MAY 16 2016

Treat Your Shelf: Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer

[This is part of a new feature on my blog: Keu’s Treat Your Shelf, where I discuss products that not only perform well but beautify your vanity shelf too!]

I’m not a nail girl. I wish I were, because my nails could use more attention. My nails are the most neglected part of my beauty routine. Even more so since I had kids. As all moms quickly realize, your polish doesn’t last as long when you’re constantly washing little hands (and your own), giving baths, cleaning up messes, cooking, art-and-crafting, etc. I have friends who always have beautiful, polished nails, and I envy them.

Since discovering Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer, my nail game is (mostly) back.

The line was created by beauty industry veteran Dineh Mohajer, who founded the cult-classic Hard Candy cosmetics in the mid-90’s. As the story goes, Dineh mixed two lacquer shades together in her dorm room to create a powder-blue nail polish ("Sky") that matched her sandals. This now iconic baby blue was the first time a non-traditional shade became mainstream. Twenty years later, non-traditional colors are arguably the norm.

What’s in a name?
Smith & Cult is meant to express the two sides of a woman’s personality: "Smith" is the elegant side, the good girl, and "Cult" is the the subversive side — the side of all of us that's up to no good,” Mohajer explains. The stunning bottles, with their artistically hammered metal caps, reflect this duality: one side is smooth and pristine, the other side is purposefully dented.

There are 30 unique shades in the line, plus top and base coats. If you’re feeling edgy, go for the bold glitters or grungy hues. In a classic mood? Opt for the neutrals or maybe one of the retro pastels.

The Formula
Of course, given that I’m reviewing them here, these polishes are cleaner than most. They are 5-Free - meaning they’re formulated without dibutyl, phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor. The finish is flawlessly smooth and shiny, and surprisingly long-lasting. The polish lasted longer and chipped less quickly than the other 5-free polishes I have on rotation. I used Smith & Cult’s base and top coats, which may have helped the polish last so well.

The Brush
The handle and brush are shorter than your typical polish, because they’re sized to fit Smith & Cult’s short circular bottle. This felt strange at first, but I quickly got used to it and actually find that being closer to my hands gives me more control over the polish.

Every time I look at these polishes I want to do my nails. Not only because the colors and finish are gorgeous, but because the artsy bottles look so stunning on my vanity shelf. Treat your shelf, and your nails, with Smith & Cult’s Nailed Lacquer. I dare you not to be hooked!

Smith & Cult is available at Net-a-Porter, CO Bigelow, Neiman Marcus and