We all know to give brands who test on animals a wide berth. But did you know there might also be ingredients lurking in your nail varnish that might not be vegan? If you’re a fan of metallic and shimmery shades (and let’s face it, who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle?), just beware that sometimes this effect is made by the use of fish scales. Gross, right? You’ll need to look out for ‘guanine’ or ‘pearl’ on the ingredients list. But otherwise, if you stick to trusted cruelty-free brands, its actually really easy to find vegan nail polishes. Here is our list of the best cruelty-free vegan nail polishes.
You can count on UK brand Beauty Without Cruelty to do – well, exactly that! The whole range in 100% vegan and cruelty free, as well as free from toxic chemicals. They also care for the environment, making every effort to minimise the footprint of their ingredients and packaging. We love the dreamy, subtle ‘Castle in the Sand’, a high-gloss nude beige with warm undertones. It’s long lasting and easy to apply, with an even finish. Made with 85% bio sourced ingredients.
Pacifica is another top cruelty-free brand, and their fab 7 Free nail polishes come in a huge 55 colours, including vampy reds, subtle nudes and shiny metallics. As well as animal products, they are also free of ‘the big 7’. These are parabens, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde and resin. This polish applies really well with a smooth finish. Our favourite is ‘Swamp Thing’ with it’s gorgeous shimmering metallic swirls.
Jin Soon Choi, the face behind this cruelty-free brand, believes that nail polish should be as healthy and eco-friendly as possible. The whole range is free from toxic chemicals, as well as being long lasting and chip proof. Two coats will give intense shine and vivid colour coverage. It’s also quick dry and contains a UV filter to prevent fading or yellowing. There’s a huge range of collections and finishes to choose from – our top pick is the luxurious gold of ‘Baroque’ with its subtle shimmer.
4. Cienna Rose
Cienna Rose specialise in enriching nail polishes that nourish nails instead of damaging them. Their nail polishes are free of all 12 toxic chemicals that you may find in ordinary products – Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, Camphor, DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate), Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, Toluene, Triphenyl Phosphate, MEHQ/HQ (Hydroquinone Monomethyl Ether), MIT (Methylisothiazolinone), Animal derived ingredients and Parabens. But enough about the science. We’re obsessed with the colour of ‘Stiletto’, a classic old-school red.
5. Barry M
Barry M are cruelty-free superstars and most of their products are vegan, and clearly marked with their own section on the website. They do some killer shades in their make-up range and the nail polish selection is no different. We love the shimmering, colour-shifting ‘Under the Sea’ range with its two-tone colours. The packaging is also super cute with fish swimming around on the lid. Our favourite is ‘Butterflyfish’ – it makes us think of daydreams and lazy days on the beach.
Benecos makes nail polish with up to 90% natural ingredients, so you can trust that your nails are being cared for, instead of risking nasty chemicals. There’s a good range of colours available too, 17 in fact. The formula gives a natural shine and is permeable to water and oxygen. The polishes also contain avocado oil and biotin to nourish nails. We love the pop of colour that the vibrant pink of ‘Oh la la!’ brings. They’re also really budget friendly.
Orly’s Professional 12-Free Nail Polish is vegan friendly and cruelty-free. For best results, apply a basecoat and topcoat to get the best from this salon-quality range. The name 12-Free comes from the fact that the range is created without Toluene, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, MEHQ/HQ, MIT, Parabens, Animal Derived Ingredients or Gluten. That’s a whole load of long worlds that don’t belong on our bodies! You can’t go wrong with the gothic ‘Just Bitten’.
8. Kure Bazaar
Kure Bazaar’s Innovative formula made from naturally derived ingredients. Instead of toxic chemicals, these nail polishes use wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn. There are plenty of cute shades to choose from to protect your nails. The formula is chip-resistant and long wearing, with an ultra-shine finish. It also dries quickly so you can apply and go without any faff. Our top pick is the sophisticated ‘Nomade’, a soft nude shade perfect for every day.
Glossworks makes professional quality nail polish that is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It comes in 32 different shades from pastels to brights, and has a fab highly glossy, gel-like finish. These nail polishes do not fade and are chip-resistant for long lasting colours. We love ‘Cool as a Cucumber’, a soft, pastel green that is guaranteed to make you feel zen and spring-like. Or try the deep, dark ruby of ‘Morticia’ to channel your inner classic movie star.
10. Smith & Cult
Smith & Cult are a cruelty-free brand. All of their nail polish is suitable for vegans. You’ll be like a kid in a candy store with a whopping 43 shades to choose from, including shimmery metallics and pretty pinks, delivering even coverage in a chip-resistant formula. Not only are they free from toxic ingredients, they also come in the cutest bottles with shiny gold lids. Our favourite is the gently pearlescent ‘5th Ave Fortress’, a pale blush perfect for day and night.
11. Seren London
Seren London has a special vegan-friendly range, with 41 vibrant shades to pick from. The bottles are a perfect handbag size and the nail polish dries quickly, meaning these are perfect for on the go. It’s easy to apply and leaves a smooth, chip resistant finish. Try the bright and cheerful ‘Urban Night’ – a vivid royal purple that is bound to put a smile on your face.
