I’ve long wondered about the mysterious woman named Sally Hansen whose name is used by ubiquitous drugstore nail polish brand. I’d assumed the company had been started by a Sally Hansen, but there was never any information about her online, even on Sally Hansen’s official site. There were even tidbits online mentioning that such a person never existed.
Now, I can only assume that the good folks over at Sally Hansen were just as curious as I was, because “[i]n 2014, a team of investigative journalists was hired to uncover the truth. And after months of failed leads…her story is finally ready to tell.” (sallyhansen.com)
Late last year, Sally Hansen updated us all with the story.
The mysterious first lady of drugstore nail polish is revealed to be Sally Genevieve Hansen (née Finney) of Kansas, born to a couple who also happened to own a small cosmetics company.
As a young woman, she moved to Hollywood, where she worked as an actress and a dancer, and wrote a column for the Los Angeles Times on the side. Later, she moved back to Kansas and helped her family to expand their company. This success led to additional cosmetics work with a department store, S. H. Kress & Co., and eventually Hansen moved to New York City, where started her own eponymous beauty company in 1946. The famous “Hard As Nails” line was one of her company’s first trademarks. She sold Sally Hansen Inc. in 1962, and sadly, passed away a year later.
You can read more about her here:
I love learning bits of nail polish history!