For those unfamiliar with SquareHue, they make and sell 5-free polishes through a monthly subscription service. They do not, at this time, sell the polishes outside of this monthly service. Unlike some monthly nail polish subs, SquareHue does not offer choices or previews, instead promising 2 or 3 full-size colours and finishes according to a particular theme - truly a mystery box! The 2-polish box costs $10.99 per month and, according to their website, the 3-polish box is regularly $21.99 (but $14.99 right now. . . which is interesting because that's what I pay having picked up my first box for the same "deal"). Shipping to Canada is an extra $10 according to the FAQs but I'm not sure if that's changed since I signed up - I pay $23.99 US a box. Go figure. If it sounds like I have no idea about this sub, it's partly because I've been steadily skipping since April and partly because I'm a little disillusioned with this month's offerings.
This year, each month is inspired by a different decade and September is the 1980s. Yes! I skipped the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s but I was a child of the 80s and needed to pay homage to that decade. I was picturing jellies (for jelly shoes), lots of brights / neons, maybe some glitter, Barbie pink. . . lay it on me! Instead I got this:
That's a grey creme, a reddish-orangish-pinkish shimmer and a deep brown shimmer. Ummm. . . 80s? I don't know about that. They are, however, very autumnal. So let's look at them a little more in-depth, shall we?
Vice 1984 High Gloss Creme
When I saw some box reveals on instagram, this is the one I was least excited about. Grey. Whoopee. In my hands, though, I think it's my favourite shade in the box. Part of the is formula - SquareHue does an awesome creme finish that is easy to apply and dries smoothly with nice shine (at least, usually) and Vice does not disappoint in that area. It applies beautifully in two coats and wears well. The other reason I really like it is actually the colour! I don't own a lot of neutrals since they usually either blend into, or clash with, my skin tone but this is an edgier neutral I can get behind. I've used it as a base for some nail art and really liked the way it made the colours pop.
Sierra Sunset 1985 High Gloss - Shimmer
And then there's this one. If there's a clunker in this box, this is it for me. Firstly, the formula isn't great. It's quite thin and requires three coats - not just for coverage but because I find it rather patchy in application :( Then there's the colour. It's like it can't decide what to be - orange? red? pink? While I'm okay with polishes that shift depending on lighting, etc., I think my issue with this one is that one of those colours is orange. I'm just not big on orange. And that formula :(
Deep Space 1988 High Gloss - Shimmer
At first, I hated this one too. It's a deep, deep brown with golden shimmer to it. I don't usually wear warm colours, or browns for that matter, and was pouting that "Deep Space" wasn't a deep blue, purple or black that I would wear more often. But when I applied it, it changed my mind a bit. Despite the gold and brown combo, it's not actually as warm as you would think and has a richness to it that reminds me of mink (not that I own mink, mind you!). I won't wear it often but it is a nice change. It does suffer the same formula issues as Sierra Sunset, in my opinion, and needs three coats for even application.
I was so wanting to love SquareHue this month and I just didn't. Two of the polishes are surprisingly okay (but neither are hits that I will reach for again and again) while the third is pretty disappointing. That's just not great value for me. The 90s were my decade - my teen years, high school, the music I still reach for when the mood strikes. I was hoping to confidently order next month's 90s box. Instead, I've put my sub on hold. If the box comes out and is awesome, I might email customer service and see if they have any extras (word is, sometimes they do) and if they don't, I guess that'll be okay too. It's just too risky for me at this moment to not love what I get. That said, I do still like SquareHue and most of their polishes but they do seem to have sent me a lot of cremes, oranges, golds and browns. . . although they've also sent some of my faves too. I think I need some more time off to decide what to do with this sub in the long run. Happily, they allow skips!
If you're interested in SquareHue, they usually have a pop-up when you first go to their site that offers you a bonus box your first month - take it! That means you will have 6 polishes (or 4 if you go for the 2-polish box) to decide whether you like them or not :)