Much as we love fashion, we’re wary of blindly following every trend that comes down the runway. We’re not sheep, after all. Take that rosy beige nail polish that everyone’s been sporting. While perfectly nice, its ubiquity has pretty well killed its appeal. We’d much prefer to have fingertips the hue of, say, the red Valentine typewriter that the brilliant Ettore Sottsass designed for Olivetti in the 1970s or the deep, pearly gray of a pigeon’s feathers. Thanks to Jane Schub, the artist and illustrator who founded STRANGEBEAUTIFUL Library of Color, a completely original line of nail lacquers that are inspired by random color sightings—everything from the aforementioned typewriter to kitchen appliances—we can.
The Rhode Island School of Design’s grads hand-mixed shades are not only quirkily inspired and imaginatively packaged—we keep her engraved Lucite connector block prominently displayed on our dresser just so we can appreciate its sculptural beauty—they’re incredibly rich. While most polish contains 15 to 18 percent pigment, Schub has upped that to 40 to 60 percent. In practical terms, this means that you only need one coat for a deep, even manicure. And, because your health is as important to her as the state of your nails, STRANGEBEAUTIFUL is free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP.
Schub, who follows painter Josef Albers’ theory that our perception of color is dependent on the tints that surround it, sells all her polishes in groups. We’re offering four pairs, specially selected for AHAlife by the designer: Ettore Sottsass/Caribou (bright red/pale brown), Schiaparelli/Boiled Lobster (pink red/brick), Pigeon Belly/Dirty Almond (deep gray/café au lait) and Loden Cloth/Cheap Foundation (army green/orange tan). Mix them, match them, or even use them all at once. Be bold, not beige!
from Garrison, NY