Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

Wondering why nail polishes needs to be vegan? How does it matter if it’s prepared from animal-derived ingredients or do they test on animals? Well, here’s the harsh reality.

A research conducted by the Duke University and The Environmental Working Group brings to light that an average nail polish we fondly use to paint our nails contains number of toxic chemicals, which are potentially harmful not just on the outside of your nails (making them appear yellow gradually) but also making their way to the inside of your body through the nail beds.

Now we know why our favorite nail paints have a pungent odor and shimmery glossy shade? They’re loaded with tons of not-so-desirable toxins. This is why a number of women are now becoming increasingly aware of cruelty-free and vegan nail paints that neither harm our bodies nor those of innocent animals as they do not test on animals. Let’s take a look.

Nail Polish – Vegan or Not?

About Nail Polish – Nail Polishes are liquid substance applied on the finger nails. Once the nail is painted by the liquid, the solvent slowly evaporates leaving a solid film on the nail. And later, the same solvent is used to remove the nail polish which is know as Nail Polish remover.

Is Nail Polish Vegan?


No, Nail Polishes are not vegan for most popular-selling brand’s nail polishes are composed of ingredients that are harsh for our nails, the interior of our body and the animals too. Below are some really good organic and vegan nail polish brands that do not damage your nails.

Almost all the cosmetics that we use are made from animal products or are tested on animals. When we use vegan cosmetics and maintain a vegan lifestyle, we are able to save animals as well as our health, this is because, vegan products are organic and chemical free.

And what are these ingredients? They are animal-derived products such as guanine, also mentioned as pearl essence on some ingredient lists on nail polish brands, which is derivative of fish scales. It’s used to give the nail paint that long-lasting shine which makes it a popular sell. Then there’s carmine, also known as cochineal, composed of boiled and crushed beetles. It’s very often a part of red nail polish shades and even some other red-hued cosmetics.

If you like your nail paint coats thick, several brands use oleic acid which is prepared from animal fat or tallow, an ingredient that helps increase the thickness of nail paint formulas.

What is Vegan Nail Polish?

vegan Nail Polish brands

Sadly, lots of famous nail polish brands that we all live by are first tested on animals. As already discussed above, several of them are composed of chemicals which are harmful to humans and animals both.

With the growing popularity of the vegan concept, a large number of women across the world are looking to adopt veganism even in their vanities after having tried it in their kitchens! From cosmetics to food, there are several products that you can find vegan and cruelty-free. Like there are some foundations that are vegancruelty-free and vegan vegan mascaras, and many more such cosmetic products and vegan recipes that you can try for yourself.

Here, we present here a list of some not-so-famous but pure vegan-friendly nail polish brands that are absolutely worth a try. After all, why adorn ourselves basing it on the pain of another.

Best Vegan Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Brands

1st Place
Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Zoya Nail Polish By Zoya
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Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Pacifica Nail Polish By Pacifica
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3 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Piggy Paint Nail Polish By Piggy Paint
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4 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Smith and Cult Nail Polish By Smith and Cult
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5 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Butter London Nail Polish By Butter London
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6 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish LVX Nail Polish By LVX
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7 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Urban Decay Nail Polish By Urban Decay
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8 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish By Deborah Lippmann
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9 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Sundays Nail Polish By Sundays
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10 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Aila Nail Polish By Aila
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11 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Jinsoon Nail Polish By Jinsoon
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12 Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish Cote Nail Polish By Cote
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1. Zoya Nail Polish

Zoya - vegan nail polish

This one’s already immensely popular in a number of professional nail salons and has also been awarded as the “longest-wearing natural nail polish” by the Women’s Health Magazine. The nail paint does not contain chemicals such as toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalates), and camphor. What’s more? This vegan nail polish brand sells more than 300 nail shades so you can easily pick your favorite in the array.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“Finally the perfect pastel yellow nail polish I was looking for! This one came with an extra brush that is wider and much better to use, mostly when you are doing your own nails. I used 3 coats to achieve the color I wanted but my nails are full of ridges! I did it in a hurry just because I was excited to use so my cuticles are not looking good.”


