Beauty

This Nail Polish That Detects Date Rape Drugs Could Change Lives

It’s Friday! Have a fun and safe weekend. #nails #nailpolish #fashion #technology

A photo posted by Undercover Colors (@undercovercolors) on

Thanks to life experience (and many Law & Order: Special Victims Unit marathons), we know never to leave our drink unattended at a bar, to order up an Uber rather than walk through shady neighborhoods late at night, and to keep our wits about us when in fraternity territory. Thanks to the company Undercover Colors, we can soon add “to wear Rohypnol-sensitive nail polish” to that list of precautions.

The would-be beauty company recently announced that its star product, a nail polish that changes colors when it comes in contact with beverages containing common date rape drugs like Rohypnol and GHB, will hit the market any day now. “Simply dip your finger into a verified beverage and within seconds the presence of prevalent date rape drugs will be identified in color change,” explains the start-up’s website.

Mic gleaned the news from an update on Undercover Colors’ Facebook page. On November 9, the company changed its cover imagery to a picture of a woman with the words “coming soon” written on her outstretched palms.

Founded by four male engineers at North Carolina State University, Undercover Colors entered the public’s radar back in 2014 when they first announced their product plans. They got pretty much skewered by media outlets like the Huffington Post, which pointed out that not all sexual assaults happen in bars, around 73 percent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the survivor knows and is unlikely to test their drinks around, and that the surest way to combat rape culture is through education and, most of all, holding perpetrators accountable.

While these are valid points, we don’t think the guys over at Undercover Colors are completely oblivious to the scope of the issue, despite the fact that they’re honing in on a very specific contributing factor. And, given the company’s massive influx in funding over the past two years, we’d say others feel the same way. “One in six women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime,” reads the company’s website. “This unthinkable problem has reached epidemic levels on college campuses. And something must be done about it. Power must be handed back to women in what is a devastatingly powerless situation.” These words are not only accurate, but passionate.

“Can’t wait for this to go commercial. It shouldn’t have to exist but we can do whatever possible to keep each other safe,” wrote one of Undercover Colors 170,000 Facebook fans. True, it is unfair that women should have to buy pepper spray, whistles and now nail polish to feel a semblance of security (your #pinktax dollars at work). It’s abominable that the Brock Turners of the world are walking free after prorated sentences. This is nonetheless the world we’re living in — and pushing back against. And while we work towards change, why not paint on a little precautionary polish?

One word of advice: Please, no punny color names, guys.

[ via Mic ]