Elevate your life, sustainably
Elevate your life, sustainably

The Ethos Founders 6 Best Picks for Cruelty-Free, Clean Nail Polish Brands for Your At-Home Mani-Pedi

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best clean nail polish brands
Image courtesy Ari Roberts on Pexels

We love a good mani-pedi, even if we have to do it ourselves these days. And these cruelty-free, clean nail polish brands are just the thing.

It may seem a little odd to spend time on painting nails when leaving the house to show them off a bit is still quite a rarity. But you’ll want to indulge in those selfies with a little nail glow-up.

Clean nail polish has come a long way in recent years as brands get more innovative with colors and ingredients that bring all of the fun without the animal testing or toxic ingredients. Check out our favorite nail colors for the fall season and beyond.

Jackie’s Picks

1. Smith & Cult

I am a sucker for good packaging and Smith and Cult definitely got my attention. Its approach to beauty and eliminating sameness empowers its consumers to express their individuality through make-up! All the formulas as vegan, cruelty-free and 8-free. The brand has carefully created its polishes to be cleaner and safer without having to sacrifice smooth coverage, brilliant shine, or longevity. And what a great motto: Go easy on the planet, go hard on nail art.

As we head into the colder months I am obsessing over this glittery black color, named Dirty Babe. It is going to seriously match my entire fall wardrobe. Just enough edge with a touch of sparkle, just my style.

2. Deborah Lippman

In love with the look and feel of gel nails but aren’t in love with the damage they cause? Deborah Lippman has created the perfect, healthy alternative. Its Gel Lab Pro requires no lamps and no tools. The gel-like formula recreates the gloss and durability of a gel manicure, safely. The unique contour brush makes applying the polish yourself oh-so easy. The patented 10-ingredient formula is loved by celebrities like Lady Gaga and Julia Roberts.

Can you tell I am loving the fall nail vibes? The second I saw this color I knew I needed it. This color, dubbed Nasty, is described as burnished plum. The iridescent reds, golds, and oranges are sheer perfection.

3. ella + mila

This is one of my go-to nail polish brands and is quickly becoming a cult favorite amongst the nail artists on the world. The brand was founded on the idea of delivering a line of lacquer that was eco-friendly yet high-end. The founders strive to provide fashionable products and shades without compromise of quality. The polishes are chip-resistant, quick-drying, and high-shine.

If glittery or shimmery is not your speed, you can never go wrong with a subtle French mani. This duo kits helps you create just that.

Jill’s Picks

1. Sparitual

I was never much of a nail polish person. Call it the typer’s curse, but color would chip off often the same day I applied it. But my seven-year-old daughter’s obsession with nail color made me a little it excited about it, too. Especially during lockdown when my preferred spa days were off limits.

One brand that has broken the typer’s curse is SpaRitual. The line’s vegan lacquers stand the test of time and are unfazed by my prolonged keytapping.

Created by Slow Beauty author Shel Pink in 2004, Sparitual is committed to sustainability in its science, packaging, and colors, which are all vegan, cruelty free, and 12-free (formulated without Touline, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, MEHQ/HQ, MIT, Parabens, Animal Derived Ingredients, or Gluten).

I’m a little obsessed with the Here and Now maroon creme, and my daughter can’t get enough of the purple glittery Dreamer.

2. Sundays

Focused on supporting women, giving back, and luxuriously clean, vegan ingredients, Sundays is a must for any nail polish lover.

The brand’s community-focused ethos is built on the necessity of cultivating personal wellness in order to bring more kindness and compassion to the world. It frequently donates portions of sales to causes like Stop AAPI Hate. The long-lasting shades means you can go longer between mani-pedis and use less product each time.

All of the products are formulated with the consumers’ peace of mind as a guiding principal. Enjoy the luxe, creamy classical colors without sacrificing health. The Powder Rose is timeless color perfect for any season.

3. Côte

Côte’s founders Mary Lennon and Leah Yari created the brand to deliver a safe, clean and luxury nail experience. The colors are all cruelty-free, vegan, and toxin-free. All bottles are crafted from Italian glass, and the brushes are designed to last (you can even reuse them after a wash).

The brand is committed to being the cleanest and safest nail polish brand on the market.

All of the colors are truly to-die-for, but the Rose Gold is a timeless classic that will make you feel like you just had a top-quality mani-pedi, even if your daughter painted half of your foot in the effort. Isn’t pandemic beauty quaint?

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