Just like with most beauty or fashion products, not all nail polishes are created equal. In recent years, companies have started cracking down on polishes made with various potentially-harmful chemicals. So, what do you need instead?
One of the best non-toxic nail polishes, of course!
Why stop at one? We have all of the best right here for you!
The 5 Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Products For 2020
|Product||# of Shades Available||Details|
|Cirque Colors Crème||45||Super opaque, high-quality, only requires 2 coats, long-lasting, vegan formula, cruelty-free, non-toxic, 4-free, comes in huge color variety|
|Smith and Cult (Editor's Pick!)||Various||8-free, vegan/gluten-free formula, comes in various shades, unique shades to choose from, high pigmentation, easy and smooth coverage, shiny|
|Piggy Paint||Various||Great children’s product, features low-odor, 100% non-toxic, comes in wide variety of colors to choose from, inexpensive, great for pregnant/nursing women|
|Honeybee Gardens||Various||Non-toxic, water-based, easy to remove, no harsh chemical odors, free of most common/toxic polish ingredients, comes in variety of interesting shades, vegan, gluten-free|
|Pacifica 7 Free||Various||Very long-lasting/durable, free of parabens/phthalates/xylene/more, comes in various shades, relatively inexpensive|
Cirque Colors Crème – Easiest Product to Use
As it is pretty inexpensive, we were a bit wary of the quality we were getting, but upon the first application, all of our doubts disappeared.
First of all, it’s important to mention just how thick this polish is. So thick, in fact, that we literally only needed one coat of polish. While we only needed one, we went ahead and put on two, just to give a smooth, long-lasting finish and to put off chipping for as long as possible.
With each color being designed and small-batch manufactured in Brooklyn, New York, we weren’t all that surprised that the colors looked so gorgeous, but still.
Aside from pigmentation, probably the other top-selling point for us, was the fact that it just lasts so long. With just two coats, we went over a week without seeing any noticeable chipping. We also have pretty active lifestyles, so this was quite impressive!
How easy is the application?
It’s one of the easiest to apply. It nearly glides over the surface of the nail. As it is so heavily pigmented, it’s important to try and get as much on the nail, avoiding the skin as much as possible. In general, however, we didn’t experience any bubbling, and the consistency was just right – not too thick, and not too watery!
While it’s not the most affordable product, the price per application is really a bargain!
What We Loved
- Easy, smooth application
- Very heavily pigmented
- Only two coats needed for long-lasting wear
- Vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic
What We Didn’t Like
- Not the most inexpensive
Smith and Cult – Editor’s Pick
Before even opening up the bottle, we were pretty impressed by all of the bright, unique colors; not to mention the witty, well-fitting name paired with each one.
The colors are super versatile, and are pretty appropriate for various types of events, moods, and outfits you’d like to pair them with.
What type of shades do they have?
Pretty much anything you can imagine. One of the top-selling points for us was the variety of unique colors they offer, which can’t often be found with other brands. They range from sophisticated lilacs to dark and vibrant reds, to gorgeous nudes and sleek greys.
How easy is it to apply?
It’s definitely one of the easier formulas we encountered. Rather than being sticky or thick, it went on super smooth and quick. The brush helps with the ease of application, as it isn’t so wide that it’s difficult to “paint within the lines”, but large enough to cover a big surface area with just one swipe.
How much product is required?
We only needed one coat to deliver intense color and flawless opacity, which is probably the best you can ask for, no? This is great if you don’t have a lot of time to get your nails looking hot! In addition, you don’t have to worry about it looking sloppy. No streaking or bubbles, but rather complete, even coverage.
Just how long does one application last?
We found it to be pretty good, with about 5 days of wear time before we noticed any chipping appear. After about a week, was when we had to remove it to start with our next product, but even at a week, the polish looked pretty good with very minimal chipping.
It’s definitely one of the more expensive non-toxic nail polishes we tried. However, if you’re willing to splurge a bit for smooth, high-quality, long-lasting, unique color, then it’s definitely worth it! In addition, we can guarantee that the price per application is going to be comparable, if not less expensive, than the cheaper polishes out there due to how long they last and how little product you need.
Oh, and on top of all of that, they’re vegan and gluten-free, so it’s great for those who are vegan or just want a healthier product for themselves and the world we live in.
What We Loved
- Almost a week of wear time without chipping
- Available in a huge array of unique, highly-pigmented colors
- Easy to apply; smooth and even application
- Vegan, gluten-free, 8-free formula
What We Didn’t Like
- Relatively expensive (however inexpensive price per application)
Piggy Paint – Best Product for Children
What’s more, is you may have a child who’s sensitive to chemicals, and you probably care about what goes onto your children’s bodies. If that’s you, then you have to check out Piggy Paint.
So, what about it makes it so awesome for children?
First of all, it’s non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about the little ones accidentally ingesting it (although we still would recommend keeping them away from small children). In addition, it’s a low-odor product, so it doesn’t smell strongly of acetone or alcohol. The formula is water-based which is not only safe, but comes off easily.
If your little one has sensitive skin, Piggy Paint for babies is also hypoallergenic, which is actually pretty rare when it comes to most polishes. Also, the non-toxic polish is cruelty-free, which is never a bad thing. Keep in mind that while it’s driven towards children, it’s not just for kids. In fact, if you’re a pregnant or nursing new mom, it’s safe for you to use, too!
Available in a variety of fun, intense colors, there’s sure to be at least one that you and your kids love!
Were there any downsides?
