Q&A: Gina + Jenna Of HIPPxRGB Nail Foundation

Photography: Tim Melideo

The HIPPxRGB nail polish collection is a collaboration by Gina Carey of RGB and celebrity “green manicurist” Jenna Hipp. Both women felt frustrated that they could never find a nude-colored nail polish that truly matched their skin tone, and they realized that this must also be the case for so many other women. They immediately decided that they should work together to create the Nail Foundation, which features 4 eco-friendly nude colors ranging from light to dark. It turned out to be a huge success—and now women everywhere are able to find a color that suits their skin tones!

Tell us about HIPPxRGB.
Jenna & Gina: HIPPxRGB is the first collection of skin-specific nail colors.  We developed four levels of nude colors that flatter and complement women of all colors and ethnicities, which had not been done before. Like makeup for the face, these colors help to mask any imperfections and make one’s hands look flawless.  We currently offer 2 formulations: Nail Foundation, which fully covers the nail with opaque coverage (F1, F2, F3, and F4) and Nail Tints, which—like tinted moisturizer—provide glossy, sheer coverage (T1, T2, T3, and T4).

The colors are the perfect shades of light to dark nudes. How did you decide on the color palette?
Jenna: While working on set magazine shoots, I consulted with top celebrity makeup artists (Pati Dubroff, Fiona Stiles, Vanessa Scali, Melanie Inglasis) to formulate the best colors to complement various skin tones from light to dark.  We ended up sending in the most popular foundation shades of Armani, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, and a few other top brands to the lab to duplicate the colors exactly.

Gina: Jenna and RGB wanted to create a nude for every skin tone.  I personally was tired of “nude” always being associated with a shade of beige—be it nails, lingerie, clothing.  It felt limiting to the multitude of different skin tones.  Originally we were focusing on 1-3 shades to keep it simple (light, medium, dark).  But eventually we added a fourth color between those 3.  We have yet to find someone who can’t find her perfect nude in the HIPPxRGB system.

How did you both come up with this collaboration and how did the concept come to life? 
Jenna: The idea was brewing in my mind for years because a nude nail polish for each skin tone was literally impossible to find. And since the most requested look on set for my celebrity cover shoots is a perfectly nude nail or “extension of one’s hand,” it was next to impossible to create with the limited colors on the market.  Once introduced to RGB Cosmetics and owner Gina Carney, I knew the partnership was a perfect fit. She heard out my idea and agreed with it, and then we began production right away.  I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Gina: Jenna had been using my products on set for about a year before we met.  Eventually our close proximity resulted in a meeting of the minds over drinks, and by the end of that date we had agreed to partner up and launch Nail Foundation, which was our first collection.

We love that these products are eco-friendly. Why is it important for women to buy green beauty products?
Jenna: Being the “Green Celebrity Nail Stylist,” it was crucial to me that this line be free of harmful chemicals and carcinogens.  The decision to go green for me was made after experiencing frightening nosebleeds, rashes, headaches, and dizzy spells as a result of inhaling toxic fumes.  This made my system hyper-sensitive, causing negative reactions from not just nail products, but other cosmetics, cleaning supplies, perfumes, etc.  I decided to take control of my health as well as my clients by only using the safest products out there.  (Find out more at www.safecosmetics.org!)

Using great products is extremely important. I only use skincare products that are free of parabens, glutens, synthetic fragrances, additives, silicones, etc. We tend to think of “green” products as luxury products, but clean, green ingredients should be standard in my opinion! Hopefully that will be the case someday.

Gina: RGB is a luxury product line.  Sure—it’s an affordable luxury to most, but with luxury comes quality.  Our line offers our customers the very best without compromising quality of wear or resistance.

Do you both have any tips for easy steps to an at-home manicure? 
Jenna:  Sometimes all you need is a really good scrub, so using an old toothbrush and a little whitening toothpaste exfoliates the nails and cuticles, making them look brand new (a great tip for the boys!).  Plus, a little shaping and moisturizing goes a long way.  Being prepared with the proper tools is key.

Break a nail? No worries: if you like dark colors, you’re in luck. Dark, vampy colors look great on a crisp, clean, short nail.

Gina:  Since I’m not a professional nail tech with cosmetology experience, I don’t pride myself on my at-home skills!  However, when doing my nails at home, I’ll use HIPPxRGB F1 or T1.  Because they are so natural and blend in with your skin, the application can be slightly less than perfect and your nails will still look great.

What nail color will you be sporting this fall? 
Jenna:  I’m seriously obsessed with a perfect nude nail—especially now, as it contrasts against all the crazy nail art of the moment! It feels fancy to me, and that’s a nice feeling after being the one to make my clients feel that way. I also love a subtle fade mani—incorporating trendy fall shades into the look. Try RGB “Sea” fading to “Camp” or “Oxblood” to “Red” for a subtle effect that people will stop you on the street about.

Gina: I’m constantly changing depending on what I’m feeling each week. RGB has some rad metallics coming out this fall, like Flint and Copper, a gorgeous cobalt blue by that name.  I also have my standby favorites: Toast, Sea, and—of course—F1, which I’m wearing right now!

Can we expect anymore HIPPxRGB collaborations in the future? 
 Jenna:  Definitely. We already have a hundred ideas in mind and are planning our next launch. Look for more skin-tone specific colors to launch this spring. We can’t tell you exactly what just yet, but stay tuned!

Gina: As always, there will be a shade for everyone!

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