By  on April 12, 2013

The year was 1976. The United States celebrated its 200th anniversary; Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak formed the Apple Computer Company and Nadia Comaneci flipped her way to three gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Montreal.

Beauty history was also made that year by Jeff Pink, who owned a small beauty supply store in Tarzana, Calif. and the previous year had created a nail brand called Orly. Concerned about a lack of foot traffic and in search of sales, Pink started calling everyone he could think of within a 25-mile or so radius—Hollywood studios, nail technicians and hair salons were at the top of his list—to ask them how he could satisfy their beauty needs. One film director did, indeed, have a nail dilemma. “In the movie industry at that time, they matched nail colors to dresses,” Pink recently recounts. “Every time a starlet was wearing a red dress, he had to put red nail polish on her. If the dress changed to purple, the color had to be changed. During the day, nail polish had to be changed three to four times,” he continues. “The director said to me, ‘I’m spending a minimum of three hours just to change nail colors and, for us, time is money.’”

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