Lightning top coat, base coat and cuticle oil by sienna on white flowers background

Self-care for the soul and your nails

This week, we’re looking at some of the things you can do to take care of your mind and your body while you’re in spatial isolation. We’re talking hand and nail care (obvs), DIY vegan face masks, bringing culture to your monitor and maintaining your friendships via the power of technology.

Lightning top coat, base coat and cuticle oil by sienna on white flowers background

A shout out to the people. All the people.

We’d like to send our gratitude to the people in so many different professions who are working hard to look after us right now. We don’t have enough words to describe how thankful we are. And if these times are tough for you in other ways, we see you.

Self-care for your hands and natural nail care

If your hands are anything like ours, they probably feel a bit like paper after a steady diet of frequent hand washing and hand sanitiser. Thankfully, we know what to do here. We’ve always been huge fans of the clean beauty DIY-style, and a little while ago we wrote all about how to give yourself an easy non-toxic mani at home. Gather your kit, choose a cheering playlist and go for it. And If you know your way around a straightforward manicure or you just want to get fancy/learn a new skill, check out the easy but gorgeous nail art designs Line Spa and Polish did for us a little while back. Once you’ve mastered the introductory designs, click through the slightly trickier but still achievable designs here. Whether you opt for a straight-colour mani or super-chic nail art, the crucial thing here is hydration, baby. Grab your cuticle oil and hand cream and apply throughout the day. You’re probably washing your hands every five minutes, so take the opportunity to break out the cuticle oil/hand cream as part of the routine.

Hands applying nude nail polish by sienna

DIY vegan face masks for homebodies and heroes

If you’ve got kids home from school at the moment, you might consider a solo trip to the bathroom quality self-care time at the moment. Half of the Sienna team are in the same boat so we totally understand. But, depending on their age, kids might enjoy helping to mix up some vegan face masks in the kitchen. You’ll probably be able to find most of the ingredients for these masks in your kitchen, so you can just whip them up and cue the smooth skin. Incorporate them into your mani/pedi routine if you fancy going recreating the full day-spa-at home-experience. This also a lovely and refreshing way to put a wall between home life and a punishing day at work.

Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna

Culture, fitness, kindness and cute animals

We touched on a few of these in our Insta this week and we got some great suggestions too. Jump over to our page to add your own ideas on how to stay sane and support both your nearest and dearest, as well as our wider communities. As Ben Lee said way back in 2005, “We’re all in this together”.

close view of vegan fake smoked salmon dish from no bones restaurant in byron bay

Byron Bay Vegan – Our picks for the best plant-based dining!

It’s no secret that we love our food in Byron Bay and you probably won’t be surprised to hear there are plenty of delicious vegan and vegetarian spots in town. With new plant-based eateries popping up all the time, we thought we should share some of our favourites. We hope you’re hungry!

Yulli’s Kitchen

It might be beloved of vegans who routinely describe it as “the best food I’ve ever had”, but you don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate all the goodness on offer at this Sienna favourite. The menu at Yulli’s Kitchen is 100% vegan and is probably best described as both ‘modern Asian’ and ‘insanely good’. The crispy tofu deserves poetry it’s so good, but you can order anything here with confidence. Whoever is working that kitchen is a magician for modern times, as far as we’re concerned. There’s also a pretty impressive wine list, cocktails and, of course, the full selection of famous, in-house Yulli’s Brews craft beers. Head to their Insta and prepare to drool.

close view of mango slices dessert with comestible flowers from yullis restaurant in byron bay
via instagram: @yullisbyronbay

No Bones

No Bones has found a home in a sweet spot downtown Byron Bay, and thank goodness for that. The food is creative, delicious and oh-so more-ish. Everything is sourced locally (where possible), made in-house and like many other Byron businesses, the No Bones girls do it all with a strong commitment to sustainability and the environment. The cocktail list is also a thing of beauty – try the John Meloncamp or the Grateful Undead. This is a great place for an early family dinner, but if you were searching for a place to take the special plant-based someone in your life… No Bones could be it.

close view of vegan fake smoked salmon dish from no bones restaurant in byron bay
via instagram: @nobonesbyronbay

Byron Bay General Store

The Byron Bay General Store is a local icon. It was established in 1947 and is one of our oldest buildings. When the current owners opened their doors in 2017 after six months of renovations and planning, they were greeted with queues down the street! The General Store is a friendly, laid-back place for locals and visitors and it serves up cracking coffee alongside delicious, great quality food – all sourced from local suppliers. They describe themselves “as mostly plant-based”. We describe them as “delicious”. We’re talking about vegan waffles here, people. They have a cute play area for kids (so good for the parents), the nourish bowls are out-of-this world-good, the people watching is great and you get 10% off your bill if you walk or ride your pushie there. What a time to be alive!

close frontal view of avocado toast with lemon wedge and sesame seeds from the general store cafe in byron bay
via byrongeneralstore.com

Folk

Folk is one of our favourite spots, and many a meeting was held in their lush garden during the early Sienna days. It might be set in a slightly unlikely location (next to a caravan park), but that doesn’t stop it from being a super-sweet, chilled-out garden café with the most innovative wholefoods menu you ever did see. Do not start us on the joys of their vegan burrito. Okay, just one word: phenomenal. Everything is made in-house with a commitment to vegetarian and plant-based eating. The coffee is consistently excellent and so is the music. Don’t just take our word for it though. Folk has had plenty of love from magazines like Architectural Digest, Monocle and Gourmet Traveller. Get yourself there, stat.

