Are you looking for the Best Non Toxic Nail Polish? You name the brand of non-toxic nail polish and I’ve tried it! Most have been wildly unsuccessful when it comes to performance & longevity until now! I’ve finally found the Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish and I’m so excited to share it along with my Olive and June Nail Polish Review blog post!
My name is Hayley and I am addicted to nail polish AND doing my own nails. If you think I’m joking, just ask my husband and he will tell you just how bad my obsession truly is. I am also a manicure-snob who expects only professional results without any excuses for chipped or poorly painted nails.
What’s different about this post compared to others is that I’m not here to give you a list of brands to that fit into the non-toxic checklist, but I’m authentically sharing MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and attempting to save you the THOUSANDS of dollars I’ve wasted over the years seeking out a non-toxic nail lacquer brand that is not ONLY safe but ALSO has outstanding performance.
The other day my husband asked me why I paint my nails so often and I was taken back. Admittedly, I was very upset that he had the audacity to have any opinion or commentary on my most favorite pastime & hobby. Painting my nails is how I relax, it’s like meditative self care.
I take great pride in my perfect manicure, that always coordinates with my outfit, even if I’m the only one that notices.
The funny part is that over the past year I’ve actually needed to do my nails LESS often than ever, after I found the holy grail of non-toxic nail polishes. A brand that offers the perfect combination of easy application, longevity AND less toxic ingredients!
Reducing my use of toxic products has been a passion of mine for nearly 15 years. I started on this journey years before it became popular and a LONG time before we had so many options to choose from! And I’m extremely excited to share my education experience with you, taking the guess work out of finding the best nail polish with the least harmful chemicals!
What makes Conventional Nail Polish Toxic?
Let get this non-toxic nail polish party started by stating the obvious.. I’m not sure that there is ANY truly perfect, 100% safe and completely non-toxic way to PAINT your nails. But what we can achieve, is a healthier lifestyle by using the LEAST toxic products that are made using significantly safer ingredients!
One good thing is that since nail polish is (ideally) applied only to the nail, the polish itself doesn’t come in contact directly with your skin.. but we still need to pay attention to what toxins we are putting on our body.
Generally speaking there are three chemicals — dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde — commonly called the ”toxic trio.” which have been singled out for the of concern for their potential health risks, not only to those wearing the polish but also to nail salon workers (causing headaches, dizziness).
In removing those 3 chemicals, many nail product makers have removed these chemicals from their products, then labeled them as non-toxic, which is not entirely true. (aka 3-Free)
- Dibutyl phthalate (DnBP): Phtalates are endocrine disruptors that are linked to issues like hormone changes, diabetes, and thyroid irregularities.
- Toluene: has a long list of effects from eye irritation to kidney and nervous system damage.
- Formaldehyde: A known carcinogen.
Full list of Ingredients in Nail Polish that you may want to avoid:
- Formaldehyde resin: A derivative of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin is often used as a hardener and in large doses can be a skin allergen.
- Camphor: can cause seizures and disorientation. Ever wonder why your nails turn yellow from painting them? It’s from Camphor stripping them of their nutrients.
- Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP): An endocrine disruptor that can effect a range of things from reproduction to development.
- Xylene: can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, is absorbed very rapidly when inhaled, and may potentially be carcinogenic.
- Ethyl tosylamide/epoxy resin: While the EWG rates this as a low hazard, according to several non-toxic nail polish brands, this is antibiotic and could therefore contribute to antibiotic resistance.
- Lead: Lead harms almost every organ system in the body and has been linked to a huge array of health effects from disrupting the HPA axis, to brain and kidney damage.
- Hydroquinone monomethyl ether (MEHQ/HQ): can cause skin and eye irritation.
- Methylisothiazolinone(MIT) / methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT): are preservatives linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions, and possibly even neurotoxicity.
- Parabens: A common preservative, parabens are endocrine-disruptors that mimic estrogen in the body.
My Experience with Non-Toxic Nail Polish
The first non-toxic nail polish brand that I used consistently was Sophi (circa 2012). Their polish is used as a part of a 3 step process that included needing HEAT to set their polish. Initially I was really happy to have non-toxic option that was odor free BUT the polish had a more complicated process to apply and remove. Sophi polish lasted longer than traditional polish but it quickly lost its shine, the colors changed as you wore them in a bad way and the coverage was very thin. Sophi was only available to purchase online and each bottle was $10+
As I grew increasingly frustrated, I tried a few more brands including Zoya, Butter London, Mineral Fusion, Pacifica etc… while the application and removal were just like traditional nail polishes (only cleaner/safer formulations) they didn’t offer any long lasting results. Within the first 24 hours I had chipping and peeling.
