14 Best Vegan & Cruelty-Free Nail Polishes 2024

By Liis Hainla. Updated: January 2024.
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Vegan Nail Polishes

Nail polish is varnish applied to fingernails and toenails to give them color or shine. Nail polishes also help protect the nail plate and some polishes are even designed to boost nail growth.

Nail polishes are not always vegan and may contain a variety of ingredients derived from animals, most commonly, shellac, guanine, carmine, and oleic acid.

Many leading nail polish brands such as Essie, Sally Hansen, and OPI also test their nail polishes on animals. This, sadly, makes none of their nail polishes vegan-friendly.

To help you find the best vegan nail polishes, we have made a list of our favorite products and brands right now. Discover vegan nail lacquers that are kind to the animals and our planet.

All nail polishes below are both vegan and cruelty-free, meaning they do not include any animal-derived ingredients and are not tested on animals.

See also: Vegan Nail Polish Removers

Best Vegan Nail Polishes 2024

Best Vegan Nail Polishes

Here are the top 14 vegan nail polishes right now.

  1. Best overall: Sundays Non-Toxic Nail Polish
  2. Best runner-up: Tenoverten Natural Nail Color
  3. Best natural: 100% Pure Zero Nail Polish
  4. Best salon-quality: Jinsoon Nail Lacquer
  5. Best luxury: Emilie Heathe Nail Polish
  6. Best affordable: Zoya Nail Lacquer
  7. Best quick-dry: Olive & June Quick Dry Nail Polish
  8. Best long-wear: Butter London Patent Shine 10x Lacquer
  9. Best growth-enhancing: Ella+Mila First Aid Kiss
  10. Best sustainable: Habit Cosmetics Nail Polish
  11. Best base coat: Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat
  12. Best top coat: Londontown Kur Protective Top Coat
  13. Best for dark skin: Pear Nova Classic Nail Lacquer
  14. Best for kids: Piggy Paint Non-Toxic Nail Polish

Best Vegan Nail Polish Overall

1. Sundays Non-Toxic Nail Polish

Sundays Vegan Nail Polish
Courtesy of Sundays

Sundays Nail Polish is the best vegan nail polish. It has excellent staying power and comes in a beautiful range of colors. The non-toxic vegan polish is 10-free and enriched with essential oils. We also love the minimalist packaging and the brand’s wellness-focused ethos.

  • What we like: long-lasting, chip-free
  • What we don’t like: takes time to dry

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 10-free, paraben-free, made in the USA | Brand: Sundays is a 100% vegan nail care brand from New York. Founded by Amy Ling Lin, Sundays’ vegan nail salons fuse manicures with self-care and meditative practices.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Best Vegan Nail Polish Runner-Up

2. Tenoverten Natural Nail Color

Tenoverten Vegan Nail Polish
Courtesy of Tenoverten

Tenoverten Natural Nail Color is another vegan nail polish we love. It’s quick to apply with a well-thought-out shade range – from classic nudes to bright reds to deep darks. The polish is ethically made in New York. With 2 coats, this varnish stays on for at least a week.

  • What we like: easy to apply, great shades
  • What we don’t like: it’s just 8-free but branded as natural

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 8-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, silicone-free, sulfate-free, recyclable packaging, naturally scented, made in the USA | Brand: Tenoverten is a 100% vegan nail polish brand from New York crafting conscious hand, foot, and nail care essentials.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Best Natural Vegan Nail Polish

3. 100% Pure Zero Nail Polish

100% Pure Zero Natural Vegan Nail Polish
Courtesy of 100% Pure

If you are looking for a natural vegan nail polish, we recommend 100% Pure’s Zero Polish. It’s free of the 20 most commonly used chemicals in nail polishes and colored with natural pigments. The shades look great, especially dark ones, and the polish dries fast.

100% Pure’s polish is free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, sulfates, fragrance, phthalates, DBP, TPHP, MIT, MEHQ, ethyl tosylamide, nonylphenol ethoxylate, acetone, bisphenol-A, gluten, palm oil, and of course, animal ingredients.

  • What we like: nontoxic, quick-drying
  • What we don’t like: can chip a bit (use a top coat)

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 20-free, paraben-free, palm oil-free, gluten-free, colored with natural pigments, made in the USA | Brand: 100% Pure is a cruelty-free cosmetics brand from Napa, Califonia. 100% Pure is not entirely vegan but their nail polishes are vegan.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Other natural and nontoxic vegan nail polishes we recommend are Nailtopia All-free Nail Polish, Ella+Mila 17-Free Nail Polish, Londontown Lakur Enhanced Color, Karma Organic Nail Polish, and Pacifica Plant Magic Polish.

