August 28 2014

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The 411: Essie Weingarten


Essie Weingarten could be considered the godmother of modern nail lacquer. The eponymous line she founded in New York City way back in 1981 after quitting her job as a buyer for Henri Bendel has, in the decades since, grown to be as ubiquitous a presence at mani/pedi spots as an emery board or pumice stone. What began with a dozen gorgeous, cleverly named lacquers has grown into a flagship salon that opened this summer and a coterie of over 900 shades (Weingarten predicts the plum Recessionista and the green-black Stylenomics will be hits this fall), which can be found gracing the fingertips of women the world over. Serving at the helm of a massive nail company means that Weingarten is very particular about her own tips—”I change my nail color once a week (in the winter every Friday, and Thursday in the summer) and my toe polish every other week,” she admits. Her go-to shape? “Sqoval” (that’s a cross between square and oval). But while Essie the brand is global, Essie the woman likes to keep it local when it comes to her go-to beautifying destinations. Here, Weingarten shares a few of her favorite New York pampering outposts.

The Hair Helper: Steven Rice at Samuel Shriqui
“I haven’t colored my hair in years; I just love the ease of keeping it natural. For my haircuts, I go to the Samuel Shriqui Salon to see Steven Rice, and when I’m out in the Hamptons I go to Xavier at the Xavier salon; love him!”
For more information, visit and

The Nail Artisan: Josephine Allen
“I only go to the Essie flagship salon; after all, it has my name on the awning! I’ve been going to see Josephine Allen for years now; she was at the salon a long time before it became our flagship and she has trained all of our technicians.”
37 E. 65th St., NYC, (212) 473-6805.

The Brow Tamer: The Core Club
“I always go see the amazing Dominique at the Core Club. She’s only in New York a few days a month.”
The Core Club, 66 E. 55th St., (212) 486-6600,

The Skin Saver: Dr. Arnold Tobak
“My dermatologist Dr. Arnold Toback is the best. I credit him for making me absolutely diligent about my yearly skin checks and of course wearing SPF daily.”
2 E. 69th St., NYC, (212) 737-1440.

The Muscle Relaxer: Carla Gargano
“I have the most amazing massage therapist, Carla Gargano; she works both in the city and the Hamptons.”
For more information, visit

The Destination Spa: The Wynn in Las Vegas
“I like to spend an entire day in the spa at the Wynn in Las Vegas. I love everything on the treatment menu; I just go there and get the works.”
For more information, visit

The Green Grocer: Provisions
“I go to Provisions in Sag Harbor for my natural food store and The Juicy Naam for my juice fix; I tend to favor anything fruity and bright-colored.”
For more information, visit and

The Makeup Bag Must-Haves: Prestige or Bust
“The three products I can’t do without are YSL’s Touche Eclat, Lancôme Definicils mascara, and Lancôme’s Lash Booster.”
YSL Touche Eclat, $40,; Lancôme Definicils Mascara, $26, and Cils Booster XL, $23,

The Signature Scent: Double Trouble
“I actually have two. It’s a toss-up between Ralph Lauren’s Safari and Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle.”
Ralph Lauren Safari, $69.50,; Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, $64,

The Caffeine Fix: Sant Ambroeus
“We cannot live without Sant Ambroeus—both in the city and out east.”
Visit for locations.

Photo: Courtesy of Essie



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