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Non-Toxic Nail Polish Review: Final Test Results are In!

Back when I wrote about non-toxic nail polish (important because of all the negative health effects of the chemicals found in conventional nail polish) tons of people had questions about all the brands I reviewed.

Did the non-toxic nail polish last?

How well did it apply?

Did it still smell bad?

Fingers with assorted nail polish colors

My daughter, our neighbors, and I spent a couple of weeks with wacky looking fingernails to answer all those questions for you. We applied all the non-toxic nail polish brands that I had, around 20 of them, and put one on each fingernail so that we actually had 10 different colors on at a time.

In this post I’ll share with you the results of all that testing in as much detail as possible.

The bottom line is that some non-toxic nail polish brands don’t last but a day or two.

Some of them don’t smell at all.

Others smell exactly like conventional nail polish, which leaves me wondering how non-toxic they really are, or if they’re just using ingredients that haven’t been proven to cause problems yet but that are similar in the negative effects as any other nail polish.

Typically, the ones that have a strong scent are the ones that last as long as conventional nail polish.

{insert ominous music here}

I do think there are a few that hit the crosshairs just perfectly.

They don’t seem to have much smell, the ingredients are at least clean enough to make me feel comfortable putting it on my daughter, and they last at least a week or so long enough to feel like the time spent applying was worth it.

I’m not much of a girly girl, and I don’t really use nail polish on my fingers that often but I definitely polish my toenails all summer long. Especially when I can get away with only redoing the color every four to six weeks.

It’s still been very helpful to do all this research, and of course, I do it for you ladies, too. Non-toxic nail polish makes such a great stocking stuffer, Secret Santa gift, or Easter basket inclusion, but even for those special times of year, I hate to put something packed with chemicals into my kids’ gifts. Check out my nail polish for kids post. 

Since the nail polish stays on your nails so long, and nails do allow chemicals to pass through, it’s important to be intentional and cognizant about the ingredients in your nail polish.

Plus, I’m pretty sensitive to smells, and even though I said some of these brands seem to have a scent as strong as conventional nail polishes, none of them hold a candle to how pungent some of the very inexpensive national brands have. Those are truly nose turning, and one of them actually gave my daughter a headache for 10 minutes after just one quick whiff in Target.

Skip to the reviews:

all reviews

100% Pure  |   Acquerella   |   Bio Seaweed Gel   |   Butter London   |   Defy & Inspire  |   Ella + Mila |   Emosa  |   Essie   |   Honeybee Gardens   |   Jamberry Nail Wraps   |   Karma Organics   |   Keeki   |   Mineral Fusion  |   Pacifica   |   Piggy Paint   |   Piggy Polish   |   Poofy Organics   |   Prim and Pure  |   Smith & Cult   |   Sophi   |   Suncoat   |   Suncoat Girl   |   Zoya

Short on Time? The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Is…

My vote goes to Prim & Pure. This nail polish has practically zero scent, goes on very smooth with a unique iridescent sheen, has great colors for toenails, and stays on at least 80% better than most of the other brands we tested.

Prim & Pure really can last up to even a week or two, or longer on the toenails (unless you do pick at it). Once it’s on that long, sometimes you do need nail polish remover to get it off, fair warning.

But it’s still my top recommendation, with all elements of decision included.

Got little girls? Prim & Pure is a top choice for them, too, plus 3 others that I reviewed in a special “best safe nail polish for kids” post. 

Natural Nail Polish Reviews: How Do They Really Work?

Great Less Toxic Nail Polish Brands That Actually Stay On

We have the results of all our testing in a Google spreadsheet as well and can email that to you for reference:

Get Access To The Spreadsheet

The least toxic nail polishes, unfortunately, hold a pretty low standard for longevity, which is why I recommend them for little girls but not necessarily adults.

Ladies, I know that your standards for not allowing any chips at all are going to be a bit higher than your daughters, so if you need something that really stands up to comparison with national conventional brands that you may be used to, here’s my short list of those that use better ingredients and should at least be less toxic — although they all do have at least half as much as that traditional nail polish scent.

Durable Non-Toxic Nail Polish that Lasts

Hat tip goes to Acquarella because if you get it right, it stays on forever, but there are some caveats that make that brand a little complicated.

First, the nails really need to be untouched for 12 hours after applying. If you can manage to get it on at night and let it cure as you sleep and you don’t chip it on the first day, you’re golden. Acquarella will stay on your nails for many weeks but, of course, it’s annoying if you do chip it on the first day.

The second caution is that Acquarella requires its own brand of nail polish remover, and the longer you leave it on the harder it is to get off so there is an investment of time both at the beginning and the end to get this brand to work. However, for as long-lasting as it is Acquarella has nearly zero sent, so if you are very scent-sensitive, I would highly recommend giving this one a try and figuring out how to make it work for you.

Non-toxic nail polish

Here’s how we rated the “smell factor” in all the nail polishes we reviewed:

  • 5 stars – NO smell
  • 3-4 stars – fairly strong
  • 1-2 star – just like conventional nail polish, awful and pungent

A couple “controls” that were actually conventional polishes we had around amazingly only received 2s and 3s most of the time, although there are plenty of conventional nail polishes that are 1 or worse, including Sally Hansen. The kids and I smelled some in Target, and the Sally actually seemed to burn Leah’s nose, causing her to not be able to smell anything for about 2 minutes!

Natural Nail Polish Reviews

Non-Toxic Nail Polish Reviews

Prim and Pure
Overall
5
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Prim & Pure is on my left hand in the picture above.

