With age comes wisdom, ok, maybe not, but I would say that with age comes the realization that nothing is truly new. Something’s only new if you didn’t experience it the first time ‘round.
So, matte nail polish is nothing new. And this is an extremely pressing matter that cannot be silenced any longer (and is exactly the type of thing I will waste an hour wondering about instead of doing things I’m being paid to do—not work, no slacking here, no sir–paid extracurricular things). I love matte nail polish so when I heard about a new brand, Knock Out, I became very interested. But not interested enough to pay $22.
It’s surprising that this is considered edgy. Maybelline had a matte line in the late ‘90s. Not only do I remember it, I still have the bottles. I just can’t throw out makeup. I’m very slash and burn with certain items in my life but I’m packratty and sentimental over makeup. It meant something at the time and I’m fond of these now useless souvenirs.
Matte Grape ($3.19 Duane Reade), Matte Gold ($3.49 Rite Aid), Matte Red (no tag) are all dried up but the Matte Maker™ topcoat ($3.39 CVS) which would turn any nail polish flat and dull (no one wants that, it’s like those runway models who have dry, frizzy hair on purpose, no surprise this limited edition never became mainstream) looks like it’s still liquid. I might have to give it a whirl and see if it still has mattifying powers.
I only brought one nail polish with me to NYC in 1998. Like families who left the old country with heirlooms strapped to their bodies (they did that, right?). I chose weird putty colored Stone by Almay. Keep in mind the era, brown lipstick and odd neutrals were in. I thought this would be a professional color that I would need for job interviews. It seemed like what someone who would work in an office would wear. I cannot credit Almay’s Stone with boosting my career in any shape or form. But I can’t bear to throw it out despite its obvious decreptitude.
Since 1998 I’ve managed to accumulate 62 other nail polishes in addition to bad luck Stone. Number 62, what I'm currently wearing, Pure Ice's Mint Dream, was pickled up for $2 at Wal-Mart Sunday. They sit in the bathroom closet in a Western Beef grocery bag. I really should toss out the rotten ones or ugly ones but I find that hard to do.
I bought this Diorific Plastic Shine in Alluring Black in ’95 in England when I came over for my sister’s first wedding. It was expensive and it was and still is completely impractical. It’s actually an extremely thick, crazy glossy deep purple, not black. I’ve only worn it once, a Christmas Eve in the early ‘00s when I threw up a free shot of who knows what on myself while sitting at the bar with friends (I can’t do shots even when I’m sober, they make me choke).
I don’t just possess ‘90s ephemera. I’ve held onto this barely used L’Oreal quad from around 1984 because at the time I thought it was the prettiest color combination. This too was expensive at the time, probably $6, which was a lot of money for a 12-year-old. (It’s weird how makeup hasn’t increased wildly in price over the past two decades. I know we’re in the middle of an economic crisis but things are so much cheaper now than they used to be, people don’t seem to have perspective. See? That age, wisdom thing, I’m feeling it. My mom was recently talking about when we were kids and took my great-grandmother to the coast for the weekend and it was freezing and we could only afford to buy one $20 sweatshirt to share and how now you could just go to an Old Navy or a Wal-Mart and pick up something for everyone for like $5.99 on a sale rack. No one need freeze at the Oregon coast in this day and age, well, unless you don’t have six dollars).
Half the bottom label has been rubbed away. The collection was called Graffiti Sp…and I can’t read the rest of the word. Forrest and Pink Mystique were two of the colors. It had a little brush tucked in an inner compartment (that I thought was still there but apparently isn’t) that wasn’t the normal spongy material but had a tip made out of something super soft and velvety. It seemed very luxurious.
This Revlon case was meant to hold pans of eyeshadow of your choosing. And yes, this was my choosing. I thought this was extremely cool and it comes from the same era as the above L’Oreal quad. As if you couldn’t tell from these uber-‘80s colors: Blue Bolt, Livewire and Neon. I had a chrome yellow nail polish (L’Oreal) that matched the middle color. I’d wear it on just one finger with a row of magenta nails because that’s what the model in the display ad was doing.
This one’s a dandy and I can’t believe I still have it. My sister or I (I can’t remember which) stole this from a sidewalk sale in front of Bi-Mart (I had no idea they were still in business). We saved a whopping $1.57 (marked down from $1.97) on our Maybelline Doodles in Spunky Silver. I do love that there was a time that silver lipstick was not only irresistible to the sticky fingered, but also considered appropriate.
I haven't used the term grody since the '80s but it's a fitting descriptor for this lipstick, which I will keep for at least another 20 years until it's sufficiently disgusting.