Best Salon-Quality Vegan Nail Polish

4. Jinsoon Nail Lacquer

Jinsoon Salon-Quality Vegan Nail Lacquer
Courtesy of Jinsoon

Jinsoon offers the best salon-grade vegan nail polish. It’s a whopping 21-free and very durable, chip-free, low odor, and easy to apply. It really doesn’t chip, rather fades in time. Jinsoon also has a stylish runway-inspired color range to complement all skin tones.

  • What we like: pro-grade polish, low odor, great neutrals
  • What we don’t like: thin formula, needs 2 coats

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 21-free, paraben-free, synthetic fragrance-free, made in the USA | Brand: Jinsoon is a 100% vegan nail polish and nail spa brand founded by manicurist Jin Soon Choi. Jinsoon nail polishes are designed to be eco-friendly yet high-performance.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Best Luxury Vegan Nail Polish

5. Emilie Heathe Nail Polish

Emilie Heathe Luxury Vegan Nail Polish
Courtesy of Emilie Heathe

Emilie Heathe’s luxury vegan nail polish has the most beautiful packaging. It looks like a perfume bottle and makes for a wonderful gift – especially as this vegan nail polish set. The polish is also amazing. It’s long-wearing and strengthens the nails with seabuckthorn oil and biotin.

  • What we like: beautiful package, nail-strengthening polish
  • What we don’t like: it’s expensive

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 10-free, paraben-free, enriched with natural extracts, nail growth-boosting, recycled glass packaging | Brand: Emilie Heathe is a conscious beauty brand by a makeup artist of the same name. Emilie Heathe is not entirely vegan but their nail polishes are.

Shop on: Amazon, Nordstrom

Best Affordable Vegan Nail Polish

6. Zoya Nail Lacquer

Zoya Affordable Vegan Nail Polish
Courtesy of Zoya

Zoya has our favorite affordable vegan nail polish. It has great coverage and staying power with pretty colors to choose from. For 12 dollars, you’ll get a reliable drugstore vegan nail polish with a quality similar to OPI’s. The polish is also 10-free and breathable.

  • What we like: affordable, durable, chip-free
  • What we don’t like: thin texture, can peel

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 10-free, paraben-free, halal, made in the USA| Brand: Zoya is a cruelty-free natural nail polish brand. All Zoya nail polishes are 100% vegan, the company is yet to give us more information on their nail care products.

Shop on: Amazon, Ulta

Best Quick-Drying Vegan Nail Polish

7. Olive & June Quick Dry Nail Polish

Olive & June Quick Dry Vegan Nail Polish
Courtesy of Olive & June

If you like to get your home mani done fast, Olive & June has the best quick-dry vegan nail polish. It dries in seconds and one coat is already enough for beautiful coverage (even though two is always better). We also like the convenient fan-shaped brush and glossy finish.

  • What we like: dries in a flash, affordable
  • What we don’t like: can chip (use a top coat)

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 15-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, made in Korea | Brand: Olive & June is a 100% vegan nail polish brand and nail salon from California. They offer salon-grade polishes and nail essentials at accessible prices.

Shop on: Target, Official site

Best Long-Wearing Vegan Nail Polish

8. Butter London Patent Shine 10x Lacquer

Butter London Patent Shine 10x Long-Wearing Vegan Nail Polish
Courtesy of Butter London

Butter London Patent Shine is the best long-wearing vegan nail polish. This is your heavy-duty varnish that will stay on without chipping or fading for well over a week. We also love the elegant range of shades and its famous high-shine, gel-like finish.

  • What we like: lasts long, beautiful high-shine finish
  • What we don’t like: can leave streak marks

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 10-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, made in the UK | Brand: Butter London is not entirely vegan. Their regular nail lacquers contain silk but their Patent Shine collection is vegan-friendly. Butter London is PETA-certified animal test-free though.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Best Growth-Enhancing Vegan Nail Polish

9. Ella+Mila First Aid Kiss Nail Strengthener

Ella+Mila First Aid Kiss Growth-Enhancing Vegan Nail Polish
Courtesy of Ella+Mila

Ella+Mila First Aid Kiss is the best vegan nail polish for nail growth. It works by hardening and strengthening weak and brittle nails. It boosts nail growth by protecting the nail plate and stopping the nails from splitting or peeling. It also nourishes the nails with vitamin E.

