Your Guide to Natural Nail Polish
Learn all about good-for-you, but effective polish. Plus, get our top picks—we found a brand with an impressive 16-free formula that you can trust.
If you're tuned into the natural beauty movement, you've likely already learned that nail polish has officially joined the ranks. While there's no FDA-regulated definition for "natural," for anything from nail lacquers to shampoo, more and more companies are excluding chemicals with known or possible health effects from their formulations, says Carla Burns, research and database analyst at the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C.
Her best advice for selecting good-for-you, but effective polish formulas? Look for specific terminology on the bottles: "3-free" means the product doesn't contain formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (polishes by OPI fall into this category), while labels like "7-free and "14-free" signify that the company has removed even more questionable ingredients. We're fans of long-lasting, "14-free" Orosa (try out punchy Papaya ($9, orosa.com)), 10-free Zoya (we love Joyce ($10, zoya.com)) and Sundays polishes, "9-free" Jinsoon lacquers, and the latest "8-free" formulations from Essie—as well as Sally Hansen's new Good. Kind. Pure. collection, which boasts 30 chic shades. Even more impressive? The line is "16-free" and vegan—right down to the brush, which is made from plant-based fibers especially designed to lay down the varnish smoothly. Below, our favorite colorways to wear—in good health—all year long.
A true-as-it-gets pink, this feminine, 16-free shade is here to replace your current go-to.
Shop Now: Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure Nail Polish in Be-gone-ia, $6.27, walmart.com.
Deepier and moodier than Be-gone-ia, Pinky Clay exudes pure romanticism.
Shop Now: Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure Nail Polish in Pinky Clay, $6.79, target.com.
Searching for an earthy terra-cotta-meets-pink hybrid? You've found it in Pink Cardamom.
Shop Now: Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure Nail Polish in Pink Cardamom, $6.72, amazon.com.
Speaking of earthy: This aptly-named cross between nude and gray feels vibrant and fresh—never flat.
Shop Now: Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure Nail Polish in Mother Earth, $6.72, walmart.com.
Put down your go-to oxblood shade and consider this rich hue—a cross between sepia and maroon—instead.
Shop Now: Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure Nail Polish in Grape Vine, $6.79, target.com.