After ridding your nails of overgrown gel extensions, it’s time to put some colour back into those talons.

With everything going on in the world right now, self-care is at the forefront of our minds. It’s important as ever make the time to change up your routine and treat yourself well, so why not take the opportunity to pamper yourself with a manicure at home?

Give your nails some time to breathe, heal and grow, and opt for clean polish brands that don’t contain any of the harsh alcohols and chemicals found in most nail polish formulas.

That said, there are no government restrictions on what ingredients brands can or cannot contain to label themselves as ‘non-toxic’, so you’ll want to do some careful label-reading to vet the products you’re using. Generally speaking though, you should opt for brands that are free from at least seven of the most harmful chemicals in nail polishes, which includes toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP and xylene — hence why they’re commonly referred to as ‘7-free’ brands.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite nail polish brands that are at least 7-free (if not more) for a healthy, salon-level result that you can achieve from the comfort of your home.

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.

1
Smith & Cult

The key to a refined looking set of nails is a great base and top coat. Smith & Cult’s Basis of Everything base coat creates a smooth and adhesive canvas, while their Above It All top coat seals in all your hard work with a glossy, bulletproof finish. The hardware-inspired design has a luxurious and weighted, ergonomic feel when you’re painting. The hammered metal finish of the bottle also makes it an edgy addition to any shelf. Design aside, Smith & Cult also has a vibrant selection of rich, coloured polishes that are well worth a look!

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2
Jinsoon

Jin Soon Choi is an established nail artist who debuted her eponymous nail line after years of working as a successful freelancer in New York. The shades offered in her collection range from classic creamy nudes to bright explosions of dots and speckles in all colours of the rainbow. Even better, her formulas are nine-, if not 10-free, with a UV filter to protect against colour fading. Try the shade Fab, for an effortless splash of colour with just one coat.

 

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3
Butter London

Those that can’t tear themselves away from gel polish will be pleased to hear about Butter London’s 10X Nail Lacquer. This formula combines a pillowy gel-like thickness with patented Polymer Technology to deliver at least 10 days of fade-free wear. The end result is a glossy set of nails in lush and bold colours that are formulated with ingredients proven to promote stronger, healthier nails. We recommend the shade Trout Pout for a punchy coral that is certain to brighten up your day.

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4
Habit Cosmetics

Not only is Habit Cosmetics a 10-free brand, it’s also vegan, cruelty free and sustainably packaged — the bottle overcap is made out of sustainable bamboo. Their long-lasting formulas come in a dazzling array of colours in glossy, pearlescent or glittery finishes. We recommend the shade Belle De Jour (a nude with iridescent pink shimmer) for an elegant twist on a classic favourite. Additionally, while their shades are long-lasting, they are also easily removed. This prevents further drying of the nail beds as you needn’t use harsh alcohols or acetone to remove their polishes.

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5
Nails Inc

Nails Inc is a 100 percent vegan brand, and their NailPure line is also 10-free, cruelty-free and Halal friendly. On top of this, their patented Regenerating Complex contains a blend of aldehyde, zinc and calcium that boosts keratin production for stronger, healthier nails. The shade Regents Place is a stunning cornflower blue, perfect as an individual colour or to complement a variety of other pastels on a multicoloured manicure!

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Carina Mei Yan Fischer

Contributing writer