Glitter & Be Gay

2016 is the 60th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's operetta Candide, based on the 1759 satire by French philosopher Voltaire. We pay homage to this momentous achievement in American music with our color Glitter & Be Gaya showstopping powerhouse of a song about taking the broken pieces of life and making them work to your advantage. 

To the uninitiated, Candide may seem a little off-putting. This is not a happy story, not in the least. The satire was meant to skewer the notion that things happen for a reason and that we live "in the best of all possible worlds". Voltaire, and centuries later, Bernstein offered a darkly humorous work that helps us examine foolish optimism masking the realities of our lives. Injustices, natural disasters, and violence can be viewed through a lens of justification; this text illustrated that wide-eyed pragmatism is a much more reasonable way to navigate life and avoid abject disappointment. 

The song Glitter and Be Gay is sung by Cunegonde, the youthful love of the titular character and a woman born into nobility who finds herself far from her envisioned future. Cunegonde is a teen beset with fantasies of passionate love affairs, elegant environs, and splendid costume balls that come with adulthood. Little does she know at the beginning of the tale that those reveries will not come to fruition. When Glitter and Be Gay is sung Cunegonde has found herself in Paris, far from her home in Westphalia, which had been destroyed by war, as well as her family and friends being murdered. Cunegonde is now a courtesan in Paris, reconciling her loss of maidenly virtue and the prospect of true love. Her song is of realization that one must make the best of the worst situations: "Perhaps it is ignoble to complain/Enough, enough/Of being basely tearful!/I'll show my noble stuff/By being bright and cheerful!" 

Our color Glitter & Be Gay is comprised of jagged shards of gold glitter, much like Cunegonde's shattered dreams. The formula is extra strong, clings to the nail with tenacity, and glitters brightly with fragmented, irregular shine, like our beleaguered heroine. Take a note from Cunegonde's playbook and "show my noble stuff/By being gay and reckless!" 

Any questions?,

Leanne Kubicz


Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Hello Sweetie Darlings! Here's a little treat for you. A review of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie! Yes, not only do I decorate Blind Boxes and paint my nails pretty, I also use my hands to write about film and tv. This is a spoiler-free review; don't want to spill all the beans. Check out the review on my film blog, LMK Film Picks

Cheers sweetie, thanks a lot! 

Ab Fab Fan,

Leanne Kubicz

Hand Model Extraordinaire

In the 1993 episode of Seinfeld titled The Puffy Shirt, George Costanza is discovered by a modeling agent. Inexplicably, the always-dodgy George has "extraordinary" hands and is offered work as a hand model. Absurdities and mishaps proceed to crush George's idea of a glamorous hand modeling career, of course, as this is a Seinfeld episode. I've always adored this episode for the ludicrous idea that George would become a model of any sort and the observation that hand modeling is highly subjective.

What makes an ideal-looking hand? Nothing at all, other than having a hand. In our photography we use non-hand models for realism(check out our Instagram, that's me!). If you're a person of basically any age you will probably have scars, crooked fingers, wonky nails or some other feature that does not fit into the "perfect hands" aesthetic seen in a good deal of popular media. That's normal and should never be a factor in how you feel about the way your hands look. Those seeming imperfections tell the story of your life and make you distinct. Be proud of your broken fingers and bulging veins; they are an integral part of you! 

Cheers all, rock those hands! 

Leanne Kubicz


This Is The Beginning

Welcome one and all to the inaugural post of our 1898 House blog. Happy to have you visiting! This will be a place to tell stories of our lovely 5-FREE lacquers, excellent Blind Boxes, treatments and share musings on life and art. Art, experiences and memories compel us here at 1898 House; this space will serve to inform about the hows and whys, the what-have-you's of our operation.

Our first matter is to speak of the semioticresonance of the name of our debut color collection, This Is The Beginning. (*Quick, highly simplified definition of semiotics: the study of signs and symbols) We are appreciators of music, as can be evidenced by our colors, Glitter & Be Gay, Doctor Rock, and Drop DSimilarly our debut collection's name is an allusion to the 2007 Nine Inch Nails concept album Year Zero (Halo 24). The second track on the album is titled The Beginning of the End, a foreboding song of a science fiction totalitarian future. A seemingly strange origin for a collection name perhaps, yet this album is evocative of the time when I fell in love with my husband. The album debuted in the spring of '07 when we started dating and we were enamored of it and each other. Listening to Year Zero will always bring to mind the first moments of our grand love affair. What better way to honor the music of early love and our continued life together than to dub our first collection with a lyric from that most personally precious of albums. 

Thank you kindly for reading. Stay well and be cool. 

With Gratitude,

Leanne Kubicz