LISTEN UP because I’m about to introduce you to a nail polish company that will make you cooler than everyone else just by putting it on. Not exaggerating.
Publish date:
March 6, 2013
nail polish, nails, floss gloss

Are we bored with nail polish? Trick question! Nail polish sales hit $768 MILLION dollars in 2012. That is SO much money.

And it’s not just regular nail polish anymore. Now we’ve got a ton of different at home gel manicure kits, every beauty company has their line of nail stickers, and there’s every sort of freak show topcoat you can imagine. Not complaining, I’m into all of it. I mean, have we met?

This is obviously a good time to be a nail polish enthusiast, because great products are everywhere you turn. But is it just me, or is everything starting to look the same? I’m all for new products and new lines, but damn, how many shades of red polish do we need? It’s been a long time since anything really caught my eye.

OMG, am I bumming you out? Well, cheer up because you know I always come bearing good news! LISTEN UP because I’m about to introduce you to a nail polish company that will make you cooler than everyone else just by putting it on. Not exaggerating. FLOSS GLOSS. It’s the most exciting line of nail lacquers I have seen in a while, and it’s definitely my current favorite. Seriously, stop what you’re doing.

The collection is refreshingly surprising. It refuses to stick to one color palette or “mood.” They’ve got juicy oranges, boss pastels, electric neons, and two insane glitters. Like, literally insane. They look as good after two coats as they do in the bottle, which almost no other company can say.

Are you over glitters? Well, it’s time to come back home to them, my prodigal son. The names of the colors are just irreverent enough to be right at home here in the beauty section of xoJane. One of my favorites is “Party Bruise,” a shape-shifting indigo/brown/violet -- depending on the light (that’s not exactly how they’re selling it, but I’m saying it, so it’s true).

BritBrit2000 is a sheer nude/peach glitter that was inspired by Britney’s rhinestoned cat suit from the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. That is, in my opinion, the best inspiration for any product ever.

I obviously couldn’t just mind my own damn business and let this sick line exist without learning more about it. I wanted to know how Floss Gloss was born, because I was damn sure it wasn’t conceived by a conference room full of beauty execs and a bunch of focus groups.

Meet Janine and Aretha, the don divas and queen bee extraordinaires behind Floss Gloss.

They were gracious enough to let me ask my prying and obsessive questions and find out everything I wanted to know about my new favorite nail company.

Tynan: SO. How did Floss Gloss begin? What is the biggest difference between Floss Gloss and the other biggest names that are out there, in terms of color and formula?

Janine: "Floss Gloss" was our college nail crew, founded roughly early spring 2009 in San Francisco. Aretha lived two blocks away from my flat, and I lived with three other girls who were also nail art inclined. Aretha would pop over after class a la "Kimmy Gibler" raving and sharing her latest custom colors she'd mixed earlier at school or at 4am in her apartment.

I was getting mobbed by Art School girls about the color of my nails and I'd direct them to Aretha's painting studio and she'd sell them what’s now considered "Frankenpolish" (a term Instagram just told me about). We've been grinding ever since.

We just felt like the nail game needed a fresh bottle with packaging, our unique colors paired with an amazing formula and a brush built to cover! It was always one or the other before. Either a cool color (there really was no cool color before 2008 -- I'm so over Chanel Blue Satin) but shitty formula or a lackluster color with great formula. Plus everyone's bottle looks the same. And we love gold.

We've been there, we've bought crappy nail polish -- used it twice and never touched it again. We wanted to make a polish that you'd want to come back to and not only for the name and credibility of the company. Women can have better coverage, more unique and opaque colors with a quick drying formula in a chic bottle at a budget price point!

Aretha: I’ve been mixing nail polish since the 90’s to get the perfect shade. I’ve never been satisfied with the colors available (though in the last five years, the spectrum has really broadened) so I would just mix colors to get what I wanted. We are all about that confusing, hard-to-find color, and improved formula.

