As much as I love getting my nails done, since becoming vegan my nails grow so quickly that it’s only about a week before my nail polish will need to removed or redone due to the amount of growing nail visible. I am therefore always on the hunt for some decent nail polishes that I can use myself at home for times when I want to have my nails done but don’t necessarily want to spend my money on a full manicure just for it to need redoing in a week.
Now I do not wear nail polish all the time. In fact I am almost always without anything on my nails: As I say they grow so quickly it would take up so much of my already limited time to constantly be touching them up. But on my slower days and weeks, I do count painting my nails as a form of self-care. When I first went vegan there were also zero nail polish options out there that were cruelty free, let alone vegan friendly, and so I sort of resigned myself to using the same 2 colours of nail polish I had for about 10 years. But I have really noticed this year that the vegan nail polish options have skyrocketed, and there are actually a LOT of colours to chose from.
BarryM was always a non-vegan favourite of mine, and now that I am vegan they are probably one of my main go-to brands for make up and beauty products. BarryM really cornered the market (especially on the high street) as they are definitely the most colourful of the make up brands out there. Their eye shadows, lipsticks and nail polish selection is a whole spectrum of colour choices and all of them are easily wearable too. For a while their nail polish was mostly non-vegan, aside from maybe a basic french manicure set, but this past year they really seemed to have focused a lot on their nail polish colours and making sure their products are all vegan friendly and cruelty free.
I tend to stick with quite muted colours – nothing too bold or too bright – purely so that it is all work appropriate, so I decided to try the Goji Berry colour. In the bottle it looks like a dark red, but on my nails it was almost a burgundy colour. Which works perfectly for me because that is usually my go-to colour for most things as it is colourful without being too bold or ‘in your face’. Now the product does say to use a base coat first, but I didn’t check the directions before buying it so was already at home by the time I actually checked this. Therefore I did not use any sort of base coat.
I am actually very impressed by how well this lasted. I do a LOT of typing for work and have to deal with a lot of paper as a result, so my hands are pretty beaten throughout the day. I did my nails on the Sunday afternoon, and the polish didn’t actually start to chip until around Friday midday and even then it was only around the very tips of my nails where I am clearly hitting my keyboard keys a little bit aggressively. This was even with me working out, cooking, showering and having quite a busy week. I normally only expect my nail polish to last about 3-4 days so I was very impressed – especially as that was without even a base-coat or top coat on the polish. I imagine with both added on the polish would have survived quite a long time.
Each polish was £2.99, although you could also get the higher gloss/matt options for £3.99. Either way, since this nail polish will easily last me a year (if not longer) that is an absolute bargain in my books. While it is definitely not the highest quality of nail polish out there, it is a very strong contender for a reliable, robust and easily affordable product for day to day use.
The downside was that it is a lot thicker than other nail polishes I have used. I do not know if that is because of the vegan formula, but it definitely felt thicker on the brush and I also felt I needed a generous amount in order to coat my nails evenly. Another downside (although unavoidable) is that it is a very strong smelling polish – you would not want to paint your nails in any sort of crowded space or enclosed area as it will give a contact high to everyone in the room if you’re not careful. But that being said I don’t think any nail polish has ever smelt good – they all have a very chemical smell to them and I think that is purely because of the product itself and is readily unavoidable.