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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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    I’m Alinta, an animal lover who writes reviews about cruelty free products as a distraction from my chronic illnesses. Read more…

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