It used to be hard to find a beauty product that was cruelty-free and vegan, especially nail polish. Thank goodness more brands are waking up and making the switch.
You, your friends, and nail salon technicians can be excited that cruelty-free, vegan nail polishes are now everywhere. Let’s check out what cruelty-free and vegan mean, and some amazing brands that are making the most gorgeous polishes that are safe for everyone.
What it means to be vegan and cruelty-free
Those buzz words sound great. They lead you to believe you’re buying a product that is better for you and the rest of the world. But what do those words actually mean?
When you see a product that states it’s “vegan” it’s talking about the ingredients. It means the products are not made with anything animal-derived. Most nail polishes contain a few non-vegan ingredients which aid in hardening and strengthening nails as well as adding shimmer to the color.
Animal products to look out for:
- Carmine — red pigment made from ground bug shells
- Guanine (can also be listed as pearl essence) — fish scales used for shimmer
- Beeswax, lanolin, oleic acid, and keratin
Cruelty-free refers to how a brand tests the ingredients and products. While there is currently no standard definition for the term, it generally means manufacturers don’t test their products on animals. That even includes any paid third-party testing. If you are particular about animal testing, you will want to ensure that not only the products but all of their ingredients are not tested on animals.
Look for “free” formulas
When you are checking out a product, look for the phrases “8-free” or “10-free” on the container or website. The classifications mean a product doesn’t contain some of the most common chemicals found in nail polish and other cosmetics: parabens, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, triphenyl phosphate, formaldehyde resin, formaldehyde, xylene, nonylphenol ethoxylate, e-series glycol ethers, sulfates, acetone, phthalates, bisphenol A (or BPA), benzophenone 1, benzophenone 2, or animal-byproducts. Many of these chemicals are known to be toxic and otherwise problematic.
Now that you know what it means to have cruelty-free, vegan nail polish, let’s check out 8 of the best brands out there.
Pacifica Plant Magic Polish
All products are vegan and cruelty-free
Pacifica’s Plant Magic Polish has a 16-free formula. Their polishes are up to 80% bio-sourced and contain magnesium and calcium-enriched bio-ceramics. Check out the 21 colors and pick out a couple that catch your eye.
For light to medium to dark skin tones
Pear Nova nail lacquers are all cruelty-free, vegan, and 10-free. Founder and CEO Rachel James was out to create a line of nail lacquers that would allow women of all skin tones to look their best without having to sacrifice quality.
Whether you like the classic look or gel style, you can find shades for any time of the year. Support a Black-owned, woman-owned company and stock up on nail lacquers of every shade.
If you need every color option
If you have to have every shade of nail polish and want them all 10-free, vegan, and cruelty-free, then Zoya has you covered. They have a whopping 633 colors! Have a guilt-free time looking at the never-ending rainbow of Zoya’s colors.
Run solely by a female, this vegan, cruelty-free, and 8-free polish needs to be on your list. Deco Miami polishes are also hand-made in the US and come in two sizes. Their 6ml bottle offers a great option to try a color but before committing to a full-size huge bottle.
You can pick from almost 30 colors at a reasonable price. The names are pretty fun, too.
Improves skin and nails
Want a vegan, cruelty-free, clean, 10-free nail lacquer that will also make your nails and skin healthier? Then give Butter London a try. Their nail polishes have aloe vera, papaya oil, coconut oil, bamboo extract, shea butter, and more to make sure your skin and nails look better than ever. Their Patent Shine 10 Nail Lacquer even has a curved brush that will make applying easier.
Infused with antioxidants
In addition to being non-toxic, cruelty-free, vegan, and 8-free, Static Nails lacquers are made in the US. But the coolest thing about these polishes is that each one is packed with antioxidants. Whether it’s apricot, jojoba, and vitamin E, or a bamboo, biotin, and marula oil combo, each lacquer has its own special blend of key ingredients you will love.
Inspired by twin daughters
Ella+mila has been on our radar for a bit. Their polishes come in eight different textures so you can have the best time experimenting to find one you love best. They are all 17-free, Leaping Bunny certified, PETA certified, vegan, made in the US, and named after the founder’s twin daughters. There are dozens and dozens of colors to choose from and the names are adorable. We hope the daughters had a hand in picking them out.
Clean products that give back to the community
There are so many positives to Base Coat beyond the cruelty-free, 10-free, and vegan aspects. From giving you a discount to turn in empty bottles to ensure they are disposed of properly, donating a portion of every credit/debit sale to a nonprofit, to advocating for nail salons to pay their employees a living wage, you feel you are doing more than getting your pretty on when you apply your favorite nail color.
With over 100 hand-mixed shades to check out, you won’t get bored with your nail game, especially when you read the imaginative names.
These days there are so many cruelty-free, vegan nail polish options, and that’s a wonderful thing. Supporting a brand that cares about the environment, you, and what goes into their products is the ultimate find. If it’s easier to find brands that support clean living, more of us can live a toxic-free lifestyle. You can clean up your polish lineup with any of these amazing brands while having the best-looking set of nails out there.
BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.
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