The best clean nail polish brands for ethical Australians

Words by Kate Streader

A selection of local brands that won’t leave you with nasty ingredients on your fingertips. 

Nail polish may not be on your radar when it comes to opting for clean, ethical beauty products, but it should be. A lot of the stuff on the market is packed with toxic ingredients that shouldn’t be anywhere near your body, let alone on the tips of your fingers. 

The three most commonly used ingredients that you should avoid are formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate which can lead to fertility issues and cancerThankfully, there’s a spectrum of options when it comes to non-toxic nail polishes, ranging from ‘three-free’ options, which don’t contain the aforementioned nasties, to ‘12-free’ which exclude a much longer list of harmful chemicals frequently found in nail polish. 

We like nosy people. Don’t be shy, head to our Beauty section for more. 

In Australia, the rise of planet-friendly, non-toxic nail polish brands means you don’t have to settle for naked nails to keep your cosmetics cabinet ethical and sustainable. With a huge offering of fun and classic colours, as well as carbon neutral, cruelty-free, halal and vegan options, these are the Australian nail polish brands you should be buying. 

Kester Black


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Certified vegan, cruelty-free, carbon-neutral and B Corp, Kester Black is dedicated to sustainability and transparency, and the company donates two per cent of all revenue to social causes. Since its inception, Kester Black has sought to raise the bar for cosmetic standards and has constantly pushed for its own progress with its Better Beauty Growth Plan, which outlines the company’s sustainability goals and the current status of each one. Not only is the brand’s ethos impressive, but it offers a divine colour range full of creamy pastels, subdued neutrals and bold brights. 




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Hanami has a knack for nailing (pun intended) hues that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Think pickle green, gunmetal grey, and pumpkin orange. Created by naturopath Hannah Jones, Hanami’s nail polishes are made from 82 per cent plant-based, natural ingredients and are certified vegan and cruelty-free. The company also gives one per cent of all its profits to Pay The Rent as reparations for operating on stolen land. 



The brainchild of trained nail technician Danielle Egan, Sienna launched at the Byron Bay Community Markets in 2014 offering 13 nature-inspired shades. The company has since become a global player in the eco-beauty game, though Sienna’s commitment to sustainability has never wavered. From production to ingredients and packaging, everything is carefully considered and chosen with the environment in mind. As the creator of the world’s first micro-plastic free, aluminium free and nano-particle free nail polish, Sienna has a long list of certifications to its name. 


Ere Perez

Derived from green tea, cotton, potato, wood pulp and silica, Ere Perez’s nail polishes contain 85 per cent vegetable-origin ingredients. You won’t find any loud shades here, with the exception of a juicy red-orange, but the high-gloss factor and classic, understated hues give a refined, professional manicure look. Certified carbon neutral, cruelty-free and vegan, Ere Perez nail polishes are free of any nasties. 




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The ingredient lists for Raww’s superfood-infused nail polishes read more like smoothie recipes than cosmetic products. Its kale protein-based formula features a concoction of açai berry, ginseng root, coconut oil, and other naturally nourishing ingredients that are non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free. Boasting a delicious spectrum of pinks, blues and earthy tones, all created with a “clean, natural and no-nonsense” ethos, Raww’s range gets a big thumbs up from us. 


For more on making the switch to clean nail polish, try this.

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