Tynan: I'm STOKED about the newest addition to Floss Gloss, Con Limon, because I'm obsessed with that neon lime green/chartreuse on nails. The last two polishes I bought in that shade have been almost unusable because the formulas were no good (which is upsetting because one of them was pretty expensive), so Con Limon couldn't have come at a better time. How do you decide which shades to roll out next?

Janine: We both really wanted to put out 20 colors in the original collection. Def needed Lime Green nails for a minute, but not knowing how we'd be accepted into the consumerist Nail Game, we chose to release our original collection as multi faceted as possible should we never go on to make another color. Consider Con Limon the tip of the Floss Gloss iceberg. Our spring glitters are in process now and we cannot wait to share them!

Aretha: I eat, sleep, shit, and talk colors. Also, I couldn’t live without lime green nails for much longer. They are a staple in my life cuz I’m often dressed in all black and that’s a color scheme I can always get down wit. All the other neon greens were just too green and not quite yellow enough. Just wanted it with a squeeze of lime, con limon.

Tynan: I hate red nails, which is frustrating because such a big chunk of everyone's lines are made up of different shades of red. And yet, red is noticeably absent in the Floss Gloss collection (Fast Lane, one of my favorites, is close, but more orange). I like that even though you're a new, small line, you're not just doing the colors that everyone else is able to move. Was that intentional?

Janine: Totes intentional, thanks for noticing. Why put out something that's already been done a million times and you can buy at Walgreens? Floss Gloss is not about the norm. Fastlane is our baby. She is a true Neon Red, with orange undertones but nonetheless -- a true Neon Red. Totally wearable, even for the biggest Non-Red groupies. I loooove her though -- biggest ho at xmas.

Aretha: That's why we had to step up in the game in the first place. I also hated red nails. I love red now, but not everyone does and there is a Walgreens on every block with 50 different reds per brand and it’s boring.

Tynan: I'm really impressed with your website. The photoshoots are killer, but most nail companies wouldn't include any photos other than ones that showcased Photoshopped nails on pretty, posed hands. Yours shots have a more David LaChapelle or Terry Richardson feel to them, depending. They're whole scenes with your nail lacquer incorporated into them. What is your reasoning behind going that extra mile and giving us a MOMENT, rather than just a boring picture of hands.

Janine: OMG, seriously thanks. As consumers, we both were tired of boring, commercial photographs that really gave you nothing about branding, just selling you a glossy Photoshopped color that probably looks nothing like that in real life. When we shoot, it is art. We start with a concept and of course a nail color but because of our backgrounds in design and fine art we're both inclined to make a composition rather than just a marketing ad.

Tynan: I’m sure this question is TIRED but I have to know. Who do you think has the sickest nails in the game right now? Rihanna? Lady Gaga? Michelle Obama? Brooke Candy? Which celebrity or up and coming shot caller do you see in Floss Gloss?

Janine: Azealia Banks, Trinidad James, Haim, Lil Kim, Lady Yaa and Alexander Wang in "Partybruise" only.

Aretha: Gangsta Boo, Lady, Trina, Lil Kim, Foxy, La Chat, Azealia Banks, Princess Loko.

Tynan: Anything else you want to add?

Janine: It is really important to us to also put a face to the brand as well as a story and a look behind each color and glitter. We want our customers to know who is developing and designing the colors, the look. We want them to know we're just like them, grinding in the service industry and trying to catch our dreams.

So, #JaneGang. Are you sold? Are you SO into it? I AM. I love young hotties out there hustling and making a living off of their passions. Janine and Aretha are prime examples of that, and I think they’ve got an amazing product to show for all of their hard work.

And let me assure you, it’s every bit as good as the girls make it sound. The formula is thick enough to get good coverage in one coat. (Though we always do two, do we not?) It is quick drying, long lasting, and isn’t fussy at any point along the way. Check out Floss Gloss and order to your little hearts content at flossgloss.com.