Top view of a plate with vegetarian tacos from folk cafe in byron bay
via instagram: @folkbyronbay

There’s a lot of vegan love in Byron Bay

So while these might be some of our favourite plant-based eateries, Byron Bay is a pretty accommodating place. Most places will ‘veganise’ a dish for you if there is something on the menu you really fancy, and we’re hard-pressed to think of anywhere that doesn’t have at least a couple of vegan and plant-based offerings on their menu. You’re in Byron Bay, baby! It’s just how we roll here.

two fair skin tone hands next to one another showing rainbow nails with three different nail polishes on each finger by sienna

Nails by occasion

Say “I do” and “I will” to bridal nails

We love a bit of nuptial chat. Here’s everything we know… Soft pinks and sheer washes of white are classics for a reason, they look great on just about everyone and they also photograph well – especially if you are planning to get some chic black and white shots done. Like lipstick, red nails can look very dark grey in black and white photography, whereas pale nails look more natural. We are also seeing lots of neutrals from modern brides, which is a pretty cool move. Try a colour like Cottontail if you want to rock this look down the aisle. Lastly, incorporate some nail care in the run-up to the big day so your nails are looking fresh and healthy before the polish even goes on. Nurture those hands and nails! Actually, that’s good advice for every day.

Ps, congratulations! A celebration of love is a really wonderful thing!

Rosewater pink nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna
close view of a young woman's hands holding pink flower petals and wearing Cherry blossom pink nail polish by sienna
Translucent rosewater pink sheer nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna

Rock the look – Festival nails for everyone

Music festival styling is a pretty serious business these days – so don’t let your nails miss out on all the fun. Besides, if it rains during the festivities – and is it even a festival with no rain – your clothes and hair might be soaked, but your stylish mani will keep on keeping on. Luckily, we know a thing or two about festival nails at Sienna. We ran a pop-up nail-bar at Blues Fest a few years ago and prepped hundreds of hands for five days of music and fun. Perennial festival favourites include Mystic, all of the metallics, and when in doubt, ombre all the way.  If you want to get on board the nail art train for your next festival, we’ve got some super-fun designs that are equally at home in the fields of Glastonbury or the Writer’s Festival. Hello, Lilac Pastel Leopard, we’re talking to you!

two fair skin tone hands next to one another showing rainbow nails with three different nail polishes on each finger by sienna
Mid-tone blue nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna
Pastel purple Leopard Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna

Job interview nails to land the dream role

Your talent and charisma need to be at the forefront, not your nails – even though we’re sure they’re fabulous – you’ve got to keep it chic and profresh if you’re going to land your dream job. If you’re heading for an interview in a corporate or conservative office, err on the side of caution and keep the focus on your skills with well-groomed nails and natural or neutral polish. Make the right impression with colours like Peace for a sheer slick of pink that is “your nails but better” vibes, Barefoot Dancer, Stone, or keep it super-natural with our base coat or Hope.  Taupe-type hues are also a winner – try Calm or Cottontail.

If the role you’re interviewing for is in a creative setting, you can get a little bit more experimental, but don’t go too cray-cray. Navy, olive, plum and the creative’s forever love, black, would all fly well, but maybe leave the neon, metallics and wild shimmers to the weekend. At least until you’re settled in.

close view of a woman's nails wearing Stony mauve nail polish by sienna
Warm Clay nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna
Plum Red Nail Polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by Sienna

Holiday nails for every kind of holiday

Do your holiday plans include lounging around a pool or beach, maybe some palm trees swaying in the distance, and perhaps a cocktail or two? Or are you planning an urban-style mini-break with galleries, coffee and art galleries? They both sound pretty good to us, but what about your mani-plans? Avoid mani-misadventures on the road and coordinate your nails with the outfits you’re packing. Tropical holidays spent resort-side have us packing bright, fruity tones with plenty of corals and peachy-pinks. For beachy getaways off the beaten track, you might like the idea of keeping your nails the softest of soft pinks for a natural beauty look. If you’re headed to the city, anything goes, so express yourself. If you aren’t sure how you’re going to be feeling, pack some remover wipes and a few polishes to keep your options open.

Ombre nail art with orange yellow pink and red nail polish on dark and medium skin tone by sienna
Pink peach nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna

For the love of date night nails

If you’re on your way for some flirty fun with a special someone, give your nails a bit of love too. We’ve gone for all the deep, dusty reds and pinks here in homage to red the iconic colour of love. You can’t go wrong! But if you’re a guy wanting to give your nails a lick of colour to show you’re the kind of person who makes an effort in the grooming department, consider a strong colour like, Rhythm. It’s pictured here on local Byron hero, Benny.

close view of a woman's hand holding a gold chain necklace wearing a Magenta Plum nail polish by sienna
close view of a woman's hands holding a purple cocktail, wearing dusty rosebud red nail polish by sienna at Mez Club restaurant in Byron bay
Close view of bearded man wearing teal blue nail polish in front of an orange wall holding his shirt collar

Everyday Swoon

We are a huge fan of the neutral end of the spectrum when it comes to everyday nails, but that just might not be your vibe. At all. So, as we’re fond of saying, ‘you do you.’ If you want some suggestions, we got you. Kombi is a fun whimsical colour for the retro lovers, Dream is the blue of choice for the glam-squad, Freedom is the vermillion red cream that is a little bit chic and a little bit rock n roll, Merlot is a winner for the lovers of a strong nail, and if you need more inspo to find your signature polish for everyday wear, hit up our website. We feel confident you’ll find the colour of your dreams and if you need help, we have a handy guide here or get in touch.

