Please read through to the bottom of this post. I updated it as information developed.
Earlier this summer, it came to Mentality‘s attention that the base they were using for their polish was causing issues for some customers. Many did not experience problems at all. Those that did experience some problems had issues ranging from a slight tingling to nails lifting from the bed. Mentality took this issue very seriously and issued a statement on their social media that if you experience any sensitivity to the polish to cease use immediately.
The owners did quite a bit of research behind the scenes trying to figure out what, exactly, caused the issue. While we’ll never know for sure, they knew they had to change their polish base right away. They have now switched to a base that is commonly used in nail polish across many brands. Update 8-25-2015: I no longer believe this to be true.
Mentality gathered information from the sensitivity reports received and were able to narrow down the base as the culprit, as it was not a particular collection or pigment that was affected, but a variety of products. The common factor was the suspension base. The manufacturer of this base was Arminex. They have since switched back to using base manufactured by Fiabila and Tecvo, whose products were used from 2012-2014 with no issues. To find out exactly what was wrong with the Arminex base will require lab testing. They are also compiling a report to submit to the FDA so that they may get the answers they need. Update 8-25-2015: I no longer believe this to be true. In fact, evidence points to the theory that they may have been adding to or even making their own base with little to no testing. See screenshot from their Facebook page. This comment has since been deleted.
If you have purchased from Mentality from April – June and you are experiencing sensitivity, please contact Mentality directly to have your polishes replaced. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org. As you can imagine, it will take a little time for this to happen as they are replacing many bottles for their customers. As of this writing, there is approximately a two week wait time for replacements. Please be patient. They WILL get everyone taken care of.
There have been some untrue rumors about the timing of what happened. One of the rumors I’d like to correct is that Mentality had a sale to intentionally sell the bad base. This is untrue. Mentality was alerted of an issue with their base by their bloggers at least a week after the first announcement of their summer sale.
Mentality is safe to use, especially since they have gone to a reformulated base. Please keep in mind that issues like this can happen with any company – large or small. Update 8-25-2015: I would not recommend using their polishes regardless of time of purchase. Ashley from Ashley is Polish Addicted has posted an account that this might have been an issue for over a year.
Please join me in supporting Mentality as they continue to make gorgeous polishes and as they continue to do right by their customers.
Update 8-20-2015 12:20pm:
Why didn’t bloggers sound the alarms? The sensitivity and lifting issues occurred slowly over time. The reported issues are not something that would be noticed in a swatching session nor in a day of wearing polish. Bloggers began to notify Mentality in late June. Mentality posted on their social media a few weeks after that. Why did it take that much time? Because none of us were sure what was going on. I believe Mentality acted as quickly as they could have.
Why didn’t Mentality email their customers? I do not have an answer to this question. I do think they should have sent an email in addition to the social media posts they made.
Update 8-20-2015 1:49pm:
Why didn’t Mentality email their customers? Here is the response directly from Mentality:
“Since we posted the announcement to social media, we have been busy responding to emails, filling replacement requests, and filling orders. To take the time I would have needed to email everyone individually, it would have taken far too much away from production [of replacement bottles]. I chose to focus on production so these ladies would get the polish they were asking for.”
Update 8-21-2015 8:48am:
Update 8-23-2015 7:13am:
Mentality will not be able to refund or exchange any more polishes purchased in the April-June timeframe.
If you experience any sensitivity to their product (or any product for that matter), please cease use immediately.
Update 8-23-2015 6:41pm:
This whole situation is a huge clusterf@$k and I will be refraining from making any more updates until things have settled down.
Update 8-25-2015 5:17am
I was going to eat crow for dinner last night but decided to wait until this morning. I didn’t want to write anything in anger. After sleeping on it, I still feel the same way.
These two posts that were on Mentality’s page yesterday were the final straws on this camel’s back. I screenshotted them in case Mentality deletes them. I also left the date and time of my computer in the screenshot so you can see when I took them in relation to the “5 hours ago” information Facebook gives you.
