Essie


The big picture

Essie is a nail polish brand founded by the American Essie Weingarten in 1981. L’Oreal took over the company in 2010. The brand offers more than 300 colors, effect topcoats and nail care polishes among with other manicure products. Essie opened a Nail Salon in New York in 2012. While the brand doesn’t have it’s own retail store, you can find their products on their website and in any Walgreen, Macy’s, Sephora, etc.  The only problem with those stores is the scarcity of Essie products in their stocks.

Why an App?

In order to find a specific colors and topcoats, consumers best option is to visit Essie’s website, and Apps are the new website. Most people, especially our target group, access the web via Apps because they’re using their mobile device; mobile website’s experiences aren’t good enough. For Essie an App would be a good way to set up an online flagship store.


Creative Brief

The challenge?                                                                                              How can you make an Essie app more than just an online store?

What are we advertising?                                                                              The extension of customer’s individual style at their fingertips

Who do we want to reach?                                                             Fashionistas without label's

What do they currently think?                                                                 Classic is good

What state of mind do we want them to reach?                                       Nails are part of the fashion world, and there’s infinite possibilities

Why should they believe us?                                                                Because they should be setting the rules of their own style

What is the cultural tension?                                                                   Classic versus original

What will kindle their passion?                                                         Expressing their own style

What is the tone of this conversation?                                              Neat, well designed, original and colorful


This mock-up video was done in Flash


My take-away

Where I had the most fun was the quest for original App ideas instead of the making of the App. I loved learning about new tools to come up with original ideas. Nothing is really original but by observing, comparing and associating, you can ignite creativity.


Oyster pearls, or the art of turning annoyances into worthy ideas

  • Not knowing what to wear : App. that suggest an outfit type (color, clothes, material, etc.) for each nail polish in each situation (job interview, Christmas dinner, cocktail party, picnic, etc.)

  • Flaking off nail polish : App. with identification form for each nail polish with real lasting time, color and effect, etc.
  • Not enough choice color, or not the one they are looking for : App. that allows the user to take a picture of a color and get the exact color code for it and order that color which would be a unique edition. Basically you could create your own nail polish.
  • Difficult application : App. giving tips for a better application and even showing how to fix a bad manicure.
  • Not knowing the true color of the nail polish : App. with Id form where people can see the product, the color and a photo of polish nails, so that they can see the real effect on the nails, a plus would be to have the possibility to select a skin tone, in order to see the results on with their own skin tone.
  • Long dry time : App. with short animations to distract while waiting
  • Boredom during long lines : App. that allows the user to create his own art nail, by either selecting existing ones or creating from a picture or from pure imagination. Then selecting the tools needed, with the proper colors and top coats and order it to do it at home or save it as a picture and go to a beauty salon to get it done.

False faces, or the art of turning truths upside down

  • The Essie App. has to be downloaded (uploaded) : The App. should offer the possibility to upload a new polish design to the brand, and receive bonus points.
  • The Essie App. has regular updates (no update) : The App. should provide the possibility of upgrading for a certain price for cooperative like Aids association (upgrade your App. and unlock a limited edition, receive a sample and pay for a good cause)Nail polish fortifies the nails (makes the nails weaker) : The App. could provide a health tap, showing how to care for your nails.
  • A manicure necessitates multiple layers (one layer) : The App. could provide photos of the different stages, one layer, two layers, plus topcoat.
  • Essie products are for the nails (any makeup) : The App. could be embedding links to make up brands (to match the nails with the make up).
  • Essie offers multiple colors (one color) : The App. could allow the user to create it’s own color, which would be a limited and exclusive color. 
  • Fashion is multiple colors  (colorless) : The App. could provide the option of uploading picture of clothes and find the color that matches these clothes.