close view of woman holding her arm wearing a grey t-shirt and marble grey nail polish by sienna
close view of hands holding a pale blue coffee cup wearing a Dusty mauve nail polish by sienna
Purple Pearl with a Fine Blue Shimmer nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna
Nails by @primpandpropermani
woman on top of a roof in New York holding her hands to her chest wearing a white knitted sweater and Light Periwinkle Blue nail polish by sienna

Special event nails

Your invitation to the Brits/BAFTAS/Grammys/Emmys/Oscars might have been lost in the post, but we all need a go-to look that has us feeling stylish and ready for anything. Maybe your nails are the special event! Either way, let’s look to the stars to see if there is any mani-inspiration we can make our own.

five different skin tone women next to one another wearing the same bronze dress and showing their hands with crystal shimmer nail polish by sienna
Harry Styles blue manicure at the Met Gala 2019
Harry Styles at the Met Gala 2019. Picture: Twitter
Gigi Hadid metallic silver manicure at the Met Gala 2016
Gigi Hadid at the Met Gala 2016. Picture: Instagram

Popstar of the moment and lover of exaggerated talons went to the Oscars with jet-black nails with a rhinestone gem at the tip of each one for a look that was edgy and chic. Recreate the look, natural nail style, with a black satin polish like Sienna’s very own Zen. If you want to channel J-Lo and her ever-glam nails, choose a polish with a shimmer finish to bring a bling-tastic finish to your nails, without the actual glitter, of course. Lana del Ray a unique choice amid all the gemstone embellishments and chose metallic silver nails for the red carpet. But hands down, one of the most popular polishes was classic baby pink with a super-high gloss finish. We heart.

Black satin nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna
Crushed hematite crystal nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna

So what’s your go-to colour?

Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna

DIY vegan face masks you need to try this weekend!

Do you want to experience that day spa luxury feeling at home? Of course you do!  If you’re hunting for the best DIY vegan face masks, we have everything you need, right here. Without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to a three-step DIY facial treatment you can make using simple ingredients from your pantry. We’re all about clean beauty and staying as close to natural as possible when it comes to our skin, and there isn’t anything more natural than this! Read on for treatments so good, you could eat them!

Coconut scrub

Coconut oil
Brown sugar

It wouldn’t be right to start a vegan face mask session without a coconut scrub. This scrub will have your skin clean, soft and free of any residual makeup or dirt. It’s as simple as combining coconut oil and brown sugar. Coconut oil is used in plenty of natural skin products, and with good reason; it’s naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and moisturising. It’s chock full of fatty acids like lauric acid and also contains Vitamin E, aka the superstar ingredient of nail health. Is there anything coconut oil can’t do? Brown sugar is a great exfoliator – it’s not too harsh so won’t damage your skin, but has enough oomph to give it a decent cleanse. Once you have the scrub at a consistency you like, massage it gently into your face, (Don’t forget your lips), neck, chest and even your hands until everything is feeling lovely and soft.

Brown sugar and Coconut oil in homemade pottery for a Coconut scrub Vegan Face Mask
Hand holding a small brown bol with Coconut Scrub Vegan Face Mask inside
Hands applying a Coconut Scrub Vegan Face Mask wearing deep brown nail polish by sienna

Fruit cleanser

2 strawberries
¼ avocado
½ banana
A squeeze of lemon juice

Mash together with a fork or whiz together in a blender, and add lemon juice until you get a sticky consistency.

Of all the DIY vegan face masks, this one is as good for your skin as it is nutritious for your body! Why is it so good? Strawberries are naturally acidic and help remove any excess sebum that can cause acne or blemishes and, when partnered with lemon juice, works to brighten your skin too. Banana is high in potassium and moisture which will also hydrate your skin. Avocados contain poly and monounsaturated fats, which keep your skin moisturised and helps fight against inflammation. It’s a winner. Apply the mask to your face (avoid your lips for this one), neck, chest and the back of hands and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before gently washing it off with a warm face cloth.

Hot tip! Warm water is most effective for this (and also feels lovely). Wring the face cloth out for best results. You want it damp rather than soaking wet.

Ingredients for a Fruit Cleanser Vegan Face Mask
ingredients for a Fruit Cleanser Vegan Face Mask
top view of Ingredients for a Fruit Cleanser Vegan Face Mask mixed in a bowl

Cacao brightener

Cacao Powder
Ground coffee beans
Ground oats
A dash of coconut milk (or other plant-based milk)

Combine the cacao, coffee grounds and oats together. Keep stirring as you slowly drizzle in the coconut milk until your mixture is the consistency of thick paste. Spread the mask over your face (avoiding your lips) neck and chest. You will feel the mask start to harden a little bit. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before washing it all off with a damp cloth.

This works because cacao is an ancient ingredient, packed with Vitamin C, magnesium and Omega 6 fatty acids. When used on your skin, it promotes blood flow and encourages cellular repair, which gives you that coveted youthful, radiant glow! Coffee, as well as being delicious and the fuel that keeps us all going, is also known to brighten the skin, so partnered with cacao, it’s the perfect match.

Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna
Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna
Hand pouring coconut milk in Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna
Close view of fair skin tone hands applying Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask, and wearing Deep brown umber nail polish by Sienna

So why not treat yourself this weekend? Prepare your masks, settle down with a book or a glass of red, and make an evening of it!

Check out our range of nail care if you’re interested in more vegan beauty and self-care.

