Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question beyond what's posted here feel free to send it to me using the contact form.
Nail polish safety information - don't skip reading this one!
- If you have any type of adverse reaction, no matter how small, to any cosmetic product remove it immediately, get medical attention if needed, and contact the manufacturer.
- Be very careful with glass bottles of any kind. Applying too much force to a stuck cap can cause any glass bottle to break in your hand. If the cap on a nail polish is stuck you can put it upside down in hot water just deep enough to cover the cap for a few minutes and repeat as needed until the bottle opens easily. Making sure the bottle neck is clean before closing will help keep your cap from getting stuck.
- Nail polish is flammable and must be kept away from heat and flame.
- Nail polish is toxic when taken internally and is for external use on nails only.
- Use in a well ventilated area. Avoid prolonged exposure to nail polish fumes.
- Keep nail polish away from small children and animals. Not for use on pets' nails due to the likelihood of them chewing it off. There are pet safe polishes available through pet supply stores.
Suspension based nail polish tips and what is ugly bottle syndrome?:
- My polishes are designed to keep the pigments, glitters, and shimmers suspended and blended as much as possible using a high quality suspension base. Over time they may feel a bit too thick. A few drops of polish thinner mixed in will return them to the right consistency. Don't add acetone or polish remover, it will break down the polish and ruin it.
- To help keep your polish at the right consistency always wipe excess polish off the bottle neck and replace the cap securely immediately after use.
- Glitters and pigments are heavy and sometimes even in suspension base some settling and separation will occur over time. Standing the bottle upside down for a while and a gentle shake or roll between your hands before using will remix them nicely. Each bottle contains a stainless steel mixing ball. If needed, stir with a toothpick or cuticle stick.
- Some pigments, especially some whites, browns, and reds, have a tendency to separate and stick to the inside of the bottle. This is quite common and has earned the name "ugly bottle syndrome". It shows up most commonly in creme and crelly finish polishes. The amount of pigment that sticks is actually very tiny and won't affect the polish shade or consistency. A good shake and roll will mix it all together nicely even if you still see pigment stuck to the glass. If the look of the bottle bothers you, stirring with a clean cuticle stick can help.
What's the best way to store nail polish?
For longest usable life, store away from direct sunlight or bright light, high humidity, and extreme heat or cold. Many nail polish pigments are sensitive to light and will fade if stored in direct sunlight or indoor light.
The glitter is stuck on my nails! How do I remove it?
- First of all, gently! Never file or buff the surface of your nail. Glitter polish does like to stick but it can be removed with a little extra effort. The best way is the foil or wrap method. Apply a bit of cotton soaked in acetone or acetone-free polish remover to each nail and wrap in foil for a few minutes and the polish should slide right off. Thick coats of glitter polish might require two rounds. Glitter polish on acrylic or gel nails will require a longer soaking time using only acetone-free polish remover.
- There are peel off base coats available that peel or pop right off after a day or two of wear. They aren't good for a long lasting manicure but they do remove very easily. Using a top coat as a base coat also will work this way but not quite as well as the base coats designed to peel.
- For quick on and off swatching, try my clear Lickity Split Latex Mani Mask as a base coat. It won't stand up to wear but it peels right off with zero damage or drying to the nails or cuticles and leaves no residue behind.
What's the big deal? I can buy glitter and clear polish from the drug store.
Creating artisan polish may look like just plopping glitter in a bottle, but there's much more to it than what you see.
- I've tested multiple types of polish base, and have chosen a blend that I feel behaves the best with the other ingredients and also gives the best durability when worn.
- I have cabinets stuffed full of thousands of dollars worth of pigments, micas, flakes, and glitters designed to stand up to the solvents in nail polish. All of my supplies are bought from reputable sources who test each one extensively for fading, bleeding, melting, and curling. Once I have them, they go through the same tests again using my base and methods and don't go into any polishes until I'm certain they are top quality.
- Each polish you see in the shop has hours of work behind it creating multiple prototypes and balancing the ingredients in the tiniest measurements. If it stains, if it chips easily, if the formula is too thick or thin, if the glitters and shimmers are in the wrong balance, or if the color or something else about it isn't just right it goes back to the drawing board for another prototype.
