July 9, 2008

Hard-to-Find Week Pre-Party: Alternatives to (the evil) NARS Zulu

Posted in Chelsea, Creme, Green, Icing, Nars, New York Summer, Rescue Beauty Lounge tagged at 6:55 pm by pretear

A while back I wrote an article complaining about NARS Zulu and the insistence of the nail polish industry of discontinuing highly sought after colors. I understand that creating ‘limited edition’ nail polish inflates demand and creates profits for nail polish companies, but discontinuing really highly sought after colors doesn’t make any sense from a business stand point. NARS Zulu, for example, has been off the market for over a year and still consistently sells for $70+ on ebay. That’s profit that is going to scalpers when it could be going to the polish companies. It just seems like bad business sense to not re-release those colors.

In any case, I still don’t own Zulu. Whenever I’m near a balcony, I run out on to it à la A Streetcar Named Desire and scream , ” Zuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuluuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!! Zuuuuuuuuuuuuuluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!” A long time ago I bought all the supplies to attempt to franken Zulu. I never did it because frankening Zulu was akin to accepting I would never own it. I’m starting to accept that, so I gave the franken a shot.

Here are some of the greens in my collection.

Unfortunately none of these are exact dupes of Zulu. Check out Blogdorf Goodman for swatches of Anna Sui #915 and Chelsea Psycho Green which are traditionally thought of as Zulu dupes and are, unfortunately, as difficult to find as Zulu. Chelsea Psycho Green, also pictured above, is very close but Zulu is a creme with a jelly finish and Psycho Green has very subtle shimmer visible only in the light, no jelly finish.

I bought Icing Envy and New York Summer Amaranth specifically for the purpose of trying to duplicate Zulu. I’ve seen an Amaranth based Zulu franken before, it was dead on. Amaranth has a jelly quality that is similar to Zulu so it’s a perfect base green for Zulu frankens, just add black. The only problem was that I loved Amaranth so much I didn’t want to use it for a franken. I decided to try it out only with Icing’s Envy (which I also love but happen to have two bottles). I’ll order a second bottle of Amaranth to franken with and post my results later, I promise.

I mixed roughly half a mini bottle of Icing Envy with the rest being 1/4 OPI Black Onyx and 1/4 OPI Top Coat. This is what I ended up with:

And this is Ponchy’s picture of Zulu:

As you can see, I failed, while I like the color I ended up with, my franken looks nothing like Zulu.

Zulu escapes me again.

*sobs quietly*

Special thanks to my love Ponchy for allowing me to use her image in this post. : )

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April 26, 2008

Nail Polish and Capitalism: The Nars Zulu Dilemma

Posted in Nars tagged , , at 9:44 am by pretear

My obsession with Zulu started when I saw it in Sephora’s catalog ad last Fall. Nars, like many nail polish companies, decided to switch their formula to Big-3 free. In doing so, they discontinued several polishes from their line, one of which was Zulu. A frenzy ensued. Immediately after Zulu was discontinued, the ebay scalping began. Zulu was selling for $70.00 to $80.00. Nearly a year later, it is still consistently scalped on ebay for $50.00 or more.

My question is, why would a corporation, that by definition is an entity that operates solely for the purpose of producing profit and accumulating capital, discontinue a product that clearly still has a viable market? Zulu is one of the 3 most sought after rare nail polishes, the others being Clarins 230 and OPI Jasper Jade. The same is true for Clarins and OPI as well, why would any corporation allow a third party to profit so greatly and unconscionably from its work product and loyal consumers. Why don’t these companies nix the nail polish black market by simply re-releasing these colors? It’s not that it can’t be done, Essie picked up the ball by re-releasing their two biggie hard-to-finds, Viva La Vespa and Starry Starry Night. Why won’t Nars, OPI, and Clarins do the same?

I asked Nars. Shockingly, I got back a real answer instead of the typical form answer I usually get when I send berating emails to nail polish companies (I berate nail polish companies fairly often so I’ve gotten plenty of really useless replies – I applaud Nars for their excellent customer service in that regard). Kym Davis, Senior Marketing Manager at Nars, says that the issue of re-releasing discontinued highly sought after nail polishes has been coming up a lot lately. She explained that they are considering re-releasing Zulu and a few others but at the moment there are no set plans to do so.

She also said that she would continue to forward consumer feedback about discontinued colors to the big-wigs. There are a ton of people out there that missed the Zulu train (and now suffer from ‘Nothavingzuluitis’, more on that at a later date) but don’t want to blow an exorbitant amount of money buying Zulu from an evilbay scalper.

I present this solution: Email Nars and tell them that they should re-release the colors you want. If it’s really true that Nars is considering re-releasing Zulu, then maybe a few hundred emails will convince them that they should.

Email Nars at customerservice@narscosmetics.com, ask that they forward your email to Kym Davis.