From Ballet Slippers to Wicked: A Brief History of Essie

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From Ballet Slippers to Wicked: A Brief History of Essie

Essie Weingarten fell in love with color as a young girl when her mother would treat her to a manicure after ballet practice.

Essie works as a buyer in the prestigious New York boutique department store, Henri Bendel. She recognized the lack of innovation in nail polish and set out to develop a collection of polishes.

12 stunning nail colors, witty names, and sheer determination. One of them being pure white shade “Blanc”, still in the assortment!

Essie Weingarten flies to Las Vegas, the land of the glamorous and wealth, to promote her range of nail polishes.

Essie becomes big in Japan. The deep black shade “Licorice” was created for the Asian market, where highly embellished nail styles were already in fashion. 

Tonight Show host Joan Rivers announces she is wearing essie’s “Jelly Apple.”

Introduction of the iconic square bottle.

Queen Elizabeth’s hairdresser sends Essie a letter requesting ballet slippers.

What an honor! Essie is the first woman in the professional beauty business honored with an Achievement Award by Cosmetic Executive Women.

Essie Cosmetics becomes part of the L’Oreal family.

Being the color authority and the soul of essie brand, Essie Weingarten continues to develop and create all the new shades and collections with her exquisite sense of trends and color.

Essie opens its very first flagship nail salon on the Upper East side in Essie's hometown of New York City. 

Click here to visit.


Essie continues to be the leader in nail color, nail polish, and nail trends, but Essie Weingarten's journey to this point has taken a lot of determination, creativity, and drive.

When Essie first created her ideal formula in 1980, she was prepared to work hard and market her dream product. This hard work paid off when Essie started gaining serious momentum from promotion at various trade shows and nail salons with only 12 colors in her first line. After years of hard work, the brand essie is now exactly what Essie imagined. With more than four collections released every year, there isn't a nail salon in the country that you won't find essie nail polish.

Click through the timeline above to see Essie's incredible journey through the years.
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