  • What we like: helps nails grow longer and stronger
  • What we don’t like: it could be richer in vitamins

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 17-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, vitamin-enriched, nail growth-boosting, made in the USA | Brand: Ella+Mila is a 100% vegan nail polish brand from Los Angeles. Ella+Mila is also officially certified vegan and cruelty-free by PETA and Leaping Bunny.

Shop on: Amazon, Target

Best Sustainable Vegan Nail Polish

10. Habit Cosmetics Nail Polish

Habit Cosmetics Sustainable Vegan Nail Polish
Courtesy of Habit Cosmetics

Habit Cosmetics has the best sustainable vegan nail polish. The polish is toxin-free and comes in eco-friendly packaging of recycled plastic and biodegradable bamboo caps. The natural nail polish is enriched with myrrh to hydrate and strengthen the nails.

  • What we like: sustainable packaging, great bright shades
  • What we don’t like: can chip (wear with a top coat)

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 10-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, enriched with natural extracts, made in the USA | Brand: Habit is a 100% vegan and black female-owned beauty brand. Habit is officially certified vegan and cruelty-free by PETA and Leaping Bunny.

Shop on: Amazon, Target

Best Vegan Base Coat Nail Polish

11. Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat

Orly Bonder Rubberized Vegan Base Coat
Courtesy of Orly

Orly Bonder is the best vegan base coat. You could buy the cheapest varnish and this base coat will hold it in place for a long time. It works like a double-sided tape clinging on tightly to both the nailbed and the varnish. It also helps the nail polish glide on smoother.

  • What we like: truly makes the nail polish last (also works for nail powders)
  • What we don’t like: not the most natural formula

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, DBP-free, toluene-free, formaldehyde-free, alcohol-free, paraben-free, made in the USA | Brand: Orly is a family-owned nail polish brand from Los Angeles. Orly is also Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free and their nail polishes are all vegan.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Best Vegan Top Coat Nail Polish

12. Londontown Kur Protective Top Coat

Londontown Kur Protective Vegan Top Coat
Courtesy of Londontown

We swear by 3 products from Londontown: their Nail Concealer, Lakur Polish, and this Protective Top Coat. This vegan top coat extends the wear of the polish significantly and gives the prettiest glossy finish. It also strengthens the nail with minerals and vitamins.

  • What we like: best shine and protection
  • What we don’t like: it’s quite expensive

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 7-free, gluten-free, UV-resistant, made in the USA | Brand: Londontown is a PETA-certified animal test-free nail polish brand. All Londontown products are vegan, except for Restorative Nail Cream and Fresh Glow Cuticle Remover & Serum.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Best Vegan Nail Polish For Dark Skin

13. Pear Nova Classic Nail Lacquer

Pear Nova Classic Vegan Nail Lacquer For Dark Skin
Courtesy of Pear Nova

Black-owned brand Pear Nova has the best vegan nail polish for dark skin. This salon-quality polish is designed to flatter all skin tones. We especially love the brown and gray shades, metallics, and bright reds. The polish is infused with argan oil to moisturize the nails.

  • What we like: best shades for dark skin, quick-drying
  • What we don’t like: would love to see more shades

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, 10-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, fragrance-free, enriched with natural extracts | Brand: Pear Nova is a 100% vegan and black-owned nail polish brand from Chicago. Pear Nova is also officially PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free.

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Best Vegan Nail Polish For Kids

14. Piggy Paint Non-Toxic Nail Polish

Piggy Paint Non-Toxic Vegan Nail Polish For Kids
Courtesy of Piggy Paint

Piggy Paint has a fantastic vegan nail polish for children. It’s all-free, water-based, and virtually odorless, so kids of all ages can enjoy the polish. Actually, everyone can enjoy this natural toxin-free vegan nail polish, including pregnant women. ‘Natural As Mud’ indeed.

  • What we like: all-free, safe, no odor
  • What we don’t like: takes time to dry

Features: vegan, cruelty-free, all-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, gluten-free, scentless, water-based, child-friendly, pregnancy-safe, made in the USA | Brand: Piggy Paint is a 100% vegan and cruelty-free nail polish brand. Their polishes are toxin-free and safe for kids.

