I know there is nothing natural about nail polish but they are so much fun and there are measures you can take to avoid applying nasty toxins like formaldehyde on your nails.
All varnishes here are free of animal ingredients and all brands do not conduct animal testing. They are also free of Toluene, Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde and formaldehyde resins.
Australian made and owned, Kester Black are committed to minimising their environmental impact by using sustainable production methods, sourcing recyclable materials and producing small batches. Not only are they cruelty free and vegan but they also donate $1 of every purchase to one of their favourite charities! Kester Black's nail polishes are water permeable and breathable allowing your nails to grow naturally without restriction. This super ethical brand has over 50 different polishes currently on their site including limited edition collaborations with Beauty EDU, Original & Mineral as well as the salon, Trophy Wife located in Melbourne. Options range from mattes to shimmers and what I refer to my nails below as disco nails!! With names like ‘gold digga’ the Trophy Wife line is a bit of glittery fun whilst the O&M range is gorgeous and earthy.
I purchased their nail polish remover which I have to say is the best one I have ever used, at $16 for 125 ml it may sound expensive but the ‘ol saying “you get what you pay for” applies here. The last remover I was using made the skin underneath my nails hurt for days despite running them under the tap straight after. Kester Blacks varnish remover is light, effective and doesn’t smell like you have just sprayed the whole room with a flammable liquid that could cause your house to go down in flames!! *also free from Camphor.
Australian made and owned as well as environmentally conscious, Julisa’s five- free nail varnishes are my kinda style. Their 15 exquisite colors are made in small batches to avoid wastage and 5% of sales go towards supporting environmentally sustainable initiatives.
My order from the online store arrived in just a few days (Sent from Julisa headquarters in Queensland to me in Melbourne) and I was pleasantly surprised by the packaging and adorable detail.
As you can tell from the image on the hessian bag there is a mermaid theme here... I just love this! When you visit Julisa you are not just buying an eco nail varnish… You are welcomed by the gorgeous founders, Juliet and Elisa to join their green beauty mermaid tribe.
I really needed a base & top coat so grabbed one of those which is wonderful, quick drying and protective but I adore the color I chose… ‘Ghost Cactus’… What a name and what a devine color… the shimmery hues scattered amongst the deep blue bold background is like a cosmic explosion. I have to say I am new to this one and I am in love, great quality, local, quirky with such strong ethical policies… I can tell I will be hooked!
*Five free means free from the chemicals noted above as well as Camphor.
Another Australian made and owned option, Scout, is also new to me but another one that impresses! Their site has over 30 stunning colors with some playful names such as the bright pink ‘dancing with myself’ and silver ‘November Rain’ ....actually I get the feeling they are all named after songs?!!
I purchased this beautiful shade ‘Stay With me’ featured below from the Go Vita health food store. On their site Scout mentions their aim is to produce high quality products for the modern woman and I can say they succeed at this for sure! The polish dried quickly and I was able to apply two coats without a lengthy break in between.
Company website states also free from camphor and parabens.
I first came across ZOYA when I was looking for a varnish for my 30th Birthday, I love the quality and quick drying nature of this polish. There are over 288 colors to choose from including mattes, shimmers, metallics, holographics and even a line called Pixie dust! You can check them out by finish type here.
I discovered Barry M whilst living in London a few years ago. The range consist of Gelly high shine (41 shades), speedy quick dry (23 colors), sunset gel (16 shades), classic (18), Matte, aquarium and glitterati.
This is a UK based brand but never fear my fellow Aussies Big W has just started stocking it – for information on this check out the Barry M Australia Facebook page!! Although I love the color options and the fun that comes with Barry M I have found that the polish I have purchased in the past scraps off my nail if I do not leave a long gap between coats (as in apply a coat before bed and apply the next one the following day). With this in mind I recently purchased the Sunset daylight curing shade in ‘Can’t get you out of my red’ and I have to say this one is much better than those I used 5 years ago. The brush is flatter than most making it easier to apply and it dried really well.
I rarely go somewhere to get my nails done and if I do I tend to take my own varnishes to avoid the nasty ones on the shelves. But for my wedding I wanted something fun, unique, special and of course cruelty free! I came across Super Rad Nail Sisters and was blown away by their creativity and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious nails!!!
Not only do they have a massive selection of colors and lil’ blings to add on top but these sisters have super art talents!! They will customise your nails to whatever you are after and let’s just say I was as excited as a flying fox who’d just discovered a whole row of fig trees… you can see why.