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Getty Images, Essie
Founder of Essie Cosmetics, Essie Weingarten; The Fall Essie collection, which was inspired by various women's handbags.
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TODAY.com
updated 9/8/2011 12:33:31 PM ET 2011-09-08T16:33:31

Wondering what’s in store for your manicured hands this season? Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Cosmetics, knows what’s on nail salon shelves: she has the enviable job of shepherding new color every 90 days and coming up with those amusing names for the latest shades. TODAY.com caught up with Essie at the Lucky magazine FABB conference to discuss the latest trends and colors for fall:

The Kate Middleton effect:

“The fall line started with Kate Middleton because I thought she was the most elegant bride in the whole wide world. Every bride is beautiful, but she just brought something else. She was stunning during her first trip to the U.S., when she met with Mrs. Obama in that beige, chic shift, with black shoes and a black clutch bag. It was all about the bag! Every woman holds very close to her bag and it speaks volumes about what she’s wearing. So the whole inspiration for the fall line was different types of handbags — from the power clutch to the carry-on to a glamour purse.”

Essie’s fall shades:

“Fall is so beautiful because there’s a lot of glam to it this year, so we have everything from ‘Lady Like,’ a soft whispery pink, to ‘Carry On,’ which is almost like a burgundy brown, all the way to a new gray-green shade called ‘Power Clutch.’ We have ‘Very Structured,’ which is this amazing rust color. The inspiration came from a road rail in upstate New York and I saw this old rusty can that was so fabulous.  I wanted to take it home because it was so rusted out! And that color goes with everything, especially with grays and greens, blacks. Rust is my new neutral.”

On keeping up with fads:

“I don’t follow trends. I do what I think women want. I’ve been really lucky to hit every trend for the last 30 years. We just go with gut — and it works!”

Why Essie thinks it’s worthwhile for little girls to get their nails done:

“I always feel that as young as they are, if the mom is getting a manicure, you just put your little girl on your lap and let the nail technician give her a little color — with a base coat and top coat, of course. Little girls enjoy the experience and enjoy become young ladies.  Manicures teach little girl poise and confidence, to sit still, and they become a matter of hygiene later in life as they grow into young women with well-shaped nails and pushed back cuticles, always taking care of their hands.”

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Who comes up with all of Essie’s adorable names?

“I do. I really need to be descriptive, yet I want people to remember the names, so that if they don’t remember it exactly, there’s something to the color to help them recall it.  Numbers were so impersonal.

“Names and colors — that’s really the difference with the Essie brand.  Nothing has changed [with Essie now under L’Oreal’s ownership]. The heritage and DNA are the same. I’m still the creative director — except now I like to say that now I’m an octopus; I have a lot of hands in a lot of places.”

Is there one nail shade we won’t ever catch Essie in?

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“No, I love them all, and they all have such a different personality. And that’s what it’s all about — expressing yourself. I have tried them all, and while I might not necessarily wear them on my hands, you might catch them on my toes. I have not put anything in my line that I have not worn at least once.”

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Three tips to improve nail care:

“Use apricot cuticle oil every day so cuticles don’t get stuck to the nail bed. That way, you’ll never have hangnails. It makes you look like you just walked out of the salon.”

“Always put on a base coat. It’s so important to prevent staining!”

“Never cut — instead always push back — cuticles. Once you start cutting, there is no end!”

Essie’s beauty bag essentials:

“Essie Mademoiselle (a perfectly sheer pink, which is universally flattering), Smoothies hand cream, and of course, a base coat.“

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: What nail polish to wear with fall's best trends

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  1. What nail polish to wear with fall's best trends

    Curious how to style your look this season? InStyle.com shares fun and stylish combinations for fall.

    Brights
    Manicurist Jenna Hipp, who works with Lea Michele and Michelle Williams, suggests creating a stark contrast to fall's bold colored clothing. "Opt for jet black with an unexpected matte top coat or rock a super shiny snow white nail to make bright colors pop even more," she says.