The second non-toxic brand that I tried and used consistently was Dazzle Dry, I continued to use it for several years with pretty good results and manicures lasting an average of 5 days. Although I had minimal chipping, even with capping the free edge, I experienced lots of shrinkage at both the nail tip and cuticle edge. But like the Sophi, it lost it’s shine quickly leaving my polish looking very dull and boring. Dazzle Dry is also a multi-step process, is only available to purchase online and is the most expensive of all the options I’ve tried, with bottles $20+ each! To be clear – I used Dazzle Dry for several years – even purchasing every single color they offered DESPITE their downfalls.
As I grew increasingly tired of constantly doing my nails after they chipped, peeled or lost their luster, I looked to other alternatives in my search for the best non-toxic nail polish brands. In 2017 I started a 4 year obsession with doing Dip Powder Manicures at home. I converted so many friends and family to using dip powder as a thick, Gel or acrylic overlay type coverage that lasted for up to 2 weeks – AND it was still a good idea since it has some healthy aspects compared to other brands being vegan, 5-free, made in the USA and odor free.
But with dip powder the application and removal process is EXTREMELY messy, time consuming with a steep learning curve. Not to mention unless you are very diligent, removal and long term wear can severely damage your natural nails – making you dependent on continuing the dip powder manicures for ever (much like gel nail polish). Again the cons stacked up against it over time….
In an effort to ditch the dip powder and let my nails heal, I started dabbling in all the brands that label themselves with any toxic free nail polish claim, only to be let down again by brands like Ella + Mila, Sally Hansen’s Good Pure, Cote,
How did I find the Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish?
In early 2021 a new nail polish brand started popping up on my social media feed. I ignored the ads and reviews completely, loosing faith that I could ever use a traditional style polish that’s non-toxic for a long-lasting durable manicure… I was trying to get off the dip powder roller coaster and started using Dazzle Dry again, dealing with all the frustrations of soft, brittle nails and expensive purchases related.
It was Friday, June 24, 2021, we were going camping later that afternoon and I was running some errands. I stopped in Target for my weekly Starbucks coffee & Sous Vide egg bites treat while browsing the store for things that ultimately I didn’t really NEED but would no doubt buy anyway. Target seems to have that effect on many of us, right?!
As I walked through the beauty aisles, there is was the brand that I had purposefully ignored. The brand with such amazing reviews and excitement; Olive & June.
What is the Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish?
Even though I convinced myself that there is no way that they could live up to the hype, I picked up several Olive and June products and toted them along with me to camp that weekend. Saturday afternoon I gave the polish a try and I’ll be honest I was not impressed. But here’s where Olive & June is different. They aren’t just a nail polish brand that sells stuff, they also provide so much education to help you do the very best manicure on your own nails at home, as a part of your regular beauty routine. We’re talking better-than-professional type results!
Olive and June Nail Polish Review
I immersed myself in their masterclasses and videos. I learned why my first Olive & June manicure didn’t last – most likely because I was swimming all morning and my nails were completely saturated with water. And that I while I pushed my cuticles back regularly I wasn’t doing adequate prep before applying paint to my nails.
Within a few weeks I ditched my entire collection of Revel Dip Powder and Dazzle Dry Polishes. I was fully obsessed with the Olive & June mani system and nail products that there was no looking back! My nails were looking better than ever with long lasting results and I was truly ENJOYING the entire DIY manicure process and no longer dreading it. This Olive and June review is 100% from my heart, it’s not sponsored or endorsed by O&J in any way.
Thanks to Olive & June‘s excellent product selection, offering everything you need for the perfect DIY mani: cuticle serum, clean-up brush, nail buffer, straight edge nail clippers, cuticle pusher, cuticle remover, nail polish remover pot, super glossy top coat, dry drops, etc my nails have never looked better, nor has my manicure lasted longer.
Looking back over the last year my journey hasn’t been linear… with all the new tips, tricks and techniques that I’ve learned from Olive & June‘s education as well as their community on Facebook, of course I tried a bunch of different brands of polish to see was it my improved skills or their polish… The long lasting, chip free manicures that I’ve been able to achieve are a combination of BOTH – improving my manicure routine (especially focusing on cuticle care) AS-WELL-AS the Olive & June polish formula. The perfect marriage of manicure bliss!
All my trial and error, years of shitty chipped manicures and expensive purchases, has lead me to confidently proclaim that the Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish is Olive & June for both first time users and experienced pros alike!
Things to keep in mind is that unlike other similar polish in the non-toxic space, Olive and June Nail polish applies just like a regular polish that you’ve been using since you were a kid. No special techniques, just lots of practice to perfect painting with your non-dominant hand to do your own manicure at home!
Their clean up brush is a game changer and their long-lasting polish is a game changer in the nail game!
Who is Olive & June?
