STYLE
09/20/2012 03:02 pm ET Updated Mar 31, 2015

The Best Vegan Nail Polishes To Try If Crushed Beetles Aren't Your Thing

Our go-to trick when our manicures start chipping involves adding a swipe of metallic nail polish. The new layer conceals gaps and kicks up our nail color with a little shimmer. But we had no idea that our quick fix was actually made up of teeny-tiny crushed beetles. That's right, bugs!

According to Jenna Hipp, aka "The Green Celebrity Nail Stylist," brands use pigments from the insects, as well as fish scales and oyster shells to achieve the gold and silver sheen found in metallic nail colors.

After investigating this a bit further, we discovered PETA's pretty sobering list of animal products found in nail polishes -- calling out brands for ingredients like carmine, a red pigment produced from crushed female beetles, and guanine, or pearl essence, a by-product obtained from fish scales.

Julep CEO and founder Jane Park was aware of these animal derivatives, and told YouBeauty.com that she uses aluminum powder instead to add iridescence to her vegan nail colors.

If you're suddenly convinced (or grossed out enough) to go vegan at your next nail salon appointment, click through the slideshow below for the best vegan nail polish brands, including Zoya, SpaRitual and more.

At your next appointment, take an extra moment to look on the nail polish bottle for the comforting Leaping Bunny Program symbol, an internationally recognized logo guaranteeing consumers that no animal tests were used in development or production. Also, check out safecosmetics.org to find out if your preferred brand of nail polish contains harmful chemical substances like DBP and formaldehyde/formaldehyde resin.

PHOTO GALLERIES
The Best Vegan Nail Polishes

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