Beauty Boss: How Deborah Lippmann Nailed the Luxury Polish Business

In our Beauty Boss series, we’re highlighting individuals who are owning the beauty space and turning it upside down in innovative ways. You’ll be able to get an exclusive look at their very personal journeys to success as well as hear their advice to anyone wanting to follow in their footsteps. Today, we’re chatting with nail guru and polish brand founder Deborah Lippmann.

You might not immediately associate music with nail polish, but Deborah Lippmann always has. “All my polishes are named after song titles,” she revealed to us over the phone. “My first sheer red was My Old Flame, and my first sheer pink was called Prelude to a Kiss.” Lippmann, who trained as a classical singer from age 4 and won her first music competition a year later, never thought she was going to get into nails—yet her journey to nail guru and beauty brand founder is an inspiring one, proving you can have a passion, discover a new one, turn the latter into a burgeoning business… and still manage to do the former. Nowadays, Lippmann holds hands (her way of referencing the surprisingly intimate act of polishing someone’s nails) with everyone from Cher to Sarah Jessica Parker to Anne Hathaway and creates runway polish looks for designers like Narciso Rodriguez and Donatella Versace (both of whom she counts as friends, as well as colleagues). Oh, and don’t forget the part about managing all the day-to-day operations for her eponymous line, which has risen to full-fledged leader status in the luxury nail care space. No easy feat, but Lippmann does it all with an effervescent attitude—one that makes you want to learn all of your business secrets but also just sit around and talk polish colors all day.

Ahead, you’ll find out Deborah Lippmann’s unconventional journey to nail polish brand founder, nail guru, and trend shaper. You may want to take notes.

Keep scrolling to learn all about Beauty Boss Deborah Lippmann!