- Once it finally makes it to the shop I stand behind it. There has never been an adverse reaction to any of my polishes. Any unexpected flaws in formula will receive my immediate attention.
What does the one coat opacity scale on the product pages mean?
What's in this stuff?
All polishes contain: Nitrocelluose, Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol, Triphenyl Phosphate.
Depending on finish and color, each polish and top/base coat may contain:
Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isobutyl Acetate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Silica, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, N-Butyl Alcohol, Benzophenone-1, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Trimethylpentanediyl Bibenzoate, Alumina, Acetate Butyrate, Polysilicone-2, silicon dioxide, Diethylhexyl Adipate, Amodimethicone, Dibenzoate, Polyvinyl Butyral, FD&C colors, Aluminum based pigments, Cosmetic pigments, Natural or synthetic mica, Glitter, 12 karat or 24 karat gold.
Plus, of course, a little bit of magic.
You are welcome to contact me if you need to know the specific ingredients used in any particular polish.
What does "5-free" mean?
Dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene are the big-3 ingredients that used to be common and are still found in some nail polish brands. In recent years companies have been phasing them out because of the potential health hazards. The fourth, camphor, is a more recent ingredient that companies are starting to phase out of their formulas. Formaldehyde resin is often counted in with formaldehyde but is sometimes listed as a 5th. My polishes, base coat, and top coat are free of all five of these ingredients.
What exactly do you mean by cruelty-free? And how can nail polish or cosmetics be vegan?
My finished products and the finished materials I use to create them are never tested on animals. As with all or most cosmetics, some of the ingredients may have been tested on animals at some point in the past. I research every component that I buy and to the very best of my knowledge I don't use anything that is currently or was recently animal tested or contains any type of animal products.
What are your shipping and handling rates?
At checkout you'll see a choice between USPS First Class Mail, USPS Priority Mail, and USPS Priority Mail Express. Priority Mail will cost less than First Class for larger orders but can also be chosen for smaller orders if you wish. Printed items are custom made and are shipped separately directly from the printer.
All orders will be packed and shipped in order of receipt with the exception of orders that contain custom items or pre-ordered items.
Each polish weighs 2.5 ounces in its individual box and shipping boxes weigh 1-5 ounces depending on order size. Priority Mail postage is determined by how many polishes fit in the flat rate boxes rather than by weight.
With the exception of stamped envelope rates, all packages include USPS tracking.
Domestic shipping is free for orders over $75 by my choice of First Class or Priority Mail depending on the weight of the order. Offer does not apply to collaboration sets.
Shipping to US/APO addresses
|Shipping to Canada addresses||
Shipping to non-US/Canada addresses
|USPS First Class Mail||
up to 1 ounce, stamped without tracking: $1
1-2 ounces, stamped without tracking: $2
4-8 ounces: $4.20
9-10 ounces: $4.85
11-16 ounces: $5.70
up to 1 ounce, stamped without tracking: $3.60
1-4 ounces: $6.70
5-8 ounces: $8.30
9-18 ounces: $9.80
19-32 ounces: $18.50
1 ounce: $6.60
2-4 ounces: $8.70
5-6 ounces: $10.80
7-11 ounces: $13.80
12-18 ounces: $15.80
19-32 ounces: $29
|USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate||
up to 24 polishes: $7.50
25-35 polishes: $13
36-50 polishes: $17
up to 24 polishes: $27
25-50 polishes: $50
up to 24 polishes: $38
25-50 polishes: $72
|USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Express||
up to 24 polishes $25
25-50 polishes: $60
up to 24 polishes: $51
25-50 polishes: $78
up to 24 polishes: $75
25-50 polishes: $95
Do you accept international orders?
Yes, but shipping cosmetics internationally is at your risk because it isn't always reliable. I can't be responsible for customs charges or packages lost, stopped, damaged, or destroyed in customs or otherwise during international shipping beyond the limit of the insurance included in the Priority Mail postage, which varies in availability and amount in different countries. If you'd like to purchase additional insurance on your package, please contact me as soon as you place your order. If you choose First Class Mail, your package will not come with insurance.
