Meet Michelle Toma Olson – the head bartender over at ‘Tini Beauty.
Here’s how ‘Tini Beauty works: they have a whole range of cosmetics you can mix and layer, including the huge Nailtini indie polish line. When you subscribe to the Lacquer Cabinet, they’ll send you a monthly box of the newest Nailtini polishes designed by mixologists – that is, trendy bloggers and nail artists who have an eye for color. Our own Beauty Director curated the August Lacquer Cabinet box.
Find out how Michelle began her own cosmetics company and created the core range of Nailtini colors – and take notes!
Us: When was Nailtini born?
Michelle: The idea had been percolating since the late 90s when I actually mixed the polish I used for my wedding because I couldn’t find a perfect shade, but I didn’t realize it at the time! We filled our first bottle in 2004.
How did it all begin? Did you start it with someone else?
I was always doodling and writing brand ideas and concepts. I was brainstorming with some coworkers and came up with the term cocktails for nails, which evolved into nail cocktails, then Nailtini. Although I handled the day to day, my family and friends helped from day one, providing every kind of support you can think of – I couldn’t have done it without them.
Tell us about The Lacquer Cabinet – what is it, how does it work, what should people know?
Not only is it the latest in lacquer – 3 polishes curated and designed monthly by trend-setters and tastemakers in the world of beauty – delivered to your doorstep at an incredible value, it’s everything you need to have the most current and unique nails on the planet! Just like I did for my wedding, you can whip up a batch of whatever color you dream up using the empty bottles included. It may be something you use once or become a staple. It puts creativity at – and on! – your fingertips.
What is your best seller right now?
Mai Tai and Mango Rita have been huge this summer! So warm and glowy and perfect against sun-kissed skin.
What’s the inspiration behind your lacquer colors?
Our guest mixologists have been inspired by everything from makeup looks to world travels. When I create colors, it tends to be inspired by fashion or accessories, or things I see missing from the nail color landscape that I want to provide!
What is your favorite polish you’ve ever created ?
That’s like picking your favorite child!! Too hard! Actually, I go through phases, but right now, I am loving Rusty Nail – shiny copper glitter awash in matte charcoal glitter. Hard to get off of course, and it seems so fall-ish and dark, but I love how it plays against summer fashion and footwear.
Other than your own, what’s your favorite brand of polish to use?
Chanel and Estee Lauder – they aren’t anything far out in terms of effects, but just sophisticated, less viscous crèmes that tend to wear longer and look good season after season, just like our Bloody Mary, Irish Crème, Bordeaux, Frappe, etc.!
How do you pick bloggers and artists to curate the boxes as “mixologists”?
We are always looking at postings and nail art on social media or in Nail It! features, working with celebrity manicurists and bloggers, so we [keep an eye open for new mixologists that way.]
What else does ‘Tini Beauty have? Are those products meant to be mixed as well?
We have an incredible range of lip and eye cosmetics! And yes, they are meant to be “mixed” – or really layered. Like lip gloss over stain or lipstick, or a colored shadow base that can be worn under powder shadow. And you can do it with anything already in your makeup bag. It is like a makeup multiplier! That’s what cosmetic cocktailing is all about!
What other cool Nailtini products are there that we should check out?
Our Liptini lip stains and Eyetini cream shadows+base are all-time faves of our customers – more shades than any other line and so very versatile and long-wearing. Great alone or as “foundations” for any lip or eye colors!
How do they sign up for The Lacquer Cabinet?
Who will be curating the upcoming boxes? Just visit www.lacquercabinet.com and peruse the bar! The incredible Nail It! Collection developed by your very own ultra-talented beauty editor Karie L. Frost is on tap now! September will feature a collection by incredible blogger and artist Jessica Scull of Love for Lacquer, and October will be a very special breast-cancer-awareness collection in conjunction with the Beauty Bar. I hope you will love them as much as we do!
Order the box our Beauty Director, Karie L. Frost created for Nailtini here.
[Images: Michelle Toma Olson]