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  • Writer's pictureAnnie

By Cindy Societal: Nail Polish Review

Let's take a look at an Australian indie nail polish brand based in Western Australia.

This year I pledged to support more Aussie brands with all of my makeup, beauty and skincare purchases. I run my own small business so I know how tough it can be to operate in Australia with high labour costs, taxation and a 10% GST (Goods and Services Tax). Due to this, I try to buy Australian products from the company's own website and I will be fiercely loyal to any brand that rewards their customers with discounts and great customer service. I first came across the Australian indie brand By Cindy Societal after watching YouTuber Nikkia Joy rave on about the glitter nail polish 'Having an Ariel Moment' so I decided to place an order.

About By Cindy Societal

"I started this line of breathable, 10-free, vegan and cruelty free formula as we are becoming more and more savvy about what we are putting on our bodies."

My initial reluctance to paint my nails during my teenage years mostly came from a hatred of the strong fumes one usually associates with nail polish. I used to also be a compulsive nail biter in high school so I'd end up swallowing bitter flakes. Some research into the cause of these issues yielded disturbing results. Ingredients such as formaldehyde were sometimes present in my cheap polishes. Even as a teen, I recognised the chemical as the primary agent used in the preservation of bodies and the body parts that were kept in jars as scientific specimens. Today, I know that it's used commonly in disinfectant but it also irritates me that I see it listed on the can of varnish that I apply to my wooden floorboards too. Some scientific studies have linked formaldehyde to serious health concerns such as asthma and cancer. Even though these warnings are more targeted towards those who encounter the chemicals on a frequent basis, such as people working in nail salons, I feel it is best to avoid it in as many of my personal beauty products as I'm able to. Luckily, By Cindy Societal nail polishes were conceived to be free from such harmful components as a 10-free product.

"This brand is dedicated to my mum, and all of my health conscious friends who are looking for a better option."

The term '10-free' refers to nail polishes formulated without the absence of toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, parabens, ethyl tosylamide, animal by-products, and fragrance. They are considered to be the safest of the options on the market so are perfect for those who might have respiratory problems such as asthma. On top of being 10-free, bycs is also a vegan and cruelty-free brand.

Price, packaging and availability

Individually, each nail polish retails for AUD$20 with $9 postage to Australian addresses and free postage for orders above $100. They also post internationally.

I bought a bundle of three for $50 plus postage. Purchasing a trio negated the extra shipping costs completely as my total amounted to $59. Cindy offers a number of pre-packaged bundles that offer better value than buying each one by one on her site with her 3, 5 and 6 polish sets and often runs promotions with discount codes being emailed out to her newsletter subscribers.

Each 15ml bottle is packaged in a cute pink cardboard box which features the ingredients on the back. My order was sent through Australia Post in a padded envelope so everything arrived at my doorstep in top condition.

These nail polishes are available on Cindy's website at along with an array of other nail accessories.

The nail polish formula

Most nail polishes tend to chip on me within one day but these nail polishes have very good longevity compared to ones I own from mainstream brands. I can go for at least three days without a chip on my dominant hand with the use of a traditional base coat and top coat. On my non-dominant hand it'll easily last a five days before showing signs of wear and tear. I consider that a huge success since I'm a frequent handwasher. The formula is quite thin which is fantastic for me as I have an unsteady hand. It allows me to paint in relatively thin layers but I can get full opacity in two coats.


"The perfect creamy beige nude that is a staple for everyday wear."

I love this shade. It's so understated and elegant at the same time. The beige colour of this nail polish suits me most. 'Incognito' is the perfect name for this shade because it's almost as if you can conceal your nails with something natural looking. Two coats makes this true to colour.

This nude makes me feel polished and professional and it's the shade I'll wear most regularly. I've already powered through more than a third of the bottle and I can see myself finishing the whole thing.

Having an Ariel Moment

"A sheer pink base with tons (and I mean TONS) of goldy greeny shimmer particles to make your nails pop."

This is the nail polish that drew me to the brand in the first place. It's a complex duochrome nail polish that from a front on angle looks greeny gold but will turn pink with a silver base from another perspective. I always catch myself rotating my hand to catch the light when I wear this nail polish because it's so gorgeously distracting!

"You can wear it in a single coat for a little bit of zhuush, in two coats for a full blown shimmer, almost metallic look, or over the top of other polishes as an overcoat."

This shimmer formula is a tad more difficult to work with in comparison to the regular shades so I sometimes use a peel off base coat to make removal much easier. Unfortunately, I'm not the best painter so I do get glitter everywhere. I don't use a liquid latex so I end up needing to clean up after with acetone but it's totally worth the effort.

In natural daylight I find that I tend to see more of a pink shift with a silver reflect coming through but in artificial lighting or at night, 'Having an Ariel Moment' looks intensely golden. It's difficult to capture in photography because the glitter particles confuses the camera.

This molten gold colour is actually what is presented when I look down at my hand or if I hold my hand perfectly perpendicular to my face.

'Having an Ariel Moment' is the defining nail polish from By Cindy Societal so it's a must buy if you're going to snap something up from the brand. It's just so mesmerising that you'll find yourself gazing at your fingertips.

Red-dy or Not

"Red-or Not, is a jelly red polish that is sure to turn heads."

Red nail polish is a classic that won't ever go out of vogue. Although I'm not usually one for overly bright nails, I couldn't pass this up because I love a red nail to pair with a red lipstick. This shade is a vibrant primary red that emits a high shine like sunlight dancing off a fire engine.

Formula wise, this nail polish is very thin so it allows for easy application. It is opaque in two thin layers just as advertised.


While my makeup consumption is quite high, I'm not an avid user of nail polish unlike my best friend Tracy whose nails are never without lacquer. Many of the nail polishes in my possession have been kindly gifted by her so on the rare occasion that I look for a product to purchase on my own, I seek one that is easy to use, quick drying and long lasting. I'm not a patient person by nature so literally waiting for paint to dry only magnifies my boredom to an excruciating level. By Cindy Societal polishes make this experience much better for me so now I actually want to paint my nails.

I'd love to try out other shades in the range because many of the colours on offer really appeal to me. I'm also interested in testing out whether the ByCS branded base coat and top coats would increase the longevity of these nail polishes. Overall, it's a great formula that's easy to work with, dries down quickly and has an thin formula that helps a beginner like me.

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