    Chanel Top Coat Velvet Matte clear coat, $25; chanel.com. Sally Hansen for J. Mendel Complete Salon Manicure nail polish, $8; sallyhansen.com for store locations. (Imaxtree, Courtesy Chanel, Courtesy Sally Hansen / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Dots

    Optic dots are big and brash this season. Deborah Lippman, who works with Gwyneth Paltrow and Demi Moore, suggests keeping nails dark: "Opt for a deep grey shade that won't compete with your clothing, and go for a creme texture rather than a metallic."

    Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Waking Up In Vegas, $16; deborahlippmann.com.
    InStyle.com: 8 Hottest Haircuts for Fall
    InStyle.com: 100 Unforgettable Celebrity Wedding Moments

    InStyle.com: 10 Hairstyles That Are Always in Style (Imaxtree, Courtesy Deborah Lippmann, Time Inc Digital Studio / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Fur

    For this ultra-luxurious fashion statement Chanel celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik advises keeping it classic with a red polish. "For the chillier weather steer away from the tomato shades and choose a deep, burnt crimson. It looks rich and decadent which will compliment this style."

    Duri Pinot Noir Nail Polish, $9; duri.com. (Imaxtree, Courtesy Duri, Time Inc. Digital Studio / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Lace

    "Keep lace from looking too prim by pairing it with a dark and edgy color. Think rich eggplant or deep burgundy," suggests Anne Hathaway's manicurist April Foreman. "Avoid wearing black polish with black lace which will end up looking goth," she adds. Forman also suggests taking the lace trend straight to your fingertips. Take your cue from Blake Lively and Jennifer Lopez by applying lace directly on your nails, securing it with a few drops of nail glue." It's a bit more work than applying polish, but it definitely has more impact."

    CND Nail Polish in Dark Amethyst, $29 for set of three polishes; cnd.com. Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Stickers in Laced Up, $10; ulta.com.
    InStyle.com: 8 Hottest Haircuts for Fall
    InStyle.com: 100 Unforgettable Celebrity Wedding Moments

    InStyle.com: 10 Hairstyles That Are Always in Style (Imaxtree, Courtesy CND, Courtesy Sally Hansen / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Ladylike

    "A bare nail shows femininity which falls in line with this trend," says Hipp. As opposed to barely there nudes, go for a creamy, opaque nude this season. "Because there is no color to distract, shape plays a key part in the overall effect. Oval is totally in, so regardless of your nail length, pull out your file and round out those square edges!" she adds.

    HIPPxRGB Nail Color in F3, $16; rgbcosmetics.com. Essie Crystal Nail File, $16; essie.com for locations. (Imaxtree, Courtesy RGB, Courtesy Essie / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Tough chic

    Manicurist Ashlie Johnson, who did the nails of InStyle cover girls Gwen Stefani and Katie Holmes observes, "If you're rocking the tough chic look you probably like living on the edge, so you can pull off something a bit unexpected on the hands." She suggests pairing up with Chanel's runaway hit of the season Peridot, a holographic multi-dimensional gold with hints of green.

    Chanel Le Vernis in Peridot, $25; chanel.com.
    InStyle.com: 8 Hottest Haircuts for Fall
    InStyle.com: 100 Unforgettable Celebrity Wedding Moments

    InStyle.com: 10 Hairstyles That Are Always in Style (Getty Images, Courtesy Chanel, Time Inc. Digital Studio / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image:
    Imaxtree, Courtesy Chanel, Courtesy Sally Hansen / InStyle.com
    Above: Slideshow (6) What nail polish to wear with fall's best trends
  2. Image: Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge And Prince Harry Visit Tower Of London's Ceramic Poppy Field
    Oli Scarff / Getty Images
    Slideshow (148) Duchess Kate’s royal style

Video: Web only: Naming nail polish no easy task 

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