Sustainability made simple

7 Vegan Nail Polishes in Every Color of the Rainbow

Vegan nail polish
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Chelson Tamares

Nail polish often contains animal-derived pigments and can be damaging to your nails and the environment. Here are 7 vegan nail polish brands that are great alternatives.

Have you ever thought about nail polish being non-vegan? While it might come as a surprise, nail polish is not the only beauty product that tests on animals or uses animal by-products. Regular nail polishes use Dibutyl phthalate, a red pigment that is produced when Nepal scale insects are crushed, the glitter particle guanine made from fish scales, or creatine, which is extracted from the hooves, hair, and horns of animals.

When a beauty product is vegan, that means it does not contain any animal by-products. If a product contains animal by-products but the brand ensures the animals were not harmed during production, that means the product is cruelty-free. If you want to make sure a beauty product is cruelty-free, the Leaping Bunny certification could be the right starting point. For now, we’re going to focus on vegan nail polish, which is also a great starting point. 

Why You Should Be Using Vegan Nail Polishes

Vegan nail polishes work without all the above-mentioned ingredients and use mainly plant-based substances. They’re not only the more ethical choice but also the more eco-friendly one since regular nail polishes also often contain harmful chemicals which can be damaging to the environment.

Of course, it’s important to know how to store nail polish so it lasts. But eventually, when discarded into landfills after use, the harsh chemicals in nail polishes spread into the soil. Gel and acrylic nails are even considered toxic waste because of their inability to decompose or biodegrade. Those that contain glitter are the most damaging because the glitter particles are essentially just microplastic fibers. A lot of nail polishes also use mica, a mineral often sourced through unethical mining practices. 

That’s why vegan nail polishes are a great alternative for those who want to have beautiful nails without causing harm to the environment, their nails or animals.

1. Ella + Mila

Ella + Mila is a vegan nail polish brand that was founded in 2014 by twin sisters. On a mission to provide luxurious vegan and cruelty-free products without compromising quality, their nail polishes are free of harmful chemicals. They are also PETA-certified cruelty-free and vegan. Ella + Mila’s nail polishes come in various colors and finishes, from matte to metallic, pastels to neutrals.

Their nail polishes are seven-free, meaning they are free from seven harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, and camphor.

2. Zoya Offers the Most Vegan Nail Polish Colors

Zoya was ahead of the trend and was founded in 1986. They create long-lasting, toxin-free nail polishes that are vegan and cruelty-free. Zoya has over 400 colors to choose from, including classic, bright, and muted shades. They also have a line of polishes specifically for natural nails, called Naked Manicure, that enhances the natural beauty of your nails.

Something worth pointing out is their recycling program, where you can send your used nail polish bottles to be properly disposed of.

3. Sundays

Sundays is a vegan and cruelty-free nail polish brand that was founded in New York City in 2014 by Amy Lin. Their polishes are free of harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, and they come in various shades and finishes, from neutral to bright. Sundays also have a line of non-toxic nail care products, such as cuticle oil and hand cream.

Sundays’ vegan nail polishes are ten-free which means that they are free of ten toxic ingredients usually present in nail polishes.

4. JINsoon Vegan Nail Polishes

JINsoon is a vegan and cruelty-free nail polish brand that was founded by well-known runway nail artist and nail spa founder Jin Soon Choi. Her nail polishes are free of 21 harmful chemicals (probably one of the highest scores in the industry) and come in various colors and finishes, from sheer to opaque.

With their gel-like texture, JINsoon’s polishes are known for their long-lasting formula and easy application. They have special UV filters to shield your nail polish from sunlight and to protect it from fading or yellowing.


AILA was founded in 2013 by Dr. Cary Gannon in an awakening that lead to her questioning not only what she put into her body, but also onto it. The brand’s name stands for “All I Need Is Love,” which represents their mission to create products that are not only good for your nails but also good for the environment and animals. The founders claim to be passionate about bringing safe nail products to consumers and helping them to nurture their nails, rather than just decorating them.

AILA’s nail polishes are eight-free, meaning they are free from eight harmful chemicals. The brand offers a range of bold and beautiful colors, including bright blues and greens.

    6. Vegan Nail Polish by Butter London

    Butter London is a cruelty-free beauty brand that was founded in 2005 by Sasha Muir and Nonie Creme. While not all of their products are vegan, no animals are harmed during production. Their vegan nail polish line is called 10X nail lacquers.

    All nail polishes are free of harmful chemicals, ten-free to be exact. They come in various colors and finishes, from metallic to holographic. Butter London’s nail polishes are also known for their long-lasting formula and chip-resistant finish.

    7. Olive & June

    Olive & June is a Los Angeles-based brand founded by Sarah Gibson Tuttle. The brand is known for its high-quality nail care products, including cruelty-free and vegan nail polishes. Alongside nail polishes, they also sell press-on nails.

    The nail polishes are seven-free and come in classic shades such as reds, pinks, and nudes. The brand also offers a monthly subscription box, where you can receive new nail polish colors and nail care tools.

    How to Remove Your Vegan Nail Polishes

    It only makes sense to invest in a natural nail polish remover if you don’t want to damage your nails, the environment, or animals. We recommend learning how to remove nail polish without nail polish remover. However, if you want some sort of nail polish remover, look for a natural one, such as the one by Mineral Fusion (available on Amazon**).

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    ** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

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