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6 Best Vegan Nail Polish Brands for Healthy, Glamorous Nails (2019)

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Over many years, painting our nails has become a fashion; and let’s face it – they’re super fun to dress up!

However, it is well-known today how nail polish can be very toxic and bad for your health if made with traditional chemicals.

So is there any hope for an at-home manicure without all the horrible chemicals?

I have good news for you – there are safe options! Like our amazing vegan nail polish brands we’ve rounded-up here for you to check out!

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Quick List of Top Picks

The History of Nail Polish

Why do we wear nail polish and how did it ever become a fashionable thing to do?

Well it all started back in ancient China around 3000 B.C. when royals would adorn their nails, and ingredients in the nail color included things like beeswax and natural food dyes.

In ancient Egypt, nail color would symbolize class rankings; light color or nude was worn by lower class while red was for the higher class.

Modern day nail polish came about in the early 1920s with the invention of automobile paint.

Inspired by this invention, French manicurist Michelle Manard created the first opaque nail polish, and later her brother launched Revlon with its first nail polish in 1932.

Since then, we’ve seen many different trends in nail color and manicures since its invention.

In this video, watch the evolution of manicures for the last 100 years:

Regardless of the era, having well-manicured nails has been a social symbol for ‘health, femininity, and social status’ as explained in this informative video:

Why is Traditional Nail Polish So Toxic?

Nail polish is normally very toxic, and I’m sure it comes as no surprise given its typical strong odor.

Why is this? Normally nail polish is formulated with some of the worst chemicals toxic to your body’s system, but also can cause nail discoloration, peeling and cracking.

These chemicals include DBP (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.

Let’s break this down for you.

DBP

DBP is normally used to prevent chipping, but is classified as an endocrine disruptor and can mimic estrogen.

This can cause horrible affects such as organ damage in male fetuses or early onset of menopause.  Other side effects could include decreased fertility, bioaccumulation, and liver damage. No thanks!

Toluene

Toluene may create the appearance of a smooth finish on your nail, but in turn it makes you susceptible to neurological damage, decreased brain function, reproductive impairment and even blood cancers like lymphoma.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde helps harden the polish and also acts as a preservative. Exposure to large amounts of this substance (such as in nail salons) can cause chronic health issues such as asthma and miscarriages. Its resin is a byproduct, but exposure to this can cause skin irritation at the least.

Camphor

Finally, camphor makes nail polish look glossy and shiny. However, it can cause organ damage, allergic reactions, dizziness, and headaches.

You’ll note products will state they are ‘5-free’ or ’10-free’ for example. This refers to the product being void of this number of chemicals such as the ones explained above.

Yes, there are much more than what was listed and all are super horrible for you!

Nail Polish Application Tips

Painting your own nails comes with its challenges, and we all probably remember a time or times when we’ve run into issues.

I personally recall painting my nails horizontally when I was a child – this is honestly not intuitive!

This being said, there are some easy tips for making your nails look professionally done and it’ll ensure their staying power.

Begin by putting a ‘bead’ of polish on your nail and using the brush to spread it on your nail.

In 3 strokes, start at the base of the nail and in upward strokes evenly paint up each side and the middle.

It is recommended you use a base coat to give the nail polish something to adhere to, and use a small brush, like a repurposed lip brush, dipped in remover to tidy up around the nail.

You then have the option to apply a top coat if desired, or apply additional coats to achieve the desired color and opaqueness.

Watch this video for more detailed instruction:

6 Top Picks for Vegan Nail Polish

Whether you have a special occasion you’d like to dress your nails up for, or you just want them to look pretty, we have a safe, vegan nail polish right for you!

PS Polish Infused Nail Lacquer

PS Polish All Natural Anti-Fungal Vegan Nail Polish, Safe Non-Toxic Professional Grade Nail Art and Polish Nail Lacquer, Best Polishes for Manicure, Pedicure, Hands, Feet and Nails - (Ethereal)

PS Cosmeceutical’s polish is an infused nail polish which is easy to remove, and doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals like formaldehyde or toluene; making it safe for even children, post-chemotherapy or people with suppressed immune systems.

The color is rich and shiny without the need for a top coat if you prefer to use this alone, and it doesn’t yellow your nails – it actually hydrates them!

I’m very impressed with the botanical ingredients PS has infused into this polish! These ingredients include vitamins C and E, flavonoids, limonoids, and sterols.

