Top 12 Cruelty-Free & Vegan Nail Polishes

August 31, 2011By 63 Comments

Painting my nails (fingers and toes) is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. It’s very rare that you’ll ever see me out and about not wearing some neon or glitterful, vibrant shade of nail polish. Luckily, for we compassionate nail artists, we have a slew of cruelty-free brands to choose from. There are so many out there that it’s difficult to narrow down my faves to just 12 (♥ them all), but here you have it:

  1. A Beautiful Life
  1. Sparitual

  1. e.l.f.


  1. Zoya


  1. Dazzle Dry
  1. Butter London
  1. LVXLVX nail polish
  1. No Miss
  1. Scotch Naturals
  1. Priti
  1. Obsessive Compulsive
  1. My Earth

What’s your favorite cruelty-free vegan nail polish?

About Sunny ()

Longtime vegan, hardcore compassionate beauty junkie, serious cake aficionado, and lover of all things floofy and sparkly! If there's something in particular you'd like me to review, drop me a line at You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +.

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Comments (63)

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  1. Tim Hordo says:

    Great post Sunny! It’s nice to see just how many brands are foregoing animal testing, and the use of crushed beetles. It’s nice to know that more are on their way too! Keep up the great work 🙂

  2. Ryann says:

    Serendipity Nail Polish is vegan! You can buy it online

  3. Lauren says:

    I’m surprised you did not include Julep. They are leaping bunny certified and their nail Polish is amazing quality.

  4. Joseph says:

    My step daughter is interested in these crulety free & vegan nail polishes, but what beauty stores sell these products here in Phoenix Arizona,?

  5. Katie says:

    Does anyone know about pure ice? Was it really bought by Revlon?

  6. Diane says:

    Someone mentioned Sinful Colors. They are owned by Revlon who do, as far as I know, conduct animal testing and are also not vegan.

  7. Renay P. says:

    LA Colors and LA Girl are cruelty-free. They start at $1! Thats why im a proud distributor of their line in my online boutique. 🙂

  8. Jia Hui L says:

    I was wondering if Nicole by OPI is cruelty free, the one that collabs with a lot of celebrities and TV shows, not the regular OPI. I saw on other websites that it is, so should I be able to purchase it?

  9. I found some of these to be great along with LVX and a few others that I found on the web that this sight did not put on the list. Great work I hope to find more vegan nail polish and other beauty products.

  10. Allison says:

    LVX is a great brand. It’s not cheap, but it’s incredibly high quality.

  11. Kristy says:

    Authority Cosmetics is a new up and coming nail polish line that is cruelty free, vegan friendly, 5-free, and made in the US. The quality of these polish is outstanding. They go on smoothly and most only require 1 coat.

  12. Indigo says:

    Orly are apparently cruelty free.

  13. Kathryn says:

    I just started wearing polish again after decades of not doing so (in part, because I would only use CF/vegan polish). I’m absolutely LOVING LACC (La Couleur Couture). Every color I’ve tried so far works on me. It goes on easily (even for a ‘new newbie’ like me!) and dries fast. It also lasts long (at least long enough for me to WANT to change colors, and not HAVE to redo my nails). LVX and Color Club are other vegan/CF brands that I’ve tried. Gabriel is also vegan. So many polishes to try!

    NONI: for vegan/CF polish remover, I LOVE Tate’s odorless polish remover. It contains just minerals, nothing toxic, no bad smell, and best of all, it really takes off the polish (I have tried another, soy-based remover as well, but last manicure I did, the soy-based barely made a dent in the polish and top coat I was removing on one hand, so I switched back to Tate’s to take off that polish, and do my other hand as well. It just cut right through it. I only needed to use two cotton swabs for the job because the first one got gooky with polish, not because the remover had stopped working). I bought mine from .

  14. sarah says:

    looking for cruelty free u.v gel/glitter polish. So far everything i can find is from china!!

