When American actress Meghan Markle married British Prince Harry, the youngest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, she was the envy of women and brides across the globe. From her elaborate white gown with a train only the rich, famous, and royal can dream of to her perfect makeup and impeccable nails, Meghan wowed the planet. And as it happens, the nail polish she chose for her big day is a staple among women in the royal family.
According to The Zoe Report, the Essie brand polish is a monarch-approved nail color and has been since 1989. The queen’s granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, also wore the color to her own royal wedding (via Harper’s Bazaar). Essie’s website describes the shade as a “classic pale pink polish is graced with a subtle, sheer finish. This beloved award-winning essential is an iconic color for all seasons.” So what is it? Let’s take a look.
The nail polish's rich history makes it a favorite the world over
Due to its classic sheer pink look, Ballet Slippers is the perfect name for this Essie nail polish. It’s subtle and unassuming, perfect for a day at the office, a casual day of fun, or any formal occasion. It’s one of the brand’s first original colors, created just one year after the company was formed, according to Glamour.
As the story goes, Essie founder Essie Weingarten dreamed up the color and its name in honor of Saturdays going to get manicures with her mother during childhood. Glamour reported that Weingarten was rewarded with her own manicure if she had done well in ballet class. Seven years after Ballet Slippers was released, Queen Elizabeth’s hairdresser asked for a bottle of the shade to be sent to the palace (via The Zoe Report). That was the start of a royal love affair with the shade.
By 2019, Ballet Slippers was so popular in the United States it was selling at 818 bottles a day, per The Zoe Report. The publication also revealed that the color won two prestigious beauty awards that year: the Cosmetic Executive Women’s Iconic Consumers’ Choice Beauty Award and Allure’s Reader’s Choice Award.
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