Here are eight of our favourite clean, cruelty-free and vegan nail polishes. Your mani can be fierce without being harmful.
Studies have shown that chemicals in nail lacquers can be absorbed into the body through our nails. Heeding the call of concerned consumers, many brands have begun to weed out harmful ingredients from their formulas.
As with all clean beauty, there is no one standard regulation on what should be excluded from nail colour formulas but common questionable ingredients include: formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and TPHP
There are a lot of non-toxic nail colours options out there, boasting 5, 8, 10-free or 12 free, meaning their formulas don’t contain a certain number of these toxic ingredients. This doesn’t mean that they’re natural, but they do exclude those chemicals which have raised red flags.
Here are eight of our favourite clean nail lacquer brands. And they're cruelty-free and vegan too!
NB. Many retailers do not ship nail varnish overseas. Check for local stockists.
The L’Oxygene range from British brand Nailberry is a breathable and oxygenated formulation that uses patented technology to deliver a healthier manicure. Their Rouge is a must for classic red nails. Their formula is vegan and cruelty-free and 12-free without : DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide, Triphenyl Phosphate, Alcohol, Parabens, Animal Derivatives and Gluten.
Kure Bazaar have fabulous chic reds and elegant nudes in a variety of shades to flatter every skin tone, with an easy to apply brush. Not only are their colours 10-free, but they’re also made of 85% natural ingredients, including wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes, and corn. Their Organic Rose Infusion Oil is great for nourishing cuticles and nails, and it smells divine too.
Côte have a great range of over 100 colours, as well as base and top coats. Their vegan and cruelty free formula is free of Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Camphor, Formaldehyde Resin, and Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP), and also contains strengthening Vitamin B5 and coffee extract to help with peeling nails.
Butter London has classic colours in an 10-free formula, with a high gloss finish that features bamboo extract to help strengthen your nails. Their Patent Shine 10X nail lacquers (look for the silver caps) are vegan, fade and chip resistant up to 10 days, and have a curved brush applicator for a flawless full coverage finish.
JINSoon make long wearing 10-free lacquer without Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide, Triphenyl Phosphate, Parabens, Lead. The vegan friendly formula also has a UV filter protects against fading or yellowing of colour.
Smith and Cult
The colours in these gorgeous luxe bottles are 8-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. Plus, Smith & Cult lacquer is ultra-shiny and chip-resistant.
US brand, Sundays, delivers salon quality with its 10-free non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free formula, with high-shine, and long-lasting colour. Inspired by Scandinavian and Japanese minimalist colour schemes, their nail polishes are muted and based on earthy tones—perfect for an understated but trendy mani. Their soy polish remover is also gentle on nails and non-toxic.
Australian made and owned, Kester Black use sustainable production methods including the use of recyclable materials and small batch manufacturing to minimise wastage. Nail polishes—which come in a Pantone colour chart worth of cool shades— are 10-Free and International Cruelty Free and Vegan Society accredited. Kester Black is also B Corp Certified.