5-Free and beyond

Shop: Online pricing ranges from $8.50 for 1 or up to $25 for a 3-pack. Check for details on Amazon or the company’s website.
Prim and Pure Nail Polish Review

Ingredients: 

Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Water, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Juice, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Powder, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Powder, Sucrose, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Powder, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Fruit Powder, Maldighia Glabra (Acerola Cherry) Fruit Powder, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, (May Contain +/-: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Manganese Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Chromium Oxide Green)

EWG Rating: N/A

From the company:

  • Our polish is designed to wash and peel off without the need for nail polish removers that are often filled with harmful chemicals or drying to the nails.The polishes are formulated in a fruit and vegetable base and are quick to dry, odorless, and last until you decide to wash it off!
  • Safe and Effective Peel Off Polish ~ Odorless, Made in the USA, Cruelty Free, Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-Toxic, No Nanoparticles

Other notes:

  • Ingredients on Amazon in response to customer question, also very evident on homepage of website.
  • Also has kids’ polish – I found one labeled for kids and one not, so think they market to both.

Smell: If there’s any scent, it’s incredibly light!

Application: It’s very smooth and entirely opaque and unexpectedly shimmery. It’s not shiny like glass, but shimmery like a matte metal. It’s very pretty in its unique way! Prim & Pure is very easy to apply without streaks and doesn’t need a second coat if you don’t want to bother.

Long-lasting: It’s all in your own self-discipline! If you pick and peel, it will be gone in 2 days. If you can leave your nails alone, there are hardly any chips after 3 days. My neighbor said with a surprised tone, “I would buy this! I use a lot of nail polish and this is one of the best I’ve ever seen.”

Katie’s Notes: This is one of the most interesting and surprising nail polishes of the field. Some sniffers, myself included, said Prim & Pure had literally no smell at all. And it continued to impress!

Pros

  • Easy application
  • Only one coat needed
  • Long-lasting
  • NO SMELL!!!

Cons

  • Will come off if you pick at it.


Honeybee Gardens
Overall
3.8
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:


Honeybee Gardens is the pinkish purple color in the photo above.

5-Free: contains NO FD&C colors, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, xylene, or formaldehyde.
Honeybee Gardens Nail Polish Review

Shop Average online is $12-18 but you might find some colors under $10. Worth price checking Amazon and the brand site.

Ingredients (from Amazon):

Water, water-miscible acrylic, polyurethane formers and thickeners, non-ionic soaps. May contain: ultramarine blue, carmine, mica, iron oxides, and/or titanium dioxide.

EWG Rating: 2 on “WaterColors Vintage Merlot” Data limited

From the company:

  • Our unique water-based polish is free from harsh chemical odors
  • No more nasty fumes!
  • No need for toxic smelly nail polish remover – this product removes with rubbing alcohol, vodka/grain alcohol or our Nail Polish Remover!
  • Contains NO: FD&C colors, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, xylene, or formaldehyde.

Other notes: Manufacturer recommends removing within a week because it gets harder to take off the longer you wear it

Smell: Although it received many 2s, I thought Honeybee Gardens had literally no smell at all.

Application: This nail polish has a very nice consistency and goes on beautifully smooth! It doesn’t need a second coat as far as opaque goes; in fact, it doesn’t even visually change anything if you add one. However, for longevity’s sake, a second coat is recommended.

Long-lasting: With one coat, Honeybee is about half gone on each nail after just 2 days. With two coats, it’s much better, still chipping at the tip. After 3 days, the entire tip of the fingernail was empty of color, but I am wondering if a top coat would help this brand a lot for adults. I still wear it, but only if I have an event on day one. ?

Katie’s Notes: This is another brand that I’d call great for little girls and slightly disappointing (although tolerable, I think) for adults.

Pros

  • Smooth application
  • Only needs one coat
  • Don’t need nail polish remover
  • Little to no scent

Cons

  • Chips and wears off easily


Zoya
Overall
3.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

zoya nail polish review

Zoya Nail Polish Review

8-Free: No Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluene, Camphor, TPHP, Parabens, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide, nor Lead

Shop: Most are $9-10 a bottle, but watch for sets which may get the per-bottle price down to as low as $4! Price check on Amazon and Zoya.

Ingredients: Not online. Called and they were happy to email their list of base ingredients, but said since the color blends are proprietary (and there are HUNDREDS of them!) they can’t provide the exact combos used for the colors. I asked if it’s possible to get a general list of the ingredients used to make colors and the nice lady was able to send us a general list of ingredients used to make colors.

Note: What is printed on the bottle is shortened due to space.

COMPLETE INGREDIENTS:

Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Benzophenone-1

May contain: Silica, Mica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Tin Oxide, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Red 34 (CI 15880), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Iron Oxides (CI 77491,77499), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Black 2 (CI 77266), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Aluminum Powder (CI 77000), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Violet 2 (CI 60725), Ultramarines (CI 77007).

Any Zoya shade may include any of these colorants. It is possible with colorants not added directly to a shade that trace amounts may be present in any given batch, because all shades are produced in the same facility with shared equipment. If you have allergic reasons to avoid colorant exposure and an ingredient of concern is on this list, it is recommended you avoid using shades from the Zoya line altogether if you want zero risk of exposure. All colorants in the line are compliant with US FDA regulations regarding use of colorants in cosmetic products.

EWG Rating: N/A

From the public: A reader shared on Facebook: “I have one Zoya and find the pale color streaks a lot and needs more coats than I’d like. Maybe the dark colors are better.” Other online reviews are overall quite positive, averaging 80-90% approval.

Smell: Pretty much smells like a standard nail polish, definitely able to smell during application.

Application: Some colors certainly need 2 coats to look nice, but it goes on smoothly and does have a very nice, smooth texture.

Long-lasting: Excellent! With 2 coats, after 3 days, there were hardly any chips, and on my daughter, there were still very few chips after a full week. I’d call it the 2nd best tier of staying power of the field.