Medium skin tone hand holding a pack of three green purple and blue nail polishes by sienna

Rafiki Mwema x Sienna – our latest fundraising collaboration

Meet our super-limited-release, fundraising collaboration, the Jamii Pack. 100% of all profits from the sale of this gorgeous collection are going to support the work of Rafiki Mwema in Kenya.

“I always wanted Sienna to be a beauty brand that gives back. I’m so proud for us to be partnering again with Rafiki Mwema. The kids they love, care and advocate for have gone through so much, it’s just not fair. The work Rafiki does to heal their trauma and keep them safe is so important.”

Danielle, Sienna Founder and Creative Director

Read on to learn more about the work Rafiki does and how the funds raised will make a difference.

Medium skin tone hand holding a pack of three green purple and blue nail polishes by sienna
Rafiki Mwema means ‘Loyal Friend’

We work with families, in the communities, with schools, churches, villages and with government officials to ensure the cycle of abuse is broken and that children are given the chance to live as children should.

Funds from the sale of the Jamii Pack will help Rafiki Mwema keep their doors open. Their running costs are huge, on average about AUD$40,000 per month, and when you see everything they do, you’ll understand why.

From little things, big things grow

Rafiki Mwema supports 70 children under the age of 12 who have experienced sexual abuse. The children live in therapeutic houses – there are two houses for girls and two for the boys – where they can be safe, loved and supported while they heal. Rafiki also supports another 130 children who have left their therapeutic homes via the Rafiki Outreach Team. As if all this wasn’t enough, they have also organised, funded and installed two video links in local courts in Kenya so children can testify against their abusers safely, acquired a farm, then built a school on it, and started a weekly food program in town. Rafiki also runs regular training on topics like Building Attachments and Living with Trauma in the UK, Australia and Kenya.

Unbelievably, all this incredible work is facilitated via fundraising organised by Sarah Rosborg and a small group of wonderful volunteers who are based in the small seaside village of Lennox Head. Sarah’s passion and dedication to making a difference are just extraordinary. You can see why we were moved to help.

black and white photo of two kenyan teenage girls hugging
Meet Sarah Rosborg

We spoke to Sarah about how she keeps going when the work is hard and the children have experienced so much trauma, so young.

There are days when I feel like I physically cannot continue. The sadness can be overwhelming and it can feel like we’re not making a difference. But when I travel to Kenya I can SEE the change with my own eyes. I see that the future for that child HAS changed through our work and you never know where that can lead. We want to break the cycle of abuse so these kids can grow up and be balanced and loving adults… I would like to think someone would fight for Lovisa (Sarah’s daughter) if I was not here.  I believe we owe it to the world to honour our good life, but we should also be helping those who are not so lucky.”

Are you crying? We’re crying.

But wait, there’s more

The three colours in Sienna x Jamii Pack are gorgeous, of course, but more than that, Sarah told us these colours – Huruma (Empathy), Upendo (Love) and Upunyaji (Healing) – represent all the children cared for by the Rafiki staff. Pass a tissue, please.

Pastel mint green nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna
Hand holding a pack of three pastel green blue and purple nail polish by sienna
Hand swatch of pastel purple green blue ombre nails on dark skin tone by sienna
Neo mint green nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna
Lavender purple nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna
Hand swatch of pastel purple green blue ombre nails on medium and fair skin tone by sienna
Pastel purple and blue nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna
Charity pack of three pastel nail polish for Rafiki Mwema by sienna
Pastel green and blue nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna
stack of three green blue and purple nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by sienna
Pastel blue nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna
Teamwork makes the dream work

Head to the Rafiki Mwema website to read more about what they do. If their work resonates with you and you want to help Rafiki keep their doors open, they have lots of suggestions about how to help. From writing a letter to a child in Kenya to sponsorship options, there are lots of ways to get involved and everything helps. They also have a couple of really great events coming up with heaps of special guests, including An African Affair on the Gold Coast with Celeste Barber’s infamous Hot Husband.

Thank you

We’re pretty sure this gorgeous capsule collection will fly off the shelves and we want to say a big thank you to our beautiful customers, who appreciate a good cause as much as they appreciate a good manicure.

With gratitude from all of us at Sienna.

acetone free Nail polish remover in glass bottle with gold lid by sienna

Sienna FAQs – Part II

Welcome to Part Two of our FAQ series! People are more interested than ever before in the products they are using and how brands make them. We think this is a good thing. So in the spirit of supporting this curiosity and, in our quest for transparency, allow us to present “Sienna FAQs – Part II”.

So whether you are new to Sienna or a clean nail polish convert since way back in the day, here we go!

Does a nail polish remover made from water really remove your nail polish?

Of course it does! We might be all about clean beauty and keeping it sweet for the planet, but we’re all about efficacy too! If you have used this absolute HG of a product you will know that it might take a little longer to work the polish off, but there is no bad smell at all. None. We’ve also included some nutrient-rich ingredients like Vitamin E – an absolute superstar when it comes to nail health – as it not only moisturises your skin and nails, it also helps treat yellow nail syndrome. By using a nourishing remover and steering clear of drying ingredients (like acetone, which is found in many mainstream removers), your nails are less likely to become brittle and break. Did we mention the glass bottle can be recycled? (It can).

acetone free Nail polish remover in glass bottle with gold lid by sienna

What can I do to get my nail polish to last longer?

