An Interview With Celebrity/Fashion Manicurist Deborah Lippmann

March 31, 2007 • Magazine

An Interview With Celebrity/Fashion Manicurist Deborah Lippmann

An Interview With Celebrity/Fashion Manicurist Deborah Lippmann

Sat, 2007-03-31 12:00

Lauren Dimet

I have to admit…in anticipation of this interview, I got an emergency manicure yesterday. I would have been horrified had my nails looked as they did a mere 24 hours ago to interview Deborah Lippmann. Turns out I’m not alone. Apparently, a good manicure can change your whole demeanor. Everyone needs a fresh coat of paint once in awhile.

I sat down with Deborah Lippmann to discuss spring trends and to dispell a few common nail myths. First, I have to say she is pretty awesome. I had a great chatting with her and looking at all her pretty new colors, even though I am sadly a ‘light pink’ addict. It was fun to be a girlie girl for an hour. She was in town for an appearance at Nordstrom in Oakbrook.

SCS: So how did you become a ‘celebrity manicurist?’ How does one set out to make that happen?
DL: Actually, I am a professional jazz singer and being a manicurist was my waitressing job. I could sit all day and then stand and perform at the clubs in the evening. That’s why I was in NYC. When I told my mother I was going to beauty school, she said “over my dead body.” We laugh about it now. My second CD “Vinyl” (a compilation of cover songs from the past several decades), is releasing to coincide with the launch of the new nail color collection (by the same name) available exclusively at Bath & Body Works. All 10 colors and 3 seasonal colors are named after the songs on the CD. In fact, my entire collection is named after songs.

SCS: And the celebrity part?
DL: I started doing nails for fashion shoots, so initially it was really the model’s nails I was manicuring. I consider myself a fashion manicurist. As magazines have turned more to Hollywood for cover girls, I started to get a more ‘celeb’ clientèle. The word really spread from the New York fashion community. Now many celebrities request me. I became successful because I work hard, know how to compliment the product or clothing being shot, I sense when someone is stressed-out or having a bad day and can help them relax. Most importantly, I know I am a service person first, so I have no attitude, work fast and know to stay out of the way of hair and makeup on a shoot.

SCS: Wow. That is a great story. When and why did you start your own line of nail products?
DL: In 1999. It was me, my husband and my brother working out of our office (living room) for four years. I saw a need and created a category in the luxury nail market…nail fashion.

SCS: Who belonged to the celebrity nails that made you nervous with awe?
DL: I did Oprah’s nails for the cover shoot for her first issue of ‘O’ Magazine. They were still trying to finalize the logo! Also Cher. She is actually a big supporter of my music career. As are Beyonce and Mariah Carey.

SCS: So let’s talk nail trends. What colors are in for spring?
DL: The same color as your skin – a beigy opaque. It should look like an extension of skin. It’s a very modern look. One I have been doing for a few seasons now, but it is hot in London and is now becoming so in NYC. I also think white will make a resurgence later in the summer.

SCS: How do you pick the right beige without it looking too 80’s?
DL: You need to go into the store and try them on until you find the right color for your skin tone. If the cuticle area looks red, it’s not the right shade for you. One of the two beigy colors colors in my Spring Collection should work well for most, ‘Fashion’ and ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On.’

SCS: What about silver?
DL: I think women are realizing it looked great in the magazines but didn’t translate into an everyday color.

SCS: Are French manicures still considered stylish?
DL: No! They are out! You can quote me on that. The strong white tip and the French pedi are so out.

SCS: What shape and length are in right now?
DL: You want your nail to be wide at the nail bed and then oval at the tip. Not too rounded and not too square. Like yours (pointing to my hands). Let the nail extend out about 1/4 or 1/8 past the nail bed and then shape it. It is a myth that square nails break less often. As long as you shape them in the right place, you can make them pointy if you wish. Also too long nails and gloppy acrylics (the kind that are thick at the tip) are out.

SCS: What about hands and feet matching? Good or bad?
DL: The matchy-matchy look is coming back. However, for spring look for it to be a super nude nail for both hands and feet.

A. Deborah Lippmann’s new CD Cover – VINYL
B. Lippmann Collection Spring ’07 (L to R) Fashion, Baby Love, You Can Leave Your Hat On, How Far Is Heaven
C. Sample of Lippmann’s Celebrity/Fashion work
D. Remember – No French Manicures!
E. Lippmann’s New Line “Vinyl” Exclusive to Bath & Body Works, available April 3

Lippmann Collection available at:
C.O. Bigelow
Bath & Body Works (and after April 3

See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

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