Katie’s Notes:

I was expecting Zoya to have zero scent as I was told by a small retailer who used to make my favorite nail polish that Zoya and Essie would be good brands to switch to, and that Zoya had no scent. BUT it was shocking and quite strong in fact! I had to start looking up what the ingredients actually were and if there was anything concerning that I hadn’t researched yet.

All these ingredients are a “1” at EWG individually, except for:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol which is a “2” and still not concerning at all
  • Benzophenone-1 ringing in at a “4” in other nail polishes with the concerns of “Allergies/immunotoxicity, Endocrine disruption.”
  • Styrene, which is 7-9 “depending on usage” and usually a 7 for other nail polishes. It may be as low as a “2” though as an acrylates copolymer… Hazards listed under the “7” rating include: “Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Occupational hazards, Endocrine disruption, Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Ecotoxicology.” BUT it can’t be that ingredient that makes it smell so strongly, because styrene is the first ingredient in Prim & Pure, which has zero smell at all. I’m stumped!

Pros

  • Long-lasting color
  • Hundreds of color choices
  • Lower price point

Cons

  • Smells like conventional polish


Butter London
Overall
3.5
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

8 Free: butter LONDON does not add Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluen, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, or TPHP to any of its nail product formulas.
Butter London Nail Lacquer Review

Shop: In the high teens on Amazon or the butter LONDON site. Pop-up coupon codes available.

Ingredients (in “Mink Grey”):

Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Benzophenone-1, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) Extract, Ethyl Trimethylbenzoyl Phenylphosphinate, Diamond Powder, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Colophonium (Rosin). May Contain: CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77266 (Black 2), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 15850 (Red 7 Lake). 

EWG Rating: 3-4

From the company:

  • Clean Ingredients. Good-for-you formulas. Always Cruelty-free.
  • Not all ingredients are created equal. That’s why at butter LONDON we use only the highest quality ingredients to meet our performance standards and give you high-impact colour you can count on.

Smell: It smells like pungent dry erase markers – different than conventional but still so strong.

Application: Butter London is very opaque and needs no second coat at all, in fact looking the same after a 2nd coat.

Long-lasting: The brand fared very well here! Butter London is very durable, one of the best we tried with very little chipping at the tip after 3 days.

Katie’s Notes: This one is pretty darn conventional, but if “better than most” is ok with you on the scent/ingredients, it’s also “better than most” on application and longevity.

Pros

  • Very opaque
  • Super long-lasting

Cons

  • Very stinky
  • High price point


Karma Organic
Overall
3.5
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

karma nail polish review

Karma Hues Nail Polish Review
3-Free: No toluene, formaldehyde, DBP or TPHP

Shop: Price range online is around $10 apiece. Price check Amazon and Karma Organics and watch for free shipping on multiples.

Ingredients: (from Amazon & site)

  • Butyl Acetate – organic compound used as a solvent in the production of lacquers
  • Ethyl Acetate – organic compound; colorless liquid used as a solvent in flavorings and perfumes
  • Nitrocellulose – a fiber used for viscosity
  • Isopropyl Alcohol – dissolves nitrocellulose
  • Adipic Acid/Fumaric Acid/ Phthalic Acid/Tricyclodecane Dimethanol Copolymer – soluble in water, alcohol, and acetone
  • Titanium Dioxide – the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, mined from the earth
  • Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide – a salt used in making blue pigments
  • Mica – made from sand
  • Iron Oxides – a principle ingredient in pigments ranging from yellow through red, and from purple through black
  • Tin Oxides – a polishing agent
  • May Also Contain: Acetyl Tributyl, Stearalkonium Hectorite or Citric Acid

EWG Rating: N/A

From the company:

  • Karma Organic Nail Polishes are free of TPHP and contain no toluene, formaldehyde or DBP and are safe for pregnant women, kids, cancer patients and allergy sufferers. Chip resistant, durable, and with no harsh odors, they are available in glossy, matte and glow-in-the-dark shades. The non-yellowing formula is cruelty-free (not tested on animals). Packaging is 100% recyclable.
  • The nail strengthener contains calcium and coffee extract to help strengthen natural nails without the use of Formaldehyde.

Other notes:  They also sell polish removers and a pack marketed for kids.

Smell: Almost all my testers agreed that this one was way up there on the “stink” factor, including while applying and after closing.

Application: Goes on very smoothly, and with the color I had, you could easily get away with 1 application, although it’s less thick than Butter London, Pacifica, and Sophi.

Long-lasting: Possibly the top tier for “stay-a-bility,” showing hardly any chips after 3 days, still looking great at 1 week, and still rocking it on the toes after nearly 3 weeks.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Smooth application that only needs one coat
  • Midrange price

Cons

  • Very smelly


Pacifica
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Pacifica Nail Polish Review

Pacific is the coral color on the right, above.

7-Free: no parabens, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, or animal testing.
Pacifica Nail Polish Review

Shop: I didn’t buy on Amazon because almost every color has $8+ shipping and is already expensive! Going through the Pacifica site was ok.

Ingredients (available on Amazon under Important Information, but the list ends in an ellipsis):

Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Stearalkonium Bentonite, n-Butyl Alcohol, Benzophenone-1, Silica, Alumina, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Polyvinyl Butyral MAY CONTAIN (+/-): Aluminum Powder (CI 77000), Oxides (CI77499 / CI 77491), Red 34 Lake (CI 15880), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Ferric Ammonium ...

EWG Rating: 3 (on Rainbow Gloss top coat)

From the company:

  • Our new 7 Free Nail Polish is long lasting and void of many chemicals that one would find in traditional nail polish.
  • We have added a custom wide 100% vegan brush for easier application.

