page to link up with the ladies for orders. Terry and Porter are also working on getting the polishes into small boutiques around the city, and taking part in festivals and pop-up shops.
Their nail hustle has come a long way, which is a big deal for the two besties out of BK. At one point, the accomplished 24-year-olds weren’t so sure about starting a collection. “Don’t be ashamed to go and share your work with people and sell your products to them. That was my issue,” Porter said. “I’m very reserved and I had a problem telling people that I had a nail polish line coming out. Believe you’re great before anybody else does. If you don’t believe in your product, no one else will.”
They are now encouraging other young women with big dreams to go hard–in true Brooklyn fashion.
“Just do it. If you have an idea, write it down. Figure out how to do it and go forth with it,” Terry said. “If not now, when are you going to do it? You say, ‘Oh, I’ll wait a year. And then a year comes, and you get caught up with something else, and it’s like, ‘Oh, I don’t have time.’ If you want to do it, do it and be confident about it. And go all the way. Don’t sell yourself short.”
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