AKA, the million-dollar question. There are so many reasons that nail polish lasts longer on some people than others. Genetics, nail health and application technique are all factors in how long your manicure will last. Other enemies of the mani include prolonged exposure to hot water, alcohol in other beauty or cleaning products, a lot of time spent in heavily chlorinated swimming pools and, this one is for the parents of small children, Lego. Those colourful small blocks are hell when it comes to keeping your manicure looking good. So if you are experiencing the odd mani-misadventure, we have written some more in-depth posts on our blog. Follow the links for more: 10 tips to maximise the life of your manicure and Easy steps to a non-toxic manicure at home.

Nail care package with remover cuticle oil glass nail file base coat top coat and cotton string bags

Is it safe to use nail polish during pregnancy?

This is one of our most common questions. And… we don’t know the answer. No product can give you that kind of reassurance. We see all sorts of claims in the marketplace about natural nail polish/makeup being safe for pregnancy and, while generally, most products are fine, it’s a very big call to say it is safe without independent tests. Our formula is the cleanest one out there, but we would NEVER, EVER consider testing this in-vitro to get an answer. When you take into account the variety of pregnancy needs, you need to get the individualised care and advice that’s right for you and your baby-boo. If you’re having a baby (congratulations!) and you’d like to continue wearing nail polish, run it past your doctor, midwife or OB first. It is great we live in a world where people are paying attention to the make-up of their makeup, so we have listed all the ingredients of our products in the FAQ section of our website.

What is the difference between Sienna Base Coat and Top Coat?

Did you know they are designed to do different things? Let’s talk about our much-loved Base Coat. Our Base Coat is designed to stick to your natural nail. It’s nice and thin so it creates a smooth base for your nail polish colours to stick to. You’ll still get a lush, durable Sienna manicure without it, but the Base Coat is just a little extra care that will strengthen your nails and protect them. On the flip side, if you want an everyday slick of clear gloss to protect your nails, this is the one you should go for. It also has the added benefit of strengthening your nail by acting similarly to a band-aid. It holds your nail together so you’ll get more length and strength and less breakage.

Now for our super-shiny Top Coat. This formula likes a sticky surface – wet nail polish, for instance. This thick, glossy coat gives you a high-gloss, salon-style finish and completely seals the polish. It dries much harder than the colour formula so you know your mani/pedi will be in it for the long haul. From a functional perspective, the Top Coat is also a quick-dry formula which means your polish will be touch-dry in about two minutes. It’s a good idea to wait about 15-20 minutes before you take the deep dive into your bag for your keys/wallet/keep-cup/phone though, as all the micro-layers underneath need a bit more time to dry.

Both the Base Coat and Top Coat will help you get longer from your Mani/Pedi.

Base Coat and Top Coat nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by Sienna

What is the difference between Cruelty-free (cf) and vegan products?

Put simply, cruelty-free (or cf as you will often see it, particularly on products from the UK) means that a product and its ingredients were not tested on animals, nor are they sold in countries where animal testing is mandatory. Leaping Bunny (one of the organisations that has certified Sienna) has an informative FAQ section if you want to explore this further. A vegan beauty product is one that contains no animal ingredients. Confusingly though, it is possible for a vegan product to have been tested on animals, and a cruelty-free product to be not vegan. If animal welfare is a deal-breaker for you, look for a brand that is both cruelty-free and vegan. The New York Times has this super-informative article which explores the reasons why the future of the beauty industry is vegan and not animal-tested. Hello, green science!

How are our timber caps made?

Ah, our beloved timber caps. We like to keep it humble over here, but we are the OG when it comes to timber caps on nail polish. When Sienna launched in 2014 it was often our signature timber caps that people commented on. And how could you not? They’re gorgeous! We don’t want to spill all the tea when it comes to our caps, but here’s what we can share. Our caps are made from a local timber. While the timber itself is stunning, the tree itself is a total weed in the wild rainforest areas around Byron Bay. It grows like crazy (technical horticulture term) and is very destructive as it inhibits the growth of native vegetation. When Danielle was hatching plans for Sienna way-back-when, part of her vision was to use this non-native weed wood in packaging and help revegetate local rainforest at the same time. It took a bit of trial and error to get it right, but after a few experiments with local woodturners, the solid timber cap you know and love today was born.

Timber Caps by Sienna

If you have a question that isn’t answered here (or in Part 1), please, by all means, slide into our DMs.

three nude pink nail polish in glass bottle with timber cap by sienna

Benzophenone -1. Why we don’t use it. Among other things…

Long gone are the days of bottled car paint so ladies could match their nails to the duco… (and long gone are the days of Benzophenone -1)

It’s impossible to be 100% chemical-free and 100% organic when developing nail polish. In fact, no matter how hard we try, it just isn’t possible… yet! But we do believe in being as healthy and safe as possible.

Our nail polish has always been free from Formaldehyde, DBP, Toluene, Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin, Synthetic Camphor, Xylene and Benzophenone -1.

Dusty rose mauve nude nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna

Brief overview

 

If it’s a brief overview you want, here it is: All of those chemicals we just mentioned are toxic. Some are carcinogenic and linked to causing cancer, others have been attributed to birth defects, and others can cause various other symptoms including dizziness and respiratory problems. While using nail polishes containing these chemicals in small doses and well-ventilated areas may not pose a major health risk, it can be a big concern for those working in nail salons, manufacturing it or those who are exposed to them continuously over the a long period. The thing is, some of the worst offenders are not even necessary to create a great nail polish formula. So rather than take risks with our collective health, we left them out of our formula completely – no compromises for health.

This is what we mean when we say ‘no nasties’

 

We take our commitment to providing a clean nail polish formula seriously. We know that most people want transparency when they are looking at beauty products, that’s why we list every ingredient of our all our products on our website. So when we say ‘no nasties’, these are the chemicals we are talking about. Read on for a fully referenced breakdown of all the ingredients Sienna has never used, and never will.