Smell: The aroma fills the room during application, and everyone agreed that Pacifica is as close to conventional nail polish as we can get.

Application: Here Pacifica did well though, much thicker than expected based on first visual. If in a hurry, one would not need a second coat.

Long-lasting: Also doing well in this category, Pacifica showed just a few chips at the tip after 3 days; probably in the 2nd tier of permanence.

Katie’s Notes: With Pacifica getting such good social word of mouth in the sunscreen niche, I had high hopes for the brand in nail polish. I even spent a good bit of money on shipping just to try it out!

Pros

  • Easy application and fairly long-lasting

Cons

  • Smells like conventional polish
  • Very pricey on Amazon


Smith & Cult
Overall
3.8
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Scent rating: 4 out of 5

8-Free Formula: No Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide, nor Triphenyl Phosphate.
Smith & Cult Nail Polish Review

Shop: High teens on Amazon and on the Smith & Cult site.

Ingredients (in “A Little Underground”):

Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Acrylates Copolymer, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Magnesium Silicate, Mica, Silica, Benzophenone-1, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Tin Oxide. May Contain/Peut Contenir (±): CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 77266 (Black 2)

From the company: Nail polish that delivers even coverage & brilliant shine in versatile, chip-resistant colors. Vegan, cruelty-free and 8-free formula. Go easy on the planet, go hard on nail art.

EWG Rating: N/A

Smell: Nearly conventional.

Application: While Smith & Cult definitely requires a second coat, it’s very smooth, glossy and opaque after that.

Long-lasting: “WOW,” I wrote when I tested 10 different nail polishes on my hands at once! This brand really stood out as long-lasting with zero chips at the 3-day mark

Katie’s Notes: If you can get past the smell, this one is as close to pro quality as I found (along with a few others). Not great for kids, but if durability is your goal and you’re ok with some scent, this is a good brand.

Pros

  • Salon quality
  • Smooth and glossy

Cons

  • Near conventional smell
  • High price point


Acquarella Nail Polish
Overall
4.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Acquarella Nail Polish Review

8-Free: No formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens

Shop: Online pricing ranges in the mid-teens. Price check on Amazon or at Acquarella’s site.

Ingredients:

Aqua (CAS: 7732-18-5), Styrene Acrylates Copolymer, Acrylates Copolymer. May contain: CI 77489 (CAS: 1345-25-1), CI 77492 (CAS: 51274-00-1), Mica (CAS: 12001-26-2), CI 77891 (CAS: 13463-67-7) and/or CI 77499.

EWG Rating: 1

From the company:

  • Completely Water Based – Free from Formaldehyde, Phthalates, Toluene or other petrochemical solvents!
  • Safe – Non-toxic with virtually no odor
  • Easy – Two thin coats, no base coat, no top coat (some nail preparation required)
  • Vegan – Free of animal products and not tested on animals
  • No Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) or other phthalates – No Formaldehyde or Formaldehyde like derivatives – No Toluene, Ketones or petrochemical solvents – No Polyurethanes or Polyurethane film formers – No Parabens or Camphor – No Gluten or wheat by-products – No aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Since Acquarella is completely water based, it is non-flammable and free from toxic fumes making it a perfect companion for traveling, the office, or any other place.
  • Great for people with chemical sensitivities, allergies, and those who are not currently using nail polish due to harmful chemicals and vapors.

From the public:

  • Doesn’t smell – most people said no smell at all
  • Because it’s water-based, you have to let your nails cure for quite awhile after application before getting them wet. However, reviews indicate if one keeps them out of water long enough, the polish is very durable afterwards.
  • Need a special remover to get it off.

Other notes:

  • Brand of choice for at least one KS team member!
  • Water-based

Smell: While painting your nails, it’s nearly impossible to smell, which is a huge plus. On a direct sniff, it almost smells like playdough. So while Acquarella gets a 2+, it’s not unpleasant, which is why, I think, it received scores from 1-3. You can smell it, but its not pungent.

acquarella nail polish review

Application: This brand is very thin, and I’m curious how the more vibrant shades turn out. (I have light pink and tan.) If you want a shiny glaze that’s understated but classy, this is for you. Definitely apply 2 coats, and although it dries almost immediately, I highly recommend painting your nails at night, before bed, to give your hands as many hours as possible without being busy to prevent early chips.

Long-lasting: Acquarella is a real Jekyll and Hyde brand, because if it starts to have problems in the first 12 hours, it would score very low on the “stay-a-bility” scale, BUT – if you can get through the first 24 hours, it stays forever. And ever. If you allow a spot on the nail to pool and get too thick, it will create a weakness that is easy to peel off. #problem But again, for a subtle, grown-up polish that isn’t too flashy and has almost no scent at all, Acquarella is fantastic.

Katie’s Notes: This brand is so surprising! It’s different from any other nail polish out there, so much so that it even requires its own remover! Standard or natural nail polish remover won’t touch it at all. Acquarella continues to cure every day, which means if you can get through the first 24 hours, you’ll have polish that stays for a LONNNNNNG time. You’ll need a while to get it off if you leave it on too long, so ironic!

Pros

  • little to no scent
  • long-lasting
  • continues to cure

Cons

  • needs its own remover
  • can easily smudge or peel in the first 12 hours
  • very thin


100% Pure
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

100% Pure Creamy Nail Polish Review

5-Free: No formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, nor formaldehyde resin.

Shop: Price ranges from the low to high teens online. Price check Amazon and the company site.

