Over the past month or so, I have been vigorously testing an array of toxin free nail polishes from many different brands to ultimately determine which nail polish brands will be short-listed into my Top 5 ‘5 Free’ Nail Polish Brands. Some have been successful at making the cut, others narrowly missed out and admittedly, there are a few brands I have yet to try. I analysed packaging, total number of day chip free and value for money. So without further ado, I present to you This Woman’s Word Top 5 ‘5 Free’ Nail Polish Brands Worthy of Investing In with the exception of one!
Before we get delve into my top 5 list, for those not familiar with the term ‘5 free’ these are a list of 5 chemicals and toxics that green beauty advocates and health conscious individuals choose to eliminate from their beauty regimes as studies and research have shown to cause harm to our health. I am glad to see more and more brands eliminating them from their nail lacquer formulations and will make a note to write a separate article looking at these toxins in a little more depth. For now though, below are the ‘5 free’ toxics you may want to avoid.
Zoya Nail Lacquers – Bubbly Collection S/S 14
The first brand I will be sharing my thoughts on are Zoya Nail Lacquers via Zoya UK. Husband and Wife team Zoya and Michael Reyzis established Art of Beauty in 1986 and Zoya is said to be the first brand to officially remove toxic ingredients such as toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP (dibutyl phthalate) from its formulations. More information about the brand and how they became established can be read by clicking HERE
Zoya Nail Lacquers has always been under my radar, long before my personal decision to transition to use organic products even entered my head. Available in over 300 shades of stunningly eye catching, textured, matt, gel and sparkly nail lacquer’s, this 5 Free Brand is one of my favourite nail polish brands I’ve had the pleasure of using over the past few months.
I had the pleasure of testing Harper from The Bubbly Collection The pink hues together with the addition of sparkling glitter makes this shade the perfect accessory to glam up even the most casual of outfits. The Zoya bottles are shaped very elegantly and found the brush the perfect size to ensure ones nail lacquer glides on effortlessly whilst also covering the majority of ones nail in one stroke which lessens the need to over the painted area numerous times.
I would say two coats is enough to achieve an opaque smooth and clump less look. To ensure one achieves the best results for a long lasting chip free mani, it is recommended on their website to use Zoya’s base and top coat when using any gel or matt lacquers from their extensive range.
My Harper mani lasted a total of 11 days before there was any evidence of chipping. This particular polish was not overly odorous like many other polishes currently on the market and would recommend owning a bottle or two to brighten up your outfit and mood. Priced at £10.50 when brought from Nail Care Club. I wouldn’t hesitate at putting money aside each month to gradually build up a nail lacquer collection a beauty and fashion queen will approve of as this was the brand that had the longest time chip free!
Days Chip Free 10 / 10
The Lacquer Lab
Next up I’d like to introduce you a quirky British Brand currently taking Twitter and Instagram by storm, aptly going by the name of The Lacquer Lab. Founded by Emily Valentine Parr, her background in the beauty and fashion industry lends herself beautifully to channelling her passions for colour, trend setting and quality beauty products thus creating custom blended fashion inspired, edgy lacquers.
I have been following Emily’s journey from the very beginning, which I’d like to point out has been less than a year and is inspiring to see her fanbase and her lacquer collections expand at a rapid rate daily.
The Lacquer Lab – Marrakesh Collection S/S 14
I was sent three shades gorgeous shades from the Marrakesh Summer 14 collection Fountain of Youth. The design of The Lacquer Lab bottles and bold lettering are enough to make them stand out from its competitors. The brush is a tad thinner than that of the Zoya brush but love the way the lacquer is not overly gloopy. It is quite watery but still does a great job at covering ones nails without the need to constantly go over the area. Two coats are recommended if you want a lovely opaque look.
When used with a natural base and top coat, this lacquer lasted 8 days before signs of flaking and chipping became evident. Priced at £9.00 for a 10 ml bottle when brought direct from The Lacquer Lab, this brand is, in my opinion worthy of investing in.
Days Chip Free 8 / 10
Benecos S/S 14 Collection
Benecos (translated in English as the meaning ‘Good’) is a German brand established towards the end of 2008. Their ethos is a simple but a smart and effective one… to create high-quality natural cosmetics that is AFFORDABLE. Despite having all the favourable qualities a health conscious consumer might be looking for (eco-friendly made with natural ingredients that won’t break ones bank).
I was kindly sent two of their vibrant yet striking shades to try from their summer 14 collection, French Lavender and Greenway. The design of the bottles are simple and shaped like most nail lacquer bottles I have come across over the years. I quite like that their distinctive logo is place at the top surface of the lid.
