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Guide To Australian Indie Nail Polish

04/09/2019

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, or have vegan items available. The thing I like best about indies is that the polish is unique, you will never find the glitters, holos and glass flecks of indies 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 indie nail polish brands that are currently open. That way you will always have a list to refer to when you want to try a new indie polish brand.

Australian Indie Nail Polish Brands
Australian Indie Nail Polish Brands

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 and Pacifica. Some mainstream brands that aren’t cruelty free include OPI, Essie, Sally Hansen and Sinful Colors, plus cosmetic companies like Revlon, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Wet N Wild Beauty, 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, Sienna Byron Bay, and Sea Siren Cosmetics, as well as the cosmetic brands Hanami Cosmetics and Ere Perez Cosmetics (all cruelty free). These brands are still small Aussie brands, so they’re worth supporting too, just not classified as an Indie. 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 but many in the Aussie indie polish community still count this brand as an indie as they treat their customers with the same care that indies do, as opposed to boutique brands that have less interaction with their customer base. There is one brand that I am unsure of where to place, called Joss, as it is manufactured by the company that supplies many of the nail polish making supplies to Australian Indie brands. You can check out their website – beautyworld.com.au (previously nailsuperstore.com.au) to see the Joss nail polish range and their variety of nail polish making supplies. 

Aussie Indie Nail Polishes
Aussie Indie Nail Polishes

Indie polishes are mainly available online, with each brand 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. I have tried most of these indie brands, and therefore know that they are making good quality products. I’ll leave a note next to the brands I haven’t tried yet. 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 had this list running for a long time now, and many of the brands originally on the list have closed down, I have left them on the list, but crossed out, so that you can look up what they once made – you might be able to find some of their products in destashes online. Below you will find each brand listed in alphabetical order with each website so you can get to them easily. Some brands have multiple websites for different locations, and I have linked some to their Facebook fan group if they have one. Aussie Indie Polish fan groups are a great place to interact with the owner of the brand and other fans of the brand. I have also included stamping polish and stamping plates for those of you interested in nail art. Some brands are 3 free and some are 5 free (or more), and some brands have certain vegan products with other brands being all vegan, you will need to check for the details on each individual website.

Australian Indie Nail Polish Brands

Aree Cosmetics – areecosmetics.com – haven’t tried – now closed?

Bella Bella Nail Couture – bellabellenailcouture.bigcartel.com 

Bettie Pain Polish – bettiepain.com.au – On hiatus

Celestial Cosmetics – celestialcosmetics.com.au – now closed

Emily de Molly – emilydemolly.com.au (Aus site) emilydemolly.com (US site) – Emily de Molly Facebook Fan Group 

Femme Fatale Cosmetics – femmefatalecosmetics.com.auFemme Fatale Fiends Facebook Group 

Galivanting Nails – gallivantingnails.com.au – haven’t tried

Glam Polish – glampolish.com.auGlam Polish Fans Facebook Group

Grace-Full Nail Polish – gracefullnailpolish.com.au (Aus site) gracefullnailpolish.com (US site) – Grace-full Nail Polish Facebook Fan Group

Hit The Bottle Polishes – hitthebottlepolishes.com.auHit The Bottle Indie Polish Facebook Group 

Lilypad Lacquer – lilypadlacquer.com 

Love Candii Polish – www.lovecandiipolish.com.au – haven’t tried

MckFresh Nail Attire –mckfresh.shop  – Mckfeshies Facebook Group – now closed

Miss Priss Polish – missprisspolish.com 

Moonstone Nail Polish – moonstonenailpolish.com – now closed

Powder Perfect – powderperfect.com.au – now closed

Pretty Serious Cosmetics – pretty-serious.com (Aus site) pretty-serious.us (US site) – returning as a new brand soon

Sayuri Nail Lacquer – sayurinaillacquer.com – now closed

Slay Me Beauty (previously SM Nail Polish) – etsy.com/au/shop/SlayMeBeauty – haven’t tried

Shades Of Phoenix – shadesofphoenix.indiemade.com – now closed

Skullique – www.etsy.com/au/shop/Skullique – haven’t tried

Three Hearts Polish – threeheartspolish.bigcartel.com – haven’t tried


Stamping Polish

Emily de Molly – emilydemolly.com.au (Aus site) emilydemolly.com (US site) – Emily de Molly Facebook Fan Group

Hit The Bottle Polishes – hitthebottlepolishes.com.auHit The Bottle Indie Polish Facebook Group 


Stamping Plates


Hit The Bottle Polishes – hitthebottlepolishes.com.auHit The Bottle Indie Polish Facebook Group 

Messy Mansion – messymansion.com.auMessy Mansion Nail Art Stamping Chatter House Facebook Group – now closed


I will try to update this list with new brands and any brands that become active again.

