Got Sole?

Ballet Slippers may be one of nail polish giant Essie Cosmetics’ most popular lacquer hues, but this April, the company will embrace another way to shine a light on footwear—by partnering with TOMS Shoes for an awareness-raising event called One Day Without Shoes.

Each spring, TOMS, a unique company that exists to give a pair of new shoes to financially challenged children to match every purchase, encourages people around the globe to go barefoot to show their support for their charitable mission. That way, participants also experience what children in third world countries endure daily, whether for five minutes, the entire day, or the months during which some dedicated participants bare their soles to raise awareness for the cause.

When the event kicked off in 2010, over a quarter of a million people took off their shoes to show their support of TOMS, and more than 1,600 barefoot events took place globally. This year, Essie, a longstanding leader in the global nail spa industry, is raising the drive’s visibility by sweetening the deal for participants. The incentive? Pretty toenails to show off, of course! The first 5,000 people to pledge to ditch their shoes, on either the Essie's Facebook page or TOMS' website, will be gifted with free nail polish. The light blue shade, One Day Without Blues, was specially designed to mirror TOMS Shoes' logo. Winners are encouraged to show support by posting a group photo of bare, pedicured feet, or a brief video, online.

“TOMS has really shined a light on the millions of children around the world at risk for disease and infection because they lack proper footwear,” says Essie Weingarten, founder and creative director of Essie. “We’re thrilled to partner with such an incredible company, and to encourage everyone to show their blue Essie toes so kids don’t have to!”

Plan to participate? We'd love to hear about it! Send barefoot, pedicured photos to koreilly@creativeage.com.—Katie O’Reilly

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