With the UK weather finally warming up, it seems the perfect time to brighten up not just your wardrobe but your fingers and toes too!
Like the rest of my cosmetics, I’ve been making more of an effort to ensure that my nail polish is cruelty-free and vegan where possible. Thankfully, there’s tonnes of great animal-friendly options out there and I’ve tested out a whole bunch in fun, summer shades!
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I stayed away from everyday pinks and reds and instead, opted for an array of bright, summery shades from gelato yellows and oranges to beachy blues and greens!
Here’s a quick rundown of my 15 faves:
Pacifica – Totally Coral
If you do prefer pretty pinks on your nails, this coral shade is the perfect summer staple. It’s quite a bit brighter than it appears in pics so I would describe it as “hot coral”. (Is that a thing? It is now.)
I have only recently discovered Pacifica but so far I’ve been impressed with everything I’ve tried from their 100% cruelty-free, vegan range.
This polish did take three coats to get an even, streak-free finish but then I’ve never been particularly good at manicures so that could just be me…
butter LONDON – Jolly Good
Although this is actually an American company, all of their products have tongue-in-cheek British-inspired names, which is rather cute.
Jolly Good is more of a traditional coral shade with a peachy-orange hue. It goes on smoothly and lasts well; as it’s the priciest of the bunch, you would certainly want it to!
This polish is free from loads of the bad toxins often found in nail varnish and it’s vegan-friendly.
Priti NYC in Fire Glow*
I’m not entirely sure that orange is my colour but I like this bright shade nonetheless. One of the glossier polishes I tried out, it’s perfect if you enjoy sporting bold nails!
Priti NYC polishes are Leaping Bunny certified and they’re all vegan. They’re also free from harsh chemicals and non-toxic, so safe for kids and mums-to-be.
These polishes include a UV Inhibitor in their formulation, which helps to keep the polish bright and shiny and means it lasts really well.
BWC Kind Colourful Nails in Tangerine Sky
For a more subtle orange, this pretty fruit sorbet shade is perfect. As I have super-pale skin, I was surprised at how much I actually liked the way this one looked on me!
This polish did take three coats to get even coverage but it didn’t feel thick and lasted at least five or six days with no chipping, which I was pretty amazed with. As a bonus, it’s made from 85% bio-sourced ingredients and is chemical-free.
Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint in Lemonade
Although 13 year-old me may disagree, I cannot pull off yellow nail polish. (I was pushing it with the orange!) I do think it looks awesome when worn well, though and if it suited me, I would be all over this lemon-lime shade as it reminds me of home-made lemonade.
I own several shades from the Barry M Coconut Infusion range (they’re such a bargain!) and I love them. They have a beautiful gel-creme finish and they don’t dry out your nails due to their coconut-y goodness.
ZOYA Nail Polish in Pippa
Again, I would love to be able to flaunt this sunny shade as the super-bright lemon yellow practically screams summer.
I6t may take a few coats to get opaque coverage but if you’re someone who can pull off yellow, go for it! (Also, I am jealous.)
The Zoya polish formula is eco-friendly, vegan-friendly, and toxin-free.
butter LONDON Trend in Slapper
Okay, so the name is a little ridiculous but the colour is brilliant. A bright aqua, it brings to mind breezy evening walks along the beachfront.
A highly-pigmented shade, this polish gave even coverage with just two coats and lasted around five days without any chips. I’d recommend using a base coat as due to the opacity of this one, it was pretty tough to remove and did stain slightly.
ZOYA – Wednesday
For a less vibrant but no less pretty aqua shade, I love Wednesday by Zoya. It has a dusky, muted teal finish, giving it a lovely vintage feel.
This shade may be from way back in Zoya’s 2012 “Beach” collection but it’s still my favourite amongst their many greeny-blues.
Again, it’s vegan and eco-friendly and free from many of the usual polish toxins.
BWC Attitude Nail Colour in Mermaid 30
This little gem from BWC is my absolute favourite on the list. I mean, it’s named “Mermaid” so how could it be anything other than magical?!
It’s a mottled, greenish-blue shade (the colour of mermaid tails, obvs!) and though I’d say it’s closer to blue, the pretty mint green does come through in certain lights.
The polish dries quickly (perfect for people like me who cannot not touch things after doing their nails), coverage is great with just two coats, and it lasts really well. Plus, the price is great for the quality. Love, love, LOVE!
Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint in Scuba
Another one from Barry M’s Coconut Infusion range, this pretty sky blue shade has a lovely gel-creme finish.
This polish lasts well and again, with its coconut goodness, it keeps nails in great condition. I particularly love the look of this one on my toes.
At just £4.99 each, Barry M’s range is perfect for those on a budget. Unless you’re like me and have no self control so end up buying all the colours… oops!
Maggie Anne Nail Polish in Zoe
For something a little brighter, I love this royal blue shade by Maggie Anne. It has a high-gloss finish and looks great on summer toes.
Maggie Anne polishes are vegan, cruelty-free and toxin-free. The brand won “Best Nail Polish” in the 2017 Natural Health International Awards and is approved by both Peta and Beauty Without Bunnies.
Pacifica 7 Free Nail Polish in 1972 Pool Party
With the name Pool Party, this is an obvious choice for summer. It’s a less vibrant shade than some of the other blues available but I think this makes it a little more sophisticated so would be perfect for evening fingers or toes!
Again, Pacifica polish goes on smoothly and lasts really well. The whole brand is vegan and cruelty-free so I’ve definitely found a new staple in my cosmetics collection.
Ciaté London in After Party
If you’re heading to a festival this summer, this polish from Ciatè’s Gelology range the perfect choice. With a galaxy-inspired purple-blue shimmer, it’s super-pretty without being too loud. It has a lovely, sparkly gel finish and lasts really well without chipping.
Ciaté London is PETA certified and against animal testing. The polishes are also free from the harmful chemicals found in many other polishes.
Maggie Anne Nail Polish in Sophie
This shade is a bit of a mix between a warm and cool purple. I’ve seen the colour described by different retailers as lavender, violet and orchid, so let’s just say it’s… floral purple. Perfect if you want something feminine with a bit of an edge.
This polish has a high-gloss gel finish and lasts well. Again, it’s vegan-friendly, not tested on animals and it’s toxin-free.
Benecos Natural Nail Polish in Maverick
This fun, bright purple was developed to support the benecos sponsorship of the Hertfordshire Mavericks Netball Team during the 2016/17 Superleague season. As a (rubbish but keen) netballer myself, I couldn’t miss this one from my list!
This polish looks great with just two coats and lasts pretty well.
The purse-friendly polishes from benecos are all vegan-friendly, free of toxins and their natural ingredients are organically grown where possible.