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.