Top 12 nail polishes that are 5-free

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New York-based Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is doing it. Prestige brand Chanel did it. And Fashion Week-favorite Priti has always done it.

We're talking about making nail polish without five of the sketchiest ingredients linked to toxicity.

That means they're free of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and toluene—plus formaldehyde resin and camphor, too.

Which brands are behind this new era of five-free polishes and where to find them? We've hand-picked 12 of the chicest lines, and new color launches, in all price points. —Melisse Gelula

Priti painters palette


Priti, a Fashion Week fave, has been 5-free since the day it launched, but it doesn't brag about it. But now you know the whole pretty story.

Priti in Painter's Palette, $13.50, www.pritinyc.com








Vapour is a stand-out organic makeup line that recently launched these tiny bottles of big fashion-forward shades.

Vapour Organic Beauty Vernissage Nail Lacquer in Trance, $12, spiritbeautylounge.com






occ makeup nails


For those in love with this vegan vogue cosmetics line and its super-popular Lip Tar, OCC makes rockin' nail colors that are just as vibrant. Our fall fave is Suspira (top right), a happy-making, demi-matte magenta.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquer, $8, Occmakeup.com









There's something so sexy (never mind eco sexy) about Gina Carney's 5-free lacquer line that combines the founder's love for fashion and minimalism, even in this rich amber metallic.

RGB Cosmetics in Copper, $16, www.rgbcosmetics.com







Scotch Naturals nail polish


Forward-thinking Scotch Naturals is water-based, not solvent-based, meaning it's made with fewer chemicals than even most non-toxic polishes. And still it manages to stay put and comes in really rad colors.

Scotch Naturals in Queen of Scots, $15, spiritbeautylounge.com







tenoverten spruce


The New York nail salon known for its impeccable style (and hygiene) makes a house-line of seasonal polishes named for Manhattan streets. We're fans of this chic putty-shade called Spruce.

TenOverTen Polish in Spruce, $18, tenoverten.com







kure bazaar nail lacquer denim mon bleuKURE BAZAAR

This French next-generation nail line is grabbing the spotlight for its 85 percent natural formulation (its based on wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn), and cool concepts like the Denim color collection, influenced by founder, Brazilian-model Kartika Luyet.

Kure Bazaar in Mon Bleu, $16, spiritbeautylounge.com








This line is a quiet revolution in the the making: it's completely water-based—you even can wash off mistakes up to a minute after application—and odorless. And the colors are all non-toxic, meaning there are no FD&C solvents, and vegan.

Acquarella Non-Toxic Nail Polish in Sleek, $18, spiritbeautylounge.com



Chanel nail polish


Quel surprise! Chanel is perfect example of how high-fashion beauty brands can be healthy without a bit of hippie. This pearlescent, nearly metallic blue is part of a limited-edition collection.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color in Sky Line, $30, chanel.com





SPA RITUAL sparitual quartz

SpaRitual uses principles of color therapy in its vegan line that's featured in manicures from the Mandarin Oriental New York to the DIY Nail Counters at Sephora. The fall colors, like this earthy red called Quartz, aren't just named for rocks, they're infused with them.

SpaRitual in Quartz (infused with Rhyolite), $10, sephora.com






NCLA Nail Polish Without Me, There's No Vip!


NCLA is a big deal in LA, the city which serves style inspiration for the line. Witness this rich red wine shade that's loaded with multi-colored sparkles. (The company also makes a line of easy to use—and non-toxic—nail wraps.)

NCLA Nail Lacquer in Without Me, There's No VIP!, $16, amazon.com







Mineral Fusion Nail Color Amethyst


You've no doubt seen Mineral Fusion skin care and makeup at Whole Foods, but you may not have spied its new line of 30 nail lacquers. The mineral-infused shades are easy to apply thanks to a wide brush makes your DIY manicure faster.

Mineral Fusion Nail Color in Amethyst, $7.99, available at Whole Foods stores



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19 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. October 17th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Since always I stay with everythibg which original and naturale….now finally I found Kure Bazaar for my nails… oufff. very seldom I use the nail polish,… but this time I go with Kure Bazaar ….

  2. October 21st, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Missing Zoya here!!

  3. October 22nd, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I love it! Who knew Chanel was 5 free?

  4. AC
    July 3rd, 2013 at 1:49 am

    Authority Cosmetics is an up and coming brand that’s 5-Free, vegan friendly, cruelty free, and made in the U.S.A! Check them out at Authority Cosmetics on Facebook!

  5. November 12th, 2013 at 8:41 pm
  6. December 2nd, 2013 at 11:40 am

    It looks like Mineral Fusion has a website for those who don’t actually live near a Whole Foods (we do exist).


  7. March 19th, 2014 at 5:24 am

    I live in SA. Have any idea if these nail products are here?

  8. April 24th, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I would definitely add these to the list — Jamberry Professional Nail Lacquers – they go on smooth and come in gorgeous colors, like my current fave, Hint of Mint!

  9. May 1st, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Seriously? I’ve only ever heard of one of these brands. Gee, thanks for the tip.

  10. May 7th, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    also check out indie brands like indie polish and philly loves lacques

  11. May 10th, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Julep is now making 5-free polishes. Their older ones were 4-free.

  12. May 14th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Jamberry has beautiful 5-free lacquer! It lasts a very long time and you can even put their nail wraps OVER the lacquer if you want to add a different touch!

  13. June 17th, 2014 at 4:03 am

    How about ZOYA? and Picture Polish from Australia. Those are the best!!!

  14. July 13th, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Ever think that when we have nails painted, what kind of chemicals our body is absorbing. I plan to purchase my on before going back to salon

  15. August 2nd, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Does anyone know which of these goes on the smoothest? Any of the bottles of Julep I’ve ever gotten are SO goopy. I’ve even tried adding nail polish remover to help thin it out and it just doesn’t work.

  16. October 19th, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    vegan 5 free hand mixed polish

  17. October 26th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I’m so shocked that Deborah Lippmann has been overlooked, especially since it is widely available. I am very chemically sensitive and I have had no problem with this brand. If I try 3 free I have a terrible reaction. Thanks for the additional suggestions!

  18. non-toxic nail polish
    March 3rd, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Luna Star Naturals manufactures KLEE Girls all-natural mineral makeup,Pinki Naturali kids’
    water-based nail polish,Sparkli Naturali role play
    makeup and Pretendi Naturali face paint.
    Handcrafted in USA and Canada.

  19. May 10th, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Many nail polishes these days don’t have the 3 most toxic ingredients, including most drugstore brands. 5 free ones are a little rarer, but not hard to find either, nor do they need to be expensive. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, L’Oreal, Revlon, Butter of London, NYC In a New York Color Minute, Nubar, Pacifica, RGB / PITT / LVX / Sheswai (all have the same ingredient list), LA Colors Color Craze, Zoya, and No Miss are all 5 free. LA Colors Color Craze and Zoya have very similar ingredient lists, and are about as minimal as solvent-based polishes go. LA Colors is also really cheap, so that’s what I use. All solvent-based polishes are smelly though, so I only apply them outside.

    For my daughter, I use a no-odor, water-based polish. My favorite is Piggy Paint; but Suncoat, Play Laugh Love, Acquarella, Honeybee Gardens, Scotch Naturals, Eco Princess, Keeki, Hopscotch Kids, Go Natural, Karma Naturals, Sula, and AQmore are all water based and without solvents. Suncoat and Play Laugh Love are also peelable, though you can also use Elmer’s Glue as a base coat for any polish to make it peelable. Allykats and Bo-Po are also water-based and peelable but they do contain a solvent so are not as non-toxic.

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