  15. Amy says:

    OPI is NOT CF. They are sold in China. Any cosmetics sold in China must be tested on animal per their countries laws. One of the few companies that are owned by a non CF parent co that I still support is Urban Decay. They pulled out of the Chinese marketplace and are trying to make changes from within. I hope like hell they manage it. They retain their CF status with both PETA and Leaping Bunny. If more companies, like Essie or OPI would do the same, maybe more parent companies would see the demand for them to stop the unnecessary testing on animals.

  16. Alexis says:

    Orly ison PETA cruelty free list and they are one of my favorites

  17. elodizita says:

    The french brand ” Avril ”

  18. Brigette says:

    L.A Colors is cruelty free and $1 at discount stores like family dollar and dollar tree!!! Love<3

  19. Martha says:

    Do you know if OPI is still cruelty-free? Especially since they were bought out and I know their parent company tests and sells in China. I’m having trouble getting an e-mail response from them.

  20. Sammy says:

    Hey can anyone tell me if LA Colors nail polishes are cruelty free?

  21. Kera says:

    Is Julep vegan? They don’t test on animals. I think their polishes are vegan.

  22. bahh says:

    I love Zoya and Sparitual! They both last an extremely long time, depending on the color. Zoya probably lasts longer. And I believe both companies are entirely vegan.

    A bunch of the products mentioned here I haven’t tried yet. Some of them I won’t try because if there are companies that don’t use animals at all and it’s specifically in their mission statement (so I fear less to give them support as they’re less likely to sell out to violent parent companies later) – then why would I even give the other companies a second look? There is more than enough selection nowadays in polish and makeup and shoes etc that there’s no reason to compromise our values for getting shiny 🙂

    If you’re on the cheap, go for ELF! Their polishes are only a dollar. Probably not as high quality as the others but at least now we can’t say that vegans have to buy expensive stuff 🙂

  23. Mels says:

    When I was getting a pedicure at an Aveda salon last year they told me that they had switched to Zoya polishes (from OPI), because OPI was not vegan. They said that OPI uses fish scales in its glittery polishes and that this practice was not in line with the Aveda’a ‘nature/natural’ policy so they stopped using their products.

    • Tracy says:

      Yeah OPI’s ingredients aren’t even vegan anymore. I use Zoya as well, it’s an amazing polish and lasts 5-7 days on me which blows my mind.

    • Sarah says:

      If you contact OPI directly they will tell you that they have stopped using fish scales in their polishes and all nail lacquers are a vegan formula. So all new colors are vegan, but be aware that old circulating shades may contain guanine (fish scales). And apparently it was only used in 19 shades…ever.

      • Tracy says:

        OPI is however not vegan as their mother company (Coty) does animal testing. If you purchase OPI then you are giving money to Coty.

    • marie says:

      That’s hypocritical for a company that now sells in China (aveda)

  24. Susan says:

    If you happen to have a Five Below (sort of an odd dollar store) around you, check out Funky Fingers nail polish. It is obscenely inexpensive (3 for $5), vegan (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP and paraben-free), owned by Forsythe Cosmetic Group (leaping bunny certified) which also makes Color Club (retail up there with OPI and Essie) and has a suprisingly wide array of awesome colors that are at times identical to it’s more expensive sister.

    Funky Fingers.

    Five Below.

    Check it out! Just discovered they were vegan today, after a fair bit of round about searching (my sisters own a TON of their stuff) and was so deeply pleased I felt the need to share the joy with my fellow vegan nail varnish fans!

  25. Tracy says:

    Both OPI and Essie are not cruelty free. I don’t care what anyone says, when a company is bought by a mother company that does massive cruel animal testing on their other products, that means there is blood on ALL their products. Why on earth would a vegan put money in the pockets of people who are going to use it to hurt animals.

    • Sunny says:

      So how do you feel about shopping at Whole Foods or eating at omni restaurants? Are you all or nothing?

      • Tracy says:

        I don’t know why you are comparing gas to nail polish. If you have a choice between a cruelty free product or one that does animal testing. Why choose the latter.

        I don’t know what Whole Foods is I live in Canada and I don’t eat at restaurants except the 2 vegan restaurants in my city. Really don’t understand why you are trying so hard to defend Coty and L’Oreal on everyone’s posts. We choose not to support these companies, what’s it to you?