Ingredients (from Amazon):

Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Styrene/acrylates Copolymer, Stearalkonium Bentonite, N-butyl Alcohol, Benzophenone-1, Silica, Alumina, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Polyvinyl Butyral. May Contain: Aluminum Powder, Bismuth Oxychloride, Oxides

Red 34 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, Mica, Blue 1, Yellow 11, Titanium Dioxide, Violet 2, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Polybutylene Terephthalate, Ethylene/Va Copolymer

EWG Rating: 6 (on Pure Creamy Nail Polish Juice)

From the company:

  • Nourishing formula encourages healthy nails
  • 100% PURE®’s Non-Toxic Nail Polish is free of the top ten toxic ingredients found in most nail polishes. No formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates and animal ingredients. Cruelty-free nail polish, of course.

Smell: Pretty strong, can smell on application.

Application: This color went on super thin but “Seafoam” may be a tough color to judge. It’s still quite see through after 2 coats.

Long-lasting: Here is where this brand shines quite nicely, in the top tier of durability. My neighbor was impressed with how well it stayed on, really nicely after 3 days (“One of the best I’ve seen.”). On me, the tip chipped off almost completely after 5 days. 3rd best tier?? More testing needed!

Katie’s Notes: As I got deeper into my research and the ingredients, I found there’s a lot to like about the brand. This is a good example of why looking at the EWG rating alone shouldn’t be a final indicator of safety, since the 6 seems misleading – no individual ingredient ranks over a 4.

Pros

  • no individual ingredients rank over a 4 on the EWG rating
  • fairly long-lasting

Cons

  • pricey
  • smelly
  • color needs at least two coats


Mineral Fusion
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Review
4-Free: No formaldehyde, toluene, camphor nor butyl phthalate

Shop: Ranging from about $8 to $11. Price check Amazon or Mineral Fusion’s site. Watch for popups with % off coupons!

Ingredients (as listed on Amazon):

Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic, Anhydride Copolymer, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Diacetone Alcohol Styrene, Acrylates Copolymer, Silica, Citric Acid, Benzophenone‐1

(May contain): Mica, Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Aluminum Powder, D&C Red No. 7 Calcium Lake, D&C Violet No. 2, FD&C Yellow No. 5 Alluminum Lake, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide

From the Company:

  • Formula Purity: 100% Vegan :: Toluene Free :: Camphor Free :: DBP Free :: Formaldehyde Free :: Cruelty Free
  • Free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and butyl phthalate

EWG Rating: 6 (for Mineral Fusion Nail Lacquer Royal Rubble)

Smell: Fairly conventional but not nose-bitingly pungent.

Application: This isn’t really a fair comparison in a way, because I ordered a glitter/clear version, partly because there weren’t many colors available on Amazon and partly because I had so many colors already, I was anxious for something different. It’s not as glittery as I’d expect and tough to see.

Long-lasting: The good news is that as a top coat of sorts, Mineral Fusion’s glitter does great, affording other brands a few extra days of quality durability.

Pros

  • Midrange price
  • Good staying power as glitter top coat

Cons

  • Pretty smelly


SOPHi
Overall
3.8
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

“Better than 3 Free, better than 5 Free, SOPHi is a natural nail polish that is non-toxic, odorless, and hypoallergenic.”

Shop: Typically below $10 online. Price check Amazon or SOPHi’s site. Watch for popups with % off coupons!

Ingredients:

Water, Acrylates copolymer, Neem Oil

May also contain the following colorants (depending on shade):

Red 7, Red 34, Red 28, Red 17,  Iron oxide, Titanium dioxide, Ultramarines, Chrome Green, Mica, Violet 2

EWG Rating: 1-2

From the company:

  • Safe, Chemical Free
  • odorless, hypoallergenic nail polish with a revolutionary PRIME + SHINE + SEAL System for maximum durability.
  • Proudly made in the U.S.A., vegan and cruelty-free, SOPHi nail polish is non-flammable, and contains no formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or ethyl acetate.
  • Also available: SOPHi Nail Polish Remover Gel that is low odor, acetone-free, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable.

Other notes:sophi nail polish

  • Made by Piggy Paint – this is their adult line
  • Ingredients on Amazon for individual bottle

Smell: As with any good water-based nail polish, Sophi has very little scent. You can’t smell it while applying, only if you lean in and really snuff.

Application: We were all impressed with Sophi’s gorgeous, thick application. It’s super smooth and has no need for a top coat to reach opacity.

Long-lasting: Here’s where Sophi broke our hearts. The color was nearly gone after just 2 days; it chips immediately. I wouldn’t buy this one.

Katie’s Notes: Made by the same company as Piggy Paints, Sophi is designed for adults and captivated my attention, at first. The story doesn’t end well though.

Pros

  • Thick and easy application
  • Low odor
  • Lower price point

Cons

  • Chips immediately with no staying power


Essie
Overall
2.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

3-Free: No DBP, Toluene, nor Formaldehyde

Shop: Price ranges from $5 on sale to $9, check at Target or Amazon. The gel version is higher priced.
Essie Nail Lacquer Review

Ingredients: according to Reference.com (Ingredients are not on amazon or Essie’s website) Ingredients in Essie nail polish include

ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, propyl acetate and tosylamide/formaldehyde resin. Other ingredients are Isopropyl alcohol, trimethyl pentanyl diisobutyrate, triphenyl phosphate, ethyl tosylamide and camphor.

NOTE!! This is the only “natural” brand of nail polish I researched that actually still includes TPHP!!! ? 

EWG Rating: 2-6

Smell: The scent is pungent and lasting, even after closing up the bottle.

Application: Essie does dry super fast, so much so that I could apply 2 coats on one nail in succession! For a vibrant color, it definitely requires a second coat.

Long-lasting: Two coats also help with durability – we saw chipping after just a day with one coat but with 2 coats, just a few chips at the tip after 3 days.

Katie’s Notes: Essie was another of the early recommendations in my search for natural polish, so my hopes were high – and fell hard. Not only is Essie one of the only brands with an unsavory ingredient of the entire field, but it smells like it.

