Nail polish brands that are nontoxic, cruelty-free, utterly gorgeous and stay put. Can we get a heck yeah?!
Along with well-chosen jewelry and signature perfume, I think a beautiful set of nails is one of the makings of truly great style–don’t you think? Your manicure sends a signal, whether it’s a shiny nude (professional, polished), lipstick red (feminine), greige (chic), or–my favorite–dark, vampy burgundy (smoldering!!). I love how when you change your color, you feel like channeling a whole new persona. For example, on New Year’s Eve I got chunky silver glitter on black background, and I never felt so cool, ever!
Of course, when we choose our nail polish brands, we look for the ones that not only look stunning but are good for your health and that of your manicurist. Most conventional nail polish brands contain the “Dirty 5” toxins: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, DPB, and toluene. From causing cancer (formaldehyde) to affecting fetal development (toluene) to disrupting hormones (DPB), these things just shouldn’t go near your body, let alone your hands that touch your food (eek).
Without further ado, here are nail polish brands that are toxin-free, cruelty-free, and totally luxurious to boot.
1. Pacifica Nail Polish in London Tomboy, $9
100% vegan and cruelty-free line Pacifica is a PD editor favorite for its wide-ranging makeup and perfume offerings, and the nail polish line doesn’t disappoint. Formulated without the Dirty 5 *plus* parabens and xylene, this is a very clean pick. Plus, Pacifica is well-stocked at many health food stores, including Whole Foods. One gripe from having tried a few of their shades is that (for lighter shades at least) the color wears a bit thin and watery. If you don’t mind doing 2-3 coats patiently, then it’s not a big drawback. I love this deep green color, don’t you?
2. Julep Nail Polish, Bjork, $14
Julep is a widely-known 5-free, vegan nail polish brand that offers some of the trendiest colors around. Seriously, just try and not drool over their glitter-finish colors, especially! They even managed to sneak in antioxidant green coffee extract. Not sure how useful that is for your nails, but I’ll take it!
3. dear sundays Nail Polish,$18
dear sundays is an unprecedented 10-free, nontoxic, cruelty-free, and vegan nail polish brand. The founder Amyling Lin spent a whole year developing such an advanced formula after getting her MBA from Columbia, and the resulting nail polishes are beautiful *and* socially conscious. The shades are gorgeous, and the packaging is tres chic; it goes on super smooth and silky on application, and my manicure lasted 2 whole weeks without any chipping. Also, don’t these colors make you want to dive in a swimming pool?!
dear sundays has 2 sundays studio locations in NYC, one in NoMad and one within Saks Fifth Avenue. I heard that Jessica Alba came by to get her nails done at NoMad studio, just a few weekends after I visited. Darn it! Missed her by a hair.
4. Zoya Nail Polish, Sookie, $10
Zoya is probably the best known of all non-toxic nail polish brands because it’s been around for more than 3 decades! Relatively inexpensive and with a wide range of colors and finishes, Zoya deserves some kudos for pioneering this whole nontoxic nail polish thing.
5. Mineral Fusion Nail Polish, Cashmere, $9
I admit I haven’t any experience with Mineral Fusion nail polish, but the brand gets major vegan brownie points for its commitment to sustainability. They use wind & solar power, soy inks, and packaging from recycled materials. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free and 5-free, and a portion of the proceeds goes to eradicate domestic violence.
6. Butter Nail Polish, Trout Pout, $18
Butter London boasts high-fashion cred and a celebrity following that includes (who else?) Gwyneth Paltrow. The 8-free formula includes bamboo extract and diamond powder, which sounds really luxe indeed.
What are your favorite 5-free nail polish brands?
Related: I Tried It: Breathable Nail Polish
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Photo: Pacifica nail polish; Julep nail polish; dear sundays nail polish; Jessica Alba via Instagram; Zoya nail polish; Mineral Fusion nail polish, Butter nail polish