Shop on: Amazon, Target

Best Vegan Nail Polishes By Style

Vegan Nail Polishes By Style
Courtesy of ILNP

Are you looking for something more specific? We’ve selected top vegan nail polishes based on style and technology. Discover trendy vegan varnishes from holographic to neon.

For more fun vegan nail stuff, Cirque Colors also has the best magnetic vegan nail polish and vegan mood nail polish. We also love the zodiac vegan nail stickers from Jinsoon and custom vegan nail polishes from Color Club.

Best Vegan Nail Polishes By Color

Vegan Nail Polishes By Color
Courtesy of Sundays, Jinsoon, Olive & June

Here are the best vegan nail polishes for every color. From elegant nudes to bright red and deep greens – pick out a vegan nail varnish in your favorite shade.

For more nude vegan nail polishes to match your skin tone, check out Londontown Nude Collection, Olive & June Neutral Vegan Nail Polishes, and Jinsoon Quintessential Collection.

Best Vegan Halal Nail Polishes

Vegan Halal Nail Polishes
Courtesy of Mersi Cosmetics

These water-permeable and breathable halal nail polishes are vegan and cruelty-free. Many of these vegan nail colors are also certified halal.

Best Vegan Gel Nail Polishes

Vegan Gel Nail Polishes
Courtesy of Londontown

Looking for pro-grade vegan gel nail polishes? Here are the best cruelty-free vegan gel nail polishes on the market.

Best Vegan Nail Polish Brands

Vegan Nail Polish Brands
Courtesy of Heroine NYC

These nail polish brands are 100% vegan. Shop cruelty-free vegan nail varnishes and vegan nail care products from these verified companies.

  • Auda. B: 10-free luxury vegan nail lacquer brand, black-owned
  • Cirque Colors: 10-free vegan nail polish handmade in New York
  • Color Club: a wide choice of pro-grade vegan nail polishes made in NY
  • Ella+Mila: vegan nail polishes and nail care products, up to 17-free
  • Habit: sustainably packaged vegan nail polish, black-owned
  • Heroine: 9-free cruelty-free and vegan nail lacquers from New York
  • ILNP: famous holographic vegan nail polishes handmade in Las Vegas
  • Jinsoon: 21-free vegan nail lacquers and nail spas from New York
  • Jolie Vegan: PETA-certified vegan nail polish brand from Chicago
  • Karma: vegan and halal nail polishes made in the USA
  • LVX: 10-free luxury vegan nail colors and nail care treatments
  • Nailboo: salon-grade vegan nail care, polishes, and dip powders
  • Nailtopia: all-free natural and bio-sourced vegan nail polishes
  • Olive & June: Californian vegan nail polish and nail care brand
  • Pear Nova: black-owned vegan nail polish brand from Chicago
  • Sundays: non-toxic vegan nail varnish and nail spas from New York
  • Tenoverten: natural vegan nail polish and nail care from New York

See a full list of 100% vegan nail polish brands here.

What Makes Nail Polish Vegan? 

What Makes Nail Polish Vegan
Courtesy of Tenoverten

Nail polish is vegan if it does not contain animal products or byproducts. Also, vegan nail polish must not be tested on animals.

The most common animal-derived components in nail polish are shellac, guanine, carmine, and oleic acid.

  • Shellac – high-gloss ingredient produced by female lice
  • Guanine – aka pearl essence, shine agent made from fish scales
  • Carmine – deep red dye made of crushed red beetles
  • Oleic acid – nail polish thickener made out of animal fat

Sometimes, nail polishes also include hydrolyzed silk (from silkworms) and thickening xanthan gum of animal origin. Xanthan gum is mostly vegan-friendly though.

Instead of shellac and guanine, vegan nail polishes use other shine agents such as natural mica crystals. Red dye can be also derived from a variety of red vegetables such as beet.

In terms of thickeners, nail polishes have a wide variety of vegan-friendly agents to choose from. Even oleic acid can be plant-derived, so animals are really not needed in the thickening process.

What To Look For In A Vegan Nail Polish?

When shopping for vegan nail polishes, always choose a polish that has the least amount of chemicals in them.

When painting your nails, you do not want to breathe in the fumes of dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or other chemicals linked to health hazards.

