For Nandee Shabazz, a 19-year-old Muslim college student and Miami resident, wearing nail polish year-round was something she could never do.
“I can’t wear polish. The nail polish acts as a barrier, and the water isn’t getting to my nails,” Shabazz said. “So when I make ‘wudu’ [the ritual cleansing before prayer], it’s invalid.”
Now, Aventura Mall is the home of Inglot Cosmetics — a company that has formulated a breathable nail polish that ensures oxygen and water vapor permeability.
“I’ve been waiting for this product for about a year. I love that this option is available now for Muslim women to take advantage of,” Shabazz said.
The international franchise Inglot Cosmetics that manufactures “O2M Breathable Nail Enamel” created the polish as a healthier alternative to traditional nail polish.
“The polish has a special polymer — it’s like the polymer in a contact lens that allows the nail to breathe,” said Stephanie Rose, senior artist at Inglot Cosmetics.
But for some Muslim women, it is more than a healthier alternative — it is a way to perform a religious obligation and still have the advantages of wearing polish.
“With nail polish on, I feel a bit more professional in a sense because my nails are uniform and they all look the same,” said Neveen Al-Said, 21. “It’s a small thing, but it makes a difference.”
Inglot offers 80 colors in their “O2M Breathable Nail Enamel” line, as well as a breathable base and topcoat. All the polishes are priced at $15.
Sara Haroon, a Miami Muslim woman, has used a water permeable nail polish from another company — Canada-based Tuesday in Love.
Tuesday in Love water-permeable nail polish can be purchased only online in the United States. The polish is at $12.47, cheaper than Inglot’s. But with flat rate shipping at $8.75 the cost tops $21.
Haroon and other Muslim residents of Miami have welcomed Aventura Mall’s addition of Inglot as a local solution to the dilemma of nail polish.
“It’s so much closer and easier to get to than ordering online,” Haroon said.
Like Haroon, many Muslim women are happy with the option of water-permeable nail polish but still wary of wearing the polish full time.
Nail polish has been a common source of contention in the Muslim community.
Islamic scholars ruled traditional nail polish as something that will make the obligatory cleansing of the hands and feet before prayer invalid.
But even with the advent of a water-permeable nail polish, some Islamic scholars, such as Imam Joe Bradford, still warn against its use.
“Nail polish, even the kind that claims to be water permeable, is tenuous at best. It is best to be avoided [because] it may invalidate your wudu,” Bradford said.
Hiba Habli, 23, agrees.
“I would personally not wear it,” Habli said. “I feel like it’s not worth risking my prayer for polish on my nails.”
For some, the permeability of the polish needs to be tested before they commit to wear it.
Consumers can perform a do-it-yourself permeability test on the Inglot product.
Shabazz tried these tests at home and was satisfied with her results.
“I tried it and it [the water] went through. I don’t wear it on my hands though,” Shabazz said. “But I wear it on my toes and its great.”
Where to get it
What: Inglot Cosmetics
Where: 19575 Biscayne Blvd. #1205, Aventura Mall, Aventura
When: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday. noon to 8 p.m. Sunday
For more information: 305-682-1014 or www.inglotusa.com