Is Nail Polish Vegan?

No, not all nail polish is vegan. Shimmery and metallic shades are often not vegan due to their use of animal-derived ingredients such as guanine (also called pearl), some nail polish includes carmine, keratin or shellac too.

Looking for vegan nail polish? AVOID: Guanine, Carmine, Keratin, Shellac

These ingredients derive from different animal-sources including fish scales (guanine), insects (carmine), animal feathers/ hooves/ horns (keratin) and lac bugs (shellac).

What Makes A Nail Polish Vegan?

Any nail polish that contains no animal-derived ingredients or by-products and has not been tested on animals is vegan.

Note: Some nail polishes are marked as “cruelty free” which means they have not been tested on animals but not all cruelty free products are vegan, just as some are marked as “vegan” but this does not mean they have not been tested on animals.

For me, a vegan nail polish offers vegan ingredients AND is cruelty free. To make it easier to find nail polish, I’ve listed some brands below that are both VEGAN and CRUELTY FREE.

Some of the Best Vegan Nail Polish Brands Include:

Beauty Without Cruelty

Beauty Without Cruelty offer a range of 32 nail polish shades. 100% of the products from the BWC range are vegan, free from fragrance, Paraben, Carmine, PEG, GMO, Toluene, Formaldehyde and Phthalate. They are a member of cruelty free international and the Vegan Society.

Maggie Anne

Maggie Anne focuses on producing vegan, cruelty-free and non-toxic nail polish. Their range is made in the UK and includes a wide range of colours as well as base coats and reusable remover pads. Another great thing about the Maggie Anne products is that they have a 2 year shelf life once opened so you can enjoy their products for a long time before needing to replace them.


Nailberry is a UK based vegan and cruelty free brand. They offer a range of nail treatments for dry and damaged nails as well as a range of breathable nail polishes for a healthier manicure. They also offer top coats, base coats, nail hardener and drying drops.


Zoya offers a massive range of 200 nail polish colours. Their products are non-toxic, long lasting and breathable. They are vegan, cruelty free and help keep nails beautiful and healthy. Their website also has a salon finder that lets you find which of your local salons offers their vegan, non-toxic products so you can be pampered with kind products.


BarryM is 100% cruelty free and vegan. They offer a wide range of nail polish colours to suit any occasion. They also have top coat and base coat layers as well as glitter options.


Peacci offer leaping bunny certified cruelty free and vegan nail care. Their nail varnish is fast drying, long lasting and is available in over 150 colours. They also offer full manicure sets and nail treatment sets perfect for taking your at home nail care to the next level.

Vegan Nail Polish Remover

Beauty Without Cruelty offers a gentle, odourless nail polish remover that is vegan, cruelty free and hydrating for nails.

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