You probably don’t need to be told how fast the vegan beauty movement has been growing! If you haven’t heard from clients about how they want to try a new vegan lifestyle, you’ve likely seen the flurry of new products announcing themselves as vegan and cruelty-free. One particular area in demand is vegan nail polishes and manicures.

Even if you are not vegan yourself, catering to these clients in your nail salon is a great way to get new faces through your door. But, you might be unsure exactly how you add vegan manicures to your treatment menu – what products can you use? What does it mean to be vegan and cruelty-free? We’ve put together a guide to help you out!

Click here to skip to our list of the best vegan nail polishes

Cruelty-Free and Vegan Nail Polish – What’s the Difference?

To those who aren’t familiar with vegan beauty, you might be confused by some of the terms that are out there. Sometimes they can be misinterpreted, but it’s important you know exactly what is in your nail polishes and where they have come from if you are catering for vegan clients.

When looking for vegan nail polish, you might see some that are referred to as ‘cruelty-free’, ‘not tested on animals’ or ‘Peta-Approved’. These are all good signs for animal lovers, but does it mean they are vegan?

What is Vegan Nail Polish?

If a nail polish is vegan, it means that no animal-derived ingredients are used in the formula or production process. Regular or ‘non-vegan’ nail polishes often contain ingredients from fish scales, crushed beetles, beeswax or animal protein to give them the right consistency or level of shine. Vegan nail polish uses other natural or man-made substances in place of these, such as aluminium or faux pearl, to make them ‘vegan’.

What is Cruelty-free Nail Polish?

So, if a nail polish is vegan, does that also mean it is cruelty-free? The term ‘cruelty-free’ means that the product has not been tested on animals. It is most often certified by the ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo. However, be aware that if a product describes itself as simply ‘cruelty-free’, it does not mean for sure that it is vegan, and vice versa.

If your nail polish has a logo from a recognised body such as The Vegan Society or is certified Peta-Approved, it is vegan and cruelty-free. This means that it has no animal-derived ingredients and has not been tested on animals – making it perfect for vegan clients!

If a product states it is ‘cruelty-free’, you should still check whether it has animal-derived ingredients. It could be that the product is not tested on animals, which is excellent, but it does contain an ingredient such as honey. This, unfortunately, means it is not suitable for vegan clients.

Similarly, if a nail varnish states it is vegan without the approval of a recognised vegan or cruelty-free organisation, you might want to check whether it has been tested on animals. To adequately cater for vegans, the nail polish you use in your manicure should neither be tested on animals nor contain any animal-derived ingredients.

Another issue to be aware of is whether a more giant corporation owns your nail varnish brand. Many brands offer single products that contain no animal products and aren’t tested on animals, but the company that owns it does. This is still a no-go area for many vegans, so you must be careful which products you advertise as part of a vegan manicure. Offer complete visibility on your website or social media over what products you use so vegan clients can be sure they are happy with them before their appointment.

What is Non-toxic Nail Polish?

Finally – to add further confusion! – there is another term often used in conjunction with vegan nail polish. ‘Non-toxic’ nail varnishes are sometimes combined with vegan nail polishes, but they are not the same. Non-toxic nail polish is made without using any strong chemicals traditionally used in lacquers. This means they are less harsh to apply to the nail but again does not mean they are vegan or cruelty-free.

What else do you need for a Vegan Manicure?

Remember, it’s not just vegan nail polish; you must provide manicures to vegan clients. You’ll need to ensure that your nail polish remover and other nail care products, such as hand cream and cuticle oil, are vegan – we’ll list some of these in the next section. Using our salon hygiene products, you can ensure your vegan sanitising products.

Cruelty-free and Vegan Nail Polish For Your Salon…

Looking for traditional vegan nail varnishes for your salon? Don’t think you will be limited by your choices, as these fantastic vegan nail polishes can prove they are just as good as the rest…



Orly Breathable Morning Mantra Treatment + Color Polish 18ml




Did you know that Orly nail polish is both vegan and cruelty-free? Not only this, but the formulas are also non-toxic, meaning they are free from 12 strong chemicals usually found in nail varnishes – making it both kind to animals and the nails! Orly has a massive range of vegan nail polish that is perfect for salons, along with the Orly Genius Remover, which can be used to remove both regular polish and gel polish.


Find out more: Orly Epix FAQ

Nails Inc Plant Power

Plant Power by Nails Inc is a revolutionary product with a 73% Plant-Based formula. It’s vegan, cruelty free and Halal and has been created free from formaldehyde, acetone and parabens. The technology within the product provides a salon professional finish with no compromise on colour, wear time, or quality. To top it off, there’s even an eco-friendly wooden cap to ditch the iconic plastic cap – an all-around incredible product!

Nails inc plant power nail polish




Can You Get Vegan Gel Polish?

