Vegan nail polish is the kindest way to achieve a great manicure – here are the best ones

When looking for vegan beauty products, we don’t often think about whether or not our nail polish is vegan. Maybe it’s because the vast majority of us don’t have a clue what any of the ingredients on a nail polish label are in the first place (Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, or Adipic Acid anyone?) so figuring out whether they are derived from animals is a next to impossible task.

While animal-derived ingredients used to be commonly used in nail polish formulas, innovations in science have produced alternatives that offer the same results. One example is shellac, which is a resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees in India and Thailand that’s used in top coats as it has an amazing ability to create a super glossy finish (although it’s important to note that the popular brand of gel nail polish Shellac doesn’t actually contain any shellac!). The resin is scraped off the tree bark and heated over high temperatures, with 50,000 lac bugs required to produce just one kilogram of shellac. Then there’s what’s often labeled as “pearl essence”, also known as guanine, which comes from fish scales and gives a shimmery, iridescent finish. These days, many brands use artificial resins as well as synthetic pearls to achieve the same effects. 

There’s no compromise on colour in vegan formulas, either. They are available in a vast array of shades, from jet black, to classic red, to neon pink, as well as a bunch of textures and finishes.

There’s really no reason not to make the switch – so go on, check out our round up of the very best vegan nail polishes available to buy right now.

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