Episode 41:

Get Inspired by Non-Toxic Nail Polish

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What would you do if something that you loved was having a severe negative impact on your health? Would you start your own company and find a better way of doing that very thing that was hurting you? That’s what Arieal (Ari) Smith-Liburd did when she discovered that the nail polish she was using was causing a severe allergic reaction that included itchy rashes and bubbles in her nails.


In this episode, we learn from Suite Eleven’s founder, Ari, about the chemicals & other unsavory ingredients lurking in “regular” nail polish, why non-toxic nail polish is a better choice, and what you give up by going non-toxic (hint: nothing but the toxic ingredients). We also talk about what motivated Ari to start Suite Eleven, what influences her color choices, and how she balances her drive for perfection with taking care of herself.

This inspiring conversation is about so much more than just nail polish. 

Episode Recap:

Interview with Arieal Smith-Liburd  - 2:37

“You Want Me To Do What??” section - 34:32


  • After turning 18, Ari woke up with a full-body rash, which led her down a path to figure out that she had allergies to a variety of foods and chemicals. She had to do a lot of trial & error, paying attention to what she ate & what products she used to figure out exactly what she was allergic to.

  • Certain chemicals in “regular” nail polish are used to extend the wear & durability of the nail polish, but the chemicals can be harmful.

  • Ari decided to start Suite Eleven because she wanted to create something that she loved while showing her siblings and community that they could have/do something that they were taught that they couldn’t have. She also wanted to show that you don’t have to give up what you love for your health.

  • Vegan nail polish signifies that no animals or animal parts are used in creating or testing the nail polish.

  • 10-Free means the nail polish is free of the top 10 hazardous chemicals commonly found in nail polish (Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide,  Xylene, parabens, animal by-products, and fragrance). These chemicals are known to cause things such as skin irritation, cancer, mental impairment, and fertility issues.

  • Suite Eleven is inspired by Ari’s mom, and their shared love for getting their nails done.

  • Non-toxic nail polish can be as vibrant and last as long as other “regular” nail polishes.

  • Ari’s top nail care tips:

    • Always use a base & top coat

    • Don’t bite your nails

    • Use cuticle oil

    • Hydrate your hands regularly

  • Body butter brands that Ari recommends for hydrating your hands:

  • Ari’s tips for making changes to a healthier lifestyle:

    • Start small

    • Do one thing at a time

    • Treat yourself sometimes