From left to right : Janine Lee + Aretha Sack
As a Beauty Buyer and general product whore, it’s not often that something new comes across my radar that I haven’t already seen, tried, or in most cases, own. Especially when it comes to nail polish – what can you show me that I haven’t seen before? Enter Floss Gloss. Being the Instagram troll that I am, I stumbled across what looked like a new brand with sick packaging and even cooler girls behind it. Imagine my excitement when I found out we were mutually interested in working together! Without further ado, I present to you Janine Lee and Aretha Sack, founders of the flyest new brand that you need to know about, NOW. Learn more about Floss Gloss and the Boss Bitches who run it – including what they’re listening to and the best nail length with which to roll a blunt.
How did the name come about? Were there other possibilities? Or did you agree on Floss Gloss immediately?
Aretha: We was flossin tho.
Janine: Floss Gloss was a Nail Krew first, let me just throw that out there. So the crew name was just destined to be the business name. Everyone (OG Krew) def agreed and giggled seriously immediately. No joke. As, I recall in 2009, we had just had an epic ‘Nail Time’ sesh with the girls at our college apt. “The Golden Pussy” and I was so stoked about my most recent mani (probs with Aretha’s nuevo color) I exclaimed (while throwin my hands I’m sure) ‘I’m flossin and glossin like a Boss, Bitch!’ I think it just set in that if and when we were to ever start a company it’s be called Floss Gloss for nails that truly made u feel like u Boss. Plus we were heavy listenin to Mike Jones and Paul Wall back then.
It seems like Aretha, the “color snob,” is the mad scientist behind shade mixing. Janine, what was the first color you saw her come up with that made you know you guys were on to something?
A: Tiff Turq duh where have you been.
J: Definately Tiff Turq. There were a couple other ‘Riimixxes’ that are in my top 3 faves, but the Tiff Turq was like the ultimate OG color. It was perfect, it blew every other attempt at the most perfect shade of turquoise out of the water. We chose not to release it cuz it felt played, and the whole world was dressed in turquoise in 2011-2012, but we’ve been thinking about an archival launch. Just for funsies.
Do each of you have a favorite shade? Or is that like asking who your favorite kid is?
A: Kind of is, but I do play favorites!! I’d say Fastlane, Glowstar, and Tanlines are my babies from this collection. I’m all about Bikini Coral with BritBrit2000 on top and in general, Con Limon is probably my favorite nail color to wear. My favorite color is orange so all oranges I love. Also a sucker for brown. Slap some gold jewelry on some orange wit brown and I’m all over it!
J: Def kinda like our kids, for sure. But I totally play favorites (don’t tell!) and Neon Nacho is my girl. I went through a period of time in 2010 when I only wore orange nails. I was waiting for the day when Neon Nacho was born, but I wore the shit out of the sample that Aretha mixed for our production. Tanlines, Dimepiece and Bikini Coral are my number 1 ladies. Glowstar is sneakin in too. Love Partybruise, my baby that I named, she is such a stone cold fox. Perfect for the baddest bitches in the game. Omg I’m so ready for Con Limon, so good on nails. Its so hard to pick, all of the colors in our debut collection go together so well, its tough to choose!
Color: Tanlines , Photo credit: Jeremiah McNair
Stream of thought for both of you – first 5 words to come to mind when you think about your brand.
A: Miami, next level, flossers, lady drugs, gold
J: Color, Get on our level, Winning, Gold Medal, In it To Change The Game
What inspires you to make polish?
A: My discriminating taste in color and all the polishes that don’t come in the colors I want, have booboo formulas, or sadly, have been discontinued by the big time nail gamers.
J: Def agree with Aretha. I’m inspired to give women what they’ve never known they’ve been missing. What they didn’t know they could have! Opaque-fashion forward-colors (you actually want), quality packaging that doesn’t scream I’m-the-same! and professional grade formula that performs when called upon. For every moment of frustration and annoyance that sprung from painting your nails with boring packaging, color and lame quality lacquers.
What can we expect to see in the future from FG, aside from Con Limon, which we are already foaming at the mouth over?
A: Obvi more epic colors and glitters that have yet to be seen in da nail paint, some innovative products including more makeup and def clubwear.
J: OMG thx! I’m so excited to drop Con Limon. We’ve got an epic list of colors we’re waiting to launch on the public. Colors you’ve been dreaming of and glitters you need. But def for the product future- Nail Art products and deco, make-up and for sure some garments. I’m sweatin, Whoo!
Color: Party Bruise, Photo credit: Jeremiah McNair
Janine, you mentioned to me hoping to never have to discontinue a color. I love that philosophy. Can you expand on that idea for non-beauty industry folk?
A: I will always need Fastlane available for my use. When Sally Hansen discontinued their “Magical” holographic line back in the 90’s I wanted to die.
