June 15, 2012, 4:00:00 AM

Is your nail polish tested on animals?
About cruelty free nail polish brands — an overview

Being a lover of animals I'm always trying to be conscious of the suffering animals go through, to "serve" us people.

Hundreds of thousands of animals are being poisoned, blinded and killed every year, in outdated product tests for cosmetics, personal care products, household cleaning products, etc. If there's one thing I cannot stand, it's the fact these innocent creatures have to suffer for the sake of something trivial as cosmetic products.

94% of animal testing is carried out to determine the safety of cosmetics and household products, leaving only 6% for medical research. Often these tests are performed on mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs.

The tests these companies conduct are absolutely horrifying. One of these tests, the so called Draize eye test, involves placing substances into the eyes of restrained rabbits, then recording the progressive deterioration. Some research labs also carry out the lethal dose test, forcing substances (such as oven cleaner or nail polish) down animals’ throats, pumping it into their stomachs through a tube, or injecting it into their bodies, until a percentage of the animals die. After these tests, the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation. Think about this, is this something you're actually willing to contribute to, by buying these products?

Europe ban

Luckily, there is some good news. In 2013 all animal tested cosmetic and household products have been banned in Europe.
However, when a company is claiming that their products are cruelty free, they're actually referring to the finished end product. So, their statement isn't saying anything about the individual ingredients that have been used, so keep that in mind.

Mother companies & China

Some companies are owned by other companies: such as Essie who falls under the L'oreal umbrella. Back in the day, when Essie was independent, they used to be a cruelty free brand. Unfortunately, L'oreal is not. Since Essie is now owned by L'oreal, you could say they're no longer cruelty free.

A good indicator if a brand carries out animal tests, is the fact whether a brand is sold in China or not:

The Chinese government conducts mandatory animal tests on all cosmetic products imported into the country. The government may also conduct animal tests on items pulled from store shelves. Therefore, even if a company does not test their products or ingredients on animals, if they sell their products in China they cannot be considered cruelty free.

Sometimes a brand, that is owned by a larger company, actually is cruelty free and not sold in China. You could argue that these companies do fund animal testing indirectly, it's up to you how you feel about this.

Cruelty free list

After doing some research of my own I was happy to find out that a lot of great brands are actually cruelty free. But, the majority of the big, popular brands are not. You can find an overview listed below:

Brands that do test on animals

  • #
    • & Other Stories
  • A
    • (Giorgo) Armani (L'Oreal)
    • Artistry Makeup (Amway)
  • B
    • Bourjois
  • C
    • Chanel
    • Christian Dior
    • Clarins
    • Clinique (Estee Lauder)
    • Collistar
    • Coty
    • Cover Girl (Procter and Gamble)
  • D
    • Dior
  • E
    • Ellen Betrix
    • Essie (L'Oreal)
    • Estee Lauder
  • G
    • Givenchy
  • H
    • H&M Cosmetics
    • Helena Rubinstein (L'Oreal)
    • Huda Beauty
  • I
    • Inglot
  • K
    • Kiehls (L'Oreal)
  • L
    • L'Oreal
    • Lancôme (L'Oreal)
  • M
    • M.A.C. Cosmetics (Estee Lauder)
    • Max Factor (Coty)
    • Maybelline (L'Oreal)
    • Miss Sporty (Coty)
    • MNY (L'Oreal)
  • N
    • Nars Cosmetics (Shiseido)
    • Neutrogena (Johnson & Johnson)
    • Nicole by OPI (Coty)
  • O
    • OPI (Coty)
  • R
    • Revlon
    • Rimmel (Coty)
  • S
    • Sally Hansen (Coty)
    • Sephora by OPI (L'Oreal)
    • Sinful Colors (Revlon)
    • Shiseido Cosmetics
    • Shu Uemura (L'Oreal)
  • W
    • Wet ‘n Wild
  • Y
    • Yves Rocher

Cruelty free brands

Ⓥ = vegan

  • B
    • Barry M
    • Black Dahlia Lacquer Ⓥ
    • Blu Ink Nail Lacquer Ⓥ
    • Buddha Beauty Ⓥ
    • Burt's Bees
    • Butter London
  • C
    • Catrice
    • Cheeky Cosmetics Ⓥ
    • China Glaze
    • Claire's Ⓥ
    • Color Club
    • Colour Alike Ⓥ
    • Cuccio Colour
    • Cult Nails Ⓥ
  • D
    • Deborah Lippman
    • Dimension Nails Ⓥ
    • Douglas (own label)
  • E
    • E.L.F Cosmetics Ⓥ
    • Essence
    • ESN
    • Etos
    • Evil Shades
  • G
    • Gosh Cosmetics
  • H
    • Hard Candy
    • Hema/Miss Helen
    • Herôme Cosmetics
  • I
    • IsaDora
  • J
    • Joe Fresh Cosmetics
  • K
    • Kure Bazaar
    • Koh Cosmetics
  • L
    • L.A. Colors
    • Lacquester
    • Lime Crime Ⓥ
    • LUSH Cosmetics
  • M
    • Make Up Store
    • ManGlaze
    • Milani Ⓥ
    • Misa Cosmetics LLC Ⓥ
    • Models Own
  • N
    • Nubar Ⓥ
    • NYX Cosmetics
  • O
    • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Inc. Ⓥ
    • Orly International
    • OZN Ⓥ
    • Ozotic (Lumineye)
  • P
    • Pacifica Ⓥ
    • Priti Polish Ⓥ
  • R
    • RGB
  • S
    • Safe’N’Beautiful Ⓥ
    • Seche
    • Smashbox Cosmetics (Estee Lauder, not sold in China)
    • SpaRitual Ⓥ
  • T
    • The Body Shop (Natura Cosmeticos)
    • Trind Cosmetics
  • U
    • Urban Decay (L'Oreal, not sold in China)
  • Z
    • Zoya
Ⓥ = vegan


Please note that companies do change policies, owners etc. So, if you spot a brand that should be in the other list, please let me know!
Last edited on: june 15th, 2018

June 10, 2012, 12:30:00 PM

Lacquester — One night in Bangkok

Lacquester - One night in Bankok

Oh, hi ..!

