10 Steps to an affordable vegan manicure at home

Vegan Manicure and Nail Care Products

Now that I nearly own all nail care products required for a vegan manicure, I thought of sharing with you a list of products that I use. I will be doing this together with a step by step process of how to give yourself a manicure at home. This will not only help you but also me as everytime I want to give myself a manicure I end up searching for the right manicure order.

So let’s start:

Step 1. Remove old polish from nails

From today I’ve added Essence Quick & Easy Sponge nail polish remover to my vegan manicure routine. This is the only vegan nail polish remover I know from essence Cosmetics. It’s a simple product containing a sponge, soaked with nail polish remover inside. To use it, it’s also simple, you just dip about half your finger in the middle of the sponge, make sure your nail is fully touching a part of the sponge and rotate the bottle until you see that the nail polish has been removed. This product saves you from wasting a lot of cotton pads, something which has been worrying me these last few years.

Essence quick & easy sponge nail polish remover

Step 2. Clip nails

Strengthen your nails by clipping them with a nail clipper. Here I don’t have a preferred product. I just like looking for a nail clipper that holds the clipped pieces inside it.

Step 3. File and buff nails

Also here I don’t have a product of preference. I just use a block which has 4 steps: 1. File, 2. Buff, 3. Polish and 4. Shine. When filing, file the tips of your nails in one direction and give them your desired shape (square, round, pointy…). Then lightly buff the top of the nails to make them smooth. If you’re using a block like me. Don’t go through the Polish and Shine steps just yet.

Step 4. Add a nail serum before polishing

This fourth step in my vegan manicure routine isn’t something that I’ve found online. It was suggested to me by my nail technician. For a better shine look, I was suggested to apply nail serum on my nails before I polish them with the block. This is also beneficial for the nails as a nail serum also nourishes the nails. For this step, I use Essence Studio Nails nail care serum. I apply a bit of this vegan product on every nail then I massage it in. After that, I wait till the product dries before I polish and shine the top of my nails with the block.

Essence nail care serum

Step 5. Soften cuticles

I soften my cuticles by applying Essence Fast Cuticle Remover, also vegan, on top of my cuticles. For my fifth step of my vegan manicure routine, I am supposed to push back my cuticles after 15 seconds but I skip this step as I am afraid of doing it wrong. Plus I barely have any cuticles to push. So after 15 seconds I go and wash away the product.

Essence fast cuticle remover

Step 6. Exfoliate hands

I scrub my hands with Handmade Naturals Face Cleansing Scrub. Yes I know it’s not specifically designed for hands and nails but I believe it does the job. Also, I love having one product with lots of uses. After scrubbing, I wash the product off and dry my hands with a towel. Note, all Handmade Naturals products except for their lip balms are now vegan.

Handmade Naturals Face Cleansing Scrub

Step 7. Moisturise hands

I love moisturising my hands with the Weleda Hand Cream as I see it more as a hand butter as when I usually apply hand creams they feel dry again in a few seconds whereas Weleda’s creams have oils that keep your hands moist until you decide to wash the cream off. Just now while writing this post and after I’ve shared my vegan nail care products on Instagram, I have discovered that the one I am using, the Weleda Citrus Hand and Nail Cream, and the Weleda Sea Buckthorn ones are not yet vegan, just vegetarian. ? Once it finishes I have to try another Weleda hand cream if the Weleda hand and nail cream’s formula won’t be changed to a vegan one by then.

Step 8. Apply base coat

Before applying the base coat, I am supposed to lightly clean my nails from hand cream with a cotton pad soaked with nail polish remover. However, now I’ve started using a nail polish remover which doesn’t require cotton pads. I think, dipping my cream covered finger in the remover might contaminate the remover which will cause it not to work well next time. So here I either wait for the next time I wash my hands to continue the steps or consider to buy the Fresh Therapies wipes. After that, I can apply a coat of the Essence Studio Nails All in One complete care which can be used both as a strengthening base coat and high-shine top coat.

Fresh Therapies wipes


Step 9. Apply two coats of nail polish

After making sure the base coat is dry, when I have time I wait an hour to be very extra sure, I apply the first coat of Lily Lolo nail polish. I love Lily Lolo’s new nail polish. They are the first 8-free vegan nail polish that I’ve tried and loved as they are affordable, natural, cruelty-free and as I have just mentioned vegan. Essence Cosmetics also have vegan-friendly nail polishes but I still have to try them out. If you have time, wait around an hour before applying the second coat.

Lily Lolo Nail Polish in Carnival

Step 10. Apply top coat

The last step of my vegan manicure consists of the top coat. One coat of the previously mentioned Essence Studio Nails All in One complete care can be used here. This 2 in 1 product is ideal as it saves you from stocking on a lot of nail products that can soon enough dry out and have to be thrown away.

Essence all in one complete care

I hope you will find this step by step vegan manicure post helpful. For more information on brands, check out the Essence Cosmetics Malta facebook page, the Blends of Nature facebook page for Handmade Naturals, Lily Lolo Malta facebook page and Shanti Organic and Natural Products for Weleda. Please, don’t hesitate to suggest other cruelty-free and vegan products that you have tried and liked.

DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored.


(a.k.a. Fiona Henschel) Malta-born blogger. I have been blogging during these last 6 years on my cruelty-free lifestyle including recipes, beauty and makeup products that I discover, receive, buy and try.