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.

24 comments:

  1. Sinful Colors Dream On also experienced a drastic change. Both shades a pretty, but they're real different.

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    1. ErinJMT, I heard about that but haven't bought the new one yet--might not since I thought the old one was perfectly nice.

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  2. Ditto!
    You've nailed it in the last sentence.

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  3. Agreed!! Just retire the name if the color has to change. >_< It's like the people making polish just don't take it as seriously as the rest of us... and that's disappointing...

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    1. Lizzy, I sometimes wonder how long I'd last working at a big nail polish company--feel like I'd either quit from frustration or be fired for being difficult before too long. :)

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  4. I'm sad I didn't buy Pacific Blue while it was still available. I'm not too fond of the new version. I agree with you about the name change.

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  5. Another great comparison post!

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    1. mrsrexy, thanks! I love doing them.

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  6. Great comparison, and well said. I can understand needing to change or retire a specific formula. In the cosmetics industry, pigments and colourants change and their availability and cost can drastically change as well. In fact, pigments from different lots can differ, much like when buying fabric or wall paper, you are better off to buy from the same dye lot for consistency. And as consumers, it can be perplexing to see a company change or retire a formula that is wildly popular and well loved. However- for gawds sake Sally Hansen, please don't play your customers for fool. We can see the differences, and YES we CARE. *grumble grumble* Change the name. even put a 2.0 after the original name. Seriously, you aren't fooling anyone, especially those who are you most loyal customers..

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    1. Girly Bits, exactly. It makes no sense to annoy your most engaged customers.

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  7. This was a fun post - and I look forward to the day you do rule the world, I hope this rule will be the very first :D

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    1. Maria, thanks. I will try to be a benevolent ruler. :)

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  8. I hate it when this happens.
    I've got 3 bottles of Boy Next Door by essence which are completely different: a medium blue creme, a dark blue creme and a dark blue shimmer. And they were out at the same time, they were not any further release.

    I'll give you my vote, when the moment arrives for you to rule the world. Be sure!

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    1. QueenMiSeRy, three versions out at once?! That seems like they went out of their way to be annoying.

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  9. That's weird! Why not change the name because the polish looks different :-| How odd!

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    1. Anaka, all I can imagine is that the people in charge of names do not talk to the people in charge of formula changes.

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  10. I like the older version of Pacific Blue so much more than the new one :/

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    1. zebra, I agree--the old version was much more distinctive.

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  11. I agree completely! Sally Hansen also changed Mellow Yellow so much that it should now be called Electrical Banana (same song, different verse)!

    I saw a couple of bottles of the original Pacific Blue and more than a couple of original Mellow Yellow at a CVS near me yesterday, so maybe it's not too late elsewhere as well. Think about places that you generally avoid because you can find lower prices nearby - better to pay a few pennies more than have to resort to eBay!

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    1. Sadie, ah yes, I heard about that one, too. Yeah, why not give it a new name--I understand the new version is not at all mellow and like your "Electrical Banana" idea very much. :)

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  12. This reminds me of Hidden Treasure. Those who missed out were excited that they would get a second chance at it only to find out.... nope, it's a glitter instead of flaky goodness. Sally Hansen! Stop doing this to us!

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Thank you for reading and commenting! I greatly appreciate knowing I'm not just talking to myself here. :)