Beauty Launchpad Magazine

JUN 2016

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44 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | JUNE 2016 W hen Essie Weingarten launched Essie Cosmetics (essie.com) in 1981, polish colors were limited and nail salons were practically nonexistent— but Weingarten, the NYC entrepreneur with innate acumen for color and fashion, was about to help change all that. Toting her 12 original shades replete with clever names, she left samples at salons in Vegas' high-end casino-hotels to spark interest. "Within 10 days, Weingarten had every Las Vegas salon placing orders," recounts Carolyn Holba, General Manager of Essie Global. "Word of her collection spread like wildfi re, and soon salons and spas all over the country were requesting Essie polish." More than 30 years and a whopping 1,000 shades later, Essie's iconic, square- shape bottles have infi ltrated 120-plus countries and carry several collections per year. When acquired by L'Oréal in 2010, the bona fi de household brand was already adored by beauty editors, celebs and sophisticated wearers worldwide— while retaining a strong salon presence. (Psst! Distributors and pros can register at essie.com/pro for exclusive promotions, products, education and content.) "The Essie brand continues to be about quality, color and natural nails, with a multi-prize-winning formula known for its non-chip properties, long-lasting coverage and unique names," Holba notes. "Essie boasts a strong portfolio of care items, too: base coats, top coats and other exclusive formulas that enrich, protect and strengthen nails. Essie is the complete package!" Still, the brand isn't resting on its well-polished laurels; recently, fashion guru Rebecca Minkoff was named Global Color Designer, directing inspiration for seasonal trend collections. The recent relaunch of Essie Gel introduced 90 shades renamed to match cult faves like Ballet Slippers, Licorice and Smokin' Hot. And 2016 also brings an all-new long-wear innovation (the most tested technology in Essie history). "We offer something for every woman and professional and are thrilled to continue to grow our stake in the nail market," Holba enthuses. "No longer are we just an enamel brand; we are a house of Essie." From humble beginnings to global powerhouse, Essie has been beautifying fi ngertips and toes for 35 years—with even more innovations on the way. —TRACY MORIN Conversations/ Milestones The House That ESSIE Built A COLORFUL TIMELINE 1982 1996 2010 2012 2013 Essie sales go international in Japan, England and France Allure's fi rst Best of Beauty awards recognizes Essie for Best Nail Polish Colors Essie joins the L'Oréal family Essie expands worldwide Essie's Bikini So Teeny becomes the No. 1-selling trend nail color of all time Fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff is also Essie's Global Color Designer, collaborating with the brand on hot color trends. Ballet Slippers, a favorite of Queen Elizabeth herself, continues to be one of Essie's most in-demand polish shades, selling a bottle every two minutes in 2015. COURTESY OF ESSIE A catwalk mainstay, Essie creates fashion- forward designs, such as this glittery sheer nail that Julie Kandalec conceived for Naeem Khan's Spring 2016 show.

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