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Message in a bottle

This week I caught up with India Martin, the founder of Only Fingers And Toes, the company behind O.F.A.T, an up and coming luxury nail lacquer brand that every girl needs to know about.

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Currently retailing exclusively in Harvey Nichols in the UK and Ireland and via the O.F.A.T website, O.F.A.T offers unusually cool colour for fingertips and toes and it has a conscience too! Recently selected by Walpole for its Brands of Tomorrow 2015 programme, this brand is one of the UK’s finest emerging luxury talents and certainly one to watch… so I thought I’d check it out for myself.

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Having been a fan of salon applied gel colour for some time, I must admit I had my reservations about returning to lacquer. However, having sampled the delights of creatively named Nitrogen, Bombshell and Tickle, I’m totally hooked. O.F.A.T is for those who want flexibility to change their colour as often as their clothes without compromising on quality, durability, finish and most importantly the aesthetic appeal of healthy nails.

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I’m a great believer of well-groomed finger tips and toes but with so many brands to choose from, it’s hard to know which to pick. Back in the mid-nineties, like any ’90s girl worth her hair mascara, Yin Yang accessory, tattoo choker and Tamagotchi, I was obsessed with nail polish from cult brand Hard Candy. A firm favourite of Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson and Clueless star Alicia Silverstone, the assortment of insane colours was every teenage girl’s dream. The real bonus though was the cute matching heart shaped ring that came with the bottle!

Some 20 years later and when seeking to purchase a new cosmetic, it’s not simply a cheesy ring that seals the deal for me. I do however continue to look for that something extra and O.F.A.T certainly delivers.

O.F.A.T is the modern definition of accessible luxury. There are so many reasons why I love this brand and with such little space, I’ve compiled my shortlist:

  • With a plethora of colours for every occasion, ranging from the classics to trend setting metallic, fluorescents and seasonal beauties, each cleverly named bottle is bursting to full with durable and long lasting lacquer that provides superb full coverage in just two strokes. What’s more, the library of rainbow colours is constantly changing so, avid fashionistas, make room in your cosmetics closet!
  • O.F.A.T is a company that cares. The products are designed to care for the health of your nails.  The fulsome collection of nailcare products and restorative formulas ensure the health of the nails and when used in conjunction with the lacquer maximises results to provide a professional at home finish.
  • O.F.A.T prides itself on its “free-from formula”. It’s committed to offering a nail lacquer that is kind to the body without compromising on durability or quality. Its nail lacquer is free from potentially toxic chemicals such as DBP, toluene, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin, camphor and Phthalic acid.
  • The packaging really sets this brand apart. The bottle brush itself is designed with precision application in mind. It’s comfortable to use with both left and right hands.
  • Perfect for gifting. Each bottle comes uniquely boxed in elegant packaging inspired by the Japanese art of gifting. So whether you’re treating someone else or yourself (obviously) to an individual polish, a “trilogy” or the utterly indulgent “Connoisseur Collection” comprising 24 of the most popular colours, each is presented in a luxury gift box.

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For me, one of the most unique and inspiring qualities of Only Fingers and Toes is that it has a heart. I was touched to discover that the company proudly supports the following charities that need nail lacquer and manicure implements as part of their offering:

  • in the UK, the Art Against Knives “In Our Hands” project, which offers vulnerable women opportunities to learn professional nail care, to design their own nail art and to host pop up nail bar events for other women in their local community at the Dollis Dolls Nail Bar. This charity empowers and educates young females to prevent them from becoming victims and perpetrators of violent crime; and
  • in the US, Polished Girlz, a not for profit organisation set up by a 13 year old girl which provides sparkle to the lives of girls with special needs or frequent hospitalisations by bringing nail art parties to them.

India’s philosophy and overarching principle for O.F.A.T stems from her belief in the power of colour and touch and its ability to heal lives. I was so enthused to hear about the wonderful philanthropic work India and her team engage with and promote. For a nascent company to be so keenly involved with charitable initiatives and NFP organisations, it sends out a “big message in a small bottle” to all companies, big or small, that it’s never too early (or late!) to give back.

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To learn more about Polished Girlz, visit http://polishedgirlz.org/

To learn more about Art Against Knives, visit, http://www.artagainstknives.com/