After Being Diagnosed With Crohn's Disease, This Entrepreneur Created A Health Conscious Nail Polish & Acetone Free Remover Brand
Over a year ago we featured a roundup feature of Black-owned non-toxic nail polish brands. Now, we’re continuing the conversation because nail polish is such an over looked aspect of the beauty industry when we’re discussing healthier alternatives.
We chatted with Bethany Jennene, the founder of Taupe Coat who not only has 10-free nail polishes but also has non-acetone nail polish remover. As Black consumers in particular are moving away from chemical laden beauty products, towards cleaner beauty products, Taupe Coat’s new plant-based nail polish remover works as good as acetone and is better for you!
Check out this interview:
When and why did you start Taupe Coat? What inspired the name?
I decided to start Taupe Coat in 2015. During the day, I'm an attorney, which can be consuming and stressful. I did not (and never want to become) so caught up in my job that it becomes my whole life. So I started looking for a hobby to do after work. Something that was just for me, that was entirely fun, but would bring me some much needed joy. So I started mixing my own nail polish. The first few were really bad and would chip within HOURS. But eventually, I started sourcing from higher quality suppliers and figured out the right recipes through trial and error. Regarding the name, one night, I was just brainstorming brand names. I had a list of like 50 by this time. I LOVE plays on words and when I thought of Taupe Coat, I knew it was perfect. I pronounce taupe like "top" and yes, I know I'm pronouncing it incorrectly, but its my brand! It was kind of freeing for me to decide that I was going to say a word how I please. And its worked out well. I usually get about one message a month from someone who just wanted to tell me that they love the name.
How did being diagnosed with Crohn's disease inspire your brand?
I started wearing low toxin polish because of my Crohn's diagnosis. Once I was diagnosed, I was put on some pretty harsh medicines. I knew that I didn't want to stay on those drugs forever, and if I was going to make that a reality, I had to start treating my body better so that eventually, I would be able to wean myself off. So I changed my eating habits and started being very mindful of the things that I put on my body. My mom introduced me to 3-free nail polish, and once I realized that there was low toxin polish out there, I was hooked. I pretty much exclusively bought vegan nail polish until I decided to make my own.
Although vegan/non toxic nail polish brands are on the rise, there aren't a lot of nail polish removers. Tell us what makes your nail polish remover a healthier option?
After I got Taupe Coat off the ground, I knew that if I was going to sell vegan polish, I needed a vegan nail polish remover. I've been working on our remover for about a year now and I'm really happy to introduce it to the market. Succulent, our nail polish remover, is a healthier option than acetone because its derived from natural ingredients - is plant based. Soy beans are a major ingredient. It also has a low vapor pressure which means that its less likely to get down into your lungs when you inhale. Plus, Succulent is Vitamin E infused. Vitamin E has antioxidants that help prevent them from turning yellow, and also moisturizes your hands/cuticles (unlike acetone which we all know drys your hand out). Plus the Vitamin E strengthens brittle nails. Its almost like an oil treatment and remover in one.
Does being a Black woman / woman of color inspire your brand? If so how/why?
DEFINITELY. Right now, wellness and vegan brands are on the rise, and for good reason, because we all should be doing whatever we can to be kinder to our bodies. BUT when you look at the industry, its largely dominated by white women, when Black women, and women of color generally, have greater health disparities than their white counterparts. If anyone needs clean, healthy beauty products, its us! As Black women, we are well aware that if we don't care about ourselves, no one else will. So I see Taupe Coat as a part of the movement to bring healthy beauty to our community. I want to reinvest into the lives of other Black women, and as Taupe Coat grows, I see us being a force that helps encourage other women of color to join the clean beauty industry as both business owners and consumers.