Oct 15 2009

Anise: A San Fran find

While in San Francisco last month, I was on my way into work at the convo center one morning, taking my time because I was early. I passed a DSW, and naturally drawn to look inside as I breezed by,  I spotted a display of polishes on the counter.

I’m a polish addict, right? So, of course I turned around, knowing I had time, and popped into the store.

I couldn’t help but wonder if I was the only woman who went into a shoe and purse store to stalk a nail polish display at the check out counters, but I checked them out without shame!

I didn’t realize it until I Googled “Anise,” the brand, that I’d found the company’s Fall/Winter collection. I picked up six of the 12 colors in the collection, since they were on sale, but I didn’t want to go too overboard because I’d already done some damage buying my first D&G and Lippmann polishes! Oh, and Del Sol. I will get to all this later 🙂 I can’t remember what I paid for the polishes, but Tam Tran, president and founder of Anise, told me that they sell for either $5 or $5.50 but always 50% off the second bottle. That makes sense…that’s probably why I bought six! 🙂 The polishes are Big Three Free and cruelty-free.

About Anise

I was surprised to see that the company has produced more than 600 nail polish shades over the last seven years and I haven’t seen it before! I love a good story, so I enjoyed reading Tam’s. Here’s part of the Anise story, from the company web site. You can read the whole thing here.

“Anise Cosmetics and its Nail-Aid division are the dream of Tam Tran, who wants to share her passion for healthy beautiful nails with women worldwide. Tam’s love for groomed healthy nails goes back to her youth. When Tam was a young girl, she loved visiting one of her aunts because she could sneak into her aunt’s bedroom to take different colors of polish and combine them to create unique colors that were never sold in any store. By the age of 11, Tam was the family’s nail girl. Instead of doing dishes, her important household task was to paint the nails of the women in her family. This was the beginning of Tam’s journey in the nail care business.”

Could you imagine? I wish I could have capitalized on my love of polish early on…and gotten out of more boring household chores!

I’d already swatched and written my review of the colors before having a wonderful back-and-forth email conversation with Tam and Neal Wallach, her partner in nail polish crime (if you can call these colors a crime!). I was so impressed by how down-to-earth they both seemed and how excited they are about the direction in which Anise is going.

Anise is available in DSW across the United States, and also in Annie Sez stores in the New Jersey, New York and Connecticut metro areas. Anise is also found in Whole Foods Markets throughout Florida. I was glad Tam told me where I can find Anise, because I don’t frequent DSW or Annie Sez, and I never would have known! It was my biggest complaint about the polishes until now!

“DSW and Payless have really shown that SHOE LOVERS are, also, nail color fashionistas!” Tam said in an email, explaining why they sell through the shoe stores.

Payless, you ask? Well, Payless is its own story and I have this nail polish story for you “exclusively” tomorrow! Yay for new polish brands!!

Enough chit chat, eh? It’s time for swatches!

Grape is the Word:

grape is the word

grape is the word 2

Grape is the Word is a dark purple that has a nice bright pink shimmer to it that’s subtle, which is why I used flash in that last photo! You can see it in the bottle and somewhat on the nails. It’s that shimmer that sets it apart from the purples of this fall, and the purple cremes of the holidays/winter collections.

Next up is Berry Much in Love:

berry much in love

Berry Much in Love is such a beautiful chocolate cherry-like color! A warm brown that shimmers red! It reminds me of Dr. Pepper, but not the soda, the Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker! Here’s a shot with flash:

berry much in love 2

It also reminds me a bit of Borghese’s Amaretto Fig. I can’t get enough of this color, it’s gorgeous and shouts FALL!

Next up is Heavy Metal:

Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal 2

Heavy Metal is such an interesting color. It’s a peachy and coppery, and a “high shimmer,” according to the Anise site. The shimmer seems to be an ivory and silver shimmer, which I found an odd yet beautiful combo with the base color. You can really see it in the bottle shot in the first photo.

Next up is Silver Belle:

Silver Belle 3

Silver Belle 2

You know how we describe white that has a yellow tinge to it as “off-white?” I’d like to label this an “off-silver.” It’s got a yellow quality to it, which makes it unique to anything I have in my collection. This one applied like a metallic, you can see the brush stroke issues I had in that first photo, although I’m thrilled how nice the second photo looks!

In one of her emails, Tam suggested something to prevent brush strokes with metallics. One of the colors I’ll be showing you tomorrow will demonstrate that method!

Next up is Nerves of Steel:

Nerves of Steel

Nerves of steel 2

Nerves of Steel at times looks like a steel grey metallic, and at other times looks like a soft brown shimmer. Ugh – another one with bad brush strokes. But this color is another unique one to add to my collection!

Finally, Jewelry Optional:

jewelry optional 2

jewelry optional 3

Jewelry Optional is a “medium shimmer,” according to the Anise site. It shimmers gold and has an olive green base. But yet, do you see that first photo? So not olive and gold, right? Almost got a pink quality to it. It seems to have that shimmer in shade. Very versatile green!

I’m telling you, these polishes surprised the heck out of me when I saw them and they’re gorgeous. I had no application problems. No out-of-the-ordinary smells.

Have you tried Anise? What do you think? Thanks for stopping by friends!

  • http://www.lambchopmobile.blogspot.com/ MightyLambchop

    Oh. My. Word. This is killing me! There’s a DSW in town and a Payless a few blocks from my house. My husband is going to have to work some overtime!

    • http://beautyjudy.wordpress.com beautyjudy

      LOL It’s cool polish – it’s worth the hard work! 🙂

  • http://www.getchanailsdid.blogspot.com Brookiebaby0506

    Awesome!! I have never heard of this brand. I think there is a DSW just a few miles from my house, I will have to check them out.

    Can’t wait to hear the payless story tomorrow 🙂

    • http://beautyjudy.wordpress.com beautyjudy

      Thanks Brooke! You should go check DSW out!!!

  • Lucy

    I’ve never heard of this brand. I like every polish you’ve shown. Berry Much In Love a definite Dr Pepper lookalike! Heavy Metal I’m also partial to. Some really nice polish.

    • http://beautyjudy.wordpress.com beautyjudy

      Heavy Metal is cool! They really all are!