Every season–or more accurately–every other week or so, new nail polishes hit our desks. The names range from the literal (Flirty Pink) to the more sublime (Bermuda Shorts) to the punny (anything by OPI.)
Have you often said, “How the hell do they come up with these names?” Well, we went straight to the source and asked Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie, how nail polishes get baptized.
Who names the polishes?
I’ve named every polish up until now. We’ll see what the future holds…. It’s me, it’s what inspires me, what resonates. I have creative people help suggest names, and some of them are really good! But in the end, I decide. A name has to be witty and fun. It has to have personality, and it has to resonate with what I know women want.
What do you take into consideration when naming a color?
I think about a moment, or something that inspires me, like a summer vacation. Sometimes it’s an irreverent play on words, a funny story or theme. Ultimately, the names have to be memorable.
Do you see a trend in nail polish names at all?
No, nail polish names are all over the board now, and there are just so many copy cats. When we started in the nail business 30 years ago, the shades were named by number. It was very impersonal and boring. Essie was first to add the clever shade names to polish, and we made it fun! Women everywhere loved it and remembered us. It set Essie apart.
Can you name another nail polish company whose names you like or think are clever?
To be perfectly honest? No, I can’t! Nobody does it like Essie.
Favorite nail polish name?
My answer is always the same: I could never pick just one. I love all my babies!
So grab some “Nice is Nice” and try to appreciate all the thought that went into that little bottle of perfect spring lavender.
**Photo: New York Times