Simone I. Smith is giving us a little dose of self-care and beauty just in time for the holidays. While many may know her for her eponymous jewelry line that she co-founded in 2011, the businesswoman and mother of four is ready to introduce to the world her new business venture, SIS Luxe Lacquer—a clean nail polish brand.
“I wanted to tap into the beauty business because it brings me joy,” she tells ESSENCE exclusively about her pivot into lacquer. “I definitely want to bring joy to the women the same way that I did with my jewelry.”
The first SIS Luxe Lacquer collection is the ‘Around the Way Girl’ Collection, which is titled after the classic 1990 hit by her husband, LL Cool J. “Well, I’m the original ‘round the way girl, and I’m definitely a New York girl from Queens to the core,” she tells us about her decision to keep the name of the collection playful. “I currently live in L.A., but I wanted to represent all the girls from around the way.”
Just like the lyrics of the song, the colors boast names like Lisa, Pamela, Angela, and Renee. Additional names include Simone, Nicole, Vicki, Monique, Felicia, and Tanya.
When we asked the adoring wife which color she preferred other than purple, which happens to be her favorite, she happily called out the “bright” and “bubblegum” shade of Lisa ($20). “It looks so good on the nails,” she says.
According to Mrs. Smith, each polish was created to provide a salon experience thanks to special finishes and effects specially blended into the formula. “When I get my nails done I usually want chrome nails, glitter on my nails, or crystals. That’s why I really wanted to make sure that all the nail polish had some sort of an effect,” she tells us. “It just takes two coats.”
Working diligently amid the pandemic truly paid off in designing eye-catching polishes. During this process, Smith also ensured that the lacquers were safe for regular use. “I’m a cancer survivor of 17 years, so I know the importance of avoiding harmful ingredients,” she openly reveals. “I didn’t want all of those harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and all of that other stuff that I can’t pronounce.”
As a result, the SIS Luxe Lacquer is vegan and boasts fine ingredients that include avocado oil, hemp oil, vitamin E and vitamin B7. It also doesn’t contain any animal-derived pigments or colorants. However, customers can still expect long-lasting coverage. “I made it my business to make sure that you could at least wear the polish for a good six to seven days without chipping,” she celebrates.
The philanthropist is also using her business to give back to her community. For this collection, the brand will donate 5 percent of the retail sales to The LadyLike Foundation, an organization that educates, empowers and inspires young ladies living in underprivileged communities. We are here for it! The SIS Luxe Lacquer collection is currently available for $20 at www.simoneismith.com.