Australian Indie Stamping Nail Polish and Stamping Plates
Australian Indie Stamping Nail Polish and Stamping Plates

I have been too sick to paint my nails for some time now, but I hope to get well enough to do it again soon. You can see my previous nail polish posts by checking out my nails blog post archive. If you want to get my new blog posts sent to your inbox, then 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 nail polish 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?

*originally posted October 2016, brands updated February 2021

Love, Alinta

11 Comments

  • Barbara s Friedman 31/01/2017 at 3:59 am

    I will be traveling to Australia in April and In The US I use a nail dip that hardens like a gel coat without needing lights and last weeks. Is there anything similar in Australia? Do they do acrylics and gels is Australia?

  • Meme 25/06/2017 at 4:40 pm

    Crap list

  • Verena 12/08/2018 at 10:48 am

    Thank you for this list. Just what I have been looking for. I have just bought 2 I scream Nails polishes, but have yet to try them. There is a new polish brand out called RAWW. I have a polish from them and it is very nice. Good formula.

  • Emma Walker 15/01/2020 at 11:15 pm

    Wow! Nice Blog on Australian Indie Nail Polish. The thoughts are clear and well explained. Thank you for sharing your work, truly worth reading. I am running a Waxing Salon Sydney and understands the importance of Nails care. Keep sharing blogs like this.

  • Polished Rainbow 01/08/2020 at 8:19 pm

    Why haven’t you included Picture Polish? Arguably the best Aussie brand.

    • Alinta McMurdo 02/08/2020 at 6:07 pm

      They are in the blog post. I listed them with the boutique brands. They’re a lab made brand who specifically chose not to be associated with Aussie Indie Polish, so they’re boutique.

  • santa 31/12/2020 at 10:05 pm

    I really love reading your article very nice and very interesting, and it was very informative.

  • Nat 26/01/2021 at 11:14 pm

    Hi! This is a fantastic list. I keep coming back to it when I want to try something new or be reminded of a brand I have been meaning to try. It made getting into nail polish far less daunting. Thank you so, so much!

    Here are just a couple of things I noticed regarding your links:

    -The Aree Cosmetics website comes up as “unsafe” in my browser.
    -The Bettie Pain Polish website is unavailable.
    -The MckFresh Nail Attire website is unavailable.
    -The Sayuri Nail Lacquer website redirects to a different website.
    -The Messy Mansion website is not available.

    I hope this doesn’t come across as anything other than being helpful. This list has been so useful to me I just felt like I should point it out. 🙂

    • Nat 26/01/2021 at 11:36 pm

      Oh, and I’m unsure if you’ve heard of them, or what you would categorise them as, but I really like the nail polish brands Julisa and Sienna Byron Bay, too. 🙂 I’m sorry for commenting twice, but I thought I should add that.

      • Alinta McMurdo 10/02/2021 at 3:41 pm

        Oh and Sienna Byron Bay is boutique but I haven’t looked into Julisa. From the website it seems to be boutique. Boutique Aussie brands are still small brands that are good to support 🙂

    • Alinta McMurdo 10/02/2021 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Nat,
      Thanks for your comment. I haven’t updated this post in a long time. I will try to find some time to update it soon. Aussie Indies are unfortunately closing quicker than they are opening, but there are a couple of new ones I can add.
      I’m glad you’re using the list 🙂