Pros

  • Quick drying
  • Durable when using two coats
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Very smelly
  • Unsafe ingredients


Ella+Mila Nail Polish
Overall
3.5
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Kids Nail Polish reviews

Ella+Mila is the hot pink on the left pinky, above.

Ella + Mila nail polish7-Free: Does not contain Formaldehyde, Toluene, DiButyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor

Shop: Prices range online from around $7 to just over $11. Price check Amazon and ella+mila site.

Ingredients: (Link to ingredients provided in response to a customer question on Amazon, have to go to their website to see it.):

Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acrylates Copolymer, Stearalkonium Bentonite, n-Butyl Alcohol, Benzophenone-1, Silica, Alumina, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Polyvinyl Butyral, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Polybutylene Terephthalate, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Ethylene/VA Copolymer

Polish May contain (+/-) Aluminum Powder (CI 77000), Iron Oxides (CI 77499 / CI 77491), Red 34 Lake (CI 15880), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ultramarines Blue (CI 77007), Red 28 (CI 45410), Red 22 (CI 45380), Yellow 10 (CI 47005), Zinc Sulfide

EWG Rating: N/A

From the company:

  • Vegan & Animal cruelty-free
  • Made in the USA
  • ella+mila polishes are certified by PETA!

From the public: Some people seem to be super fans; average customer reviews online are positive.

Smell: We could smell the vapors throughout the entire application process, never a good sign.

Application: It’s nice enough for little girls, but thin-ish – it definitely needs 2 coats.

Long-lasting: We were happy with how well Ella+Mila stayed around, looking really good after even a week (just a few chips on 5 days on me).

Katie’s Notes: I was freaking out a little to see “phthalate” on the end of two of the ingredients when we received our nail polish in the mail, but I did a good bit of research to confirm that polyethylene terephthalate is PET plastic, not PVC or actual phthalates like DBP. (sources: Environmental Health Perspective, 2006, CPME and OXEA [although those last 2 are manufacturers of plastic so may have divided interests]) What a disappointment! With the cute elephant logo, we really expected Ella+Mila to be designed for little girls, and it did receive some 3s on smell, but it’s quite strong.

Pros

  • priced competitively
  • certified by PETA
  • long-lasting

Cons

  • very strong scent
  • thin


Piggy Polish
Overall
1.5
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

3-Free: No DBP, Formaldehyde or Toluene
Piggy Polish Review

Shop: Most seem to be in the $7.50 range. Price check Amazon and Piggy Polish online and look in person at Walmart, Meijer, SpartanNash, and Target.

Ingredients (for Be Blue-tiful, on their website):

Butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, nitrocellulose, adipic acid/neopentyl glycol/trimellitic anhydride copolymer, acetyl tributyl citrate, isopropyl alcohol, styrene/acrylates copolymer, stearalkonium bentonite, n-butyl alcohol, benzophenone-1, silica, alumina, trimethylpentanediyl dibenzoate, polyvinyl butyral.

EWG Rating: N/A

From the company: Piggy Polish is made in the USA and will never compromise on quality, safety, remaining cruelty free, monitoring our environmental footprint and above anything else, standing firm in being true to who we are.

Other Notes: Makes an acetone-free polish remover.

Smell: Blech. It’s fairly strong and just yucky.

Application: The first layer is verrrrry thin and dries quickly if you let it sit half-finished. It looks like a water-based polish in the worst way but without the lower scent. Trying to apply the second layer was tricky; it was like it kept taking itself off! It’s very difficult to get it even and not look totally streaky. #fail

Long-lasting: It chips within hours and looks absolutely terrible. Even with 2 coats, it is half off within 2 days.

Katie’s Notes: For the record, provided Piggy POLISH came after the quite popular Piggy PAINT, for little girls; I think it stinks that the name is so close. The ingredients, quality and odor are NOT close at all. I feel like this brand tried to sneak in on the fame of Piggy Paint, but it’s nothing like the popular natural nail polish we enjoyed for years. It’s one of the worst we tested!

Pros

  • Lower price range

Cons

  • Very smelly
  • Difficult to apply
  • Chipped quickly


Poofy Polish
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Poofy Organics Nail Polish Review

8-Free: No Formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, TPHP, camphor, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates, nor animal ingredients.

Shop: Company’s website, each polish is $11 and shipping is based on order size (capped at $20). I paid $3 to ship one bottle.

Ingredients:

Butyl Acetate (organic compound used as a solvent in the production of lacquers), Ethyl Acetate (organic compound, colorless liquid used as a solvent in flavorings etc, Nitrocellulose (a fiber used for viscosity), Isopropyl Alcohol (dissolves nitrocellulose), Adipic Acid/Fumaric Acid, Titanium Dioxide (natural occurring oxide of titanium, mined from the earth), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (a salt used in making blue pigments), Mica (made from sand used for colors), Iron Oxides – (a principle ingredient in pigments ranging from yellow through red, and from purple through black), Tin Oxides – a polishing agent. May Contain: Acetyl Tributyl, Stearalkonium Hectorite, or Citric Acid

EWG Rating: 2

From the company:

  • Although nail polish can never be completely natural, modern polishes are full of toxins and you breathe them in, as well as absorb them through your skin every time you paint your nails. This is significantly worse if you have your nails done at a salon. POOFY POLISH does NOT have any of the major toxins! The major toxins found in nail polish are:
    • No Toluene- A human reproductive toxin.
    • No Formaldehyde- A known carcinogen, plus they pickle dead bodies in it. YUCK!
    • No Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)- Known to cause infertility, uterine cancer, testicular cancer & fetal defects just to name a few!
    • No Camphor – Poisonous & can cause liver damage.
  • Safe for pregnant women and kids
  • Safe for cancer patients and allergy sufferers
  • Chip resistant
  • Durable
  • Non-yellowing formula
  • Cruelty free/Not tested on animals
  • Packages in 100% recyclable packaging

EWG Rating: N/A

Smell: Fairly strong, nearing conventional, and easy to smell while applying.

