Vava vegan! Chrome Girl founders Melissa Ravo (LEFT) and Jaime Boreanaz are getting raves for their nontoxic, vegan nail varnishes.
“Our young daughters were having a play date,” says Jaime Boreanaz, “and they wanted us to paint their nails.” Knowing that what is on a toddler’s fingers will most likely end up in her mouth, Boreanaz and buddy Melissa Ravo hesitated.
After conducting a Google search for kid-friendly nail varnish options, the women realized their fears were justified. “We were floored when we discovered the harmful chemicals in nail polish—they can cause early puberty and respiratory issues,” Boreanaz continues. “We wanted to create a polish that was not only safe enough for our girls, but also safe for all ages.”
The result is Chrome Girl, a collection of vibrant varnishes classified as “5-free,” meaning they are produced without the most toxic offenders: two types of formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, and camphor. The silky formulation is vegan, and only one coat of polish, as opposed to the customary (and time-consuming) two, is enough to give nails a dazzling shine.
Joining Boreanaz and Ravo in their quest for safe manicures are their husbands, David—yes, that David Boreanaz—and Aaron, an advertising executive, respectively. Melissa and Jaime oversee the company’s day-to-day operations, including every detail from sales to shipping, while their spouses chime in for the big-picture directives.
Chrome Girl nail polish.
“Our husbands are very hands-on with the company decisions and the creative process,” says Boreanaz. “When we are sampling colors, David will swipe a color on his own nail to give his honest opinion, and Aaron is an expert in the advertising business, so it’s been extremely helpful to receive his help and ideas for marketing.”
One burgeoning aspect of the business in which both men have taken a keen interest is the collaboration between Chrome Girl and the National Hockey League, exemplified by the recent launch of nail varnish duos in traditional NHL team colors. “We have chosen true Pantone nail polish colors to represent the hockey teams, like the Los Angeles Kings, and David and Aaron are more involved with that side of the company,” says Boreanaz.
With deep roots in California—Ravo is an LA native while Boreanaz moved from Salt Lake City in the late ’90s to pursue an acting career and never looked back—the decision to name Los Angeles as the company’s headquarters was an “effortless” one, according to Ravo, thanks to the wealth of inspiration the city offers. When brainstorming color ideas, Ravo takes her cues from the vibe, energy, and evolving fashion of LA, as well as the music scene. (Actress Jennifer Hudson debuted the newly launched polish on the red carpet at the 2013 Academy Awards, donning the deep charcoal hue Hard to Get.)
“The best part about this business is that I get to do what I love every day, and that I get to do it with my best friend,” says Ravo. Chrome Girl nail varnish ($10) is available at Fred Segal, 500 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-394-7535