If we’re really being picky, we noticed that the colors aren’t as “sophisticated” as some of the shades you’d typically see in nail polish lines. This is due to the fact that, at the end of the day, it is geared more towards children, and most kids probably don’t want a nude or grey shade to show off on the playground!
What We Loved
- Great kid’s product
- No acetone; low-odor
- Non-toxic, vegan, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free
- Goes on smooth and easy
What We Didn’t Like
- Colors are more geared towards children
Honeybee Gardens – Easiest Product to Remove
In fact, probably the factors that landed Honeybee Gardens on our list, were the lack of fumes, and the fact that it’s ultra-easy to remove.
Let’s get into that for a second.
With this child-safe nail polish, absolutely no nail polish remover is required. All you need is rubbing alcohol, Honeybee’s own nail polish remover, or even vodka (an excuse to have a vodka soda or two?).
In addition, it’s also gluten-free, PETA certified cruelty-free and made without FD&C colors, toluene, DBP, xylene, camphor, and benzophenone-1. There are 23 trendy colors to choose from, and they come in matte, iridescent, or shimmer finishes. We found most shades to be pinky/purply, so if you’re looking for a wider variety of color options, you might want to choose something else.
Now, let’s move on to the part we weren’t so fond of.
That’s the durability of the polish.
As far as the application goes, it’s pretty simple to apply in terms of smoothness. However, it does take an honestly ridiculous amount of time to dry. We’re talking you better set aside at least an hour just for a couple of coats.
In addition, the wear time is very short. After just two days of going about our normal, everyday activities, it started noticeably chipping. On the third day, it began to crack and peel, so if you’re just looking for a quick color for a night or special event, this could be a good option for you. If you’re looking for a more durable product, look somewhere else!
What We Loved
- Extremely easy to remove – no nail polish remover required
- Only a couple coats are required
- Free of all kinds of unhealthy ingredients
- PETA-certified cruelty-free
What We Didn’t Like
- Comes off incredibly easily/chips after a couple days
Pacifica 7 Free – Best Budget Product
Or perhaps, you’re looking for a budget non-toxic nail polish but can’t seem to find one that actually lasts a long time. This one is probably the best budget product we’ve found, all things considered.
Pacifica is a company most well-known for its interesting, exotic fragrances, but they have recently switched things up by adding on some unique makeup and beauty products. Pretty much all of their products are doing very well among consumers, and we figured it just made sense to try out their polish!
As one of the few 7 free nail polish brands, this one was our favorite due to the presentation, the color options, and how long it lasted.
Pacifica only creates cruelty-free, vegan-friendly products, so it wasn’t really a surprise that their polishes are 7-free (free of parabens, phthalates, toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, and resin).
Aside from the product, what is the bottle like?
It’s honestly pretty basic, but their thoughtful sea-inspired gold design wrapped around the top makes it more interesting and definitely caught our eyes.
Let’s get back to the product, itself!
The brush is a pretty good size for most users but it may be too small or thin for some. We personally thought it was great as far as precision goes, while not being so thin that it is just inconvenient. It will take a bit longer to apply than those with larger brushes, but for us, this was a non-issue. Thanks to how easy the polish glides on, it was still a very fast process, and it provided a vivid splash of color, even just with two coats.
How long did it take to dry?
It was actually a bit longer than most we’d tried (save the Honeybee Gardens which took incredibly long), however, that wasn’t a huge deal. For all of our nails to completely dry, in total it probably took no more than 10 minutes, which is quite average.
What We Loved
- Comes in wide selection of vivid colors
- Excellent budget product
- Applies smoothly and evenly
- Free of all kinds of harmful ingredients; vegan and cruelty-free
What We Didn’t Like
- Takes longer to dry than many others
How To Choose The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish For You
If you’re still hesitant on the best non-toxic nail polish for your personal tastes, that’s okay! With so many options available out there, it can be overwhelming – especially shopping online. We have gone ahead and created a little buying guide for you, so you can go through, point-by-point, to figure out which one is just right for you!
You’ll first want to think about how much you’d like to spend on your new nail polish. It’s critical not to just look at the number on the price tag, but think about the price per application. This can obviously be difficult to do, but by reading our reviews, you can get an idea of how many days or weeks a certain polish will last you, before having to reapply.
You don’t want to settle when it comes to your wardrobe, right? Then why settle on the colors of your nail polish? The truth is, that most nail polish companies carry the same, boring shades that you can get anywhere. What you probably want is something unique – something to match that handbag you bought in Venice, or your favorite stilettos. We have various companies on here that provide a huge array of color options for you to choose from, so there’s no excuse in settling!
This one kind of ties in with the price, but choose one that is going to last a while (unless you literally just want something for a night or so). Your money will go further as you won’t need to keep buying a new bottle. In addition, you won’t have to deal with the hassle of constant reapplication!
Ease of Use
You’ll want to consider both how easy the product is to apply, and how easy it is to remove. No one likes dealing with sticky, bubbly, thin, or too-thick polishes. Gloopy polishes get everywhere and make for a rough, uneven surface. Polishes that are difficult to remove are just a hassle, and can often stain nails, which no one wants.
By now, you’ve probably already picked out the best non-toxic nail polish for yourself. Still have doubts? Not to worry! Allow us to reiterate how much we adored the Smith and Cult polish. First off, it comes in shades that were practically impossible to find elsewhere. That alone made the brand really stand out to us. Second of all, it is long-lasting, and quite affordable when you consider how inexpensive each application is.
Finally, it’s actually not harmful to its wearers, which is why you’re here in the first place, right? You want a polish that’s not packed full of random chemicals.
So, which one of these best non-toxic nail polishes will be making their way into your home?