10 Minutes With: Deborah Lippmann

Nail Diva

Deborah Lippmann is famous for her fantastic luxury nail lacquers and nail, hand and foot-care collection.

Deborah Lippmann is such a Diva (we mean that in the best possible way). She's not only the fashion and beauty industry's top Nail Diva, but she's a Jazz-singing Diva too.

A firm believer in showering hands and feet with lots of TLC, Deborah sat with us for 10 minutes to share her philosophy on everything from keeping your nails in tip-top shape for the big day to why brides should feel free to wear any nail color they desire.

How did you end up in your profession?
I'm a jazz singer with a college degree in music. When I moved to New York to pursue singing jazz, which I still do today, I couldn't make the kind of living that I wanted and was not successful at waiting tables.

I had to pay the rent and wanted to live in a nice place, so I pursued my second love--the beauty industry--and went to cosmetology school. I started working with celebrities on photo shoots and one thing led to another and before I knew it my brand was born.

What is the best part of your job?
Holding hands with people and making them feel better about themselves. Our hands and feet are badly abused on a daily basis. Giving manicures and pedicures is a very intimate and special experience for me. I feel blessed to be included in the inner sanctums of special happenings in people's lives.

It's wonderful to be trusted and share a small piece of the biggest days of people's lives--when they get married, or win an award like a Grammy or an Oscar. It's both exciting and thrilling for me, as a huge fan of art, to be an insider and part of a special moment. I love it. I love my girls, my boys--everyone I get to work with.

What is your favorite nail lacquer right now?
I collaborated with Narciso Rodriguez for his RTW Fall 2011 collection and we created a new color for the runway. This color, Stormy Weather, is hitting shelves now. It's the ultimate deep granite crème shade that can add a little edginess to your look for fall.

It was a really organic collaboration from start to finish and we came up with this gorgeous, sophisticated, perfect granite gray that was completely unique. The moment I knew we had something was when all of the supermodels backstage were trying to grab the bottle and put it in their purse. You know it's a hit when the models want it because they never want to get their nails done, so it's a sign!

Who, what and where inspires you?
Everything in life inspires me. It could be anything from a rock in the street and people I meet, to art, fashion and design. Traveling and seeing the world is a definite source of inspiration, but it could also come from something as simple as a saltshaker on the table. Inspiration comes from the funniest places. I also get inspired by my clients.

What's next?
More music, Spring 2012 New York Fashion Week and the Emmys.

What do you love about brides?
Who doesn't want to be a bride, even if you've already been one? It's something girls dream of their whole life and hope it's something we're only going to do once. We ask our best girl friends to be part of the special day and take advice from our friends and family to make the day our own. It's an unforgettable experience to see your own personality shine through on the big day.

What is the one thing every bride needs?
A loving and understanding partner and a fabulous manicure and pedicure. Girls need to make sure their nails are totally groomed from the minute they even suspect they will get engaged.

Can you give us a Bridal Do?
You have to be true to yourself. I remember being part of a high-profile wedding and the groom wanted his bride to wear red nail polish. Fashion people were bashing it but the bride did what her groom wanted. It's something I struggled with for a long time, but I had to let her do it because it was her wedding day.

Some people thought it was a fashion faux pas, but your gut will tell you what's right and what's not. You can solicit all the advice you want, but if you can't wear something with confidence and love the way you look and feel, there's no point to it.

And a Bridal Don't?
Don't let people push you to do something that doesn't feel right. You have to feel comfortable in your own skin.

Finally, tell us a style secret that can make a wedding look magic. (We promise we won't tell. )
As much as we judge the dress, hair and makeup, there is nothing like the joy between two people. Leave all the stress behind and truly embrace your happiness as you walk down the aisle.

Forget about the pressure from friends and family and the do's and don'ts. A gorgeous, genuine smile is all you need. Everyone gets nervous about these things, but it's important to remember that the day is about you and your husband-to-be.

Thank you Deborah.

--Juli Alvarez

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