The creator behind Black Label Nails, Jenn Pettinato, takes us behind the scenes on just what motivates her to create her indie colors! Offering brilliant lacquer shades with names inspired by rock song titles, her products also are 5-free.
Us: How long have you been making your own polish?
Jenn Pettinato: I would say just about three years now.
What’s your “day job”?
I work in retail.
How did you begin creating your own polishes?
I saw the popular posts about “just adding your own eye shadow to clear polish,” etc. and began searching from there. I ended up befriending a couple people already into it and learned more from them.
What makes your line of lacquers unique?
I sell a “5-free” nail polish which is free of chemicals like formaldehyde (gross!). I also sell a liquid nail tape that serves as a barrier preventing nail polish from getting onto the skin. Once the tape is applied around the cuticle, let it dry and then go forth with your nail polish. Once finished applying the polish, you can easily peel it off! No muss no fuss! I chose to do mine black! It has a glittery shine to it so once it’s dried it has an extra pizzazz!
Do any of your polishes have a totally different look layered over a colored base? Several! A lot of people like to layer bright colors over white; I just had a swatcher use my Yellow Brick Road yellow nail polish over white and it came out flawless! I also have a Sparkly Tin Man polish which looks entirely different over white OR black. All part of my new Wizard of Oz collection!
Is there a story behind your brand’s name?
Yes; we tend to like a lot of black. So when coming up with our theme, (a skull with a bow), we chose something simple yet direct. Black Label Nails sounded perfect.
What’s the inspiration behind your lacquer colors?
We name 90% of our polishes after songs, (mostly rock of course); on occasion a song will inspire me. Other times I get inspired by a look and what that look reminds me of. Before the Wizard of Oz collection, I did an End Of Summer collection with names like “Doll Parts” by Hole, “My Own Summer” by Deftones, and “Island in the Sun” by Weezer. This line was done using amber colored bottles with a special paint over them to prolong the life of the nail polish (ensuring no sun gets in). They also feature an amazing flat brush, perfect for applying!
I’ve also made collections inspired by Justin Timberlake and David Bowie.
What is your favorite polish you’ve ever created?
I have now started to play with tints and Spectraflair and came up with two awesome teals for them. I have not yet released them, but the Spectraflair polish is named “Oil and Water” after an Incubus song.
What’s one tip you wished you knew when you started your own indie line?
Not everyone has it easy and acquires tons of followers or buyers off the bat, (though some sure do find their niche and I have seen them blossom!). It takes patience and loads of thoughts/ideas, (some that WILL keep you up at night). However, the more thought you put into a line, the better the outcome. Just pouring a bunch of glitter on to a base doesn’t always work!
Any spoilers you’d like to share about your future collections?
Last Christmas I made a “Naughty List” of polishes, and the most popular was a pearl white with a blue shift to it called Frosty’s Mistress. It is highly versatile and you could layer it over many colors! This year’s ideas will stem from that color!