Back in the early 2000s, and possibly the late 90s, as well, Maybelline nail polishes came in these cute, squat little bottles. No matter what line it was (Express Finish, Wet Shine, Wet Shine Diamonds, and so on), this was the bottle. The exception was, if I recall correctly, Colorama polishes, which came in teeny and hilarious looking bottles with little dunce caps. And you know what? Maybelline nail polishes totally rocked back then. They were some of the best nail polishes in the drugstore, for my money. Apart from Express Finish—those were kind of crap, albeit with some awesome colors.
One of these days, I’m going to have to round up all my retro Maybellines and take some pics. (If you have any of these oldies, I’d love to know which ones!) But for now, here’s a swatch of my favorite Maybelline, and one of my favorite polishes of all time.
That’s Maybelline Wet Shine Wet Look Nail Color in Juicy Tomato (130)! It is a redder version of the color of traffic pylons. It’s crazy bright but not neon. It’s the most orange a red can be without actually being orange. It’s got a phenomenal formula that is still smooth as a baby’s butt after 12+ years. You can use it as a one-coat wonder if you like a perfectly even, nearly-opaque jelly look. You can use two to get a plusher, jellier look.
I used one coat in my swatch. Slap on a glossy top coat and you’re set for summer! I especially like this one for a pedi, since I find it a little distracting on my fingernails. I am, unfortunately, pretty easily distracted.
The brush is a little funky: the bristles are quite long! But it’s still pretty easy to handle.
Nowadays, Maybelline nail polishes kinda suck by comparison. What happened?! I’d like to blame L’Oréal, who bought Maybelline in 1996, but L’Oréal’s polishes are not that bad.
Also, I’m no chemist, but this polish was probably manufactured before everyone started going 3-Free, and yet, I don’t see toluene, formaldehyde, or dibutyl phthalate on the ingredient list. Someone well-versed in chemistry will have to confirm that those ingredients aren’t hidden beneath some other name, but isn’t that interesting? (Click the pic for a larger version with a more readable label!) There is acetone in it, though! So much for not adding nail polish remover to your polish?
Maybelline Wet Shine Wet Look Nail Color was sold in the early 2000s (and possibly earlier), but has long since been discontinued. It was 0.5 fl oz / 14.7 mL and drugstore-priced.
Maybelline’s parent company, L’Oréal, now claims that, with a caveat, they no longer test on animals:
L’Oréal no longer tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others. An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes.
Maybelline was started in 1915 by a teenage boy named Tom Lyle Williams. He named the company after his sister Mabel, who inspired him to create a mascara-like product. The company has been owned by L’Oréal since 1996, and is based in New York, NY, USA.