After leaving New York City, Olive & June was founded by Sarah Gibson Tuttle in 2013 in Beverly Hills, California (named after her great-grandmother & grandmother, whom she admired). Initially, Sarah saw the need for a nail salon with personalized attention and luxury service, at an affordable price but soon expanded with a line of products to elevate the at-home manicure experience was well.
Olive & June believes no matter who you are, where you live, what you do, or what you wear, you can have a perfect manicure that makes you feel like your best self. Olive & June is here to make that beautiful feeling happen for everyone!
With the pandemic forcing many of us to stay home and eliminated our nail salons & manicure appointments, Olive & June filled the gap with not only with their natural nail polishes but also a continually expanding line of beauty products AND educational videos, making beautiful nails at home more attainable than ever.
And now in 2023, Olive & June is widely available at your local Walmart, Target, Walgreens and CVS for the most convenient shopping experience! (although I still exclusively shop online because it’s easier to track my customer rewards points towards earning freebies and you can too!)
Why is Olive & June the Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brand
Olive & June takes great pride in creating the cleanest formulation possible without compromising on performance. Their nail polish is formulated to be “15-free” which means we are free of the fifteen most harmful chemicals commonly found in nail polishes including dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide or xylene. Olive and june ingredients are also vegan and cruelty-free (no animal testing or made with any animal products), which other brands mistakenly add into their “free from” number count artificially inflating them, just an FYI.
Other reasons to love Olive & June nail polish:
- Salon-quality, long-lasting proprietary formula
- Over 100 shades of vibrant colors in their non-toxic polish collection, in both opaque coverage as well as sheers.
- Base Coat is built into their nail polish formulas
- Wider Brush provides an easier application, used along with their POPPY making a home manicure easier than ever for beginners!
- Super Glossy Finish Top Coat, that reminds you of a gel manicure without the UV light!
- Comprehensive manicure and pedicure training available on their website
- Best nail polish remover in a convenient pot with sponge for mess free removal
- Full line of non-toxic product for all your manicure and pedicure needs!
- Engaged community of fans eager to help troubleshoot
- Outstanding customer service
- Refer a friend program to earn points towards free products
How to Get Started with Olive & June
While of course you can, like I did, grab some Olive & June products at your local Target (to be fully transparent) but I want to warn you… it’s significantly better to purchase a Manicure System directly from them online instead of just a few things individually, and I’m speaking out of personal experience as I mentioned above.
With my discount code: HayleyN20 you can get 20% off your first system purchase!!
What’s included in the Olive and June Manicure System
The Olive & June manicure system is the perfect way to get started with doing your own long lasting, non-toxic manicure at home, Here’s what is included:
The image above shows the Mani system for the Olive & June Spring 2023 season, some of the individual items like the Green Poppy or Spring Mani Box will change seasonally. You have the choice of 1 polish color, the 6 seasonal color set OR you can pick your own mix of long lasting and/or quick dry polish colors.
This Olive & June mani system and pedi system kit is ONLY available online and not in stores.
If painting your nails isn’t you thing BUT you still want a flawless mani, Olive and June also offers a Press on system and a press on removal system for a no-damage full coverage nail system. With the largest range of sizes, there is always a perfect fit.
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Olive and June FAQs
Is olive and june gel polish?
Olive and June is NOT a gel polish, it is a traditional style nail polish.
Is Olive and June nail polish safe for pregnancy?
Yes it’s safe, even for pregnancy! Olive and June is 15-free meaning it is free from Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, Camphor, Ethyl tosylamide and Xylene.
Does Olive and June have parabens?
No Olive and June nail polishes do not contain paragons.
Is Olive and June healthy?
“Healthy” is a buzz word without any universal definition. To MOST of us who choose to wear nail polish, Olive and June’s 15-free formula would definitely be considered a healthy choice.
Is Olive and June Safe?
Much like healthy, “safe” is also buzz word without any universal definition. To MOST of us who choose to wear nail polish, Olive and June’s 15-free formula would definitely be considered a SAFE choice.
How Long Does Olive and June Last?
In most cases, an olive and June manicure will last 7-10 days with proper prep and application. If you are struggling to achieve these results, feel fee to reach out to me OR join my Olive and June Fan Club Group where we can trouble shoot your mani routine together.
Does Olive and June nail polish have phthalates?
No Olive and June nail polish does not contain phthalates.
What is the difference between Long Lasting and Quick Dry Polish
Olive and June has 2 lines of ‘traditional’ style nail polish, one is their original long lasting polish (that this post is dedicated to) they also offer a small selection of quick dry polishes that do not last as long but dry in under 2 minutes for more of an instant mani.
This post is NOT SPONSORED by Olive & June. All opinions are my own. I am an Olive & June ambassador and do received a small commission for any referral purchases. This post also contains affiliate links for other programs such as Amazon.