Vitamins C and E are both protective of skin and nail tissue to include collagen and elastin, while also encouraging cell growth and repair.

Limonoids and flavonoids are powerful antioxidants and are naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral – all very important to avoid nail fungus and other infections of the nail.

Sterols create a barrier on your nails’ surface and provide a waterproof layer which protects against moisture loss.

If you deal with dry, cracked nails or other nail issues, this polish is great for treating these common nail problems while giving you a great, highly-pigmented polish.

The color featured is called ‘Ethereal’ and it is a purple orchid pigment, which can look pink or purple depending on the light, with a shimmery silver highlight.

What We Like

  • 10-free; non-toxic and safe for everyone
  • Infused with nutrients to treat nails
  • Pretty, rich color
  • Anti-fungal
  • Long-lasting but easy to remove

What We Don’t Like

  • Color may differ from how it looks in the bottle once applied
  • For some, the polish may begin to chip in about 1 week or less
  • Thick consistency

ILNP Cosmetics, Inc. – Cashmere Pink Holographic Nail Polish

ILNP Birthday Suit - Cashmere Pink Holographic Nail Polish, Neutral Nude, Chip Resistant Manicure, Non-Toxic, Vegan, Cruelty Free, 12ml

ILNP’s nail polish goes on like iron and is chip resistant!

Wear this in confidence knowing it is ‘5-free’ meaning it is free of 5 of the most common toxins usually found in nail polish.

These 5 chemical toxins refer to formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and camphor.

This polish is not only safe for humans, but it’s vegan and cruelty-free; meaning animals aren’t used for testing or byproducts used in the formulation.

The color featured is ‘Birthday Suit’ and has a nice soft, neutral cashmere pink hue. With 1 to 2 coats it’s subtle and sheer, but with additional coats it will appear more opaque.

I like the holographic shimmer the polish creates, but it doesn’t have the cement effect of glitter – it’s really easy to remove without soaking.

ILNP offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and they use only premium ingredients with artistic balance and performance which shows!

What We Like

  • Great staying power with only 2 coats and no base
  • Flattering color with most skin tones; subtle with shine
  • Beautiful packaging
  • Quick-drying and chip-resistant
  • 5-free; non-toxic

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey
  • May be too nude for some people looking for more color

Cirque Colors Shimmer Holographic Sparkle Nail Polish

Cirque Colors Shimmer Holographic Sparkle Nail Polish - Cultured - 0.37 fl. oz. (11 ml) - Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Non-Toxic Formula (Pink Pearl)

Handmade in small batches, Cirque Colors feature copper shimmer and holographic sparkle which is opaque using only 2 coats!

This polish is ‘4-free’ which means it doesn’t contain the common toxins including formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, or DBP.

The color featured is ‘Cultured’ and it refers to a cultured pearl. The custom-formulated color, inspired by pearls, shifts between pink and green.

You can expect the shifting, shining effects from their other 31 colors as well!

In fact, the company name ‘Cirque’ refers to the color wheel and endless possibilities within the color spectrum.

Cirque hand-mixes personal color inspirations and transcends the typical limited color options.

The polish is also holographic and is pearlescent in diffused light and will glimmer in direct light.

The company suggests using this with their Holdfast Base Coat and Liquid Laminate Top Coat, but it’s also great just on its own!

What We Like

  • Long-lasting and good quality
  • Lots of pretty color options
  • Hand-mixed in small batches
  • Non-toxic; 4-free

What We Don’t Like

  • May not be holographic or shimmery enough for some people
  • Colors may differ from how they appear in the bottle

Little Ondine L070-Cherry Blossoms Nail Polish

Little Ondine Peel off Fast Dry Zero Smell Non-toxic Natural Nail Polish (L070-Cherry Blossoms)

Little Ondine is a unique nail polish perfect for people who are sensitive to, or dislike, nail polish scent since it is completely void of it!

Plus, it’s revolutionary because, while holding strong for the duration of its wear, when you want to remove it, all you have to do is peel it right off!

I recommend at least 3 coats to achieve the boldest color and for it to peel off correctly, and you can apply to a base coat if desired.

This polish is really neat in so many ways – it has a water base which is different from usual nail polishes, and the only other key ingredients are resin and organic pigment.

The premium ingredients are ethically sound and completely non-toxic. There are no animal byproducts or testing used in making this product, and it’s a ’10-free’ polish.