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Pictures from summer. Reading on the ground with dogs is never as peaceful as it could be, but the interruptions are worth it. Also a picture of how this hairstyle looks from the back. Dress from @tasitravels. You can get it from @velvetyethical with code ALINTAVEL for 10% off. 
#DogsandBooks #FantasyRomanceBooks #LoveAlinta
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Pictures from summer. Reading on the ground with dogs is never as peaceful as it could be, but the interruptions are worth it. Also a picture of how this hairstyle looks from the back. Dress from @tasitravels. You can get it from @velvetyethical with code ALINTAVEL for 10% off. 
#DogsandBooks #FantasyRomanceBooks #LoveAlinta
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Pictures from summer. Reading on the ground with dogs is never as peaceful as it could be, but the interruptions are worth it. Also a picture of how this hairstyle looks from the back. Dress from @tasitravels. You can get it from @velvetyethical with code ALINTAVEL for 10% off. 
#DogsandBooks #FantasyRomanceBooks #LoveAlinta
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Brands mentioned in the video include @jyelahmindandbody @paperbarklove @bush_medijina @_kykoe and @theminorityco_.
I have lists of lots of Indigenous businesses in a google doc that I intended to make into blog posts but never found the energy to do so, but it means I can point you in the right direction if you’re looking for a certain sort of business to support. Also, post your fave blak owned businesses in the comments so other can check them out. 
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Anyone who wants to buy Elate in Aus can head to the Flora and Fauna website (affiliate link on my blog). 
Also tomorrow is my birthday and a present I would love is photos of people attending the reproductive rights rally in Melbourne. Please go tomorrow, wear a mask, and take a photo of yourself and send it to me 😉 best birthday present ever. 
#elate #elatecosmetics #elatebeauty #loveelate #lovealinta
    I know I promised a blog post on these a very long time ago but that didn’t happen so here’s some swatches instead. These are some of @elatecosmetics cruelty, vegan and sustainable pencils. There’s the 4 EyeColour Pencils Gleam, Mystic, Evolve and Merit which are buildable and easy to blend. I’m so pale that Gleam and Mystic and almost my skin colour but I still use them for highlights. Then there’s Hearth the EyeLine pencil which is a neutral brown. And finally the LipColours Enigma and Ardent which I’ve shown you how to use as lipstick and blush previously in a video. I probably get the most use out of Mystic and Ardent. Mystic is a good neutral shade on me and Ardent is one of my fave lip colours. Which one is your fave? Anyone who wants to buy Elate in Aus can head to the Flora and Fauna website (affiliate link on my blog). Also tomorrow is my birthday and a present I would love is photos of people attending the reproductive rights rally in Melbourne. Please go tomorrow, wear a mask, and take a photo of yourself and send it to me 😉 best birthday present ever. #elate #elatecosmetics #elatebeauty #loveelate #lovealinta
    3 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    6/9
    Here’s a video of Bonsai’s recovery from cruciate ligament surgery this year. He ruptured his cruciate just before my wedding, and then had surgery shortly after.  As well as repairing the ligament, the vet also created a deeper groove in his knee so to give his knee more stability. This is his second knee surgery as he had his other one done a year earlier. It’s very common for the second knee to be injured within a year of the first. His surgery and recovery were complicated by his IBD and heart failure, but as you can see his leg is doing really well now. I’ve been updating you in my stories about his heart failure. He doesn’t have much much time left with us, so I thought I would upload this so you can see that knee surgery is worth doing. I know lots of people are scared of the recovery period because crating can be demanding on your time and stressful for the dog, but giving them proper use of their leg back is worth it. I’ve seen dogs in rescue that are forced to go years without this surgery and the results are heartbreaking. The recovery can be hard, especially if there are other medical issues at play, like with Bonsai, but a good vet will try to make the dog as comfortable as possible for the recovery period. Humans get help when they rupture their ACL so please do the same for your dog. If you’re wondering how Bons is going today, he’s recovered from yesterdays sedation and is happily sitting on my shoulder - as per usual. There’s no way of knowing when his time will be up, so he’s being spoilt and loved until that day does come. He’s my little shadow who I love very much 🌒
#rescuedog #crutiate #crutiateligament #dogsofmelbourne #chihuahua
    Here’s a video of Bonsai’s recovery from cruciate ligament surgery this year. He ruptured his cruciate just before my wedding, and then had surgery shortly after. As well as repairing the ligament, the vet also created a deeper groove in his knee so to give his knee more stability. This is his second knee surgery as he had his other one done a year earlier. It’s very common for the second knee to be injured within a year of the first. His surgery and recovery were complicated by his IBD and heart failure, but as you can see his leg is doing really well now. I’ve been updating you in my stories about his heart failure. He doesn’t have much much time left with us, so I thought I would upload this so you can see that knee surgery is worth doing. I know lots of people are scared of the recovery period because crating can be demanding on your time and stressful for the dog, but giving them proper use of their leg back is worth it. I’ve seen dogs in rescue that are forced to go years without this surgery and the results are heartbreaking. The recovery can be hard, especially if there are other medical issues at play, like with Bonsai, but a good vet will try to make the dog as comfortable as possible for the recovery period. Humans get help when they rupture their ACL so please do the same for your dog. If you’re wondering how Bons is going today, he’s recovered from yesterdays sedation and is happily sitting on my shoulder - as per usual. There’s no way of knowing when his time will be up, so he’s being spoilt and loved until that day does come. He’s my little shadow who I love very much 🌒 #rescuedog #crutiate #crutiateligament #dogsofmelbourne #chihuahua