Today, you can find lists of harsh chemicals and toxins to avoid. Nail polish brands call themselves accordingly: 5-free, 6-free, 9-free, or even 16-free and 21-free.

For example, 5-free means the nail polish is free of the ‘Toxic 3’ – dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde as well as formaldehyde resin and camphor.

So when buying vegan nail polish, do not settle for anything less than 5-free. That way, you can enjoy an ethical polish that is also safe for you and our planet.

How We Review Vegan Nail Polishes

At Vegan Avenue, we review vegan nail polishes by trying them out for ourselves. We also do extensive brand research and read countless online reviews to match our experience with other users and beauty experts. None of our reviews is incentivized by the brand or retailer.

Here are our main criteria when reviewing vegan nail polishes.

  • Ingredients: With good-quality vegan nail polishes, it all starts with clean ingredients. We specifically look at how many toxic chemicals the producer avoids. We also like when vegan nail polish includes some nail health-boosting natural extracts or vitamins.
  • Performance: While we prefer non-toxic vegan lacquers, we still expect the nail polish to look good and stay on. We look for long-wearing and easy-to-apply formulas. It’s also important that the application is streak-free.
  • Brand: Being a fully vegan brand and having any external certifications, sustainability goals, and ethical brand values are important to us when forming the vegan nail polish rankings. We also prefer brands that produce locally in the USA.

FAQ About Vegan Nail Polish

Is nail polish vegan?

Nail polish can be vegan but it often is not. The typical ingredients that make nail polish not vegan are shellac, guanine, carmine, and oleic acid.

Can vegans wear nail polish?

Yes. Vegans can wear nail polish if the nail polish is vegan, i.e. free of animal-derived products and not animal tested.

What nail polish brands are vegan?

Some of the 100% vegan nail polish brands include Sundays, Tenoverten, Ella+Mila, Jinsoon, Cirque Colors, Color Club, Habit, and ILNP.

What is the best vegan nail polish?

The best vegan nail polish is Sundays Non-Toxic Nail Polish.

What is the best drugstore vegan nail polish?

The best drugstore vegan nail polishes are Zoya, Orly, and Pacifica. 

Is vegan nail polish better?

Vegan nail polish is not necessarily better or worse than non-vegan nail polish. Choosing vegan nail polish is primarily an ethical choice. That being said, vegan nail polishes tend to have more natural and toxin-free formulas than non-vegan polishes.

Where can I buy vegan nail polish?

You can find the best selection of vegan nail polishes online, especially on Amazon, Ulta, and Target.

What is the best vegan nail polish for men?

The best vegan nail polish for men is Atomic Carbon Matte Black Nail Polish.

Is OPI nail polish vegan?

No. OPI nail polishes are not vegan because OPI tests on animals. That being said, OPI’s Nature Strong collection is made from vegan-friendly ingredients and is even certified vegan by The Vegan Society.

is Sally Hansen nail polish vegan?

No. Sally Hansen’s nail polishes are not vegan because Sally Hansen uses animal testing. Even though Sally Hansen’s Good.Kind.Pure. collection is free from animal-derived ingredients, we cannot consider any of Sally Hansen’s products vegan.

Are Essie nail polishes vegan?

No. Essie’s nail polishes are not vegan since Essie tests on animals.

Is Maybelline nail polish vegan?

No, Maybelline products are not vegan since the company tests on animals. 

Are Sinful Colors nail polishes vegan? 

No. Sinful Colors tests on animals, so none of their polishes are vegan.

Summary

Today, vegan nail polish is easier to find than ever before. From vegan nail lacquers to glitter and magnetic nail polishes – nail beauty in 2024 has gone cruelty-free and vegan.

When choosing vegan nail polish, you will almost always get the more natural option. Vegan polishes are free of toxic chemicals and packed with natural, skin-friendly pigment.

There are so many vegan nail brands that deserve the spotlight. Our current favorite vegan nail polish brands are Sundays, Tenoverten, Zoya, Ella+Mila, and Jinsoon.

Our quest to find new vegan nail polishes does not end here. As we meet new brands and lines all the time, we will add the best ones to this very list.

See also: Vegan Nail Polish Removers

Main image: courtesy of Sundays

My name is Liis. I have been a vegan for a long time and I advocate for the vegan lifestyle. Through Vegan Avenue, I aim to provide quality information about vegan products and bring attention to amazing vegan companies.