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Ten Cruelty-Free Indie Nail Polish Brands to Customize Your Claws

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Are you looking for the perfect, basic black lacquer? Or do your nail polish tastes lean more toward the weird and the wild? However you like to costume your claws, please peruse these creatively cool offerings in our (ahem) handy guide to cruelty-free indie nail polish companies. We’ve given you a kickass company for each of your digits.

Darkside Lacquers

These artisan polishes are sure to appeal to your dark side. With a selection of 32 stunning colors in a variety of finishes, there’s something here for everyone. They’re handmade in small batches, so you know what you’re getting will be fresh and high quality. Cruelty-free, vegan, and 5-free. Darkside Lacquers//$9-$10

Literary Lacquer

Images via @queenofnails83 (ends) and @polishedhippy (middle). L to R: Grin Without a Cat, The Man in Black, and Miner’s Gift.

Bibliophiles will adore the literary inspiration behind the colors and names of these gorgeous polishes by Literary Lacquers. They offer dozens of handmade colors in matte, glitter, metallic, and holographic finishes, as well as glitter topcoats. Hate waste? All of their purchased shipping materials are 100% recycled, and their greenwrap is 100% compostable and recyclable. Cruelty-free and 3-free. Literary Lacquer//$9.50+

Pretty Serious Cosmetics

Thank the makeup gods that this Australian company has a U.S. website, and that they ship worldwide. They have a huge range of stunning colors and finishes, with collections sets such as “Killer Fan Girls,” “Post Apocalyptic Princess,” and “Bad Reputation.” They also have nail strengthener, clear base coat, clear top coat, and glass nail files available. Cruelty-free, vegan, and 5-free. Pretty Serious Cosmetics//$9.25+

ILNP Boutique Nail Lacquer

Images via ILNP (left and middle) and @glitterfingersss (right). L to R: Salem, Cygnus Loop, and Cityscape.

If you crave variety, then you have to check out ILNP. They currently list more than 270 breathtaking polishes and topper colors in seemingly endless combinations of base types and half a dozen finishes such as Shimmer, Ultra Chrome, and Holographic. We dare you to buy just one. Cruelty-free and 3-Free. ILNP Boutique Nail Lacquer//$10+

Spectrum Cosmetics

Images via Spectrum Cosmetics. L to R: Taygete, Cashmere, and Fright Night.

In keeping with its moniker, Spectrum polishes has a rainbow of colors so bright we suspect leprechaun magic is involved. If you want something that says “storm clouds” more than “taste the rainbow,” check out the blackened shades with jewel-toned shimmers, overcast grays, and dead-girl taupes. Be sure to look at the top coats, too, because some glow in the dark, and one has black bats in it. Just sayin’. Cruelty-free and 5-free. Spectrum Cosmetics/$5+

KB Shimmer

Images via KB Shimmer. L to R: Soul Deep, Leaf of Faith, and Emerald.

You know from the name that this company specializes in outstanding shimmer polishes and topcoats, but they also have fantastic glitters, creams, crellies, jellies, multi-chromes, and more. Their selection of white polishes alone is impressive, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And talk about one stop shopping! In addition to a dizzying array of colored polishes, they carry vinyl nail decals, nail care items, and nail tools. Cruelty-free. KB Shimmer//$9.25+


Images via @nailpolishocd (left) and Pahlish (middle and right). L to R: Gilded Olive, Thistle, and Queen of Pentacles.

Pahlish will grab your attention with its amazing multi-dimensional lacquers with shade names based around intriguing themes such as Tarot cards, outer space, and Greek mythology. Wearing any of them on your fingertips is sure to get you noticed. Protect your manicure with Magic Mirror Top Coat, and be the fairest of them all. Cruelty-free and 5-free. Pahlish//$10+

Dollish Polish

You know we’re on-board when a polish company has a monthly series called “Why Can’t Every Day Be Halloween?” YouTube nail artist Dollface22772 started the brand in 2010, and offers all kinds of polish colors and finishes, base coats, top coats, and myriad other goodies. Many polishes are available in mini-sizes. Cruelty-free, vegan, and 5-free. Dollish Polish//$5+

P*O*P Nail Polish

Images via P*O*P Nail Polish (left and middle) and @aliensuvorova. L to R: Rum Raisin, A Greeedy Slick, and Phyrrhus.

From mattest mattes to magical shimmers to oil-slick multi-chromes, P*O*P delivers lovely lacquers in unique vanity-friendly, art deco-style bottles. As if that were not enough, buy a set of six and get a price break. Cruelty-free, vegan, and 5-free. P*O*P Nail Polish//$8+

GlitterDaze Cosmetics

Images via (L to R) @victoriaoliviaxo (ends) and @krissi619 (middle). L to R: Spectrasweet, Space Confections, and Dazed.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re lusting for rich cream finishes, lusting for heavy glitter, holding your breath for magnificient duo- and multichromes, or wanting to go full-on holosexual: Whatever you need, GlitterDaze has it. Are you just looking to expand your current polish wardrobe?  Make what you already have do double — or triple — duty with Flakies glitter topcoats. Cruelty-free. GlitterDaze Cosmetics//$10+

Feature images via (L to R): @ilnpbrand (sides) and @ella_ess_ (middle).

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About The Author

Rachel Runyan is a darkly inclined alternative beauty enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. She has degrees in Journalism and English. When not writing about makeup, she enjoys using makeup, looking at makeup, buying makeup, and talking to people on the internet about makeup.

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