Essie Weingarten is nothing short of a beauty legend. She completely changed the nail polish game when she founded Essie 31 years ago, and the company remains at the forefront of the cosmetics world. We were lucky enough to steal a few minutes with Weingarten backstage at the Costello Tagliapietra show yesterday. She complimented our nails (!), and gave us the dish on how a beauty mogul spends Fashion Week.
How many shows do you go to during New York Fashion Week?
Oh my god, probably the majority of them. I’m running around like a crazy person, but I love every single one of them. The excitement is in the air. It’s like the good old days where everyone is looking forward to Fashion Week, and every show has been packed, and it’s very exciting. It’s New York Fashion Week! What could be better than this?
What’s the process like when a designer asks you to do nails for a show?
Well, of course it’s up to the designer. We’ll bring our whole kit, and they pick and they choose. Some designers this week are into texturing because there are so many wonderful wooly cashmeres and angoras, and they want the same kind of look on the nails. And others want really classic, elegant nails. So it’s all up to the designer — we let them pick and choose, and then we just have the best nails on the runway.
What color trends are you seeing?
I see a lot of wines and greiges living on. There’s color, which is shocking for fall. I am in love because I see the world through rose-colored glasses. It’s a win-win. We’re all ready for some color in our life.
Do you have any Fashion Week survival tips?
The truth of the matter is that I really try to go to sleep at a normal hour — like 11 o’clock, lights out during Fashion Week. And I always have water in my bag, and a pair of car shoes or trainers with me so I can switch from high to low in a minute.
Can you tell us about your nailcare routine?
I am addicted! I go every Friday at 4 o’clock for my mani and every other week for my mani/pedi. I feel that’s my time to be totally relaxed. It’s my me-ism time. It’s the only time I don’t have my Blackberry and my iPhone. I put everything down, and nobody can bother me for that hour and a half. And if I had to do it at home, I would do the same thing. I would set the mood with candles and music and just have this time which is very important. If we don’t put some time for ourselves, no one’s going to do it for us. And I believe it’s good hygiene. It makes us all feel like queen for a day, and it can change your mood and it changes your outlook.
Do you have a favorite Essie nail polish?
I love them all! They’re my babies! How can I have a favorite? There’s one that has a very special place in my heart because it’s been on the Queen of England, it’s been in books, it’s been in sitcoms. It’s Ballet Slippers. But I love them all, I love every single one of them.
What other beauty brands do you love?
I’m a Giorgio Armani foundation 5.5 — I can’t live without it. My eyes are usually Lancome. I do a lot of Yves Saint Laurent, down to my creams. I’m a little bit of a beauty junkie. And my perfume happens to be Coco Mademoiselle. So, a little bit of everything, but I love it. I just have fun with color because I think it really says something about your personality. You know, your nails are the only thing you can enjoy 24/7. It’s the only cosmetics you put on that you can enjoy yourself, without a mirror. So nails are really important, and it’s your calling card to the world.