A manicure is an easy way to update your style and look, but have you ever thought about what is really in nail polish? If not, it's terrifying! Think about the times you were personally victimized by nail polish - yellow nails, weak and thin nails, and don't even get us started on the damage from a gel mani!

Most mass nail polishes often include:

  • Toulene– A chemical known to cause reproductive harm and dizziness. It is also found in gasoline and the CDC warns that it can cause central nervous system problems.
  • Formaldehyde– This known carcinogen is found in many nail polishes. It is also used to preserve dead things and when used in lab preparations, there are strict warnings to avoid inhalation or skin contact.
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) -This chemical is banned in Europe and is known to cause reproductive problems, especially in boys. The Environmental Working Group classifies this chemical as the highest danger level and warns that it can cause organ problems and endocrine disruption.

And these are just the top three of seven super toxic chemicals in nail polish. Yuck!  Turns out those chemicals not only sit on top of your nail, but this study from Duke University and The Environmental Working Group proves that they can even make their way into your body. Good news is there are tons of great natural nail polishes out there that give you a gorgeous mani/pedi situation without messing with your body. The best part, the work just as well as your old toxic formula.  Our current faves are listed below.



Story: BKIND is a Canadian based clean beauty company whose mission is to provide quality products that are not tested on animals and are completely safe for the environment. Their products are plant-based and made from 100% natural ingredients.

Product pick: Literally any of their product line.  Our current fave is Beige Life, a gorgeous pink blush color.

Why this nail polish rocks: You can now have beautiful colored nails while respecting animals, the environment and yourself.  Their range of vegan nail polishes are not tested on animals and are 10-free, meaning they are exempt from the 10 toxic ingredients that are often found in mass market nail polishes.  This professional grade product excludes formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, DPB, xylene and paraben from its list of ingredients.  Plus, their polishes stand the test of time.  We've had ours on for 3 days already (through unpacking boxes, doing laundry and washing dishes) and or nails look as good as the 1st day!  And when you are ready to switch up your color, they also have a fantastic Non-Toxic Nail Polish Remover we are huge fans of!

Price: $15.95 (.33oz)


CompanyLauren B Beauty

Story: It’s very possible that no one loves nail polish more than Lauren B. As a little girl, she often set up a nail salon in her garage, where she performed manicures for her grandmother, and any other family member willing to play along.  After graduating college and a year into pursuing her career in medicine, she realized there was something missing. She realized was that there was no perfect brand, some lines had great colors but didn’t last long and others stayed put but contained harsh ingredients. None of them offered the right balance of luxury and ease. That’s when the light bulb went off!

Product pick: We hate to pick favorites when all of their colors are gorgeous, but we adore Pale Sand Paradise which we featured in our current L&R box.  This gorgeous icy, lilac-tinged white shade is perfect for any locale, season and skin tone!

Why this nail polish rocks: In addition to being 7-Free, which means that all Lauren B polishes are not only made without the 3 common chemicals found in nail polishes (Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde), but also without 4 other very dangerous chemicals (Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, TPHP and Xylene), their polishes have staying power.  Hate when your mani doesn’t even last the day? Lauren B Beauty’s 7-Free nail polishes are not only safer for you, their advanced, quick-drying nail enamels deliver a chip-resistant, long-lasting, mirror-like finish. The brush is also packed with twice the standard amount of bristles, all pre-lacquered so your polish glides on smoothly and streak-free.  If you are looking to take your main one-step further, Lauren B also has a whole product line of nail care items, from hand scrubs and cuticle cream, they also have nail growth serum and nail polish remover pads.

Price: $18.00 (.5oz)


Company: côte

Story: Being an LA local, we stumbled upon côte's gorgeous free-standing boutique and nail spa a couple of years ago and were instantly in love.  côte was created out of the founders' desire to provide a safe, transparent, quality product and an elegant nail care experience that could be shared with their families and friends without worry. They set out to take the “toxins” out of the nail treatment experience; from the shop environment to the technician/guest interaction, to the actual products themselves. With that in mind, all of côte's polishes are created free of the major toxins and allergens that are often associated with nail polish. Don't worry if you can't make it to their shop in LA, they have a NYC spot too, plus their online store is loaded with goodies that will ship.

Product pick: With over 124 color options to choose from, it's beyond hard for us to choose just one, but one of our top picks is No.43, calming clay, a beautiful  pale grey hue.   

Why this nail polish rocks: All of their signature formulas are cruelty-free, vegan and free of the major toxins associated with nail polish: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, camphor, formaldehyde resin, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, and are all gluten-free.  Even cooler, they created a line of travel nail polishes that are $8.

Price: $18.00 (.4oz)