Today, vegan clients can enjoy gel manicures too! Just like with regular nail polish, gel formulas can sometimes contain animal-derived ingredients, but there are a number of vegan and cruelty-free gel polishes out there for you to choose from for your clients…

Glossify Gel Polish

Glossify Naturabuild



Glossify’s gorgeous range of gel nail polishes and their bestselling Naturabuild builder gel are all vegan and cruelty-free! With highly pigmented colours, you can create beautiful vegan manicures and impressive nail art – plus, the bottles will look so chic in your salon!

Discover more: Everything you need to know about Glossify Naturabuild

Halo Gel Polish by Pure Nails

Halo Gel Polish Cranberry 8ml




All clients are sure to love your manicures with Halo Gel Polish. This UK-based company offers an entirely vegan range that isn’t tested on animals, including their EasiBuild Builder Gel, a range of fashionable colours, glitter and Cat Eye effects and their Halo Brush Cleaner.


Find out more: Brand Spotlight on Halo Gel Nail Polish


Bluesky Gel Polish Tulip Lover 10ml



Vegan clients will love Bluesky gel polish, which is cruelty-free and contains no animal-derived ingredients. Along with a fantastic range of colours to choose from, including beautiful glitters, the primer, top coat, and base coat offer a minimum and 14 days of wear when applied correctly.


Glitterbels Hema Free Gel Polish

Glitterbels HEMA Free Nail Polish




Did you know Hema is a hydroxyethyl methacrylate which is used to give a nice shiny, hard finish in gel polish? It’s considered the number 1 allergen in nail and cosmetic products, and Glitterbels have revolutionised the game by removing it from this gel polish range.

Doing so grants nail techs the ability to perform nail services on clients who have shown signs of an allergy. These vegan gel polishes have been manufactured and tested to cure perfectly and are suitable for clients who have been overexposed or allergic to Hema. Did we also mention they have many different colours to choose from? You’re in for a treat!

Find out more: What Is Hema Free Gel Polish? 


Gellux gel polish




Gellux has created a gel polish range which is suitable for vegans, cruelty-free and free of harsh ingredients that can damage nails. They’re the answer to 15 days of no chip, no wear, and no wait colour for fingers and toes. With a great choice of gorgeously glossy, colour-perfect shades, Gellux dries instantly cured with either UV in 2 minutes or LED in just 10 seconds for guaranteed smudge-free nails.

Find out more: Brand Spotlight – Q&A With Gellux


2 AM London

2AM London Gel Polish 7.5ml



2 AM Gel Polish colours are HEMA-free and are 100% Vegan. With a range of stunning colours available, including glitters, this range promises chip-free and long-lasting wear with precise application every time with the ergonomically designed brush. Use the ‘Get on Top’ topcoat for a high gloss finish. 2 AM gel cures for 30 seconds under LED lamps and lasts 2-3 weeks.


BrillbirdBrillbird Brush & Go Gel Colour Gel



Brillbird Brush and Go is a highly pigmented hard gel that is perfect for creating nail art. These highly pigmented gels don’t need cleaner / top gel; they cover in just one layer! Curing time depends on the art, but generally speaking, it is around 5-90 seconds.


Read more: Everything You Need To Know About Brillbird

Gelover Gel Polish 

Gelover Gel Polish

Shop Now


Gelover Soak Off Gels are completely solvent-free, meaning that this 100% pure gel formulation is not just kinder on the environment; they are also safer and better for the natural nail. Gelover Soak Off Gels are an ideal colour option for helping to encourage strong and healthy nail growth and deliver fantastic durability and shine.

Are Acrylic Nails Vegan?

Again, acrylic nails can be vegan if you choose the right products. Most of the time, the brushes make the process not vegan. There are, however, products available to overcome this, so do some research and decide whether it’s right for you!


Glitterbels Coloured Acrylic Powder 28g



Created by Instagram nail star Nails by Annabel, Glitterbels is a fully vegan, cruelty-free acrylic system that is perfect for nail professionals. The range offers a stunning selection of powders, from the core collection to the gorgeous mixed glitter powders. Try out the Glitterbels Starter Kit to introduce yourself to the range – and don’t forget to treat yourself to the Rainbow Brush Set!


Related: Salon Design of the Month: Nails by Annabel


Glossify Acrylic Powder



Glossify Acrylic Powder is perfect for applying straight to a natural nail or creating a formed nail. It leaves a smooth finish that needs little refining, and to top it off, and it’s completely vegan!

Is cuticle oil vegan?

Not all cuticle oil is vegan. However, if you are looking for a 100% vegan cuticle oil to use in your salon, we recommend the NAF! Stuff Cuticle Oil.

NAF! Stuff Cuticle Oil 30ml



Enriched with naturally occurring grape seed oil, avocado oil, Vitamin E oils, Jojoba oil and coconut oil, NAF! Stuff provides nail techs with the ultimate range of vegan and cruelty-free nail products and accessories.

We hope you’ve found this bumper guide to all things Vegan Nail Polish useful and have found some interesting new products to try.

Shop professional vegan nail supplies at Salons Direct!

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