    3 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    7/9
    With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. 
#pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
    With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. 
#pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
    With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. 
#pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
    With it being #pridemonth, we are going to talk about the A in LGBTQIA+ (while you look at some of my rainbow-ish nails from over the years). The A stands for Asexual, or Aromantic, or Agender,, but not Ally. Asexuals are people who don’t experience sexual attraction to others (or only do in certain circumstances, like those who are grey or demisexual). It’s a spectrum, we’re all different. Many aces still have relationships, whether romantic, sexual or queer-platonic. Asexuality is about attraction, not relationship status. Aces are frequently erased from the queer community. Last pride was particularly bad for ace erasure and hate. Aces belong in the queer community. Many aces have a hard time coming to terms with being ace in our hyper-sexualised society, and then they have to deal with erasure from their own community too. I personally would have been saved years of worrying that something was wrong with me if someone had just explained the difference between sexual and romantic attraction to me as a teen. There are so many amazing aces out there who deserve to be supported, especially by the queer community. So, don’t forget to include the A if you’re going to use the LGBTQIA+ acronym, and show for aces, whether you’re in the community or an ally. #pride #asexualpride #LGBTQIA #pridenails #rainbownails
    3 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    8/9
    Plastic packaging and beauty products. What can one change do? When @trilogyproducts changed from plastic spatulas to bamboo ones, they stopped producing 208,000 plastic spatulas a year. For me, that means I now won’t be adding to my very large pile of plastic spatulas that I have accumulated over the years by using the Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream every day. No other night cream compares for me, so I’m glad I won’t add to that pile. I kept them all hoping that I would find a use for them but that has yet to happen 🤷‍♀️ A lot of beauty brands market that their plastic can be recycled, but many of those products can’t be put in curbside recycling. When they can go into the recycling bin it doesn’t mean customers are actually doing that, and even when the plastic does make it into the recycling bin, it doesn’t mean it’s actually recycled. There’s a huge amount of plastic in recycling centers that never gets made into something new. So I appreciate it when brands do make changes like this because I can see the result as a consumer. That doesn’t always mean the change is automatically better for the environment, because there’s no way of knowing if the brand uses more materials or greenhouse gases to make the new version. Beauty brands can be very cagey about their greenhouse gas emissions, particularly their scope 3 emissions. Therefore as consumers we can often only make best guesses as to which brands and products are the most sustainable choice. Changing plastic packaging is however a very obvious difference for customers, because we see the difference in where our waste goes. So as a customer I do like seeing brands moving to products that aren’t plastic, or at the very least using plastic that is easily curbside recycled. Many beauty brands have a long way to go before their products are easily recycled, but Trilogy is one of the brands who have made an effort to change this. So long story, short, I love Trilogy skincare products and appreciate that they are trying to make the brand more eco-friendly. What’s your opinion on this? Do you have a weird plastic spatula pile, or is it just me? 
#trilogy #trilogyskincare #discovertrilogy #lovealinta
    Plastic packaging and beauty products. What can one change do? When @trilogyproducts changed from plastic spatulas to bamboo ones, they stopped producing 208,000 plastic spatulas a year. For me, that means I now won’t be adding to my very large pile of plastic spatulas that I have accumulated over the years by using the Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream every day. No other night cream compares for me, so I’m glad I won’t add to that pile. I kept them all hoping that I would find a use for them but that has yet to happen 🤷‍♀️ A lot of beauty brands market that their plastic can be recycled, but many of those products can’t be put in curbside recycling. When they can go into the recycling bin it doesn’t mean customers are actually doing that, and even when the plastic does make it into the recycling bin, it doesn’t mean it’s actually recycled. There’s a huge amount of plastic in recycling centers that never gets made into something new. So I appreciate it when brands do make changes like this because I can see the result as a consumer. That doesn’t always mean the change is automatically better for the environment, because there’s no way of knowing if the brand uses more materials or greenhouse gases to make the new version. Beauty brands can be very cagey about their greenhouse gas emissions, particularly their scope 3 emissions. Therefore as consumers we can often only make best guesses as to which brands and products are the most sustainable choice. Changing plastic packaging is however a very obvious difference for customers, because we see the difference in where our waste goes. So as a customer I do like seeing brands moving to products that aren’t plastic, or at the very least using plastic that is easily curbside recycled. Many beauty brands have a long way to go before their products are easily recycled, but Trilogy is one of the brands who have made an effort to change this. So long story, short, I love Trilogy skincare products and appreciate that they are trying to make the brand more eco-friendly. What’s your opinion on this? Do you have a weird plastic spatula pile, or is it just me? #trilogy #trilogyskincare #discovertrilogy #lovealinta
    4 months ago
    View on Instagram |
    9/9

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