Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
This career most definitely chose me. Prior to the nail industry, I owned a photo rep agency in Los Angeles called Hipp Artist Management. I was an agent for a select group of fashion, beauty and celebrity photographers. Prior to that, I was modeling and doing makeup. I'm still young -- only 26 -- but I sure have had a lot of different jobs in my life! I love doing nails, though, and I'm not going anywhere for awhile!
Have you worked with any manicurists that inspired you? What did they teach you?
There are a few celeb manicurists that I have recently collaborated with on different jobs. Kimmie Keys showed me that being creative is always fun. Naja Rickette taught me how to execute new ideas (she owns Extremedys2012, a great nail salon in West Hollywood). Debbie Levitt showed me that you can look beautiful and classy while doing it all! We're a tight little group here in Hollywood and we really encourage and support each other.
How did you become affiliated with Orly and their SpaRitual line, and how has this affected the work you do?
Actually, I experienced formaldehyde poisoning last year from working with a popular brand of nail polish, believe it or not. While working on the third day of a long job, I leaned over to paint a nail when my nose started bleeding everywhere! It was the first symptom of many, however.
I immediately started researching alternative lacquer brands that would maintain the same quality while meeting the high expectations of my celebrity clientele. Soon after, I discovered that Orly had revamped their entire polish line and that SpaRitual even went a step further by being vegan. Essentially, I labeled myself The Green Celebrity Manicurist, called up Orly and SpaRitual and asked them if they would be interested in sending me products to try out. These two companies blew me away! My clients rave about them, and I have been passionate about both ever since.
Without the support of Orly and SpaRitual, I would not have been able to build my green reputation to what it has become. I owe a lot to them, I really do.
What are some of the moments that have stood out as highlights in your career?
Writing this interview! I mean, seriously, I never thought I would be the expert behind writing the tips, tricks and trends for the beauty world. Just the fact that someone is interested in asking me all of these questions is really so surreal. So much fun, though ... I have to admit!
What are the polishes and brands you simply can't live without?
1) Of course Orly and SpaRitual! They carry the products that my clients have come to love and expect such as SpaRitual Instinctual Moisturizing Lotion -- it's infused with Indonesian Ginger and wildcrafted lemongrass! -- as well as Orly Bonder Base Coat and Sec N Dry Top Coat.
2) My little secret weapon on photo shoots is actually a tinted moisturizer makeup by Kiss My Face. It comes from minerals, contains no dyes, and is perfect for smoothing out discolorations. I know it was primarily made for the face, but it sure does work wonders on backs of hands, too! I keep all six colors in my nail kit so everyone's skin tones can be properly matched.
What are your top 3 nail tips?
1) Since I just divulged one of my favorite tips in the answer above with my tinted moisturizer trick, the #1 most important thing to remember is cuticle oil! Purchase at least three at a time and keep in your purse, car and beside your bed ... and use it! A strict regimen will reward you with healthy cuticles, strong nails and eliminate breaking and splitting.
2) Only push back cuticles if your hands are pruned, such as after a bath or washing dishes. This will help avoid those painful hangnails.
3) Make sure to carefully apply the base and top coats -- no matter what! -- and wait at least one minute in between layers. Keep a lookout for a new trend called lacquer layering. Customize your own nail color by painting nails two different shades. Try Orly Country Club Khaki topped with Orly Tennis Anyone?. It's a chic, modern neutral that will pleasantly surprise you!
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Because the everyday woman uses on average 242 topical products weekly, I take a lot of pride in knowing that I provide my clients with products that are versatile formulations and specifically designed for holistic and streamlined manicures and pedicures. On the other hand, nothing really beats seeing my work on the cover of a magazine at the grocery store checkout line!
Check out jennahipp.com for even more information about Jenna Hipp.