Wednesday, April 29, 2009

StrangeBeautiful- Niche Nail Polish

After 25 or so years of using nail polish and exactly three years of beauty blogging (I remembered too late that the previous weekend was The Non-Blonde's birthday!), it's not every day that I get this excited about such a product. I mean, it's stinky paint that goes on your nails, and if you're lucky, it stays there looking pretty without chipping for the better part of a week.

Jane Schub, a designer, illustrator and beauty entrepreneur, expects more than that. She launched her StrangeBeautiful line as a fashion accessory, an edited collection of nail polish colors of the highest quality. Despite my jaded view, I'm beyond smitten.

It starts with the colors. That's how the line actually began. Jane Schub had a vintage typewriter in a gorgeous and unusual red, and she thought the color would make a striking nail polish. The concept developed from that point. Every color is saturated, bold and makes a fashion statement. Even the few mellow colors cannot be ignored.

When I met Ms. Schub a few weeks ago at a Bergdorf Goodman event, her vision and passion for making StrangeBeautiful an outstanding brand were evident, so I was not surprised upon testing to see that only one coat is enough for a cream finish that is completely true to the color you see in the bottle. The brush is the perfect width, the polish is very quick to dry and lasts chip-free for over a week even without a protective top coat. StrangeBeautiful is also "3 Free", which means not containing Formaldehyde, Toluene, and DBP (dibutyl phthalate).

The colors I received are an orange red and a rich toffee-like brown. There's no way my photos can do them justice. The red (described as a lobster tail red by Jane schub) is my dream color. Red has been my signature from childhood and there are shades that my nearest and dearest call "Gaia Red". This is going to be one of them.

Now, here's the catch: StrangeBeautiful doesn't sell individual bottles, only "volumes". Each volume is a collection of 8 bottles and is only released once, meaning once the volume is sold out that's the last it would be seen. All the colors in each volume are beautiful beyond words, but I don't necessarily need to own all of them. I mean, if I were ever to wear a teal polish, I'd want the one offered in Volume 1. The same goes for the vibrant yellow from Volume 2 (I want a closet full of clothes and accessories in that fantastic yellow, just not sure about it for nails). But despite the very reasonable price (an 8 bottle pack is $79, pricing them far bellow most department store brands), I don't want to buy colors I'd never use. However, I still have a serious case of WANT when I look at most of these shades.

At the moment Volume of StrangeBeautiful 1 is still available. Volume 2 is the most recently launched. They are sold at Bergdorf Goodman (including online) and Luckyscent. The two bottles I have were part of a BG goodie bag.


  1. Gaia, Gaia, you NAUGHTY enabler. I just had to order Volume 1 from Luckyscent after reading your review. Yes, even after saying here a day or so ago that I was only buying replacement cosmetics.


  2. Mary, aren't the purple and lavender stunning? They alone are a good reason to get Volume 1, and it also has that typewrite red. I think that if one is only to get one new item/one new look, this is a very wise choice.

    Enjoy the set and let me know which are your favorites when you receive them.

  3. Alyssa, I totally agree. It calls for swapping and splitting, as long as one can find partners who want the other four colors.

  4. OMG! I adore the whole Library 1 collection. Between this and Fall 09 Marc Jacobs, Memphis is totally making a comeback. Teal and Valentine typewriter red anyone?

    May I ask what the event was which included such fabulous goodie bag items?

  5. Obliteratti, it was a breakfast event for beauty bloggers. Bergdorf wanted to introduce and support several new and newish small brands, so it was very interesting and well worth the drive into the city at an ungodly hour ;)

  6. ScentScelf, thank you! Sometimes I can't believe I've been blogging for three years. Other times it's like I've always been testing new products. Then again, I probably have, which is exactly why I started blogging about it...


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