Application: The bright color looks fine with one coat and goes on smoothly.

Long-lasting: Two coats might be necessary, however, because longevity isn’t great. After 5 days it was half gone from the nails, not the look most adults want. Meh.

Katie’s Notes: Since Poofy is a rather small brand and fared well on our sunscreen tests, I had high expectations. The strong scent was an immediate turn-off!

Pros

  • Easy application

Cons

  • Almost conventional scent
  • Must buy on Poofy Organics’ site
  • Not long-lasting


Keeki
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Keeki nail polish review

Huge disagreement on this brand’s smell, everything from 1-4!

Keeki Pure & Simple Nail Polish Review
5-Free+: No Acetone, Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor.

Shop: Under $10 on Amazon or the Keeki site.

Ingredients:

Water, acrylate copolymer emulsion, glycol ethers. May contain mica (CI 77019), red (CI 15850), blue (CI 77007), white (CI 77891), green (CI 77289) or black (CI 77499) pigments.

EWG Rating: 2 (limited data)

From the company:

  • Safe for pregnant women
  • Biodegradable… good for our planet
  • 5 free plus no acetone
  • 36 colors + base and top coat
  • Water Based

Smell: Testers described this one as smelling like dry erase markers (Leah thought it was like fish again). So it’s different than other brands but not pleasant.

Application: Keeki is plenty thick but looks streaky and a bit difficult to get smooth. It’s very shimmery.

Long-lasting: It chipped almost immediately, much to our disappointment. At 3 days, the nail was missing a rather large chunk, but it may have been a fluke accident, because the tip stayed on well.

Pros

  • Low price point
  • Acetone-free

Cons

  • Chips easily
  • Streaky and uneven application


Jamberry Nails
Overall
3.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

8-Free: “Best as salon quality goes – No Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, DBP, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, TPHP, Xylene”
Jamberry Nails Review
Shop: Amy’s Accents Jamberry Page or Amazon

Wrap ingredients:

From the site: Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Copolymer (Adhesive)

Additional listed in this image and confirmed by the MSDS I obtained: Polyvinylchloride film, silicone coated paper liner

EWG Rating: N/A

The wraps are considered non-toxic and have very few chemicals in them, probably less toxic than polish/laquers.

From the company:

  • Non-toxic
  • Easy to apply at-home
  • Requires ZERO dry time
  • Durable for long-lasting wear without chipping, peeling or fading

Other notes: Polyvinyl chloride in other applications is under scrutiny as a potential endocrine disruptor. Its production and disposal also cause environmental issues.

Katie’s Notes:

Leah and I are not fans of the Jamberry nail wraps. We watched the instructional videos, and we were first dismayed to learn that we were supposed to have some special heater and nail cleaners to do the process. I’m just not willing to invest that much in nails!

It took us one full hour to do 4 nails on each of us for a total of 8 nails with a hair dryer. It was very difficult to get them flat without bumps, more difficult to get the edges to look nice, and we feel like they will just feel lost. All in all, pretty close to a disaster even though they look okay.

We just gave up and painted our other nails.

Leah’s fell off within hours, and thank goodness – because they also completely wrecked my nails after a few weeks! I think you’re supposed to take them off after a week, but again, who keeps track of time by their nails. I peeled mine off (with no special tools; I had been working hard to keep them on for 14 days, they are that easy to get off if you want to) and beneath, my nails were white and peeling.

So awful. I can’t recommend these to anyone, large or small!

Pros

  •  No dry time
  • Fairly safe ingredients

Cons

  • Very difficult to apply
  • Damages nails upon removal


Suncoat

Details:

Shop: Huge range of prices online, from below $10 to over $20. Price check  Amazon and Suncoat. May even be available at CVS.
Suncoat Water-Based Nail Polish Review

Ingredients (from Amazon):

Aqua (water), acrylate copolymer, styrene-acrylate copolymer, Glycol ether, Benzoate ester, [+/- mica], [+/-iron oxide], [+/-titanium dioxide], +/-ultramarine blue], [+/-Ferric Ferrocyanide].

EWG Rating: 1, Data fair

From the company:

Suncoat water-based nail polish contains ~70% water. When applied, water vapor is released in to the air, not chemical fumes. Thus Suncoat water-based nail polish is:

  • environmentally friendly
  • does not dry or discolor nails
  • virtually odor-free
  • non-flammable
  • Mineral pigments and natural colorants


Bio Seaweed Gel Polish
bio seaweed gel nail polish

Product Name: Gel Polish

Product Description: 5-Free: No formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, BHA or solventsShop: Amazon

Ingredients: called the company and was sent many MSDS sheets Diamond shine top gel polish (no-sanding base gel polish & no-wipe top gel polish are the same) Aliphatic Urethane Acrylate Aronmatic Urethane Acrylate Phenylbis(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide Isopropylthioxanthone 3 step colour gel polish Aliphatic Urethane Acrylate Aronmatic Urethane Acrylate Phenylbis(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide Isopropylthioxanthone Pigment Beyond nail lacquer Component(s) contributing to the hazard: n-butyl acetate ethyl acetate propan-2-ol; isopropyl alcohol; isopropanol

EWG Rating: N/A

Brand: Bio Seaweed

Details:

5-Free: No formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, BHA or solvents
Bio Seaweed Gel Nail Polish Review
Shop: Amazon

