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Not since the mid-90’s launch of Chanel Vamp and Nars Mash (a mossy, gold flecked military shade) have I fallen for rich hued nail lacquer so quickly. J. Hannah – the jewelry brand known for its reinterpreted heirloom pieces – recently launched new sheer nail polish shades that wear like watercolors and deepen in pigment with each coat applied. To say I’m hooked is an understatement.
Au revoir, minimalist manicures. Hello Glacé Tints.
The Artist’s Way
Glacé Tints are not J. Hannah’s first foray into nail polish. The opaque line, which launched years ago, remains on trend with the ever popular “ugly polish” hues. The oft under-the-radar brand includes twenty carefully edited, color-resistant shades, all inspired by artists’ palettes, natural elements, and the muses founder Jess Hannah Révész envisions channeling specific colors or moods.
The two best sellers (and among my personal favorites in this collection) are Ghost Ranch, a rusty hue inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s Northern New Mexico home, and Eames, an earthy chartreuse named for the famed Mid-Century designer.
Révész feels her polish considers “the gracefulness of hands, and the role of subtle color as an element in the considered wardrobe.” This artistic approach has also yielded brand collaborations with The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
For the Met’s 2020 “About Time” exhibition, the brand curated a 5-shade polish collection (5 mini polish set, $54) “inspired by a blurred timeline of fashion history.” The festive result “feels like a chic, grown-up version of sparkles…You can paint it onto bare nails or layer it to create different effects,” says Hannah. Spoken like a true artist.
This year’s exclusive collaboration with the Met’s "Surrealism Beyond Borders” exhibit led to the Surrealist polish pack ($54 for full-size trio). Exploring “iconic and symbolic motifs of Surrealism through pigment and palette” resulted in striking, vivid – and very wearable – hues.
Gamay, the first shade to launch in the Glacé Tints Collection, is inspired by wine-stained teeth (hence its namesake, aka a variety of black wine grapes) and melted granita. Even before sweater weather arrives, this deep shade suits the season. For a sheer look last month, two coats were beautiful; more recently, seeking a deeper pigmented look, I applied four. Like the holy grail polishes of my past, I love the striking, yet muted, tones.
While these polishes do offer color saturation, their duration of wear is minimized – chipping occurred a few days sooner than I am used to – as the brand is non-toxic and has eliminated the carcinogenic chemicals often found in nail polish. This is a tradeoff I am happy to make.
The Art Of The Handscape
Despite J. Hannah’s entrée into beauty with high-quality polishes, its founder is first and foremost a jewelry designer. The line, launched in 2014, was inspired by vintage jewelry Révész received from her grandmother. J. Hannah has since become known for luxury, classic pieces – wearable staples you don’t take off – from signature handmade hoops to signet rings. With timeless styles and “mindfully quality sourced materials” – from ethically sourced stones to 100% recycled gold and silver – Révész strives to create long-lasting jewelry that will be treasured and handed down as heirlooms.
Nail polish became relevant when Hannah struggled to find suitable colors – “aside from typical fire engine red and a sea of pale pinks” – for her well-manicured jewelry imagery. She filled the void with her own polish line, which has subsequently become a compelling part of her brand, allowing an accessible, entry level price point.
And Révész is just getting started. Anything adorning the hand (which she has coined “handscapes”) is relevant to her brand, and we eagerly await the rollout of additional Glacé Tint shades, future brand collaborations (coming as soon as October!) and expanding jewelry lines (such as bridal via co-founded sister company, Ceremony).
FIVE MORE REASONS TO GET POLISHED WITH J. HANNAH:
- The brand’s nail polishes are “8-free” – excluding eight carcinogenic chemicals often found in nail polish products: toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, dibutyl phthalate, triphenyl phosphate, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene.
- The first edition mini polish set ($54) comes in a reusable J. Hannah mesh zipper pouch (which can be reused as a wallet!) and includes a range of shades: Akoya, Dune, Fauna, Ghost Ranch and Miso.
- You can explore the shade range with a "Create your own 3 Set” ($56).
- J. Hannah does not follow – or strive to make – trends. "While we're not setting out to overtly design 'ugly' colors, we're definitely all-in on developing shades that come from a place beyond just choosing something that's easy and pretty — if something as tiny as a polish can hold the possibility to invite a little more curiosity and delight into life, why not?”
- Being produced locally (in LA) allows the brand to cut carbon emissions, minimize lead times and reduce the amount of waste. Environmentalism, humanitarian ethics and working toward greater sustainability are a priority for Révész.