The chemicals we will never use


Benzophenone -1

This one is the source of much controversy. Many 7-free, 10-free and ‘non-toxic’ nail polish brands still use Benzophenone-1 in their formulas. Benzophenone -1 is a UV blocker that is used in sunscreens as well as cosmetics to stop discolouration of products. Just to be clear, there are some studies that show it is relatively harmless in small quantities, however it has also been linked to breast cancer9, ovarian cancer10, prostate cancer11, and has been found in human placental tissue12. We have never used Benzophenone-1 and never will. Even though exposure in small quantities may be deemed harmless, the research speaks for itself.

Formaldehyde

A known human carcinogenic. The long-term effects of formaldehyde exposure have been evaluated in epidemiological studies, and have been found to link with leukaemia, brain and other cancers.1 Formaldehyde was listed as a Schedule 6 poison by the Australian Government in the 2012 Poison Standard, which means it is a substance with a moderate potential for causing harm, the extent of which can be reduced with distinctive packaging with strong warnings for safety. However, Appendix C of the Poison Standard notes formaldehyde concentrations of 5% or more in nail hardener and of 0.05% or more in any other cosmetic preparations should be prohibited because of their known dangerous properties. We’re going to stick to our formaldehyde-free polish.

Dibutyl Phthlate

Otherwise known as DBP. Typically used as a plasticiser in nail polishes, DBP poses major health risks, particularly for pregnant women and unborn children. In a 2012 report by the FDA, Guidance to the Industry Limiting the Use of Certain Phalates, it is stated “the Agency has determined that there is evidence that exposure to DBP and DEHP from pharmaceuticals presents a potential risk of developmental and reproductive toxicity”3. The European Commission has identified DBP as a reproductive toxicant and the European Union prohibits the use of DBP in all cosmetics. You can see why we stay away from it.

Toluene

Toluene is a commonly used solvent that creates a smooth finish across the nail and keeps the pigment from separating in the bottle. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)4 states: Toluene can cause headaches, dizziness, cracked skin, irritated eyes, nose and throat. It also states over time, exposure to high concentrations, day after day, may lead to female reproductive system damage and pregnancy loss. If swallowed, toluene can cause liver and kidney damage.

Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin:

This is a polymer used in nail enamels to form a tough, shiny and durable film on the nails. Although it’s considered much safer than formaldehyde, there is strong evidence of tosylamide/formaldehyde resin being a human toxicant or allergen5. There are cases of nail polish dermatitis of allergen origin, attributed to tosylamide/formaldehyde resin6.

Synthetic Camphor

Synthetic Camphor functions as a fragrance, denaturant and plasticizer in nail products. Synthetic Camphor poisoning in humans can occur from swallowing, breathing or dermal contact with preparations containing camphor. It can result in nervous system and kidney effects, or other symptoms including colic, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anxiety, delirium, convulsions and seizures7.

Xylene

Xylene is a solvent used to keep nail polishes smooth and liquid consistency. Xylene has carcinogenic properties with exposure leading to cancer potential. It is an endocrine disrupter, can have reproductive effects, birth and developmental effects and is toxic to specific organs such as the liver, lungs, heart and gut8.

When in doubt, leave it out

 

We’ve forgone all these dodgy chemicals from the get-go and have created a nail polish that is as healthy as possible while still giving you a durable manicure. But don’t just take our word for it. We are certified by Made Safe who have analysed every single ingredient and deemed us the best.

The ingredients we do use

 

We believe in transparency and you can find a full list of the ingredients we use on our website. None of the ingredients we use are linked to negative or long-term health effects. A safe option for you, your family and your health: Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Polyethylmethacrylate, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Etocrylene, Silica, Diacetone Alcohol, N-Butyl Alcohol, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Phosphoric Acid, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate, Mica.

 

May Contain +/-:
Ci 15850 Red 7 Lake, Ci 15850 Red 6 Lake, Ci 77499 Black Iron Oxide, Ci 77891 Titanium Dioxide, Ci 15880 Red 34 Lake, Ci 77163 Bismuth Oxychloride, Ci 77491 Iron Oxide, Ci 77510 Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ci 19140 Yellow 5 Lake, Ci 77000 Aluminium Powder, Ci 60725 Violet 2, Ci 47005 Yellow 10, Ci 77007 Ultramarine Blue

Sources:

Nude and neutral nail polish glass bottle with timber cap line-up by sienna

What’s important to us − sustainability and ethics

What’s important to us at Sienna? We’re so glad you asked. Alongside making the best nail polish, probably the same kind of things that are important to you too – people and planet, sustainability and ethics. We’re not saying we know everything or that we are all the way there yet… but we’re committed to always learning more and trying to raise the bar so we can do better. Read on to learn more about what keeps us motivated and how a value-driven business like Sienna gets it done.

Why it’s important for business to do the right thing

Times are changing and we think companies need to change too. Companies should be accountable for more than just profits. People expect the brands they support and shop with to go beyond providing a product and be a force for good – and rightly so. Businesses should be advocates, live their values and provide evidence of it. Put simply, it’s about walking your talk.

