The new nail polish brand to get your hands on (and on your hands)

In my own personal beauty history, Hard Candy nail polish was a game-changer. I was in college, had just started to get regular manicures (not just for special occasions) and suddenly there was an alternative to Essie’s “Ballet Slippers” and “Bordeaux.” I also remember that Essie quickly followed suit, coming out with what may have been their first trendy color collection of opaque, chalky pastels.

In 1999 at the tender age of 21, Hard Candy founder Dineh Mohajer sold Hard Candy to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (the price was never disclosed), and the brand has since relaunched under new ownership. But after a too-long hiatus, Mohajer is back in the lacquer game with her latest venture, Smith & Cult.

The 30-shade collection debuted quietly in August in 20 salons across the country, and the line will be making a big splash come October. The brand is setting its sights on salon-based retail, offering a more luxurious alternative to Essie and OPI. The line will also be available via Net-a-Porter, C.O. Bigelow and SpaceNK stores outside the U.S.

Expect quirky color names and trendy, fashion-forward colors, as well as a creative approach that includes seasonal “diaries” that divulge the stories behind select shades. These journals are not intended for purchase, but they will be on hand to help you pass the time while your nails dry. And last but certainly not least, the formulas are all 5-free. I can’t wait to check these out!

A primer, luminizer and all-around magical makeup enhancer