Founder, Dineh Mohajer, of Hard Candy nail polish, a 90s beauty cult fave known for fun colors, quirky names, and ring-adorned bottles; has a new line of polishes that she has co-founded (with Jeanne Chavez) and serves as creative director for new beauty brand Smith & Cult, that came out last year. This time around, the bottle has gotten a dressed up look with a gold top that looks like a piece of metallic art and comes in a kaleidoscope range of colors with cool backstories and monikers such as ‘The Graduate’ and ‘No Poem.’ She also expanded the line in 2015 to include lip gloss. I recently caught up with the chic entrepreneur, to chat about her new brand and invite here to be a guest agent to share some of her favorites in fashion, beauty, and entertainment.
What inspired you to launch another nail line after Hard Candy? I think it was something between evolution and instinct – almost as though it was a natural progression to return to nail lacquer with Smith & Cult. It seems to make sense to me, since it thrust me to the beauty industry way back when and drastically changed the course of my life.
How do you believe the nail industry has evolved since you first entered the industry? When Hard Candy launched in the early 90’s, unconventional nail lacquer shades were brand new to the beauty industry. Chanel’s blockbuster shade ‘Vamp’ was the first departure from the traditional pinks and reds. Hard Candy’s rainbow of colors launched soon thereafter, causing a craze amongst trendsetters, fashion elite and every day consumers. Today, there are no color boundaries, whereas when Hard Candy launched ‘Sky’, it was considered original. In the past couple of years, nail art has morphed from something once thought of as obscure and tacky, to a mainstream fashion statement. Led by stylists, designers and celebrities alike, nail art has temporarily found a permanent home in our sartorial vocabulary.
The monikers for your polishes are quite cool. What inspires them? The inspiration for each shade name stems from the plethora of bizarre stories and experiences I’ve had over the years (aka life). Each shade in the collection correlates to a memory or something I found to be enchanting, inspiring or a favorite.
Which nail lacquer color from your line should every chic girl have in her beauty arsenal? I think every chic girl should have Nailed Lacquer in ‘The Graduate’ (below) in her beauty arsenal. The opaque rich taupe was inspired by its namesake Mrs. Robinson and her precise yet effortless beauty. Here’s to her.
If you could create a custom color for anyone past or present, real or fictional, who would it be and what would the color be? I would create a custom shade for Die Antwoord (rap rave group). It would be a neon color with flecks of gold glitter. You could have fun for days naming that one.
You’ve recently added lip lacquers to the line. Are there plans to develop a full beauty line in the future? After launching the nail lacquer collection last year and “The Shining” lip lacquer collection this summer, I’ve found myself back in the lab to develop more innovative formulas. My passion for creating new shades, campaigns, formulas, names, diary entries. Basically, everything Smith & Cult is what I look forward to each and every day. That, and those addictive Spindrift drinks.