Indie Nail Polish Spotlight: Model City Ramones Collection

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Indie polish with a punk edge

Our Indie Nail Polish Spotlight is a new ongoing series that highlights not only the new and upcoming stars in the indie nail polish world, but the entrepreneurs behind them. These small business owners are making their dreams come true by starting their own lines and we heart this believes that you do not need a big name to make a big splash in the beauty world!

Model City Ramones nail polish

You can’t say the word “punk” without thinking of the Ramones. (And if you don’t, we should talk. I have a playlist and some homework for you.) Spearheading the punk revolution, the Ramones burst onto the scene in the mid-70’s and influenced an entire generation with their simple but hard driving guitar chords and general badass attitudes. Their influence today isn’t always a hit (I’m looking at you, Met Gala) but sometimes it’s as cool as the originals, as evidenced by indie nail polish maker Nina of Model City and her Ramones Inspired Collection!

Model City Ramones nail polish

I purchased these for myself and went with the Complete Ramones Inspired Mini Size Collection ($12) so I could have all three colors – and because I have an obsession with all things wee. I especially love Model City’s logo; slick and interesting, it tells you right away that Nina is the right person to create a collection based on punk icons.

All swatches shown: index and ring finger are three coats by themselves, middle and pinky are two coats over black. All have Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter Food and a top coat.

Model City Wanna be Your Boyfriend

First up is Wanna Be Your Boyfriend ($8 full sized), a stunner in black and blue. Model City describes it as “a black jelly base filled with bright blue dots and small holographic teal glitter.” This applies like a dream; smooth with no digging around to get the larger glitter out of the bottle.

Model City Wanna be Your Boyfriend

I found that when I applied it lightly, I got mostly the jelly base and a teeny bit of glitter. More pressure with the brush revealed more of the blue dots, like they were hiding in the bristles. I really liked this aspect because it let me build up a nice base with the jelly without overloading my nail with glitter.

Model City Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker is a ”black jelly base filled with bright pink dots, fine silver glitter, and fine silver holographic glitter.” And just like its namesake, Sheena will rock your face off.

Model City Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Model City Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Again, easy application, no digging and a little pressure releases the glittery goodness. This is no pink twin of Wanna Be Your Boyfriend, though; the itty bitty silver glitter gives this baby it’s own look.

Model City Hey Ho Let's Go

Despite loving all of this entire collection, I think Hey Ho, Let’s Go! is my favorite. A “black jelly base filled with square, large hex, small hex, and fine silver holographic glitter,” those bigger hexes are a show-stopper, like little shards of broken mirror with the black jelly dirtying to make it truly punk.

Model City Hey Ho Let's Go

Model City Hey Ho Let's Go

I did have to place the hexes a bit on my nail, to get them where I wanted, but that’s a minor inconvenience that I’m willing to trade for getting to walk around with dirty sparkles on my fingers.

Incredible colors and formula
Professional, slick packaging
Mini sizes offered in nearly every polish collection

A little placement needed with larger glitter
No polish named after my favorite Ramones song, I Wanna Be Sedated

I am a huge fan of Model City, and you should be too. This is indie polish done right and I cannot wait to see what Nina brings us in her upcoming collections. (Post-punk and the Violent Femmes, pretty please?)

What do you think, we heartsters? Is the Ramones Inspired Collection punk enough for you?

If you know of an indie brand that you think would be a great fit for we heart this, please contact Stef and Tyna at [email protected]

photos: alyssa for we heart this

Alyssa is kinda geeky, kinda girly and all the way in love with her cowboy husband who can say words like, “ornery” with a straight face. She live in Texas and is working on her Masters, being a good cook and the art of looking cute in the morning AND being on time for work. Visit her blog Kind of a Mess.


  • lyssachelle

    Alyssa is kinda geeky, kinda girly and all the way in love with her cowboy husband who can say words like, “ornery” with a straight face. She live in Texas and is working on her Masters, being a good cook and the art of looking cute in the morning AND being on time for work. skin tone: NC42 skin type: oily to normal favorite beauty product: nail polish and mascara

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  1. I always say that the Ramones were my Beatles, so this is the nail collection for me, @lyssachelle ! I would love it for the Ramones theme alone, but the polish really rocks, too. “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” is a must-have. In fact, I want to pick up the entire mini-collection.
    I’m a “Sedated” fan, too. Let’s cross our fingers for an extended Ramones playlist from Model City.

    1. You will LOVE it. It’s gorgeous over black but I really need to try it over maybe a silver or dark navy?

      And the best part? Dancing around to the song while painting your nails helps dry them! Or at least that’s what you can tell your partner when they catch you rockin’ out with wet nails in the living room…

  2. Being a girl from Queens, I support this post! :) haha. But really, I’m super excited you are featuring indie polishes!!!

    1. Queens?? No wonder you’re so badass! :-) And I’m definitely excited about this series too, let Stef and Tyna know if you have any brands that deserve some attention!

    1. It definitely is; you’d love it, lady! Thanks for reading, Red! :-)

  3. Great review @lyssachelle! I was lucky and pretty sneaky as a 15 year old I guess, but who wasn’t back then? To get to see The Ramones as a teenager was pretty awesome Yes, at 15 and fake ID in hand..this was in the late 70’s…and I’ve seen them twice! Fun times! I remember wearing my white crayon shoes and dancing and having my shoes ruined by the many other shoes landing on mine! They were no longer white, that’s for sure!
    Well, your nails look amazing and super sparkly! These are pretty cool looking and with the sun hitting them just so, they really get my attention! Great names too.. and what about I Wanna Be Sedated? They need to name one that for sure!

    1. No way! That’s so great, @irene; I’m jealous!!!

      And these are seriously great polishes; I wish I could have caught the way Hey Ho, Let’s Go! hits the light just so, those holo shards are super pretty!

  4. @Alyssa, beautifully done! I love how you wrote the names on cardboard–great technique. I really, really want to own “Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” All of them look fantastic!

    1. Thanks, @gigi! I also want to mention that when you buy a polish from Model City and leave feedback after recieving it, you get entered into her month’s feedback contest for a free bottle of polish! I won for April** and I’m waiting for her new collection to come out at the end of this month before I place my next order.

      **Nina had no idea I was writing this review until today, so me winning was completely up to luck!

  5. I LOVE that you’ll be covering indie nail polishes. These three are so up my alley too–black and edgy but with serious bling! Great reviews, and I love the photos!

  6. Great review, these look so cool. I want to try them on my toes too. My nieces would love them, as they are obsessed with glitter so I may have to pick up some birthday gifts!

  7. Love this look. So punk! It’s great that you are covering Indie polishes – they need as much coverage as they can get to compete with the top guns.. Keep it up!

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