All of Nailberry’s nail polishes are vegan, cruelty-free, and free of all the big name chemical ingredients. The bottle design is simple and stylish, plus there are over 50 gorgeous shades up for grabs. The L’Oxygéné range allows air and water vapour to pass through it, making sure your natural nail can breathe. However, it still maintains a good, strong coverage that is resistant to chipping. Our top pick is the classic and sophisticated stone, a chilled out shade of grey.
Zoya Nail Polish is ‘BIG10 Free’. This means there is no toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, parabens, TPHP, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, dibutyl phthalate or lead. Their products are also vegan friendly, cruelty free and breathable. They also have – wait for it – over 200 shades to choose from! It’s a tough choice, but we’re smitten with the purply-pink metallic duo-chrome of ‘Adina’ which gives a super on-trend oil-slick look with hints of green.
As well as being free from 8 of the most toxic chemicals that are traditionally in nail polish, Zao’s products are enriched with bamboo rhizome macerate. This helps to make your nails stronger and healthier – hooray! Bamboo is also used in the packaging, so it looks cute and is good for the planet, it’s a win-win. There are 20 shades to choose from in handy-sized bottles. We love their old-school vibrant red, which is shade number 650.
15. M&S Autograph
High street favourite Marks and Spencer’s may only sell a handful of different shades of their vegan-friendly own brand nail polish, but you can trust that it is not tested on animals and is good quality. Best of all, the formula is all in one, combining base coat, colour and top coat for a perfect finish. It also contains Argon Oil and Vitamin E to nourish your nails and leave them feeling cared for. Our pick is the gentle peach tone of ‘Melba Blush’
16. Butter London
Butter London create feel good beauty products that are never tested on animals, including their lovely range of vegan friendly nail polishes. There are so many to choose from, but our favourite is the Patent Shine 10X range which provides up to 10 days of long-lasting and chip resistant wear. It’s free from harmful chemicals and contains bamboo extracts to promote stronger and healthier nails. We love the gorgeous hit of colour that is ‘Flusher Blusher’.
Soigné is a French word translates ‘to take care of’ in English, and that’s exactly what this brand aims to do with its eco-friendly products. These nail polishes contain up to 85% natural ingredients, with no harmful carcinogens. They never test on animals and are vegan friendly. There are almost 50 different shades available, and they are long-lasting and durable. Our top pick is the vivid ‘Framboise Bleue’, perfect for a day by the sea.
18. Madam Glam
For a salon quality manicure at home, choose Madam Glam. Their products are cruelty-free and vegan. The One Step Gel range gives a professional gel finish, yet is easy to apply. It is available in 18 different shades. The formula is free from 9 of the common harmful chemicals. You’ll need a UV or LED lamp to finish this gel polish, but the results are worth it for a colour that lasts and lasts. We’re in love with the glitz and glamour of ‘Flash Forward’ – after all, you can never have too much glitter, right?
19. MO Nails
MO Nails specialises in eco-friendly gel polishes. They are vegan friendly and cruelty-free, without five of the most toxic substances. The gels are easy to apply and glide on for a smooth even finish. The formula is resistant to chipping, peeling and fading. There are over 180 colours to choose from, so you can pick one to suit every mood. There’s no cute names, but the sheer number of colours more than makes up for it. We’d go for the shimmery green, or the party friendly purple.
20. Kester Black
Kester Black is Australia’s leading ethical beauty range. Their nail polish is kind to the planet and kind to you. It’s cruelty-free, vegan friendly and free from all the nasty extras and toxic chemicals. The products are even carbon neutral and there’s 2% donated to charity with each purchase. This is a company that doesn’t just talk the talk. Oh, and the colours are super cute, too. Unleash your inner goth (with some added sparkle!) with their ‘Black Diamonds’ holographic nail polish.
NCLA Beauty specialise in cruelty-free products, and have a fabulous range of vegan friendly nail polishes. Their ‘Gelous’ (get it?) formula is 7-free and is a professional gel manicure product, for use with UV or LED lights. It protects the natural nail with easy removal. They also do a huge range of cute shades in an everyday non-gel formula. They’ve even teamed up with Barbie to produce a new range of colours. We love ‘Pastel Dreams’ – the ultimate Barbie pink complete with adorable packaging.
22. Nail Supply UK
Nail Supply UK has launched a range of vegan, cruelty-free and odour-free nail polishes, available in several different shades. The formula is based on natural ingredients and water, instead of harmful chemicals, so you can trust that it will look after your nails. It’s budget friendly too, with a salon-quality finish. It lasts up to three weeks but is also easy to remove. Our top pick for that summer feeling is the vibrant yellow ‘Dutch Daffodil’, sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
We love this brand both for the name and for their ethical stance. Their nail polishes are free from 5 common toxins and are never tested on animals. They are also vegan friendly. There are lots of different shades to choose from too. It’s long wearing and will resist peeling and chipping for days. It’s a small company and the products are all handmade, so they know exactly what is going into their nail polishes. We love ‘Envy’ – a metallic dark green that is bound to have others around you green with jealously. Luckily, they are budget-friendly so you can tell everyone to get their own!
Kia-Charlotta is a German-based vegan beauty company who pride themselves on their vegan credentials. All of their nail polishes are free of 14 of the most common nasty chemicals, for a kinder, gentler formula. It’s easy to apply and leaves a smooth, even coating of colour. The bottle design is super cute too. With so many shades to choose from it’s hard to choose, but our top recommendation is ‘Morning Coffee’ – you can almost smell the coffee beans with this subtly metallic brown.
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