I went to Cambridge the other week to see a friend, and chanced on the Inglot store in the Grafton Centre. It's not often you see Inglot IRL, so I zoomed in there (towing my friend) and started swatching away. My eye was caught by this flyer:
It never occurred to me before that nail polish might not be halal. I think of halal as a term referring to meat. But the word has a broader meaning, roughly "acceptable under Islamic law".
So what makes this nail polish halal, or rather, why would other nail polish be non-halal (haraam)?
It all comes down to the permeability. Nail polish usually forms a waterproof barrier over the nails, and this is not ideal for performing Wudu (washing) before prayer, as water can't get in to cleanse the nails. Because the Inglot O2M polish is permeable, it allows water to penetrate through.
I should state here that there is some controversy about just how halal this polish is - it seems unclear whether it actually does allow enough water through. Tests done by interested parties have proved inconclusive.
Here is Inglot's own demo video that shows the polish in action:
Another important point to note is that currently, only a single layer of polish is permeable enough to be termed halal. For most of us, a single layer of polish is never going to be enough. Every polish-head I know uses 2 coats minimum, as well as top and base coat. There is an O2M base coat and top coat available, but since the claims of halal-ness are made regarding a single layer, this is not much help.
Here is a single layer of the O2M polish 669 (a delicious cornflower blue with subtle purple shimmer) on bare nails.
I don't know about you, but I would not be content to wear that out and about. It would niggle at me every time I looked at it.
Here is two layers of the polish (no topcoat). Much better.
There are 68 shades of O2M polish, and the range is apparently exclusive to Inglot Cambridge. The polish costs £11 for 11ml. The range is 3-free.
I learned while researching this post that the founder of Inglot, Mr Wojciech Inglot, died suddenly in 2013. RIP Mr. Inglot.