Essie, OPI, Sally Hansen…we know these brands and we love them, but what about the lines that fly a little more under-the-radar? There’s an abundance of incredible nail polish brands you may not have heard of…until now. From vegan and 5-free* polishes to DIY gel manicures and nourishing lacquers that restore brittle nails, keep reading for 12 amazing nail polish brands!
Scotch Naturals: Scotch Naturals wanted to give its customer a natural polish (no toxic chemicals here!), but didn’t think a water-based solution would be long-lasting enough…so, what did they do? Invent NaturaLaq – a nature-based nail lacquer that’s as pure as can be. The vegan and gluten-free line offers over forty sophisticated hues encased in a sleek and chic minimalist design.
Red Carpet Manicure: Get a complete salon manicure from the comfort of your own home with Red Carpet Manicure. The at-home gel manicure is a worthy investment ($65 for the system, LED light, base coat, gel polish, top coat and remover. $10 for each additional polish color). Each gel mani will last you for up to fourteen shiny and chip-free days!
Londontown: Londontown’s chic line of LAKUR polishes (which are 9-free, vegan and cruelty-free) were developed specifically to adhere to their Kur Base Coat, a formula that restores and nourishes weak nails. The polishes come in a beautiful assortment of colors, the packaging is elegant and nails stay shiny all week – what’s not to love?
Chrome Girl: 5-free not enough for you? Chrome Girl’s polishes are 8-free! Their long-lasting, cruelty-free polishes are all made in the US – plus, there’s such a wide range of colors – from brights to glitters – to make your nails stand out in a crowd.
Lauren B. Beauty: This is a brand you’ve probably spotted in beauty boxes once or twice – how could you miss those bright and cheerful colors?! Lauren B.’s vegan-friendly polishes are perfect for girls who are typing away at work all day – the chip-resistant polishes should last you up to a week!
Mischo Beauty: Everything about this chic line of nail polishes exudes luxury. Inspired by high fashion and runway trends, Mischo’s shade offerings are always on point. While pregnant with her son, Mischo’s founder, Kitiya Mischo King, discovered there wasn’t a 5-free brand that got her excited. That’s how Mischo was born – the line of smooth and chip-resistant polishes is one of the trendiest 5-free lines out there.
LVX: A 7-free and vegan brand, LVX launches only six new shades per season, so every hue is always carefully curated and on trend. This winter is all about dusty purples and pinks, plus a chic teal that was inspired by the Balmain and Armani runways.
Priti NYC: Priti is a brand that’s beloved in the fashion world – you can spot it backstage at many of the most popular runway shows and it’s clear to see why. The polishes glide on smoothly, lasts for days, is eco-friendly and 5-free, plus they have an absolutely gigantic assortment of colors. There are brights, jewel tones, neutrals, metallics and more!
Dr.’S REMEDY: People who regularly use not-5-free nail polish know the drill – brittle nails, discoloration. Keeping that in mind, the founders of Dr.’S REMEDY, two podiatrists, invented a line of polishes that won’t harm or irritate nails. Infused with nourishing ingredients like tea tree oil and lavender, the line is also allergen-friendly, so it’s especially ideal for those who are sensitive to the chemicals found in many polishes.
Habit Cosmetics: All of Habit’s polishes include Myrrh extract, a formula that uses oleo-resins to naturally strengthen nails. Myrrh also acts as an anti-bacterial/fungal/inflammatory agent – giving you many of the benefits of a good base coat, so feel free to skip the base when using Habit’s long-wearing formulas. To make these polishes as sustainable as possible, each bottle has a bamboo overcap, rather than plastic.
Floss Gloss: What happens when you don’t find your perfect polish brand? Start it yourself! Floss Gloss was founded by two college friends who wanted a vegan and 5-free polish line full of fun, bright, glittery colors. The gorgeous antique-looking packaging is the perfect finishing touch.
Lacc Nail Lacquer: Lacc, which stands for La Couleur Couture, is a fashion-forward and trendy line that’s beloved by nail polish blogs – you’ve definitely seen those wing-adorned bottles on Instagram, no? It’s popular because it’s quick drying (always a plus), smooth and shiny…definitely worth a try.
*Wondering what 5-free and 9-free really mean? Let’s break it down. Most polishes on the market now are 3-free – they don’t contain the ‘toxic trio’ of formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. Brands that offer 5-free polishes omit formaldehyde resin and camphor as well. Now Londontown and some other brands have 9-free polishes, which are free of formaldehyde, camphor, toluene, DBP (dibutyl pthalate and phthalates), formaldehyde resin, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, and lead. Going for a “-free” polish of some sort is a smart idea – these harmful chemicals have been linked to nausea, cancer, seizures and more concerning side effects. The more you know!
Would you try one of these under-the-radar brands? Have you already tried any of them? Let us know in the comments below!
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