J: Totes. Well sometimes you fall in love with one product, one color, and time goes by and you’re not just brand loyal, you’re product loyal, and all of a sudden the company discontinues that color, that shade, that product! and you’re like WTF !? We have a gf who only paints her nails one color. It’s just her signature. We vowed when we started the company that we’d try our hardest to keep all of our colors, past and present, available for each FG Boss.
Obviously the packaging is a huge standout – what was your main goal with developing your signature look?
A: Had to pull out all the stops and make the beauty product really beautiful. We went with a classic overgold 1970’s Miami look cuz that’s where we stay mentally and why put out a new product that looks like everything else? “If you don’t wanna burn, just walk on by.”
J: The main goal was to definitely keep our packaging different. Something that evoked classic, grassroots, cosmetic packaging but was also updated, classy and luxurious – the ultimate luxe nail polish packaging. We had options, trust. But why put out a standard, boring, black cap and chunky bottle?
What does the Floss Gloss girl look like, where would you find her? (Not just physical appearance…in general.)
A: She flossed up, she glossed up, and she still rollin on choppaz. You can prolly find her at select gas stations trolling for sick nail decals.
J: She’s the Mary! She exudes confidence first off cuz it always wins no matter what. She’s probably chillin, sippin a quad, organic non-fat latte doin her nails – anywhere and everyday cuz she just posted her current mani on the internet last night and now its played out! Or you might catch her at the gym, doin squats in some Nikes workin on that booty for her trip to the Caribbean. She’s about that life, and loves to be the life of the party.
What sort of things would we see if we checked your Top 25 Played on iTunes?
A: Here’s right now top 10 lolz, OMG:
1.Ma$e “Lookin at Me”
2.Guns N Roses “November Rain”
3.Juvenile “400 Degrees”
4.Danzig “Devil’s Plaything”
5. UGK “Diamonds and Wood”
6. Slayer “Black Magic”
7. DJ Paul “Glock in my Draws”
8. Van Halen “Little Dreamer”
9. Tommy Wright 111 “Chrome Thang”
10. 1980 Brats “Fuel”
The rest is: Kool Keith, WASP, Trinidad James, Alice Cooper, Project Pat, Adolescents, 2 Live Crew, Cirith Ungol, SpaceGhostPurp, Dokken …
Dat kinda winter!
J: Probs cray. This Tough, but this is a sampling Top 10! DIPSET!
1. Kendrick Lamar “M.a.a.d City”
2. A-1 “Winning 2”
3. Azealia Banks “212”
4. Trinidad Jame$ “Females Welcomed”
5. Robyn “Dancing on My Own”
6. Cam’ron “Girls”
7. Juelz Santana “Dipset (Santana’s Town)”
8. Notorious B.I.G. ft Method Man “The What”
9. Kanye West “Devil in a New Dress”
10. The Flamingos “I Only Have Eyes For You”
The rest def Cellski, Gucci Mane, The Dream, Ja Rule, M.I.A., Led Zeppelin, The Knife, Old School Girl Slaps ya kno Destiny’s Child, SWV, TLC, Brandy.
You guys mentioned being Karmaloop customers for a little while now. Do you remember your first purchase? (Mine was an asymmetrical Puma track jacket with a cowl neck…in 2007.)
A: Yee totes ordered some tiger print and pleather leggings from there that are tight and tight, way back.
J: Yes, I’ve def been a KL customer for a min, but probs not for myself at first. Pretty sure my first purchases were for my bros and my man, they all KL type guys. They get down with the Kazbah brands. I do the clothing hook-up most xmas/chanukkah. For me, I think the first purchase might have been some Obey shit.
What do you guys prefer personally when it comes to nail length and shape?
A: I only fucks wit round but I like square on Ja2. I try for a classy, rounded almond/oval point circa 1984, not too long but ideally bout ¼” or more past finger. This is really hard for me since I’m constantly krumping, waiting tables, and rolling blunts.
J: For me, I’m naturally square. Def into longer nails, I’d have to agree with Aretha. Ideally ½” longer than the tip of my finger, but working in the service industry and being a total klutz sometimes makes my nail length way more practical.
Photo credit: Jeremiah McNair
Do you think it’s easier to roll a blunt with long nails or short nails?
A: “Real smokers don’t roll no fuckin blunts wit no acrylics, ya feel me?” -Master P.
But either way I’ve definitely smoked nail polish.
J: Welll, depends. Good question. There are pros and cons – like cracking and rolling, sometimes longer has an advantage. But def shorter good for the no-grinder roll, no sticky under your nails, etc. I think long nails for lookers who ain’t really caring about how the blunt hits, they just in it for the photos.
And finally, what would your dream scenario be for FG in the next few years?
A: Janina and I quitting food service, changing the nail game and moving to Miami.
J: Dream scenario: Floss Gloss blows up and I can quit service industry and just be the primary host for all of the FG parties and focus full time on our brand. Opening up brick and mortars, parlors and boutiques in our favorite cities and continuing to live and love what we’re doing. (And like, totes owning an island resort)