Picking your manicure color is an art. The shade has to match your outfit, flatter your skin tone, and if it draws compliments... well, that's just a plus. You've tried the seasonal shades, the trendy hues, and good old neutrals, but are you willing to try "the ugliest color in the world?"
J. Hannah's newest Nail Polish ($19) Compost is making a case for Pantone 448C, a shade inspired by the divisive brown-green taking over '90s mood boards and home inspiration feeds everywhere.
The "drab" shade is an olive-brown that lives up to the name: "Compost." A color that, over the years, has frankly been quite polarizing. While the tone has appeared on runways and in our homes in the form of pottery and accents, it’s also made it onto packaging in Australia precisely because of its associations.
However, this shade is right at home with the rest of J. Hannah's "ugly-chic" ethos, founder and designer, Jess Hannah Révész, jokes. It's living proof that the line between dreary and dreamy is a fine one. Think of it as the nail version of a chunky sneaker: love it or hate it, you'll definitely remember this shade for months after you see it IRL.
Of course, we had to know more about how Compost came to be... and try it ourselves. Read on for more on the nail shade inspired by the "world's ugliest color."
If you're familiar with offerings from this minimalist, elegant jewelry brand, you'll know offbeat colors are kind of their thing. Within their line of polishes, you'll find plenty of earthy shades of brown, eggplant, chartreuse, and other funky colors that you can't help but respond to. Whether or not you're a fan of this particular shade, there's an unusual color for everyone amidst this brand's inventive collection.
"At the studio, we explore color and color theory through different lenses," Jess says of the team's process. "We've found so many interesting stories to tell about color. Whether from the realms of fashion, science, history, or art, we weave these references in with how we approach the design and storytelling around our nail polish collection, however irreverent." And it shows. The brand's shade selection is unlike any other. It's all about breaking out of your salon comfort zone.
So what inspired this particular "drab" hue? "We arrived at Pantone 448C in one of these research forays—dubbed the 'ugliest color in the world'—it felt like a creative challenge and a fun way to talk about our palette. We had already been joking about how many of our colors are ugly-chic," Révész explains. After all, a traditional approach to color has never been part of the brand's DNA.
"I have to say I never found Pantone 448C ugly at all. Actually, it seemed like a sophisticated 90s Prada or Jil Sander colorway. 'One person's trash' as they say…" she continues. Honestly, we couldn't agree more. Read on for my review of this unconventional, chic shade. If you're anything like us, aren't you at least a little bit curious?
Chinea Rodriguez, News Writer
I’m a longtime fan of J. Hannah’s moody, unique color palettes, and this shade is no different. In fact, I’m kind of obsessed. If I were getting a manicure, this is definitely a color I’d grab—especially in the fall when I'm craving darker, earthy tones. It only took two to three coats to get pretty opaque coverage. I also like that it didn’t have that strong, typical nail polish smell. It looks more like camo green to me, but either way, I definitely wouldn't call it the "ugliest color." Call me a contrarian because it truly might be my new favorite manicure color.