2. Pacifica

Pacifica - Is nail polish vegan

It’s a seven-free nail paint brand (meaning that it’s free of 7 chemicals) and lasts long too and is one of the best cruelty free nail polish. Available in a large variety of soft and bold shades to suit different choices. The paint stays smooth and also lasts for a while. A custom wide, vegan brush is provided with the nail polish for better and comfortable application – makes it even popular among cruelty free and vegan nail polish brands.

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“I’m obsessed with these polishes. I’m not big on traditional nail polish but I bought 8 of these they’re all so unique and beautiful. The wear is quite amazing and doesn’t chip off within 24 hours like most other polishes. I’m not big on traditional nail polish but I bought 8 of these they’re all so unique and beautiful. The wear is quite amazing and doesn’t chip off within 24 hours like most other polishes.


3. Piggy Paint

Piggy Paint - what is vegan nail polish

Going by its brand name, the polish sells under the tagline “Natural as mud” and is perhaps the best vegan nail polish exclusively for kids. The nail polish is essentially child-friendly as it’s hypoallergenic, water-based, and, most important, cruelty-free. Besides, to appeal to kid sensitivity, the nail paint is almost odorless so kids aren’t exposed to the pungent smells of conventional nail polishes.

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“Love them They are natural, cruelty free and water based. They also don’t have that nasty chemical smell. It chips off easier that normal polish but rather deal with that and use natural polish over all the nasty chemicals and yes I’d buy again”


4. Smith and Cult

smith & cult's some of the best vegan nail polishes

Another of the favorite vegan nail lacquers, it comes in a whole range of shades and finishes so you’re never at dearth for choice. The brand’s special chip-resistant,8-free formula is extremely shiny. However, for those who prefer it opaque might be better off applying two coats. The 8 chemicals that it’s free from include dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, and triphenyl phosphate.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“Everything I want in a nail polish- beautiful, strong and long wearing, and smooth application, with a stunning bottle! Their polishes are above average in price, but everything about them is top quality, worth the splurge! Gay Ponies Dancing in the Snow is gorgeous worn with 3 thin coats applied, or my favorite way to wear it, as a single coat over a chosen color to liven it up!”


5. Butter London

Butter London - Vegan nail polish

Going by its name, it’s all butter but vegan and cruelty-free! It’s free of any animal-derivatives too. Comes in some gorgeous pastel shades that you can’t stay without. For an extra-lovely finish, top off the nail paint with Butter London’s Hardwear Shine UV Topcoat.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“The pillar box red is a classic red that pairs well with a classic red lip. It is not a particularly bold, saucy red, but it’s red enough to be eye catching, classy, and fun. It is a red that can be worn to work Christmas parties and dinner parties.”


6. LVX

LVX - Cruelty-free nail polish

A favorite among most women for the fact that it lasts way longer than several others in the non-toxic category. The shades are instantly appealing too. Besides, it’s vegan and 5-free too – all the more reason to glam up your nails with this gel-like nail paint.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“So easy to apply, and the color has great coverage. I only needed two even coats and they came out beautifully. I receive the Celeste color in my June BoxyCharm subscription box and I did not think I was going to like the color but man was I wrong. It’s not too blue and not too purple which is gorgeous with gold.”


7. Urban Decay

Urban Decay - vegan friendly nail polish

The nail polish can be worn for longer and its neutral hues can best go with anything you wear. The nail paint is priced slightly on the higher side but well worth the buy.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“I love Urban Decays nail polish they are always smooth and glides on easily dries quickly and last a long time before it chips. I highly recommend this product if you love painting your nails. Plus they have some amazing colors to choose from.”


8. Deborah Lippman

Deborah Lippmann - Best Vegan Nail Polish

Named after the celebrity manicurist, the nail polish can be easily trusted for its high-quality and result-generating formulas. More so because it’s vegan and cruelty-free as well. Comes in pastel shades, each reflecting a different mood, but particular favorites among women include Love Lies and I Like It Like That.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“This is such a unique polish that gives all the glitter without looking like it’s too “young”. It has great color saturation for being a glitter polish. The applicator brush is thick and wide with a rounded taper which makes the polish apply evenly!”