Both polishes glided on my nail with ease and took no less than 3 minutes to dry between my 2nd coat which surprisingly made it the 2nd quickest to dry out of the 5 brands featured in this article closely followed by Zoya. These lacquers are not overly odorous, lasted a total of 7 days chip free before any sign of chipping and can be purchased from Parvera UKat an affordable price of £6.95.
Days Chip Free 7 / 10
Kaur Bazaar Blue Hues S/S 14
Now I did mention there was an exception to my top 5 list, and this comes in the form French brand Kaur Bazaar. This brand is the brainchild of French woman Kartika. Her 4 free formulations have played a part in fashion catwalks, shows and photo-shoots throughout the world. I don’t know about you, but there is something quite special about Kure Bazaar’s bottle design with white logo and lid that simply ooozes class and sophistication!
I first came across this nail lacquer brand back in April 14 and fell hook line and sinker when my eyes glanced over their beautiful collections of vibrant, edgy and sleek colours. But how did they fair when being put to the test?
I was kindly sent the Turkoise shade to try from Kure Bazaar’s Spring / Summer 14 collection. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you will know my obsession for all things bright and blue-tiful. Expecting the elegant and striking white lid to act as the handle for the brush, I was actually surprised to learn it masked as a cover and once taken off, it reveals a smaller circular lid. I personally feel this takes away from the overall design but that is only my own opinion.
The teal colour itself is just as striking on as it looks inside the bottle and loved that it only took a total of three strokes before my nails were completely covered. One coat was enough to give an opaque smooth look but if you wanted to intensify the colour to really bring out those bluey green teal and aqua hues, a second coat wouldn’t go a miss!
This lacquer also lasted a total of 8.5 days chip / scratch free before the top and cuticle part of my nails began to chip. Kaur Bazaar 10 ml nail lacquers, is priced at E 16.00 when brought directly from Kure Bazaar or £14.95 when purchased from Natural and Organic online store Love LulaThis is the most expensive out of the 5 brands mentioned within this article and do think the price is quite steep in value (I did find myself raising my eyebrow at the price), but at least you can be assured you are paying for a quality product.
Packaging 10/10 (based on first glance)
Days Chip Free 8.5 / 10
Mavala UK – Oasis Collection S/S 14
Up next we have a natural cosmetics brand who happens to be another one of England’s European Neighbours. Hailing from Switzerland,Mavala has been established for over 50 years! This company does not just specify in nail lacquers, in fact, they have an array of skincare, body-care and hair care products.
I was kindly send four of their six stunning oasis summer 14 collection to try. I was instantly drawn to the adorable little 5 ml bottles the lacquers come in. The distinctive gold lid really adds a little edge and attitude to the overall design.
Upon using these lacquers with a natural base coat, I couldn’t help but notice how thicker in consistency the formulation was in comparison to the other four tested. As the texture is more on the gloopy side as opposed to runny, one only needs to cover the brush with half the amount to successfully apply your first coat without it looking clumpy.
This lacqer lasted a total of 7 days chip free before any signs of chipping were evident and priced at a very affordable and purse friendly price of £4.75 when brought from a host of different websites including major high street chain Boots these cute little bottles are, in my humble opinion an absolute STEAL! As the formulation is significantly thicker in comparison to the rest of the brands mentioned in this article, a little really does go a long way.
Days Chip Free 7 / 10
So there you you have it, this is my Tried and Tested Top 5 ‘5 Free’ Nail Lacquers Worthy of Investing In. I hope you’ve found it an informative read and most importantly, has acted as a guide to take the guess work out of which brands to invest in should you be new to toxin free / green beauty products and cosmetics.
All of this testing could NOT have been completed without the use of my favourite Natural Nail Polish Remover Fresh Therapies, so do keep an eye out on the site for an in depth review on this god send of a green beauty product!
Outside my top 5 list were Javaca and Scotch Naturals and the other brands I had yet to try at the time of drafting this article were Pacifica and H J Manicure.
I plan to write a Top Ten ‘5 free’ Nail Lacquer brands list hopefully before the end of the year please god once I have had a chance to put other brands to the test within the Greenbeautisphere.
Please feel free to leave me a comment with other ‘5 free’ nail lacquer brands recommendations I haven’t mentioned and I’ll be sure to check them out pronto!
Danielle is a 1st Dan Kickboxing coach / Assistant Instructor under the PKA Kickboxing Association who is also a health, fitness, green beauty, wellness and lifestyle freelance writer / digital journalist. Her passions include encouraging others to lead an active, health conscious lifestyle whilst leading her Breakin' Boundrez team on various fitness related challenges.