As you’ve probably noticed, the field of clean beauty is vast, and it can be overwhelming to navigate. Like many of us, I’ve been simplifying my beauty routine by focusing on those painstaking products that are safe and effective. During the pandemic, I became proficient at painting my own nails and started searching for the best non-toxic nail polish. I have tried many different brands and as a mother of two, between bottle washing, cleaning and typing, any nail polish I try is put to the test.
In my quest to find the best, I called a friend and nail artist extraordinary, Smith and Cult brand ambassador and mom of two, Jessica tong. In addition to giving me some tips and tricks for applying polish at home, he also informed me about the importance of using non-toxic nail polish brands. “I have a daughter who is two years old and she loves to have her toes painted, so the brands I use have to be good enough for those baby toes to be good enough for my clients.” says Tong.
Read on for my top five clean beauty nail polishes and find out which one has the most staying power. other the simplest application.
Tips for a manicure at home
When I do my nails at home, before painting them, I like to file, clean the cuticles and lightly polish. Then I wipe the nail with a drop of rubbing alcohol on a small 1 “x 1” square of paper towel to remove the oil. After this, apply a thin layer of Smith and Cult Basis of Everything Base Coat, two thin coats of colored brightener and finish with Smith and Cult Above It All Coat. To speed up the drying process I will Zoya Quick Dry Drops“One drop per nail dries them as if by magic.”
I have been using natural nail polish for some time and one thing I have found is that the shorter your nails are the better as they have less contact. To keep things fair, I rotated the nail polishes in each hand as your middle finger tends to come in contact with more things, while your little finger is barely used. I also bought new bottles of the entire base, top coat, polish, and dried drops, and each polish was purchased directly from the brand’s website.
- Clean cuticles and lightly buff
- Clean the nail with a drop of alcohol.
- The base coat and top coat of each brand was used (1 coat each)
- Two layers of nail polish
- Quick-drying drops (if any)
Zoya Price: $ 12
My rating: 3.5 / 5
Pros and cons: Zoya had my favorite base coat. The consistency was perfect, neither too thick nor too thin. The handle made it easy to apply as it rested very well in your hand. They have a range of bold colors to choose from. Zoya was placed on my middle finger and thumb. As mentioned above, the middle finger has many contacts, so it was the first to cut off both hands. My thumb is still in good condition five days later with no splinters. In my opinion, the color became a little thick, great for coverage, but maybe a little too thick when adding a second coat. I find that when a polish is too thick it takes forever to dry.
Because I love it: Zoya was the first to remove toxic ingredients like toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and DBP (dibutyl phthalate) from its formulations. Zoya maintains its focus on the health and wellness of salons, spas and consumers.
Classification: This is a good polish to apply quickly when you want a pop of intense color and need your nails to last overnight with one or two applications.
My rating: 4/5
Procs and cons: I have been using this brand for quite some time. When I was a stylist, this was a brand that I often noticed many professionals used. I personally love shades and they offer a variety of muted and neutral tones. I used this mark on my little and ring finger. I found the color to be a bit thinner, but that may have had more to do with the color I choose. He was by far the lightest of the bunch. My only complaint with this brand was the brush. It had the finest brush and a strange handle. If you are a professional, this may not sound like a big deal, but if you have a hard time painting your nails, you may find it difficult to apply it.
Because I love it: Smith + Cult is Vegan + Gluten Free, No 8 Formula: Free of Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide, and Triphenyl Phosphate.
Classification: Smith & Cult is what I would prefer in the salon for sure, but at home, I think you will have trouble applying properly.
My rating: 2/5
Pros and cons: I used this polish on my index and middle finger. Unfortunately, both my middle and index fingers were chipped. Again, placement on the middle finger is difficult. Overall, this was my least favorite polish. They have a very limited color gamut and I found the base, color, and top coat to be very fine. Although I found the brush easy to use and apply, the polish was very fine.
Because I love it: Fortunately, as with all brands, Butter’s lacquers do not contain eight nasty ingredients. They do not add formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, or TPHP to any of our nail product formulas.
Classification: Not worth spending when you can get Smith & Cult for the same TBH price!
My rating: 4.5 / 5
Pros and cons: This was my favorite polish when I was pregnant. Of all the brighteners, this is the cleanest. I would call it my second favorite place for pregnant moms or babies. The top is a bit small, which made it a bit more difficult to apply, but overall the staying power worked well. I used this mark on my index finger and little finger. With a passion for color and a dedication to healthy beauty, the founders strive to deliver cutting-edge beauty products without compromise. In addition to being chip-resistant, quick-drying, and high-gloss, ella + mila nail colors are free of acetone, animal-based ingredients and a host of other nasties that make it a seventeen chemical-free product.
Because I love it: Ella + mila enamels are PETA certified, making them vegan, cruelty-free, and proudly made in the USA.
Classification: This was almost a triumph for me. It’s safe, has fun colors, and the price is right!
My rating: 5/5
Pros and cons: This was my outright winner. The brush is probably the largest of the five and the size of the handle is perfect for the hand. They also offer a poppy (which is a handle) however I found that the normal top works just as easy. The polish was so smooth and the color stayed and it still looks great. I will say that the base coat is very different than the typical base coat; I’d rather call it a primer and maybe that’s why it held up so well. They also have a range of colors, from bright, muted, and classic hues, and it’s the most affordable.
Because I love it: Its formula is vegan, cruelty free and 7 free (excludes 7 potentially harmful ingredients commonly found in nail polish: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP or xylene).
Classification: This is the brand for manicure conscious people. The polish is still on and hasn’t chipped, and let me tell you, as a mom of two under two, that’s saying something!