9. Sundays Nail Polish

Sundays - Vegan cruelty free nail polish

A famous brand which currently has two salons in New York city offers 10-free nail polishes. It’s devoid of phthalate, toluene, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, parabens, and tert-butyl hydroperoxide. This list contains 9 of them but we found from sources that the 10thingredient too is vegan! So all-in-all – a total win-win! Plus, the paint stays on longer than expected and comes in a host of beautiful shades to pick from.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“The shade I have is No.44 it is a gorgeous pastel pistachio color. Definitely want more from this brand. The best part is the formula 10 free, cruelty free, vegan and non toxic. Another bonus to this polish is that its scented with a light fruit fragrance i can’t quite place. Definitely a better smell than traditonal cloying polish odors.”


10. Aila

Aila - Vegan Nail polish Brand

One of the few modern and minimalist look propagators in the market, Aila comes in possibly all the different shades a modern woman looks for. From bright, bold and summery to classic and neutral, and even mermaid glitter (for the adventurous type).

The nail polish is 8-free and doesn’t contain any traces of formaldehyde, toluene, DBT, camphor, parabens, triphenol phosphate, sulfates, gluten, or any other animal product. Is smooth to apply and goes on longer with an ideally desirable thickness.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“Really loved this color and the fact that this company is plant-based! For being a green beauty product the color Lasted and incredibly long time. It was easy to apply and remove and I’d definitely purchase again! This is my new favorite and must-have polish!”


11. Jinsoon

Jinsoon - Vegan Brand

Named after the famous nail artist and its founder – Jin Soon Choi – the nail polish is highly recommended by most professional salons. According to Jin Soon, a “nail polish should be as healthful and eco-friendly yet enduring as possible.” And her shades speak just that language – being chip-resistant, dry up faster, are vegan and prepared with a special 10-free formula devoid of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, triphenyl phosphate, parabens, and lead.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“I love this color a lot. Every time I go to get my nails done I take this nail polish with me because it’s my preferred nail color. It applies on so beautifully. I would ofcourse buy this color again it’s a bomb color.”


12. Côte

Côte - best vegan nail polish

One of the most popular vegan brands in the market today, Côte promises long-lasting sheen on nails without containing any harmful toxins that can spoil them. The paint is composed free of toxins such as formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, camphor, formaldehyde resin, TPHP, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, and gluten.

Best Cruelty-Free Nail Polish

“Great nail polish! Apply smoothly and you only need about 2 layers, it’s a pretty color and I’d like to try more colors from this brand, the brush could be a little softer but other than that I do recommend this product! I’ll definitely buy more colors”


Nail Polish Brands

Brands That Test On Animals
Brands That are 100% Vegan
  • Bourjois
  • Burberry
  • Chanel
  • Dior
  • Essic
  • Guerlain
  • Lancome
  • L’Oréal
  • Maybelline (Read the analysis here)
  • NARS
  • Nicole by OPI
  • OPI
  • Revlon
  • Sally Hansen
  • Sephora Collection
  • Sinful Colors
  • Tom Ford
  • Dorn
  • Beauty Without Cruelty
  • Deco Miami
  • Furless Cosmetics
  • Gabriel Cosmetics
  • NCLA
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
  • OH TIFF!
  • Play Love Laugh (Hugo Naturals)
  • SOPHi
  • SpaRitual
  • Stylush
  • Trust Fund Beauty
  • BlackǀUp
  • Ciaté London
  • Ella + Mila
  • Gabriel Cosmetics
  • Habit
  • Julep
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty
  • Milk Makeup


So now we know that some best 100% vegan cosmetics do exist and that too in the form of our favourite nail polish which we so fondly use to decorate our claws and paws – each time with a different shade to blend with the occasion in question, the weather, or just to look good. Thankfully, now we won’t have to bother about hurting ourselves or feel guilty about harming poor animals in the process of adorning ourselves. Just remember to check the label before you buy.

Tully Zander

My life literally revolves around optimum health and sustainable living by being a devotional vegan. My mission is to create a community of like minded vegans to go forth in creating a better and brighter world for humans, animals and the planet. Just like Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Gandhi

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