Essie is not just a brand, but a person—and she says everyone has a “signature nail polish colour.” What’s yours?

Jason Wu spring 2011 nails

Maybe Elle Woods was on to something.

You know how she had a signature colour? (Pink, obvs.) Well, despite the ditzy appearance, our girl knew her stuff. (This, mind you, was the theme of the entire movie, but I digress.)

Apparently, we ALL have a signature colour, at least when it comes to nail polish. This is according to Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Cosmetics. And since I’m just slightly obsessed with the ’80s fad of seasonal colour analysis (who isn’t, right?), I am TOTALLY hopping on board this train.

I got to ask Essie, the person, about this excellent theory the other day. (She was in town to announce some very big news: as of today, her line is available at Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Canada. Hooray!) Here’s what she said…

Essie Weingarten Essie is not just a brand, but a person—and she says everyone has a signature nail polish colour. Whats yours?

“Certain colours are right for certain skin tones—you just see it. The best way to start is to go for your correct season.”

Cue the Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter colour chart. (I’ve actually been bursting to find a reason to talk about this for months now. I know, Lame.org.) Anyway, here’s a handy chart I found online (not from Essie) that shows you which colours go with which season:

seasonal color analysis Essie is not just a brand, but a person—and she says everyone has a signature nail polish colour. Whats yours?

Feel free to ignore the soft/clear/light etc. stuff—in a nutshell, what you need to know is that Springs and Falls have warm undertones to their skin, while Summers and Winters have cool undertones.

Not sure which category you fall into? My skin is pretty neutral but I know look positively ILL in warm colours like browns, greens, yellows and oranges—so that’s how I know I’m in the cool spectrum of the chart. Check your wardrobe because I think we all naturally gravitate to the colours that are most flattering.

Now, to further narrow it down, hair colour is your next cue. There are different theories on this, but usually Springs and Summers are blonder (or lighter brown), while Falls and Winters are more brunette.

FUN, right? And when it comes to nail polish, it makes total sense.

beauty runway marc jacobs nails Essie is not just a brand, but a person—and she says everyone has a signature nail polish colour. Whats yours?

This is the reason why, as a Summer, my favourite colours are the pinky reds and the pinky corals and, well, the pinky pinks. Notice a theme? I have a lot in common with Elle Woods, I guess. Pinks usually flatter me because they have cool undertones. (As long as they’re not the “medium” dusty, tawny, brownish pinks I dissed so hard the other day. Cringe!)

But when I wear shades that have too much brown in them (like Butter London’s McQueen collection), or are too dark (like OPI Lincoln Park After Dark etc.) or even too nude (like Chanel Inattendu), I never feel quite like myself. But on a Fall or a Spring? YES, YES and YES.

That, said, nobody’s saying you can’t wear any colour you want on your nails. (Better to wear a potentially unflattering shade there than around your face, right?) “If it makes you feel good, it’s the right colour for you,” says Essie. And of course, nail colour trends are a Big Frickin’ Deal right now. It’s kind of hard to keep up.

What I like about Essie (the brand) though is that you never see anything too crazy. Case in point: the brand’s spring colour collection, which is called French Affair:

essie french affair spring 2011 collection Essie is not just a brand, but a person—and she says everyone has a signature nail polish colour. Whats yours?“Our colours are more sophisticated,” says Essie. “We’re trendy but we don’t go too far. It’s always wearable and classy—I don’t want women to look trashy.” Words to live by, right? And on that note, I asked Essie about which classic shades EVERY woman should have in her cosmetics bag:

Ballet Slippers: Classic pale pink with a sheer finish.

Essie Ballet Slippers Essie is not just a brand, but a person—and she says everyone has a signature nail polish colour. Whats yours?

Mademoiselle: Classic grown-up pink.

Essie Mademoiselle Essie is not just a brand, but a person—and she says everyone has a signature nail polish colour. Whats yours?

Bordeaux: Deep red wine. (Essie likes this for winter toes.)

Essie Bordeaux Essie is not just a brand, but a person—and she says everyone has a signature nail polish colour. Whats yours?Fishnet Stockings: Spicy dark creme red. (What Essie wears for pedis in the summer.)

Essie Fishnet Stockings Essie is not just a brand, but a person—and she says everyone has a signature nail polish colour. Whats yours?

Are you a Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter?
What do you think YOUR signature nail polish colour is?
Or do you like to switch it up too often to ever commit to one colour family?

20 Comments

Fiona
Tuesday, February 8/2011 at 3:36 pm

First, I’ve always loved Elle Woods. Second, I think she made me a pink fanatic (current shade obsession – raspberry.) Third, LOVE nail polish – it always fits so no matter what your mood (or your bloat) it always gives a boost of glam. And fourth, your post and shots of all those fab colours and charts got me all fired up – just drove me to book a mani :)
Thank you!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, February 8/2011 at 7:33 pm

I’m a closet Elle Woods fan as well! And yes – with you on the raspberry shades. Actually you might like my current fave, it’s OPI’s Too Hot Pink to Hold ‘Em. New out this month!

