Updated on June 16, 2021

Ultimate List of 80 Cruelty-Free & Vegan Nail Polish Brands in 2021

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Ultimate Guide to Cruelty-Free Vegan Nail Polish
Ultimate Guide to Cruelty-Free Vegan Nail Polish

Here is an updated list of cruelty-free and vegan nail polish brands. I’ve been compiling this list since 2015 and what started as only forty vegan nail polish brands have now doubled to eighty in 2021!

This list of 80+ cruelty-free brands offering vegan nail polish can be overwhelming so I’ve included a few of my personal recommendations of the best vegan nail polish. As well as, options for gel polish, water-based, and the most sustainable nail polish brands available!

This way, you can find exactly what you’re looking for!

First, let’s start by asking what makes traditional nail polish not vegan?

What is Vegan Nail Polish?

Some animal-derived ingredients that may be used in nail polish colors include guanine which is derived from fish scales and used in shimmery nail polish colors; keratin used as a nail strengthener; and shellac which is produced from the lac bug and commonly used as a high-shine hardener.

Vegan nail polish do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

What is Cruelty-Free Nail Polish?

In addition, we also want to make sure we’re not supporting or buying from any nail polish brands that test their products, ingredients, or formulations on animals. Unfortunately, some of the most popular and widely available nail polish brands are not cruelty-free, mainly because they choose to sell their products in mainland China, where animal testing may be required by law.

Nail polish brands that are not cruelty-free include OPI, Revlon, L’Oreal, Sinful Colors, Chanel, Givenchy, Dior, Tom Ford, and Christian Louboutin.

A note on Sally Hansen and Essie, both these brands have started advertising some of their nail polish as ‘Vegan’. However, I was unable to get a clear answer from Sally Hansen and Essie if they test on animals or not, which is why they’re on my Grey Area brands list.

Cruelty-Free & Vegan Nail Polish

All of the nail polish brands listed below are cruelty-free meaning they don’t test on animals. Although some of the brands may not be entirely 100% vegan, I made sure to only include brands that offer vegan nail polish products. Brands not marked as “100% Vegan” may carry other nail care or cosmetic products (like cuticle oils, remover, lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes, skincare) that may not be vegan.

If you’re looking for a particular product like vegan gel polish or water-based formulas, keep scrolling down to find some of my personal recommendations!

What I Recommend:

Below is a list of my personal recommendations, whether you’re in search of an affordable, gel, sustainable, or water-based vegan nail polish!

Drugstore Vegan Nail Polish

If you’re looking for drugstore vegan nail polish that you can get at Target, Walmart, Ulta, London Drugs, CVS, or Superdrug, I recommend Zoya, Pacifica, ORLY, ella + mila, Barry M, and Piggy Paint. All of which are relatively affordable and under $10!

Gel Vegan Nail Polish

Get a professional gel manicure in the comfort of your home with these cruelty-free and vegan soak-off gel polishes: Madam Glam, NCLA’s Gelous?, Dimension Nails, Color Club’s Gel, and ORLY GELFX. You will need an LED or UV lamp when using these vegan gel polishes.

Sustainable Nail Polish Brands

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as zero-waste nail polish. That’s because nail lacquer is a polymer and is essentially plastic. But if you’re looking for a vegan and eco-friendly nail polish brand that mindfully produces its nail polish collection while minimizing its environmental impact, here are my top recommendations: Sienna, Kester Black, Ere Perez, Dazzle Dry, and OZN.

Water-Based Vegan Nail Polish

Want a non-toxic, virtually odorless nail polish that’s safe enough for your kids to also use? Give water-based nail polish a try like Honeybee Gardens, Piggy Paint, Acquarella, SOPHi, and Pure Anada.

Vegan Nail Polish Remover

I highly recommend Zoya’s vegan nail polish remover or try a soy-based nail polish remover like Karma Organic and Sienna. Note that water and soy-based remover do take a little longer to remove polish off your nails but they’re much gentler on your nails and hands over time.

List of Cruelty-Free Vegan Nail Polish
List of Cruelty-Free Vegan Nail Polish

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