I frequently get asked about what I think the best nail polish brands are. I always tell people to try Australian indie nail polishes as they are great quality and are small businesses often run by one person, so they need the money more than the big companies do. They are all cruelty free and the majority are vegan friendly – I haven’t found a single aussie indie nail polish that isn’t vegan but some brands have other products that may not be vegan, like cuticle butters, eyeshadows etc. The thing I like best about indies is that the polish is unique, you will never find the glitters, holos and glass flecks that indies have, in mainstream polishes, plus you can also get amazing cremes and shimmers from indie brands too. People often ask me where to find indie polishes, so I am writing a list of Aussie indies that are currently active and open and that I have tried, so that I know they are good quality. That way you will always have a list to refer to when you want to try a new indie polish brand.
Before I get into the list, I just wanted to touch on some definitions. The main nail polish brands that you will know about are mainstream brands. Mainstream brands are well known, mass produced, and widely available in stores and online. Some cruelty free mainstream brands include China Glaze, Zoya, Color Club, ORLY, Barry M, Butter London, Nubar and Ulta3. Plus there are cruelty free mainstream cosmetic brands that have a nail polish line like Australis, Natio, Face Of Australia, ELF, Pacifica, OCC, Wet n Wild etc. Some mainstream brands that aren’t cruelty free include OPI, Essie, Sally Hansen and Sinful Colors, plus cosmetic companies like Revlon, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Rimmel etc. Then there are much smaller brands that aren’t as well known or as widely available, and they are called boutique brands. Some Australian boutique brands include Kester Black, Picture Polish, I Scream Nails and Furless (all four are cruelty free). Then you have indie polish brands which are small family owned businesses that pride themselves on having a close relationship with their customers. You will find indies very active on social media and always connecting with customers and asking for their opinions and input. Many indies are handmade and the nail polish is mixed in very small batches. However, there is a brand called Pretty Serious that have only lab made polishes and Powder Perfect who have some handmade and some lab made polishes – many in the Aussie indie polish community still count these brands as indies as they treat their customers with the same care that indies do, as opposed to boutique brands that have very little interaction with their customer base.
Indie polishes are mainly available online, with each having their own individual website. Some indies do the occasional craft market and there are stockists that stock multiple indie brands like the Femme Fatale Cosmetics website. The list I have compiled is of Australian indie polish brands that I have tried, that way I know the brands I am recommending are producing good quality products. Each brand has their own style, so check each website, look on social media and find blog reviews so that you can see the range of amazing products available from each brand. I have only included brands that are open and currently active on social media so that you don’t need to wade through a longer list than is needed. Below you will find each brand listed in alphabetical order with each website so you can get to them easily. I have also included stamping polish and stamping plates for those of you interested in nail art. Some brands are 3 free, some are 5 free, you will need to check for the details on each individual website.
Australian Indie Nail Polish Brands
Bettie Pain Polish – bettiepain.com.au
Celestial Cosmetics – celestialcosmetics.com.au – now closed
Emily de Molly – emilydemolly.com.au
Femme Fatale Cosmetics – femmefatalecosmetics.com.au
Glam Polish – glampolish.com.au
Grace-Full Nail Polish – gracefullnailpolish.com.au
Lilypad Lacquer – lilypadlacquer.com
Moonstone Nail Polish – moonstonenailpolish.com – now closed
Powder Perfect – powderperfect.com.au – now closed
Pretty Serious Cosmetics – pretty-serious.com – now closed
Sayuri Nail Lacquer – sayurinaillacquer.com
Shades Of Phoenix – shadesofphoenix.indiemade.com – now closed
Emily de Molly – emilydemolly.com.au
Hit The Bottle – hitthebottlepolishes.com.au
Messy Mansion – messymansion.com.au
I will continue to update this list with new brands I try and brands that I have previously tried that become active again.
Some recent posts I have written that include Australian indie polish brands include my review on the Pretty Serious nail hardeners (a must read for anyone with weak, peeling, brittle or break prone nails), nail stamping using Emily de Molly nail polish, stamping polish and stamping plate, the Powder Perfect Bermuda Trio, and rainbow splatter nail art using Glam Polish. If you want to see my new blog posts about indie nail polishes, then don’t forget to sign up to my email list. You can also join the Facebook group called The Australian Indie Polish Appreciation Society to connect with the brands and other aussie indie fans. I haven’t tried all the aussie indie polish brands there are out there, so leave a comment if I have missed any active aussie indie brands that you love. Which brand will you be trying next?