Monday, February 11, 2013

SquareHue: First Impressions

Today I can finally introduce my initial impressions of SquareHue, a monthly nail polish subscription that I hinted to last December. I was honestly surprised when this showed up in the mail at the beginning of the month since I was under the impression my first box won't come until March. In any case, it was a pleasant surprise to find it waiting for me. As a side note, currently there isn't as long of a wait since the promotion price is over.  You can get the specifics of the subscription service by going to SquareHue directly, but in a nutshell you get 3 full sized (0.5 oz) "3-free" nail polishes each month for $21 (no extra shipping charge).  SquareHue sends out "fresh" month appropriate colors that fit a variety of occasions, and they are committed to giving part of their proceeds to different causes/organizations.

To continue reading the review and see swatches, click the link.

The month of February, being most known for Valentine's Day, obviously had a love theme.  Specifically Vintage Love. I was pleasantly surprised at the packaging.  I have had incidences in the past with getting broken nail polishes in the mail because of bad packaging.  You don't have to worry about it with SquareHue since each nail polish is neatly placed in its individual cubby with extra packing material covering it.  Also included in the box is a card with the date and name of the collection.  Within the collection, each polish name is neatly labeled at the bottom of the polish along with the date (I guess just in case you were ever curious what month the nail polish was from?). I do like that the bottle shape is square to fit the name of the company. The nail polishes included in the Vintage Love Collection are Wartime Romance, High School Crush, and Dear John.

Now that I think I have effectively conveyed that the packaging is great, how's the product inside you say? I say generally good.  I can't say I'm 100% sold on this monthly subscription. It was nice that there was a variety of finishes, 2 creams and 1 shimmer/metallic. However, all the polishes were not of equal quality. This phenomena is nothing new, as there are duds within each nail polish brand, so I feel I can't judge entirely on one box. I also noticed that the bottle shade of one of the nail polishes does not match the nail swatch. Again this occurs with other brands as well. Lasting time on these polishes were average for me, which is 3-4 days with minor tip wear. For my thoughts on the individual polishes, continue reading.


All the names of the polishes are great, and fit the mood of the polish.  It works well within the collection theme, and as advertised by SquareHue, it fits a wide range of occasions. First up is High School Crush, a pale pink cream.  A soft blush color reminiscent of when you were supposed to be young and innocent. Due to the fact that is is such a pale color, and so close to white, it did not fully cover the nail in 2 coats.  To get a totally opaque color, I would suggest 3 coats. Application was nice and even though.

Next up was the true gem of the collection, Dear John. As suggested by the name, it's a vampy color perfect for a little heart breaker.  This was the metallic/shimmer polish that appears nearly black in low light, but has a dark red/maroon shimmer that comes out in the sunlight. This was practically a one coat and you're done type of color.  It applied very evenly.

Wartime Romance is also aptly named.  I can imagine World War II nurses and wives wearing this as they kiss their loved ones goodbye.  Think Kate Beckinsale in Pearl Harbor. In the bottle it appears to be a dusty medium pink cream.  This is the nail polish that swatches differently than it appears in the bottle.  I love the bottle color, but I really didn't like how it swatched.  It becomes a darker, slightly muted pinkish-red. It also applied a little streaky at first, but with two layers and a top coat, it was unnoticeable.  It was rather unflattering on my hands, so I gave it away.

Here are the swatches on the nails.  Each color is two coats. I have High School Crush on my index finger, Dear John on my middle finger, and Wartime Romance on my ring finger. You can see in the swatch below that the bottle color is lighter than the swatch color for Wartime Romance.

Sunlight Picture

The shade picture shows how High School Crush is not fully opaque in 2 coats. P.S. please ignore the horrible state of my cuticles.
Shade Picture

Bottom Line: As a first experience with a monthly nail polish subscription, it was worth it.  I like giving things like this 3-4 months to see if I want to continue or not.  As a whole the presentation, variety, and packaging were great.  Quality of the polishes varied, but that's really not unique to this brand.  I consider this month's box to be summarized as one great, one ok, and one not so great polish.  Let's see what next month brings.

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