I now admit that I have egg on my face and, a little late to the game, retract an support of Mentality. I am extremely worried about the mental health of both owners – for different reasons.
Thanks for the healthy debate in the comments section both here and on my Facebook page! Now it’s time to put my big girl panties on and go eat crow on social media!
Update 8-25-2015 8:39am:
I have made some updates to the original post. Also, it appears Mentality has (finally) put an announcement on their landing page. Unfortunately, I fear that will be too little too late.
Update 8-25-2015 8:25pm:
I’m starting to see recommendations on how to help your damaged nails heal if you’ve been hurt by the Mentality polishes. This is starting to worry me because the #1 thing you should do is go see a doctor. Or two. A second opinion never hurt anyone. But please, please be very hesitant to follow advice from anyone other than your doctor. This is completely different that the “how do I make my nails grow long” types of advice. This is a medical issue with your nails lifting from the bed and likely fungus growing underneath. That requires medical attention.
Update 8-26-2015 6:29pm:
In the last 24 hours, Mentality has been officially issued a cease and desist order from Arminex. This was posted to Mentality’s Facebook page:
Mentality has now issued a recall for the ‘bad base’ polishes. This is about two months (or a year) too late.
I know that I’m going to be holding on to my polishes for a little while. Why would you send evidence back to an alleged criminal? I believe in innocent until proven guilty but you still keep the evidence in a safe location!
Updated 8-27-2015 6:20am
OH NOOOO!!! It’s happening. Found this listing on ebay. I’m sending this response! I hope she takes it down!!
This might be the worst case yet….this Mentality user got a staph infection and had to wear gloves to protect her family!
Current Ingredients for the new Square bottle:
Cremes and holos – Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Phthalic Anhydride/Trimellitic Anhydride/Glycols Copolymer, Nitrocellulose, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Isopropyl Alcohol, SD Alcohol 40B, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Silica, Diethylhexyl Adipate, Butyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzophenone-1
Glass flecks and glitter – Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl, Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Silica, N-Butyl Alcohol, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Benzophenone-1, Violet 2
Mattes – Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl, Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride, Isopropyl Alcohol, Silica, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Acrylates Copolymer, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer,Benzophenone-1, Trimethylpentanediyl, Dibenzoate
UV Gel Base Coat – Dipentaerythritol Hexaacrylate, 2-Hydroxypropyl methacrylate, 2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate, Isobornyl Acrylate, N,N-Dimethylacrylamide, Acrylic Acid, Bis(2-Methacryloxyethyl)Phosphate
UV Gel Colors – Dipentaerythritol hexaacrylate, Hydroxypropyl Methacrylate, 2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate (HEMA), Hydroxycyclohexyl Phenyl Ketone, Trimethylolpropane triacrylate, Phenyl bis(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)-phosphine oxide and colorants
UV Gel Top Coat – Isobornyl Methacrylate, Trimethylolpropane Triacrylate, 2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate, N,N-Dimethylacrylamide, 1-Hydroxycyclohexyl Phenyl Ketone, Bis(2-Methacryloxyethyl)Phosphate, Carboxybenzene
All Polishes May Contain: titanium dioxide, pigment, mica, glitter, aluminum powder, and/or acetone. These are the pigments and glitters that we add to color our products. All have been approved for use in cosmetics.
Warning: Flammable. Do not ignite or use near heat or open flame. Keep out of reach of children. Do not ingest. Do not inhale fumes. Use in a well-ventilated area. Only for use on the nail plate. As with all chemical products, if you experience sensitivity, discontinue use.
Round Screen Printed Bottle Ingredients: Butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetyle tributyl citrate, phthalic anhydride/trimellitic anhydride/glycols copolumer, isopropyl alcohol, stearalkonium hectorite, adipic acid/fumaric acid/phthalic acid/tricyclodecane dimethanol copolymer, citric acid. *If you experience any sensitivity when using this particular product, please discontinue use immediately and contact us at email@example.com*