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In 1981, one Essie Weingarten created 12 stylish nail colors and began selling them in Las Vegas. Almost four decades later, Essie is one of the most recognized nail polish brands in the country. Beloved for its massive and always current shade range, matchless staying power, chip resistance, and unforgettably whimsical color names, Essie has won over the hearts of nail painters everywhere.
Some Essie colors have outdone the others in terms of their iconic-ness, and since we know Byrdie readers are connoisseurs of the brand, we wanted to get their take. So we posted in Byrdie’s secret Facebook group, The Beauty Line, and asked our readers to tell us their holy-grail Essie colors. Let’s just say they had strong opinions.
Keep scrolling to see what they said. Is your favorite Essie color below?
Essie Nail Polish in Ballet Slippers
No single Essie shade has stolen readers' hearts like the soft pink Ballet Slippers. The color is "always my simple go-to," says a reader named McKenzie. Joey agrees: "Ballet Slippers is a perfect sheer for when you want a little something, but not too much color." As a third reader named Kate adds, "even if it makes me the most boring person alive, [Ballet Slippers] always makes me feel like A Real Adult."
Essie Nail Polish in Clambake
“The only red I feel I can take myself serious in,” says Byrdie reader Erika of this vibrant shade, which a different reader named Joey calls “the perfect jelly orange.”
Essie Nail Polish in Midnight Cami
This deep midnight blue punctuated with bright blue shimmer is another of Emily’s favorites. "It resembles the night sky and reminds me of my connection to the universe," she says.
Essie Nail Polish in Bikini So Teeny
Mariana calls this flirty pastel shade "a fun blue color that’s very cute."
Essie Nail Polish in Big Spender
This one's "a great magenta color that can be worn year-round," says Emily.
Essie Nail Polish in Wicked
This deep burgundy is a top pick for multiple Byrdie readers, who call it "vampy but classic" and "a great deep red for fall and winter."
Essie Nail Polish in Topless & Barefoot
Lovers of neutral colors are in agreement about this timeless shade. As Joey says, it's "the perfect, opaque nude without having any pink. Very classic."
Essie Nail Polish in Bordeaux
Another one on the vampier side, Bordeaux is "a deep wine which is a great alternative to black and it's more grown-up and sophisticated," Joey says.
Essie Nail Polish in Lace Me Up
This dainty shade is "the most amazing pinky white color, which is great for year round, and it lasts forever," says a reader named Mollie. "Simply gorgeous!"
Essie Nail Polish in After School Boy Blazer
Multiple readers mention this classic deep blue as a favorite. As one reader named Susan describes, the shade "is such a dark beautiful navy, when you put it on you can't tell if its navy or black."
Essie Nail Polish in Au Natural
A Byrdie reader named Melanie calls this "a gorgeous sheer nude with a hint of sheen/glitter. So pretty and elongating for the fingers!"