Ingredients: called the company and was sent many MSDS sheets

  • Diamond shine top gel polish (no-sanding base gel polish & no-wipe top gel polish are the same)
    • Aliphatic Urethane Acrylate
    • Aronmatic Urethane Acrylate
    • Phenylbis(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide
    • Isopropylthioxanthone
  • 3 step colour gel polish
    • Aliphatic Urethane Acrylate
    • Aronmatic Urethane Acrylate
    • Phenylbis(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide
    • Isopropylthioxanthone
    • Pigment
  • Beyond nail lacquer
    • Component(s) contributing to the hazard:
    • n-butyl acetate
    • ethyl acetate
    • propan-2-ol; isopropyl alcohol; isopropanol

EWG Rating: N/A

From the company:

  • “UNITY is the first and only gel polish that can be cured to the touch in direct sunlight. This advanced solar-cure technology means that even if you do not own a UV or LED light, you can still get all the amazing benefits of a gel polish with just a bottle of UNITY and the SUN!*NEW* Try our No-Wipe Top Gel Polish, perfect for solar-curing! This innovative extreme shine Top Gel Polish cures to the touch with no sticky residue, just like UNITY.”
    • “BSG is the healthier gel choice. Regardless of the frequency of wear, BSG will not cause damaged nails while still performing as a professional gel for weeks of chip-free high shine nails. Our products do not stain, weaken or dehydrate the natural nails.
    • All our products are big-5 free, with no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, BHA or solvents
    • Absolutely no sanding, drilling, primers or bonders required
    • Some gel products still require a damaging ‘rough-up’ of the natural nails with an electric drill or nail file so the product can adhere better; BSG goes directly on dry, clean nails
    • Some gel products also still require a primer or bonder, an air-dried liquid agent that, again, ensures better adherence for longer-lasting results; BSG does not, our no-chip formula is stop of the line
    • Industry Record 5 Minute Soak-Off Removal”

Katie’s Notes:

  • I didn’t order because it seemed way too complicated!
  • Not many reviews. Also, it looks like only certain lines are sun-dry, which others require a lamp.
    • “Gel polish is applied to either natural nails, artificial nails or even acrylic nails. It comes in Base, Colour & Top, just like regular nail polish. However, gel has many more advantages! Gel cures (dries) instantly from 30 seconds to 2 minutes under UV/LED light so there is no more waiting time as per regular nail polish. GEL DOES NOT AIR DRY. It is designed to be durable and more suitable for the busy everyday life, created to last 2+ weeks with no chips, lifts or cracks.”
    • Very friendly when I called to ask for the ingredients – said they’d email it right over.
  • Apparently you have to soak your nails in acetone for 5 minutes to get this stuff off – not sure how I feel about that as far as health goes but it definitely sounds like a pain to tape cotton balls to my fingers or wrap them in foil to keep them on!!

Pros

  • quick, solar or lamp curing
  • no roughing up nails like with normal gel polish

Cons

  • complicated application and removal
  • acetone soak for removing


Defy & Inspire Nail Lacquer
defy and inspire nail polish

Product Name: Wear-Resistant Nail Lacquer

Product Description:

5-Free: No DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin or Camphor

Shop: So expensive!!! The few reviews are pretty poor, we skipped purchasing online. Available at Target (according to this it’s Target’s line)

Ingredients: N/A. Tried calling corporate. Got someone who seemed like he was trying to be helpful the first time, he asked me to hang on but the call disconnected before I got an answer. Tried calling back twice, but couldn’t get through to a human.

EWG Rating: N/A From the public: Very few online reviews, one blog review said it wasn’t very long-lasting

Brand: Defy & Inspire

Details:


9-Free: No DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Propyl-paraben, Butyl- paraben, Phthalates, Formaldehyde-donors, nor Nonylphenol ethoxylate
Defy & Inspire Nail Lacquer Review
Shop: A few colors available on Amazon. It’s a Target brand, so look for it in store or online there. Around $8-$10.

Ingredients: N/A. Tried calling corporate. Got someone who seemed like he was trying to be helpful the first time, he asked me to hang on but the call disconnected before I got an answer. Tried calling back twice, but couldn’t get through to a human.

EWG Rating: N/A

From the public:

  • Very few online reviews, one blog review said it wasn’t very long-lasting

Pros

  • easy to find at Target

Cons

  • few reviews
  • rumored to not be long-lasting
  • no knowledge of ingredients


The Best & Worst Natural Nail Polish Brands

See part 1 of our search for a non-toxic nail polish here to see more about specific ingredients and why you might want to switch to a natural nail polish in the first place.

Bonus: Safe Natural Nail Polish Remover

I didn’t have the heart (or budget) to test a million nail polish removers, but I can say this: Karma Naturals nail polish remover has farrrrr less odor than your typical remover and seems to work fairly well on all the polishes we tested here.

2 natural nail polish removers

With the exception, of course, of Acquarella, which requires its own remover. That solution has pretty much zero scent, just like the polishes themselves, so if you’re sensitive to scent, I’d just go for the whole Acquarella system and enjoy it!

Have you tried out any of these brands before? Which ones are you excited to try next?

I’m well known for honest, thorough product reviews…

reviewed and recommended
 

…and you can always tell a real family has run these products through the gauntlet.

When I review a type of item, I try to review a LOT of different brands! From over a dozen reusable sandwich bags to over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, I’m your girl for straight-up info about natural, real foodie items you’re considering buying.

Click here to see more product reviews and you’ll also love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

3 thoughts on “Non-Toxic Nail Polish Review: Final Test Results are In!”

  1. Thank you for always being so thorough. I’m excited to try Prim and Pure. I’m curious if you have heard of Cote or thought about trying it. It does have a traditional nail polish smell, though.

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