Thursday, August 28, 2014

Same Name, Different Polish

It's been a couple months since Sally Hansen changed the color and finish but not the name of Pacific Blue in the Xtreme Wear line, sparking much discussion in the nail polish fan community. The company did issue a statement on the change, as reported on Nouveau Cheap, but seemed to miss one of the main points of contention: using the same name for a new color is a bad idea, if only because it's confusing for people looking up swatches or trying to buy/swap a certain shade. Of course Sally Hansen is not the first or only company to pull this stunt (I don't know if OPI has ever acknowleged they changed My Private Jet, for instance), just the one that grabbed our attention this summer.

Since I love comparisons, I had to buy the new Pacific Blue (hmm, maybe they knew a bunch of us would react that way). When I finally got around to pulling it out to swatch, I was very surprised to find my bottle had no brush—I've never had that happen with Sally Hansen before—other brands, yes, once in a great while, but never Sally Hansen. Rather than try to find the receipt and trek back to the store, I found a nearly empty bottle of Insta Dri topcoat, cleaned the brush off, and was pleased to find it fit the Xtreme Wear bottle just fine. Also, due to my not noticing someone had put a light blue that didn't belong in the Electric Summer display, I'd ended up with a second bottle of Breezy Blue, with the new "long leg" X on the bottle, so I decided I'd compare those, too.

On the nail below, in the same order as the bottles above: Pacific Blue (new), Pacific Blue (old), Breezy Blue (old), Breezy Blue (new).

Same order, but in more direct light:

Breezy Blue shows that Sally Hansen can keep a formula consistent; both old and new are pale blue with a somewhat subtle shimmer. Pacific Blue, though, that's just wrong. They did keep it blue, yes, but the new version is a darker shimmer, nothing like the old vibrant creme.

I'm especially puzzled by the change in Pacific Blue because there already was a royal blue shimmer in the Xtreme Wear line, Blueberry Blast. There's a royal blue shimmer in the Complete Salon Manicure line, too, Batbano Blue, so I grabbed that and a similar shade from iko that was lurking about just itching to get in on a comparison.

On the nail below, same order as the bottles above: Pacific Blue (new), Blueberry Blast, Kiko Quick Dry 830, Batbano Blue. New Pacific Blue and Blueberry Blast are pretty much the same as far as I could see, which makes me wonder if when they pulled Blueberry Blast from the lineup they had vats of it leftover but no more labels so decided to put it out in Pacific Blue bottles. Batbano Blue is a touch lighter, as is the Kiko. The visual texture of the shimmer in the Kiko is more pleasing to me, so when it comes time to cut back my royal blue shimmers, it'll stay and Batbano will go.

Sally Hansen is not the only brand that's been messing with formulas recently. SinfulColors has at least two instances of same name, different polish in their summer displays. Here are the old and new versions of Charmed and Let's Meet.

On the nail below: Charmed (old), Charmed (new), Let's Meet (new), Let's Meet (old). Charmed went from a full coverage silvery microglitter with multicolored accents to a slightly sheer golden microglitter. Let's Meet morphed from a golden yellow shimmer to a bright yellow creme.

The odd thing about Let's Meet is I've seen both versions out this summer, with the creme one only showing up in my area in the Get Schooled Art Major display at Rite Aid stores. Perhaps all those displays got filled from a batch of something else that just got mislabeled?

When I run the world, there will be strict rules about this sort of thing. If you change a color, you're gonna have to change the name.