A Tribute To Hard Candy Nail Polish As You Knew It In The ’90s

Here’s an old school look back at this cult beauty brand.

1. Created by two sisters, Hard Candy launched in 1995.

2. It was one of the few brands doing super edgy nail polishes in non-traditional colors at the time.

3. As the legend goes: “The company’s first product was nail polish that [co-founder Dineh Mohajer] mixed herself - a shade of baby blue named ‘Sky’ to match her Charles David sandals.” How ’90s is that sentence?

“Sky” is the pastel blue hue with the heart-shaped ring. Alicia Silverstone made it famous by being the first celeb to talk about and wear Hard Candy.

4. The delicious bonus that came with a Hard Candy nail polish was the matching ring. Nevermind that they were usually too big.

5. Hard Candy’s ads of the late ’90s and early 2000s were bright…

6. And often very, very sexy.

7. Bet you tore something like this out of a magazine and put it on your wall.

(I did. I had this one above my desk.)

8. Candy — get it? The colors were so vibrant you felt you could eat them.

9. Are you beginning to remember how much you coveted these ads?

10. They were so ripe with beautifully over-saturated colors, that they became irresistible.

11. Perhaps you came across the company’s promotional postcards.

12. You can sometimes still find these cards on eBay with starting bids ranging from about $20-$40.

13. If you visited Hard Candy’s website in the early days, you might have seen this — the original GIF!

14. Do you remember how, in 1997, they launched a men’s polish line called “Candy Man”?

This idea was short-lived but included a range of metallic colors with names like Testosterone, Superman, Gigolo, Dog, Oedipus, and Cowboy.

15. Here’s a rare relic from the Candy Man age. The ad featured a man’s hand painted in “Cowboy.”

16. In 1998, Hard Candy launched a collection called “Love”; a portion of the proceeds went to helping women with AIDS.

Here’s an L.A. Times article about it.

17. As Hard Candy began releasing cosmetics, fans went crazy for the more innovative ones — like lipstick laced with caffeine.

18. In 2001, Motorola teamed up with the beauty brand to make a customized Hard Candy phone.

19. The launch attracted all your fave celebs like Evan Rachel Wood and Michelle Trachtenberg.

J. Vespa / WireImage

20. As well as Brittany Murphy and Andy Dick.

J. Vespa / WireImage

21. At some point in the early 2000s, Hard Candy switched from the square bottle to a thinner, rectangular bottle.

22. By the early 2000s, Hard Candy was rocking a full line of cosmetics, as well as a perfume.

23. But then something happened…after the early 2000s, Hard Candy seemingly disappeared.

Does anyone know where it went between about 2003-2008? Was it around but we didn’t care? Did production stop? It’s a mystery.

24. Until it was brought back to life in 2009…by Walmart. And it looked like a poor imitation of the original.

25. And Hard Candy now looks something like this…

26. And this. I don’t even know you.

27. But for all you die hard fans out there, you can still find discontinued relics from H.C.’s old school days on eBay.

 

I mean, cosmetics really aren’t supposed to last for 10+ years. But whatever.

28. Either way, ’90s girls will always remember Hard Candy like this: Absolutely perfect.

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