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Deborah Lippmann Expands Into Lips

Lippmann's new lip gloss comes in seven shades, available with and without CBD.

When nail artist Deborah Lippmann started her eponymous nail product line, consumers assumed that given her last name, she would be their new go-to for lip products.

Twenty-one years later, she finally is. “People would go through the web site for five or six pages just to ask me what shade of lip gloss to wear,” Lippmann said. “The real reason we’re doing it though, there’s always been a question of how to wear lips with your nails. It’s something my clients always ask.”

Lippmann’s first go at color cosmetics, Hydra-Cushion Balmy Lip Gloss, launches on Nov. 5 at $20 each. CBD-free formulas will be available at,, and QVC; alternate shades with CBD will be available on Lippmann’s web site, and for the same price. Industry sources estimate first-year retail sales could reach $1 million.

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Whether it be clean nail polish or hand cream with SPF, Lippmann has always kept skin-care benefits and ingredient stories at the forefront of her product development. The same holds true with makeup. “We set out to create a super-balmy, cushiony lip gloss that had a medium coverage. It’s not highly pigmented, it’s buildable and it has hyaluronic acid. It feels like you get that sort of little, plumper lip effect,” she said.

Although Lippmann’s customer ranges in age, the antioxidant benefits of CBD made the ingredient a must for line reduction in the lip area, she said. “Women of a certain age, we start to get lines on top of our lips that drive us crazy. With all of the research that’s been done on CBD, and how it helps fill in the lines, you’re going to have fewer lines,” she said. “Because it has medium coverage, it’s not going to seep into the lines, either. The DNA of the brand is having skin care and treatment ingredients in the formulas.”

Just like Lippmann’s nail products, each shade name comes from a song. Lippman, a working singer, felt the emotions evoked through music convey the colors more effectively to consumers. “We all see colors so differently,” Lippmann said. The shades are Cake by the Ocean, Touch Me, Tease Me, Naked, Modern Love, Lay Lady Lay, Tickle Me Pink and Suck My Kiss.

Color cosmetics have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. According to data from The NPD group, makeup plummeted 52 percent in the second quarter. Confinement aside, however, Lippmann has had her line in the works for a while and thinks the return to minimalist color cosmetics is working in her favor.

“I still work a lot in fashion, and a lot of what I do in my brand comes from what I see in fashion. I see a return to minimal, cleaner beauty — and less. There was such a huge explosion of super-saturated color, we went wild. We were sparkling up, wearing three different colors on our lips. I knew we would return,” Lippmann said.

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