If you plan to order custom printed items and polishes at the same time for international shipping they can be shipped to me for the US rate and then shipped together with your polishes to you for the USPS Priority Mail flat rate. This will only be cost effective for large orders. Please contact me before ordering if you want to ship this way.
Do you combine shipping on multiple orders?
If you make an additional order that you'd like combined with one that's still pending please include a note at checkout and also contact me right away. If your first order hasn't been processed yet I will combine them and refund the excess shipping minus a .50 handling fee per add on order. I'm unable to combine if your first order has already been processed.
How long will it take to receive my order?
- I package and ship in the order received within 3 business days (M-F). Choosing Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express will only affect transit time and won't move your order up in line.
- Custom polish orders may require up to one week after discussing the polish with you before sending you photos for approval, longer if you request an ingredient that has to be ordered or hasn't already been through testing. Once your polish is approved, it will be next in line to be shipped.
- Other made to order products take approximately one week before shipping.
- Printed items take approximately one week before shipping.
- Sales or new collection releases may cause a 1-2 day delay in shipping time.
- Once shipped, delivery time depends on the postal service.
What is your return and exchange policy?
All sales are final with the exception of incorrect or defective items which are eligible for refund or replacement within 10 days of receipt, please contact me with a photo of the problem and I'll make it right. Shipping costs are non-refundable.
Do you offer coupon codes?
Various publicly and privately shared coupon codes will be available from time to time. They cannot be applied retroactively and unless otherwise specified, none are applicable to charity fundraising items, gold leaf polishes, limited edition items, collaboration projects, or to already discounted items or sets. The permanent coupon codes from the old shop have been converted into the ellagee rewards program.
How does the ellagee rewards program work?
I love my loyal customers! Now you can earn points with every purchase and redeem them for discount codes! Here's how it works.
First you'll need to create a member account. Your information is secure and will only be used by me and by shopify for business related to your ellagee.com account. You can delete your account or unsubscribe from email at any time.
Once you're in, start racking up the points! You'll earn:
- 1 point per dollar spent, excluding tax and shipping costs
- 1 point for every review you write. Limit on review points is 1 per purchased product and 1 shop review per person.
When your points have added up to a reward you'll be notified and can cash them in for a one time use discount code good on any purchase. Easy peasy!
Click the tab at the bottom of the screen for more information.
I'm a blogger, how do I receive samples for review?
You'll find my blogger policy and application form here. Please follow the instructions listed and I'll get back to you with more information. My list of bloggers is very long so it might take me a while to contact you, please don't take it personally, you are all fabulous!
I'm looking for one of your older polishes, where did it go?
I have make-all-the-polish-itis. There's no way I can keep everything in stock, no matter how much I love them all. As a general rule I keep things in the shop for 2 months and then based on how they're doing I either keep them longer or move them to the Last Restock collection and then retire them. Unless a polish was specifically listed as a limited edition or was made from ingredients I can no longer obtain it can be purchased as a Flashback Custom.
I saw another brand's polish that I love but it costs too much and/or is hard to obtain. Will you duplicate it for me?
Nope. Handcrafted nail polish is an art form and purposely duplicating someone else's art is unethical.
May I use your photos, graphics, and product ideas?
Nope. All product photos are copyright to their respective photographers and used with permission, printed items are made with either original or purchased artwork, and all other content and graphics are copyright ellagee. Do not take any content for any use. Please create art that comes from your own imagination, and don't copy what came from mine or from anyone else's.
Why do different photos of the same polish look different?
- I work with several bloggers/photographers with widely varied styles. They use different lighting set-ups and camera settings.
- Different computer screens show colors differently
- Many of my polishes have elements that look different in different lighting conditions.
Photos represent the true colors of the polishes as closely as possible, Due to the hand made nature of these polishes there may be slight variation from one bottle to the next.
I'm allergic to stuff...
My office is in a dedicated part of my non-smoking home which houses my family of eight and our pets. The pets (and sometimes the people) are not allowed into that part of the house.
If you have a concern about a product ingredient feel free to contact me.
Where is ellagee located?
Beautiful, sunny San Antonio, Texas.
Where can I buy ellagee polish?