        • Sunny says:

          First of all, I am NOT defending L’Oreal or Coty. What really sucks is that these cruelty-free companies cave in and allow themselves to be acquired by bigger companies that DO test. However, most of these products still claim to be cruelty-free… and I think it’s good to show companies that there is a demand for their products that ARE indeed cruelty-free.

          I was comparing this to shopping at Whole Foods (or Trader Joe’s, or your local natural foods store, etc) where you may buy your vegan food that also happens to sell me meat and dairy. Your money would then be supporting the sale of “cruelty” to some degree, so I don’t think it would be entirely fair to attack someone for shopping there, just like it’s not fair to make someone feel bad for buying a cruelty-free product from a brand that isn’t 100% cruelty-free. Personally, I try to avoid buying such products altogether, but I don’t feel bad letting my readers know what their options are. To each his or her own.

          And the reason I brought up gas… I was genuinely curious about how you’re able to stay away from animal-tested products completely. If you do, that’s awesome. There are just so many everyday items we use that contain animal ingredients and/or have been tested that we don’t even think about (birth control pills, all medications, gas, rubber, etc.).

    • Sunny says:

      And do you ever buy gas for your car?

  26. Tabitha says:

    Zoya is pretty good but Nubar is my go-to vegan nail polish brand. Not only are their colors AMAZING (I’m currently rocking indigo illusion) but their quality is great and they proudly display “Cruelty Free & Vegan” top and center of their website. Oh yeah, and they’re also 4 free.

  27. Donna says:

    So, they’re all cruelty-free. Which ones are also vegan friendly??? I’m not a vegan myself, only vegtarian. I still eat eggs and dairy. But I’m just not comfortable using products that have bits of (possibly abused) animals in them. It feels like torturing the animal myself. I want to be 100% certain before I buy!!!

  28. Fifi says:

    OPI is owned by Coty which is NOT cruelty free. And Essie was bought by L’Oreal which is definitely NOT cruelty free.

  29. Rain says:

    any ideas on suncoat? heard that it is natural too

  30. LaDonna says:

    no concern about OPI ingredients just its parent company Coty.

  31. LaDonna says:

    OPI in NOT vegan but you might check out Zoya and Color Club…both fabulous polish brands. And as a previous reader suggested has a great list of cruelty-free (not necessarily vegan) companies.

  32. Holly says:

    OPI isn’t actually cruelty-free… check out one of’s last few posts, she talked about it.

  33. Maria says:

    Isn’t Essie cruelty free? Please don’t say it isn’t! Love Essie and would hate to drop them.

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Maria,

      This is what I found on PETA’s website:

      “PETA used to include Essie on our list of companies that do not test their products on animals. When Essie was acquired by L’Oréal, we contacted the company to request that it sign an updated statement of assurance confirming that it will remain cruelty-free. Essie has not responded to multiple letters. As a result, we have removed Essie from our cruelty-free list as a precaution. We hope to clarify this matter soon and add Essie to our cruelty-free list again.”


    • Pam says:

      Nope. They were until Loreal bought them. 🙁

  34. Tracy says:

    Love love love Scotch, especially because they are Phoenix locals but Priti is great, too as far as free of toxins plus being vegan. Great list!

  35. April K. says:

    I like Zoya but it’s kind of pricey for me. But I love ELF polishes and also Wet N Wild.

  36. Katherine says:

    I love Zoya. They’ve got such a wide range of colors! And I think it’s fun to wear the color named after me. 🙂

  37. Love this post, there are some brands new to me, thanks!

  38. Katie says:

    FYI, OPI was bought by a company that DOES test, so depending on how you feel about things like that, it’s no longer 100% cruelty-free.

    I like Sinful Colors, you can find them in Walgreens. Most vegans I know use Zoya.

    Also, there is a HUGE nail polish thread on the PPK with lots of pictures!

  39. Kristin says:

    Opi has always been used at the salons I go to, but I never knew it was cruelty free! I’ve never tried any of those other brands, but no I’ll have to!

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