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Ashley
Tuesday, February 8/2011 at 11:37 pm

Im a so a spring. My grandmother did my “colors” practically from birth, its so great you are finally talking about it on here! Personally I know its old school but its the one thing that really can make a woman look beautiful, wearing the right colors. Ever seen a Fall in a baby blue? not pretty. Super props!!
On to polish. Im such a polish fanatic that I have over 100 polishes so I dont really stick to one. because i am warm i dont really wear any true pinks, hence there are practically none in my collection. plus baby pinks just arent me. They arent the only colors anymore.
For me:
Greens <3 : favs new Essie Sew Psyched or Butter London British Racing Green
Neutral favs are champane coloured vs. pink: OPI I Only Drink Champane or Up Front and Personal
Orange (BL Minger), Rust (OPI Ginger Bells or Chopsticking to My Story especially in winter), Scarlet red and Yellow (HD, summer toes!) also get heavy rotation. If we must pink… NARS Orgasm as a nail polish!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:14 pm

Ohhh you can wear all the colours that I can’t! I love the greens on others but on me = so wrong.

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Gimped
Wednesday, February 9/2011 at 11:07 am

That colour chart was VERY helpful!! I’m pretty sure I’m a Fall girl … minus the yellows, plus some of the Winter shades (black, Kelly Green). Summer colours are just not for me, in clothing, nails or anything else. Pastels look just awful on me!! I’m one of those people who actually dreads the summer months, because I can never find anything fashionable that looks right on me. Clothing. Nails. Makeup. It’s all so ick on me.

So where do greyish shades fall in the colour chart? The colour the Marc Jacobs model is wearing is quite nice, but who can wear it? I know the shade on the MJ model has some brown in it, but I also see grey. I also want to know ‘cuz I recently bought a greyish shade myself — I think it has purple/mauve undertones in it if that helps.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:19 pm

You know what, I think greys can work on all skin types if you get the right tone. If you’re a warmer skin tone I’d go for a griege (i.e. grey with more brown in it, like You Don’t Know Jacques). Cool skin tones can do true greys or mauvey greys.

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Jane
Wednesday, February 9/2011 at 11:49 am

I’m definitely a cool person ;-) and always feel more comfortable in those tones. I love taupes as well and know that they must be a greyish taupe vs a brownish taupe. I do love neutrals on my fingers and colour on my toes although last summer Essie Demure Vixen was pretty much my permanent pedi. French Affair is GORGEOUS! Is the blonde model in the brownish nails wearing a colour from that collection? If not, do tell! Its a gorgeous “cool” taupe- perfect!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:23 pm

Hey – great minds think alike because that’s what I was just saying (re: greys) to Gimped!

Demure Vixen is such a pretty colour! Oh and the griege nails above are from the Marc Jacobs fall 2010 show. Annoyingly not a single shade but a few different variations all custom-mixed with CND polishes.

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Gimped
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:38 pm

Hey Jane

“Stone” from the Joe Fresh collection is pretty dang close to the one on the model. I’m wearing it today and I totally love it!! AND it’s only $4 ;)

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Jane
Tuesday, February 15/2011 at 9:21 am

This is where Great Minds collide on a regular basis ;)

Thank you Gimped! I am SO checking that out today! It’s like a slightly lighter version of Chanel Particuliere…niiice.

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Gimped
Tuesday, February 15/2011 at 10:10 am

It’s an interesting shade. It seems to change colour depending on the light and what you’re wearing. Some days it’s more grey; others more brown. But either way, it’s still super nice.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 6:34 pm

Great minds indeed! But Gimped – is it called Stone or Storm? I have Storm (you can just barely see it, but worn in this pic here: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/16/film-fest-highlight-no-not-seeing-clive-owen-it-was-having-two-cute-straight-men-brigitte-bardot-ify-my-hair/) but haven’t seen Stone…can’t find on their website. Is it a different colour?

Gimped
Tuesday, February 22/2011 at 10:43 am

Oops!! You’re SO right, Michelle! It’s called Storm, not Stone. Sorry!!!!

katie
Wednesday, February 9/2011 at 4:01 pm

I am definitely autumn/warm even though I’m very fair and have blonde hair (makeup artists used to always tell me that I can’t be “warm” since I am so pale but, alas, I am!). Love the top photo! Looks like chanel rouge fatal which I love. I love to wear that color but feel not-quite-right wearing chanel dragon- though it’s such a gorgeous color!! Not sure if its because dragon is cool-toned, or just too bright!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:25 pm

The top pic is from Jason Wu S/S ’11 and the shade is Veronica from CND. Probably not a “summer” shade but I’d totes wear it!

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Katie
Sunday, February 13/2011 at 12:19 am

i’m not sure which season i would be, but the colors i always love on my nails are black and dark blue.

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Alana
Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 1:15 am

I am wearing Mademoiselle by Essie as I type this actually. Love it!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 6:31 pm

It’s a classic!

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Jennifer from ChickAdvisor
Tuesday, May 10/2011 at 12:37 pm

i had NO idea that nail polish can get this extensive!!! I love this chart! Time to go shopping again…!

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Yogi
Wednesday, March 21/2012 at 2:35 pm

Which shades are these the models wear (the dark-red-wine colour whats the name of it???

or the grey-taupe in the picture? Please tell me!!!

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