Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Interview with Essie Weingarten of Essie Cosmetics!

Recently I had the privilege of interviewing one of the biggest names in nail polish- Essie Weingarten, creator of the eponymous nail polish line.

I am extremely grateful to Essie for taking time out of her day to allow me to interview her.

Scrangie: I'll get this one out of the way first, but I have to ask... Do you have a favorite nail polish shade or signature color?

Essie: I love all my colors! But I have to admit that I wear Bordeaux on my toes all year round and I always wear a sheer combo, like Ballet Slippers with Mademoiselle, on my hands.

S: How did you get started in creating nail polish? What made you decide to start Essie Cosmetics?

E: As a little girl, getting my nails done was the biggest treat I could imagine. I loved the whole experience of it. Your hands make such a statement about who you want to be and years ago, the polish choices at the salon didn’t reflect that; they were so limiting, so I took a risk and made shades that were new and exciting.

S: Essie is known for its delicate, feminine sheer shades. Any tips or tricks on applying and wearing sheer polish?

E: You should start with a good base coat like Essie’s First Base Base Coat. Then add your first layer of nail polish and wait two minutes before adding the second layer. Waiting two minutes in between layers allows time for the polish to set and prevents it from chipping. Finally, top it off with a great top coat, like Good to Go or Matte About You for a unique matte finish. To clean up any polish left around nail on skin, use our Nail Corrector Pen.

S: Nail polish connoisseurs are always looking for unique polish shades to add to their collection, which brings me to the topic of green nail polish. In particular, Essie's discontinued Dominica Green shade has become a much-coveted cult classic. What are your thoughts on green nail polish? Will we ever see another green from Essie?

E: As you know, we just recently came out with the limited edition North Fork Collection which included Greenport, a dreamy aquamarine hue. Jade green was such a fashion-forward statement on the runways this past year, so
you may see green again soon!

S: Where do you get inspiration for creating new shades of polish, and how do the names get chosen? What is the process like for coming up with new colors each season?

E: Every season I personally attend fashion shows in New York, London, Paris, Berlin and Milan. I get my inspiration from the textures and colors on the runway and I also draw inspiration from colors I see all around me every day like interior decorating trends and even automobile design. I come up with each polish name on my own and ask my staff here at essie for their input. Everyone votes on their favorites and that’s how the polish names come to fruition!

S: You're a busy woman- what do you do to relax? Do you have a certain relaxation ritual to unwind after a stressful day?

E: I love to get manicures and pedicures once a week. I’ve been going to the same manicurist, Josephine, for several years. I also enjoy spending time at my house in the Hamptons, cooking and gardening.

S: What is your first memory of nail polish? Do you remember your first nail polish?

E: When I was 12-years-old, my mom began rewarding me for good behavior by taking me to get a manicure. I loved it from the beginning and have been addicted to polish ever since.

S: How do you like your nails- short or long? Sheer or colorful? Do you do them yourself?

E: I keep my nails at a natural length that compliments my long nail beds. I get my manicure once a week and usually stick to sheer color combos.

S: A lot of men are starting to pay attention to the health and appearance of their nails. A lot of men even like to wear nail polish! Do you have any product recommendations and nail care tips specifically for men?

E: Men’s nails and cuticles are just as important as women’s! The essie Cuticle Pen and Apricot Cuticle Oil are both great products for men as well as the Crystal File. Men should keep their nails short and clean. For a semi-gloss finish, essie Man-e-cure is the perfect clear topcoat. Or, our new product, Matte About You which leaves a matte finish on nails. And for the very adventurous man who wears dark polish, try Matte About You on top for a textured, matte finish. Our Naturally Clean line is a big hit with men as well – the Purifying Hand Treatment is a great product to keep on their desks at work to keep hands smooth and refreshed throughout the day.

S: Your name is synonymous with nail polish- everyone knows Essie! But are you into other beauty products as well? Any non-nail beauty item that you can't be without?

E: I love experimenting with all different makeup brands! I always get a kick out of trying all different kinds of beauty products.

There you have it! The answers to some of my most pondered questions about this lovely nail polish maven!

To see what Essie has to offer, check out their website at and don't forget to check out the New Releases section to see what's in store for this year!


  1. Thank you so much, Scrangie, for this fantastic interview!

    The only downside is that the red on the black background is very hard to read. :(

  2. Great interview!

    *is excited for possible Essie greens*

  3. Cool! That was very interesting to read. Thanks miss Scrangie. :)

  4. Ooh thanks for the interview! Did you get to meet Essie in person?

  5. Interesting. I find it ironic that she would say that the color selection at nail salons is rather limiting, because I find the whole Essie line rather limiting. They're mostly sheer pinks, white, beiges, and reds. Occasionally, they do come out with something different, but they go back to the usual stuff eventually.

  6. Fantastic interview! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  7. Wow, that's really interesting. It's a great interview, thanks for sharing! It's also inspirational! =D

  8. This was a great interview! Thanks so much! Essie is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands. It would get much higher on my list if they would just jump on the "larger brush bandwagon!" Their brushes seem so small and don't spread the product as nicely as I would want. I do have to say that Essie does jelly polish quite nicely!

  9. I like Essie polish (and definitely respect Essie, the person), but how could you resist not commenting on how lameee all the sheers are?! I mean, really, how many variations of sheer nude pink, white can one come up with? And reds and baby pinks? Ugh.

  10. You did a great job! I am a little disappointed in how she answered your question about green nail polishes. She doesn't come across as genuine at all in my opinion.

  11. Thank you for this interview, it was so insightful! I think that it is so cool how she comes up with the polish names!

  12. i know most people say it's kind of boring but being a huge fan of pink nail polish of any kind i really like most of essie's polishes.

  13. What a lovely surprise to come across an interview with Essie! Great questions. Thanx for posting it!

  14. Heh heh heh.. while I respect Essie for truly developing her brand to suit HER... it's really no wonder why we get tons of pink sheers from this lady.

    And I love how she basically didn't answer some of your questions or told you shit you already knew. "Oh, a green? How about Essie Greenport?" I'm sure all the nbers don't know about that one... "How can you wear sheers correctly? Well let me just tell you how to apply polish while plugging my products..."

    I did love the North Fork Collection though...

  15. totally agree with the comment right above me - her answers were so canned! While I love the Essie brand, she really needs to work on being more genuine and enthusiastic!

  16. Your questions were great, but I wish she'd given more interesting and honest answers and not a prolonged Essie product plug.

  17. what a great post! How exciting to get to interview Essie!

    Now we have to ask her where she is stashing Ruby Slippers and Starry Starry Night!

    *whispers-please bring them back...*


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