We love our manis and pedis at BloomMe, but what we don’t love is products that are still tested on animals or are harmful to animals in any way. Animal lovers the world over may be aghast to learn that those pretty shades of polish you’re trying to decide between are actually tested on animals, or in some cases contain insects and animal byproducts in them. Eeek!


Why is animal testing still a thing?


Short answer: we don’t know why, but we want it to stop.

Cosmetic testing on animals is a practice that seems completely archaic and cruel, but unfortunately it is still everywhere in the market. Back in 2014, China introduced a law that stated that companies no longer needed to test their products on animals. Before that, it is was the law that any cosmetic must be tested first on animals but now in a grand show of progression and innovation it is non-compulsory to do so anymore (but you can if you want to). Hong Kong doesn’t require testing either, but manufacturers can still test if they want to.


Many countries across the globe have made steps towards cruelty-free beauty. In the European Union, Norway, New Zealand, India, and Israel, all testing of cosmetics on animals is banned (although they can still test on animals in countries where animal testing is compulsory).


The worst part about testing on animals, other than the excruciating pain that these cute creatures undergo, is that animal testing doesn’t really work that well. The SPCA notes the highly ineffective test that is still in use: the Draize’s Eye Test. First introduced in 1944 to test for irritancy and toxicity from the coal used in mascara, this horrible test involves the cosmetics being applied directly to the bare skin or eyes of a conscious animal. It’s reported to be inaccurate and unreliable because human and bunny rabbit’s eyes are completely different in nature, but still companies continue to use this test as a way of checking new cosmetics.



But surely animal testing just refers to things like lipstick and mascara. Is my manicure cruelty-free?

You might not be aware of it, but the ingredients put into conventional nail polishes are more often than not animal based. Yes we know, that’s kinda gross. Check the bottom of your nail polish for these ingredients, and avoid them once you know what they are:


Guanine: sometimes listed as pearl essence, this is derived from fish scales and acids that are found in animal tissue. It is the material that gives nail polishes it’s shimmers, glitter, and pearly-effects.

Carmine: if your preferred nail polish colour is a red hue, then it probably contains carmine. This ingredient is created by boiling and crushing red beetles into a paste.

Oleic Acid: this is made from animal oils and tallow (which is basically just animal fats) and is often used as a thickening solution.


Eeek! What can I do to avoid manicures and products with animal testing?

The best way you can help to end animal testing is by not supporting companies that do so. By purchasing or getting treatments that use animal-tested cosmetics, you are inadvertently supporting these companies.

When shopping for nail polishes and other cosmetics, have a good read of the label. You are looking for cruelty-free labels, or even better, vegan labels (which means that the product contains no animal in it). If you can see any of the above listed ingredients such as carmine, then it’s best to avoid them.

Are there salons in Hong Kong that offer cruelty-free manicures and pedicures?

Well, we are sure glad you asked! Here is a list of some of Hong Kong’s premiere salons that offer vegan friendly and cruelty free polishes. And the best part, most of them allow you to purchase the polish after you are finished with your treatment, so you can continue using it for months to come.

To discover cruelty-free manicures across Hong Kong, head to the BloomMe app and use the search filters “cruelty free manicure/pedicure”.


Some of our favourite salons salons offering cruelty-free treatments:



The ever popular and ever glam spa Melomist uses Seaweed Gel, which is vegan friendly and free from 7 of the most damaging toxins commonly found in nail polish.They also use YMCK for their regular manicures, which is a French company renowned for their eco-friendly stance.


Address: 3/F, Cheung Hing Commercial Building, No, 37-43 Cochrane street, Central, Hong Kong

Hours: Monday – Sunday:10:30am-8:30pm, Public holidays: 10:30am-8:30pm

Book here


Emmanuel F

This salon uses LVX, which is a US based vegan and eco-friendly nail polish, as well as Bio Seaweed Gel like Melomist does (which is a great option for soft-gel nails).


Address: U/G Floor, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan

Hours: Monday- Friday: 9am-8pm, Saturday: 9am-7pm, Sunday: closed

Book here



The Right Spot

The Right Spot uses a Toxins Free nail polish in it’s treatments, as well as NCLA Gelous which is a vegan-friendly/toxin-free gel substitute.


Address: 5/F, 20 Stanley Street, Central

Hours: 11:00am-11pm

Book here



To read more from the SPCA about testing on animals, head to their website.


For inspiration on nail designs for your next cruelty-free manicure, why not check out these absolutely completely amazing nail artists on Instagram? 

Download BloomMe and use code Talk75 to get $75 off your 1st booking, FREE!

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We love our manis and pedis at BloomMe, but what we don’t love is products that are still tested on animals or are harmful to animals in any way. Animal lovers the world over may be aghast to learn that those pretty shades of polish you’re trying to decide between are actually tested on animals,…