Essie Cosmetics

Founded by Essie Weingarten (photo, right) in 1981, the global brand is the ultimate color authority and the go-to nail brand.  After noticing a void in the nail color market, Weingarten took a gamble and went to Las Vegas.  There, she capitalized on the specific needs of women working in the glitz and glam of the city – from cocktail waitresses to dealers, the women there had a particular need for manicured hands.  After a successful trip, making her way through the city with samples of 12 different shades, Weingarten returned home with the hopes of bringing more choices of fashion-forward polishes to women everywhere.  It was only a matter of days before the phones began ringing off the hook in demand of her fun, whimsically-named colors, which have now become a signature of the brand.

Along with business partner and CEO Max Sortino, Weingarten has watched her company grow from the just 12 shades of polish into one of the leading salon brands. Today, Essie has become synonymous with creativity and quality, boasting over 300 shades, (including cult favorites like Ballet Slippers, Mademoiselle, and Wicked), available in over 250,000 salons and spas in 95 countries.

After 28 years of coating and caring for the nails of women and starlets alike, the brand has become iconic, winning countless magazine awards and the Achiever Award from Cosmetic Executive Women. (text taken from

The company was sold to L’oreal in 2010.

Keywords:   company sales/acquisitions     essie     L'Oréal Professional     polish  

Required Reading

The Best of Both Worlds

July 29, 2014

For your clients who are loyal to Essie, introduce them to Essie Gel for the best of both worlds.

Consumers Get an Introduction to Essie

July 1, 2008

Who knew that Essie herself creates all the names, as well as the colors?

Honoring Essie in its 25th Year

September 1, 2006

Today, the company offer more than 200 polish shades, and the line has expanded to include nail treatments, a spa line, and other cosmetics.

Old School - A Look at the Pioneering Companies of the Nail Business

May 1, 2003

NAILS wouldn’t be celebrating its 20th anniversary if it weren’t for the support of many manufacturers in our industry. To help us celebrate this landmark, we talked to the top brass at several companies that have been around from our very beginning.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Essie

August 1, 2001

For 21 years, the "Queen of Polish" -- Essie's Essie Weingarten -- has worked hard to make her name—and her company-known. But despite all the attention she garners, there are still some things many people may not know about her.

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