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Coty details results of its search for Sally Hansen


NEW YORK — Despite having her name attached to one of the nation’s best-known nail brands, the real identity of Sally Hansen had been a mystery — at least until Coty set out three years ago to figure out who she was. The search, initiated by Sally Hansen VP global marketing at Coty Jeremy Lowenstein, saw a team of investigative journalists narrow the nearly 50,000 women with the name down to 14,000, eventually finding an obituary of a factor worker at Sally Hansen Cosmetics that led them to two of Sally Hansen’s living relatives.

Sally Hansen acquired her parents’ cosmetics store Le Finné in 1935, turning into the House of Hollywood company headquarters, where she created brands and products across such categories as hair care, cosmetics and fragrances. In 1941 she took House of Hollywood national, expanding it into Sally Hansen, Inc. in New York in 1945, and trademarking the “Hard as Nails” treatment in 1957, creating the starting point for brand’s portfolio and one of its best-selling products even today. In addition to running the cosmetics company, Hansen chaired the California Cosmetics Association and was a beauty columnist for the Los Angeles Times, penning advice about beauty and personal care.

"Sally was part of a wave of women entrepreneurs who pioneered both fashion and beauty empires for women created by women," Lowenstein said. "She really spoke to the needs of all women regardless of age and economic backgrounds, encouraging them to be bold, outspoken, and beautiful."

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