“We get accredited by third-party auditors like BCorp as part of the dialogue with our customers. The trust our customers put in us to be ethical and do the right thing is so important to us, and one way we can show them that is by doing the work and becoming certified.”  –  Danielle, Sienna Founder

sienna bcorp certification logo in brown with nail polish glass bottle with timber cap

Sustainability and Ethics

Sustainability is at the core of everything we do here and it has been that way from the very beginning. Way-back when Sienna was just a twinkle in the eye of Founder, Danielle, she imagined a ‘wheel’ of ethical standards to meet before she would even consider launching. The ‘wheel’ on which Sienna is based includes the polish being vegan and cruelty free, low carbon production, 100% recyclable packaging, working to regenerate local rainforest areas through utilising non-native weed wood in packaging, renewable energy at the warehouse and head office, supply chain traceability to ensure raw ingredients come from sources that are child labour free, community partnerships and fair wages for all employees.

You can see all our certifications on the Sustainability and Ethics page of our website.

Sienna Wheel Infographic

Keeping the planet in mind

In the immortal words of author and artist, Oliver Jeffers. “Well, that is Planet Earth. Make sure you look after it, as it’s all we’ve got”. Never has this been more apparent than during these terrible, terrible bushfires that are still burning in Australia. It’s easy to feel powerless and wonder what we can do as individuals, but we’re not alone. If we all take steps together we can be the change. We want to share our progress and the things we learn on our sustainability journey so others in businesses can see it’s possible to do the right thing and be a success. We say this not to ‘toot our own horn’, but because we want environmental stewardship to be the new business as usual. People like you show there is a real demand for products and companies who prioritise the environment. The time is now, the future is here.

fir forest in the mist

We, the people

We believe in investing in the people who are bringing the change in our communities. Sienna is privileged to have a platform and a fantastic, caring community (that’s you lovely lot!), so we can amplify the voices of other organisations who are doing great work. So far we have partnered with Future Dreamers, Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation and Rafiki Mwema to help raise funds and get the word out about their vital work. We have an exciting project in the works at the moment, so keep your eyes peeled. We can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, you can read more about our commitment to respecting all the people involved in bring Sienna to you thought fair wages, a clean supply chain and inclusive approach on our website.

With gratitude

We couldn’t do any of this with the support, feedback and inspiration from all the people who have bought polish, sent us emails with ideas or to have come to say hello at one of our pop-ups. So thank you for being part of the revolution.

torakina beach and turquoise water on a sunny day in Brunswick Heads

Best Byron Bay beaches

If you’re coming to Byron Bay for a holiday, you need our guide to the best Byron Bay beaches. And here’s a Spoiler Alert: they’re all amazing. Whether you want a side of people-watching with your beach frolic, or you’re dreaming of a secluded lost paradise-type situation, we’ve got you covered. Let’s hit the beach.

Oh hello, you gorgeous thing, you”. Wategos is a truly stunning spot. It doesn’t matter how many times you wind the corner that heads down to the beach, the site of Wategos is breathtaking every single time. The parking, however, would drive a saint to swear. Let’s just say it’s quite limited. So yes, you may have to do a few laps to get a park but you will eventually be successful. And it’s so worth it. There is plenty of shade, great BBQ facilities and even a coffee van (dreams do come true!) and it’s just so damn beautiful you can easily spend all day there. If you’re feeling sporty, it’s just a short hike to Australia’s Most Easterly Point. Yep, Wategos is pretty much perfect.

drone view of wategos beach in Byron Bay
Photo: byronbay.com.au

Ahh, the serenity! This is the beach to visit if you’re after all the private beach feels. Little Wategos feels secluded and a million miles away from town, but it’s actually just a small hike along from Wategos, proper and is as equally blissful.  To get there, park at Wategos and start heading up the track that leads to the Lighthouse. When you come to a fork in the track, take the path on your left and head down to Little Wategos. It’s important to note that it is best to visit when the tide is low. High tide swallows most of the beach so be sure to check the tide times before you go. You can look in our local paper for this info or just ask a surfer – they’re everywhere and more than happy to talk tides.

sunny day at Little Wategos Beach in Byron Bay
Photo: byronbay.com.au

You’ve no doubt seen the photos. The Pass is one of Australia’s most iconic beaches and when you visit you can see why. It’s glorious. On a beach day, you will find local and visiting families set up for the long haul under pandanus palms, and surfers of all skill levels revelling in the crystal clear waters and (mostly) gentle waves. Bring your camera and take the quintessential Byron Bay photo from the lookout. The sunset is usually pretty special too. Come in the morning, stay for the day.

drone view of The Pass beach in Byron Bay
Photo: Nigel Raynard

They don’t call it Main Beach for nothing. What can we say, it’s a very social beach. Main Beach at the top end of Jonson Street is the closest beach to town and many of the international backpackers find themselves at Main Beach to lounge, play volleyball, catch up with new friends and, of course, swim. It’s also where workers from town are most likely to have a cheeky swim during their lunch breaks. There’s often a busker on the lawn, great views of the lighthouse and you can even grab a fresh coconut from the cutest little food stall, Coco Rasta, who camps out at Main Beach most days during summer. What more could you possibly want?