The polish is quick-drying in about 3 minutes, and there are so many peel-able colors to choose from! The color featured here is Cherry Blossom.

Truly Little Ondine is ‘reimaging nail polish’!

What We Like

  • Peel removal
  • Odorless
  • Non-toxic formula; 10-free
  • Quick drying

What We Don’t Like

  • May wear off too quickly for some people
  • Dries thicker than normal polish
  • Requires more than 2 coats otherwise color is not opaque

ILNP Cosmetics, Inc. Sky Blue Ultra Holographic Nail Polish

ILNP Aria - Sky Blue Ultra Holographic Nail Polish, Chip Resistant Manicure, Non-Toxic Nail Lacquer, Vegan, Cruelty Free, 12ml

Attention blue nail polish lovers! ILNP’s ‘Aria’ sky blue holographic nail polish is where it’s at!

The sky blue color has lots of shimmer which will light up in the sun, and is holographic while being easy to remove as compared to rock-hard glitter.

This polish dries with a smooth, glossy finish so there is no need for a top coat!

This is a 7-free formula which does not include 7 of the most harmful chemicals normally found in nail polish, and it’s cruelty-free and vegan as well.

Aria color, along with the other colors designed by this brand, was created with artistic balance and performance in mind.

The packaging is beautiful and comes wrapped in colorful tissue in its own tray holder so this would also make a great gift for someone special (or yourself!).

The company also offers free returns and exchanges so you can try this awesome blue nail polish in confidence!

What We Like

  • Chip-resistant
  • Non-toxic; 7-free
  • Beautiful color
  • Nice packaging

What We Don’t Like

  • Takes about 3 coats for opaque color
  • For some it may seem like a long time for it to dry

Karma Organic Nail Polish

Karma Organic Natural Nail Polish-Non-Toxic Nail Art, Vegan and Cruelty-Free Nail Paint (FIRST KISS)

Karma Organic Hues is a nail polish with organic ingredients which are naturally produced.

If you are pregnant, have allergies to traditional nail polishes, or would like to give your child a manicure, you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals.

There are also no chemicals harmful to your nails and it’s cruelty-free and vegan; so you can beautify your nails without any concerns. Plus, the packaging is completely recyclable!

The polish is chip-resistant, durable and doesn’t yellow your nails!

I really like the pleasant scent uncommon for most typical nail polishes, and it’s made in the USA.

The color featured is ‘First Kiss’ and it’s a delicate, cute color – two coats are all you need!

In fact, there is a Karma Organic Spa which the owner designed with natural, non-toxic and recycled materials from the wall paint to the flooring.

So in keeping with the company’s mission and commitment to providing a healthy, Zen-like experience, their nail polish is nothing short of the same.

What We Like

  • Organic and naturally produced
  • Durable; chip-resistant
  • No strong odor
  • Safe and non-toxic
  • Cute color

What We Don’t Like

  • Color may not appear glossy enough depending on preference
  • May require addition coats for desired color and opaqueness
  • May not last long enough for some people

Top Choice for the Best Vegan Nail Polish

PS Polish All Natural Anti-Fungal Vegan Nail Polish, Safe Non-Toxic Professional Grade Nail Art and Polish Nail Lacquer, Best Polishes for Manicure, Pedicure, Hands, Feet and Nails - (Ethereal)

All of the nail polishes on our list are great safe options for achieving beautiful nails without exposing yourself to toxic chemicals.

However, our top pick is PS Polish Infused Nail Lacquer because not only is it safe and non-toxic, but it actually treats your nails as you wear it!

I love the botanical ingredients including vitamins C and E, flavonoids, limonoids, and sterols which are all beneficial to your skin and nails preventing dryness, treating nail problems, and encouraging cell growth and repair.

The antioxidant flavonoids and limonoids are protective antioxidants and are naturally antibacterial and anti-viral – so if you have nail issues or would like to prevent problems like infection this is perfect.

I believe a huge bonus in this nail polish is its anti-fungal qualities – everything your nails need while making them beautiful!

All of the nail polish brands have so much to boast about, and are truly special, but we really appreciate this healthy and beneficial polish brand making it our top choice!

Meet

Katie Hill

I'm a vegan mom, and I love cooking new vegan recipes. Over the years of living a plant-based lifestyle, I've learned the benefits to our health and the environment. I enjoy hiking, skiing, and attending music events.

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