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6 vegan nail varnishes for instant glamour

Beauty addicts Sian and Shannon put 6 cruelty-free nail polishes to test for strength, colour and staying power…

6 vegan nail varnishes for instant glamour


SIAN: This classic, warm raspberry shade is quite close to red, but not as severe – it would be perfect for late summer. I was amazed at how quickly this polish dried: I applied two coats, and only needed to wait a couple of minutes between each application. The brush is thick, and nearly covered the width of each nail, so it was really easy to paint them using just two or three strokes. After a day, the edges of my nails were a little scuffed, as expected, but the colour didn’t wear off to the extent that nail varnish remover was needed until a full five days afterwards! This is an amazing result, considering my nails were becoming extra-long talons by this point. The gloss on this formula is incredible – I’m hooked!
SHANNON: The bottle states ‘Ultra Shine’, and it’s not kidding. After painting my nails, I could not believe the result – my hands looked like I had treated myself to a professional manicure. I put this polish to the ultimate test by taking a trip to the spa – it didn’t chip or flake from being in the water, and still maintained its glossy shine. This nail varnish will definitely be added to my faves!


SIAN: I’m a stickler for making sure my toenails are the same shade as my fingernails, so when I started applying this sparkling molten chocolate colour to my toes, I immediately loved it. However, this shade just didn’t sit quite right on my fingernails. I think the varnish could do with being more richly-pigmented, as the brown colour tended to look a little dull in some lights. However, it’s an unusual metallic colour which is great to have in your varnish collection.

SHANNON: Upon first impressions this wouldn’t be a colour I would usually reach for, however I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it dried. This is the ultimate day-to-night nail varnish; the warm autumnal bronze shade had a touch of sparkle, making it an ideal shade for a smooth transition from the office to the bar.


SIAN: Anyone that knows me will recognise my love for deep burgundy, aubergine-y shades, and this beauty from Nailberry is a welcome addition to my collection. The bottle is gorgeous, and adds a professional touch to a home manicure. The nail varnish is easy to apply, with the brush becoming quickly coated – watch out for excess drips! The varnish is free from a number of toxins, and has a breathable and oxygenated formula, so it’s kind to your nails. I wish this had lasted longer, though, as it started chipping quite severely after a couple of days.

SHANNON: If it’s burgundy, then I’m sold! I love dark red colours, and even after application this nail varnish did not disappoint me. It only required two coats and it dried in no time! I must admit, this colour did chip, but my talons were very long by this point. However, this won’t stop me from using the colour over and over again as it suited my skin tone perfectly.


SIAN: This shade would be ideal for winter parties – I loved the glitz and metallic shimmer of the pink colour, even though it wouldn’t be my go-to choice. The real highlight of this varnish was the brush – it was thin and easily manoeuvrable, and spread the polish really evenly across the nail, giving a professional finish. Each varnish is infused with natural ingredients for healthy nails and high shine, and is vegan-friendly, too.

SHANNON: I love, love, LOVED this colour! This shade was so sparkly, and made my nails feel super-strong. We’ve all been there – when the pink glittery colour looks amazing, but takes some serious effort to remove without damaging your nail. Well, I was able to take this nail varnish off with ease – winning!


SIAN: The deep mauve-red of this shade is a real treat at this time of year – not too bright, but also bold enough to really contrast with the more muted colours in my wardrobe this season. It certainly got some attention, and compliments abounded after I’d applied this varnish. It stayed on my nails really well, and it didn’t take too long to dry between coats.

SHANNON: If you’re indecisive like me, then this colour is for you! It’s a perfect balance of red and pink tones, making your colour choice so much faster. It dried pretty quickly, and was full of pigment. I was in a rush, and only had time for one coat, yet I was amazed at the quality of colour – this is a gorgeous, thick, and shiny one-coat-wonder.


SIAN: Another lovely, deep pink-red colour to add to the list of timeless varnishes. This one was a little bit finicky to apply, because the bottle and brush were quite small – not ideal for my not-so-petite hands, but I still managed to apply the polish neatly. Unfortunately, I personally found that this varnish chipped quite easily, and after two days it needed removing. However, the polish is free from 10 known toxins, so you can’t argue with its eco credentials!

SHANNON: This vibrant pink nail varnish had the perfect consistency for me. It was really easy to move around the nail, and didn’t leave any stroke marks. I am usually busy tapping away on my keyboard at Veggie HQ most days, so this means my nails usually chip very quickly. Zao did me proud and this bright colour lasted me longer than most nail varnishes.

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