The green guide (from National Geographic) has product reports (update in 2011: not anymore!) which tell you about the problems and solutions regarding a vast array of product categories. Nail polish is on the list. As it’s summer, I figure it’s pertinent because although I don’t wear make-up on a regular basis (maybe twice a year), I do like to colour my toenails in the summer. Nail polish, though, is one of the nastiest products on the cosmetics market, because (among other reasons) our nails are so porous and things absorbed through them go straight into the blood stream, and many ingredients in nail polish are toxic. Yikes.
(Update in 2011: The only relevant thing I can quickly find on the NationalGeo site on nail polish is here.)
Also, the Environmental Working Group‘s Cosmetic Safety Database has a list of nail polishes and their hazard rating, as well as whether they do animal testing or have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
Hence, no more nail polish.