What are the Big 3? In nail polish terms, the Big 3 are three chemicals which a lot of companies have ceased to use in nail polish as there is much debate as to the long-term effects of them. Namely, dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde/formaldehyde resin. Now, some companies still use these chemicals and some can be irritant to those with sensitive skin, so that alone is a good enough reason to be aware of these companies.

Companies which produce Big-3-Free polishes:

  • Nubar
  • Barry M
  • CiatΓ©
  • China Glaze
  • GOSH
  • Beauty Without Cruelty
  • Butter London
  • OPI
  • Essie
  • Illamasqua
  • Hard Candy
  • NYC
  • MAC
  • SpaRitual
  • Orly
  • NARS
  • Pop Beauty
  • Chanel
  • Deborah Lippmann
  • ELF
  • Dior
  • Zoya
  • Sally Hansen
  • Rimmel
  • Maybelline
  • Sinful Colors
  • Models Own Pro

Nail polishes which are NOT Big-3-Free:

  • Models Own
  • Jayshari

    I have been buying e.l.f. Nail varnish as they are also 3 free! And at Β£1.50 a 10ml bottle, they’re not bad too!

    • Ooh thank you for letting me know! xx

  • emma carr

    wow really shocked about this I read up inn the harmful chemicals and was really shocked..Think Im going to start my whole collection again and only have safe brands. Whats your thoughts Emma do you only use Big 3 free ones?

    • I do try to buy mostly Big 3 free brands these days, I do have a few with the big 3 in but I kind of think that it’s not going to be so harmful if I only wear them every so often, once a month or so. I think I would avoid them altogether if I was pregnant though, you never know what it could do to a developing baby πŸ™ xx

      • emma carr

        cool, think I feel much safer using the big 3 free ones. I never used polish whilst pregnant but have whilst breastfeeding and you have to be careful what you use when breastfeeding so I think my collections going to be mainly Zoyas, Butter Londons and Nubars from now on πŸ™‚ thanks for the info emma x

        • That’s a good point! And I agree with feeling safer, definitely wise, I just find occasionally there’s a really super amazing Models Own polish that I can just about justify wearing from how beautiful it is, despite the nasty chemicals πŸ˜‰ xxx

  • Lovely blog and I like the focus on cruelty-free nail polishes! Just a suggestion – it would be fantastic if you could have a list of the polishes that are Big 3 free AND cruelty free, so I don’t have to keep looking at both your pages. Thanks again!

    • Thank you my lovely, and ooh that’s a good idea! Will have to have a little think about how to make that work πŸ˜€ thank you for the feedback!! xx

  • Pingback: Is Nail Varnish bad for your health? The Truth Part II | Nail Luxxe()

  • Rue

    Formaldehyde resin in nail polish IS formaldehyde. It does not disappear. I am reactive to formaldehyde. The formaldehyde resin in Essie and other polishes causes severe rash for me. Though Essie states on the end of its tiny fold out label that it is formaldehyde free. This is not truthful. Look at other brands for this same lack of truth.

  • Pingback: The Week Ahead – Filling up! | new age hipster()