Summer sunny day at Main Beach in Byron Bay
Photo: wavesbyronbay.com.au
Torakina Beach (Brunswick Heads)

And relax. Torakina Beach is a hot contender for Team Sienna favourite. It’s right at the sweet spot where the ocean meets the river and like the rest of Brunswick Heads, it’s so very peaceful. It’s also very sheltered making it an ideal spot for young families. If you’re in Brunswick Heads and need a spot to cool off after lunch and some shopping, this is the haven you are seeking. Head over the bridge on foot and you will find Torakina on the other side of the carpark. We love Torakina so much, we named one of our colours after it.

torakina beach and turquoise water on a sunny day in Brunswick Heads
Photo: elementsofbyron.com.au

Dreaming of blues? Us too. You will find our collection of beach-worthy blues here.

byron bay market stands

The ultimate Byron Bay market guide

Summer is here and in Byron Bay, that means we are in peak market season. If you want to know what’s on where, you’re going to need our Byron Bay Market Guide. Read on for all the market culture you’re ever going to need or scroll through for a handy market timetable.

homemade blue and turquoise ceramic cups at byron bay market
Sienna x Byron Bay markets

As you probably already know, the local markets play a big part in Byron Bay life. It’s a place to meet friends, grab a chai and wander the aisles. Who knows what you’ll discover! It’s the launching pad for many makers and designers – including Sienna. We launched with 13 colours in 2014, and here we are today. Market life was such a beautiful time in our early days, it’s hard work, yes, but it was also so wonderful chatting to our customers, making friends and getting inspired by all the artisans who pour so much love into what they do. A big shout out to everyone who came by our stall to say ‘hi’ and encouraged us to keep going. It meant a lot to this little eco-beauty start-up.

Farmer’s market life

Who loves fresh food? Everyone! We take food pretty seriously here and healthy eating is a way of life for most people. It’s not uncommon to see people carting jars of green smoothie around town to sip on the run, or kids dipping veggie sticks into tahini dip while their mums grab a coffee. (Yes, we know, we know). So it makes sense that there is a strong farmer’s market culture. At the moment, you can catch the iconic Magic Bus to the recently relocated Byron Farmer’s Market. The bus stop is outside the Visitor’s Centre. Come for the farm-fresh veggies, stay for a coffee and a chat. Remember to BYO bags and baskets for the win.

Instagram: @byronfarmers

carrots at the farmer's market in byron bay
herbs and green oinons at the farmer's market in byron bay

Farmers market dates and times

Bangalow Farmers Market, Saturdays 8-11 am
New Brighton Farmers Market, Tuesdays 8-11 am
Byron Bay Farmers Market, Thursdays 8-11 am
Mullumbimby Farmers Market, Fridays 8-11 am

Byron Bay markets

The Byron Bay community markets are just good fun. For a start, there are always great tunes from local musicians and delicious food to be had. But beyond that, the markets are an expression of Byron Bay culture in all its vibrant glory. And while the town itself might have changed a bit, the atmosphere at the market is the same as it has always been. In this crazy world of fast fashion and mass production, the Byron markets are a special opportunity to meet makers and support small business. Grab a unique gift from one of the many talented artisans showcasing their wares or find a fantastic frock from the next generation of fashion success stories. Sit in the shade of a She-Oak, sip on a cane juice and enjoy the vibes.

Instagram: @byron-markets

Byron Bay markets dates and times

Byron Community market – 1st Sunday of the month (and the 3rd Sunday of the month in January)
Byron Beachside market – 8th Jan 2020 + every school holidays
Byron Twilight market – Saturday nights 4 pm-9 pm, Nov – May 2020

byron bay market stands
Jewellery stand at byron bay market
handmade Wood Chopping Board stand at Byron Bay Market
Byron Bay Candles stand at byron bay market
Bangalow market

You can find the Bangalow market nestled under the shade of 11 huge camphor laurel trees, which give the market a certain ‘magical forest’ vibe. It’s really quite a beautiful setting, especially in summer where the shade is a welcome respite from the heat. Bangalow is a historic village about 15 minutes-drive from Byron Bay and there is plenty of parking onsite. It’s one of the area’s most popular markets – we’ll see you there!

Bangalow market dates and times

Every 4th Sunday of the month

Bangalow Market handmade ceramic and cushions stand
Bangalow Market artisanal Soap bars stand
Bangalow Market crystal grid cloth stand
More markets we love
Yep, there’s more.

Byron Flea Market – behind the library on the 2nd Saturday of the month, 9am-2pm.
Byron Flea is actually a community program aimed at helping local youths gain skills and work experience in a market setting. Even the entertainment is performed by Byron Bay High music students.

The Channon – 2nd Sunday of the month
Beloved for its old-school Byron hippy vibes, the Channon market is out in the hills and feels a world away from bustling Byron. Wonderful.

Brunswick Heads Market – 1st Saturday of the month, 7 am-2 pm.
Combine a high-tide dip in the river with a visit to the market.

Lismore Car Boot Market – 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month
Sienna Founder, Danielle, is a big fan of this market. A veritable treasure trove of plants, homewares and more than one really decent vintage stall.

See the Visit Byron Bay website for more details.

All the dates

First Week of the Month

Brunswick Heads Markets – 1st Saturday of the month
Byron Bay Markets – 1st Sunday of the month (+ 3rd Sunday Dec & Jan)
Pottsville Markets – 1st Sunday of the month
Lismore Car Boot Market – 1st Sunday of the month

Second Week of the Month

Byron Flea Market – 2nd Saturday of the month
Kingscliff Markets – 2nd Saturday of the month
The Channon Markets – 2nd Sunday of the month

Third Week of the Month

Byron Bay Markets – 3rd Sunday December & January
Lismore Car Boot Market – 3rd Sunday of the month
Mullumbimby Markets – 3rd Saturday of the month
Alstonville Markets – 3rd Saturday of the month
Pottsville Markets – 3rd Sunday of the month
Uki Buttery Bazaar – 3rd Sunday of the month
Murwillumbah Markets – 3rd Saturday of the month

Fourth Week of the Month

Kingscliff Markets – 4th Saturday of the month
Nimbin Markets – 4th and 5th Sunday of the month
Bangalow Markets – 4th Sunday of the month