In this anti-ownership era, anyone one can have anything for a limited time only. We bike share, Zipcar, and Netflix our way through the day without having to sign anything permanent. Websites like Rent the Runway and Bag Borrow or Steal allow a tenuous hold on whatever the heart desires (within company-defined limits). Lacquerous, a brand-new nail polish sharing company, combines the rental aspect of Rent the Runway with the subscription model of Birchbox, to allow any girl to dip her nails into a variety of luxury polishes for a flat rate of $18 a month.
Think of Lacquerous as like having a friend with a foot-deep drawer or basket stuffed with dozens of bottles of the highest-quality polish—Tom Ford, Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Mac, Deborah Lippmann, Nars and Butter London. Right now, the company offers more than 70 shades from these brands, but plans to expand its collection. Lacqerous bills itself as first online nail sharing service for luxury lacquer, and already boasts a waiting list of over 2,500 people in its first day of business. Currently, the service is invitation-only and only a few hundred members got access today.
The $18 monthly fee covers a 30-day rental of three polishes of the customer’s choosing. Lacquerous includes a pre-paid mailing label to return the colors and sends the next shipment a few days later. Subscribers create “Lust Lists” of favorite lacquers that the company uses to select bottles to send and to assess personal taste to make suggestions. Users can also submit requests for favorite shades.
The communal characteristic means that users can only apply three coats of polish per rental. Lacquerous monitors polish levels in between dispatches, but otherwise operates on an honor system. That system of trust also applies to hygienics: the company states on its website that no bacteria can live in nail polish, which should calm some germophobes. Aside from that, Lacquerous recommends that polish users maintain sanitary nail habits, regular manicures for upkeep, and base coats, which are not included with the deliveries.
Lacquerous was founded by marketing executive Ashlene Nand and Third Wave Fashion founder Liza Kindred. They based their business model on the idea that spending between $14-$30 for a single bottle of luxury lacquer wasn’t always justified by their amount of use. Along with general information, their site features a Tumblr of nail art to test with their selections. It’s all new and likely to adapt over time, but if your communal threshold is low, remember this: salons don’t buy a new polish bottle after every customer.