I've been dormant for ages, and this probably won't a recurring thing, but this polish just needs a proper post. It really must have been years ago when I received a nail polish from Lacquester. Lacquester is a Dutch indie brand, run by Caroline from The Netherlands. What sets this brand apart are the very unique polishes. Lacquester creates all the stuff I like: holos, flakies, duochromes, the list juest goes on. It's safe to say I'm not as in touch with the nail polish trends as I used to be, but it seems like brands are not putting very surprising collections out there. Luckily, indie brands like this have taken off and they really do seem to know what us nail freaks like to see in polishes.

One night in Bangkok

So, when I was rummaging through some old photos I came across this swatch I never even knew I made. This is the color "One night in Bangkok". I've always been a sucker for color shifting, flakie polishes and this is no exception. The colors shift from orange to purple, to red, to violet, it just doesn't stop.


Application is awesome. It goes on smoothly, leaving no bumps as flakies always lay flat. You will need a decent base color before though, as I would categorize this more as a top coat. But it applied beautifully.

Not entirely unimportant: all Lacquester nail polishes are free from DBP, Formaldehyde, Formadehyde resin, Toluene and Camphor. I'm happy to say this brand is absolutely cruelty free as well🐰.

You can purchase this beauty directly from Lacquester, or via Color4Nails if you're in the US or Canada.

July 25, 2011, 9:19:00 PM

Zoya - Ivanka

A bottle of the nail polish Zoya Ivanka


If anyone knows how to do glass fleck, it's Zoya! They're not as brilliant with their nail polish naming though, as the name 'Ivanka' doesn't peak my interest at all... boring! However, Ivanka sure is pretty and that's what matters in the end.
This green glass flecked polish belongs to their Sparkle Collection that came out last summer. Ivanka is a grassy, almost forest green with flecks that show both green and gold. Green can be a difficult color to wear, but since Ivanka is cool toned it's a suitable color for lots of different skin tones. In the bottle you can definitely see some blue flecks as well, but sadly the blue flash doesn't translate well onto your nails at all.


Ivanka applied beautifully: the three coats went on smooth and even. With glass fleck you can have the fun that glitter brings, without having the difficult removal process after. I did notice Ivanka didn't dry that quickly, in conjunction with my Revlon quick drying top coat...

A swatch on the nails with Zoya Ivanka

You can order Zoya nail polishes at Art of Beauty for 8 USD per 15ml.

July 23, 2011, 9:57:00 PM

How to: find your 'borrowed' photos with Google Image Search

Play by the rules

Do you see the picture above this paragraph? It took some effort to get that photo there: I had to remove my old nail polish and repaint them with Mimosa by Chanel. After that I have to get my camera, take some photo's, sometimes more than a hundred before the lighting is good enough etc. I then have to transfer the pics onto my computer, import them in Photoshop, do some cropping, resizing and maybe even a little rotating. Which takes ages on my tantalizingly slow laptop. Finally: they're ready to upload! Sounds like a bit of work, doesn't it?

Well, it is! So with that in mind, you can imagine how frustrating it can be, when others just take your photos and repost them without even a hint of credit. Or worse: place their watermark on top of your photo. I normally don't mind, when I see my photos on the net, I love the web, it's open. It's different when the photos are used for commercially goals, like uploading them to a webshop.

This isn't the kind of post I'd normally post, but I've written blogposts for fellow bloggers before, so I thought this article possibly may be of interest to some. With the new and improved Image search by Google, it's now extremely simple to track down your own photos. Let's have a look:

1. Go to https://images.google.com

1. Go to images.google.com

2. Drag a photo from your hard drive directly into the search field

Drag a photo from your hard drive directly into the search field

3. Hit the search button

Hit the search button

4. Et voila: an overview of your photos!

an overview of your photos

Of course it's up to you, what to do next. If you want your content to be removed, have a look at this article.

July 22, 2011, 2:38:00 PM

Nfu Oh 51 Revisited

Close up and bottle of NFU OH number 51

Nfu Oh 51

Oh Nfu Oh 51.. If there's one polish that got me into nail polish big time, this is the one. I've written about it before, but there's no such thing as too much attention when we're talking Nfu Oh 51. Come on, just look at it! It's like magic on your nails.
A beautiful blurple base, glowiness, flakies, no wait, DUOCHROME flakies, Nfu Oh 51 has it all. No wonder it's always out of stock somewhere..

Swatch of nails with NFU OH 51

The awesomeness that's Nfu Oh 51, is hard to capture on camera though. Sometimes it's leaning more towards purple and at other times it's definitely more of a glowy red. Especially in low light you can see the duochrome flakies change color like a chameleon: from red to orange to green. For this manicure I layered it over Claire's Magic, a purple polish with lots of shimmer, an absolutely perfect candidate to team up with #51.

Another swatch of nails with NFU OH 51


You can use #51 on its own or you can layer it like I did. If you want to wear it on its own, you'll need about three coats. If you're going to layer it, just one layer will give you the effect you see in the photos. The formula is kinda jelly and squishy, so I'd suggest using a quickdrying top coat with this. One layer of top coat will smooth out the flakies and add more intensity to the color.

nfu oh 51

You can order Nfu Oh 51 ($9.90 for 17ml) at Viis Ilusalong or ($12.50 for 17ml) or at Nail XL (currently out of stock).