Long before Smith & Cult was even a thought in her mind, University of Southern California biochemistry student Dineh Mohajer was mixing up nail lacquers in her college apartment and created Hard Candy. At the age of 21, Mohajer had brought about a 90s beauty craze — every teenage girl wore Hard Candy nail polish (accessorized with a rubber ring that came with each bottle) and a full line of cosmetics soon followed. Fast-forward to 1999 when luxury giant LVMH purchased Hard Candy and mass-distributed the once-indie brand.
After dabbling in other beauty ventures, Mohajer and Jeanne Chavez (the “yin to her yang,” according to Mohajer) created nail lacquer Smith & Cult. The line of 30 long-wear, high-shine colors includes neutrals, neons and colorful glitters, in addition to a base and top coat. To complement the line, the duo curated the “Diary of a Beauty Junkie,” a series of stories and experiences that inspired the names of each shade. And leave it Mohajer to come up with the most silly and playful names—there’s Bridge & Tunnel, a gold glitter polish and Gay Ponies Dancing in the Snow, a bold multicolored mix of rainbow glitter. The gold caps on the bottles represent the juxtaposition of Smith (the “good” girl) and Cult (the “bad” girl): The top is smooth and pristine and the sides are hammered and dented.
We had the chance to test out a handful of these and the whole tFS team was hooked. The colors are bold and rich, and the top coat is our new favorite for chip-resistance and long-lasting shine. Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquers retail for $18 each and can be purchased at Smith & Cult, Net-a-Porter, C.O. Bigelow and top salons nationwide.