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A Moment With Deborah Lippmann

Deborah Lippmann works to make space for what she cares about most.

As the fashion elite’s most sought-after manicurist, Lippmann has built a beauty empire around her nail lacquers, makeup and topical treatments for the hands and feet. She insists that her products be gorgeous and effective, but also beneficial, promoting nail and skin health.

Even with a booming business and schedule to match, she carves out time for yoga (having overcome her initial fear) and to care for herself both mentally and physically. Eager to share the spoils of her success, the manicure maven gives back via work with charities that fund cancer treatment and assist children affected by war, for example.

Here, Lippmann explains why she keeps her products as green as possible and discusses how balance takes work:

Live The Process: With your packed schedule, how do you find the time to care for yourself? What do you do daily to maintain your wellbeing?

Deborah Lippmann: When I have the time, I love to go to Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona. I always feel rejuvenated when I leave. The experience incorporates exercise, challenge, beauty and relaxation to heal my body as well as my mind, allowing me to overcome obstacles. I always learn ways to better myself.

I also have a monthly or bi-monthly facial with Beata at Bliss Spa. It awakens my mind, body and spirit. And I can’t do without taking walks with my husband, Jude (who is also the president of Deborah Lippmann). Simply taking the time to hold hands, breathe and walk through the park or on the Highline in New York is enough.

LTP: Why do you insist that your nail lacquers be free of formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, but include green tea extract?

DL: Creating polishes that promote hand and foot health has always been at the core of my brand. I have lived and learned that the older I get, the more important healthy ingredients are to me. I have insisted with my chemists that my lacquers be as green as possible without losing key beauty characteristics, like high shine and the long-wearing formula.

My products are infused with botanical ingredients including biotin, green tea and Aucoumea Klaineana extract, which is natural resin from West African trees. These botanical ingredients help to deter ridges, promote nail growth, strengthen and hydrate the nail plate.

LTP: You have fundraised for philanthropic causes such as Discover The Journey (lessening the impact of war on children) and the Hoag Breast Care Center. What inspires you to use your success to affect change?

DL: I am as successful as I am now because of the help of the people around me. I have always wanted to give back and share my success with those who are less fortunate. Often, when I collaborate with one of my celebrity friends, we choose a charity that we want to give back to; others are because they have a personal connection for me.

Shape Of My Heart donates 10 percent of its profits to helping fight breast cancer through donations to Hoag Hospital. I chose this hospital because Dr. Gary Levine, director of breast imaging at the Hoag Breast Care Center, is a dear friend of mine. Dr. Levine also oversaw the care and treatment of Jude's mother, Yveta Severin, when she was battling breast cancer. (Dr. Levine is a pioneer in the technique of Breast Tumor Cryoablation, another determining factor in their selection process.) It was this journey that brought about the idea of partnering with such a deserving hospital.

LTP: You have two passions: jazz singing and beauty. What advice would you offer about balancing career and other interests?

DL: I can’t say that I have found the perfect balance. Like anything in life, you have to work at it and, if it’s important enough to you, you will find a way to schedule it in.

LTP: What does happiness look like to you?

DL: Being peaceful. Sitting by the ocean, dinner with my closest friends, going to Miraval and being in the desert or taking a long soak in the bath.

LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?

DL: For me, it’s about realizing that nobody is perfect, always trying my hardest and doing everything to the best of my ability.