It’s no secret that the Shop Me Chic team love a good mani (check out a few past polish posts here and here). We also love shining the spotlight on amazing Australian brands. A current favourite is Australian nail polish brand, Hello Darling which launched at the end of 2011 and is already taking over the polish world with their fabulous colours. We were lucky enough to chat to Heather and Kim, the brains (and beauties) behind Hello Darling…
“What are the hot colours for winter?”
At Hello Darling, it’s really clashing between super-saturated brights and neutral cremes. We are also predicting jewel tones, but ones that are a bit more unexpected and raw – not just your average rubies and emeralds. Matte nails and chunky glitters will also continue to be a hit, and these will be part of our A/W collections.
Nail art is going to continue to be huge, which I think is amazing. I love seeing how women are expressing themselves and their personal styles on their nails. We’re also working on some really cutting-edge kits. For A/W 2012, we are introducing two twelve-colour collections, as well as four special effects top coats, and we will be introducing a few options as far as texture and decals go. I think I might be more excited about this upcoming collection than I was when we released our first collections in December!
“How are nail polish colours decided each season? Are they influenced by fashion?”
Absolutely by fashion, but not just apparel. Kim and I look at photography and art, at interiors and travel pictures seasonal foods, and accessories like jewellery and handbags play a big part of our inspiration process. We hunt trends constantly and obsessively. We also look at past trends and classic inspiration – like vintage books, films and magazine covers. This time around, we constructed for two of our collections (Cozy and The Crown Jewels) on Pinterest, which was a great way to visualise how everything works together holistically.
“Are there any rules for fingernails and toenails matching? Or does anything go?”
Comes down to personal preference. For years I was adamant that my fingers matches my toes, then I went through a phase where my toes were always dark and my nails were light. Now I prefer to have them make sense as a colour story, so if I’m wearing open-toed shoes it makes sense. I don’t think it’s up to people like me to make “rules” as much as it is to give people as many options as possible, for them to make a decision about what makes them feel good. That’s one of the key Hello Darling brand tenets – to make the world beautiful, one nail at a time.
“I love seeing how women are expressing themselves and their personal styles on their nails”
“What advice would you give to a nail polish lover wanting to start her own label?”
Research until you know every angle of what’s involved. We had quite a few setbacks in the early days of Hello Darling, from logistics and fulfilment to technology and trademarks, and if Kim and I didn’t have experience in dealing with these sorts of issues we very may have thrown in the towel at the first sign of trouble.
You also need to be tenacious and patient, but you also need to be strong in your own opinions and vision. It’s funny how many people have an opinion about this sort of business – it’s very easy to get sidetracked or disheartened.
The most important thing out of all, though is understanding the concept of marketing like it’s your religion. You need to live and breathe the ethos of your company, and your brand must ring true to who you are – this is probably the one thing in the whole process of building Hello Darling that we spent the most time, anguish and criticism on. In the end, though, it was so worth it.
“What are your favourite ‘tools of the trade’ for keeping your nails in top shape?”
Kim and I are like chalk and cheese when it comes to our nails: hers are natural and I’ve had acrylic overlays – sans tips, on my natural nails – for going on ten years now. We’ll both agree that cuticle treatments are essential, as is a good multivitamin or hair, skin and nails supplement and lots and lots of water. Also making sure you stay away from acetone-based removers, which wrecks your cuticles and dries out the skin around your nails. Also try and give your nails a week-long break from polishes (or acrylics, or gels) every couple of months – you’ll notice a real difference in the health of your nails.
“Besides Darling, what are your favourite nail polish brands?”
Personally, I love Scotch Naturals, Deborah Lipmann and KIT Cosmetics. Kim is a fan of Mecca and the colours of Chanel.
“And now for a few ‘technical’ questions suggested by Shop Me Chic readers @ChristieSin and @Jen_NPP… Why do certain nail polish colours dry quicker than others? (eg glitter dries the quickest, dark nail polish takes the longest) and why don’t all polishes have the same consistency?”
Dry time is dependent on a lot of factors – the type of polish you’re using, how many coats you’ve applied and how thick you apply them, the prep surface you’ve given them, the amount of time you leave in between the coats. Things like speed dry top coats may help them reach a touch-dry stage, but as a rule, most polishes like cremes and metallics will take about an hour to get to 80% dry. Dry time obviously varies from brand to brand.
Glitters come down to the formulation: you’ll find that super-dense ones dry very quickly, and ones that are a more sparse take longer to dry. That comes down to surface area, really. If you’re using something that has more surface area – like a chunky, dense glitter, it’s going to dry a lot quicker than something that is smooth, like a creme. A good example of this is Trophy Wife from our Holy Bling collection – it’s the ultimate polish for when you literally have ten minutes to get out of the house and realise you haven’t had a mani in ages. It will cover anything you’ve got on your nails, and dries in five minutes flat.
Consistency-wise, there are a lot of factors that go into a nail polish formula that factor on its consistency. We try really, really hard to give all of our colours – regardless of whether its a creme or a metallic or a glitter – the same workability and feel but sometimes it’s just impossible to get the same formulation, especially when its a shade that has suspended microglitter in it. To overcome that particular hurdle, we spent a LOT of time on the R&D of our brush.
Trophy Wife from our Holy Bling collection will cover anything you’ve got on your nails, and dries in five minutes flat.
“And why is glitter nail polish so hard to get off, do you have any ‘tricks’ for easier glitter removal?”
Ah, the age-old question…you’d think that it would be easiest with an angle grinder, right? If you’ve got acrylics, chances are that your nail tech will just use the drill sanding attachment to take it off when you’re there for an infill. This isn’t something I’m a fan of, because it absolutely decimates your cuticles.
The easiest way to prevent this is to make sure you’ve got a good base coat on – it will make removal a whole lot easier. To get it off, use the same method you use for removing gel colour – take a cotton wool bud for each of your nails, soak it in acetone-free nail polish remover, then after you press it into your nail, wrap it in aluminium foil for a couple of minutes. After that, take them off one by one and using a new cotton wool bud soaked in the remover, work each nail from the bottom to the tip with firm pressure. After you’re done, make sure you give your nails and cuticles a good dousing with cuticle oil and relax for ten minutes…but remember to wash your hands thoroughly before you paint them again!
Hello Darling have so many beautiful colours we thought we would make it easy and give you our two favourite polishes to start your Hello Darling collection with – Bellini and Wednesday!