Boss Babes: Michelle Lin, Co-Founder and CEO of Live Love Polish

As a company created by two women, we know how important it is to celebrate female founders. That’s why we’ve started our Boss Babes series. Each month we’ll highlight one woman who’s leading a cool company and is absolutely crushing it, in business and in life. Here, they’ll answer questions on everything from how they started out and advice they think every woman should know, plus their beauty routines and how they take care of themselves. This month: Michelle Lin of Live Love Polish.

photo courtesy of Live Love Polish

Michelle Lin isn’t your typical CEO. After changing her major six(!) times while a student at NYU, she dropped out to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. Two years later, at the age of 24, she launched Live Love Polish, an amazing line of non-toxic, artisanal nail polishes. Since then, she’s collaborated with Crazy Rich Asians and Disney’s Descendants 3 to create product collections inspired by each movie and was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30. She’s proof positive that there’s no “right” way to be successful.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you start your business? Why did you choose this as your passion?

Nail polish has always been a creative outlet for me, and a way to unwind after a busy day. I founded Live Love Polish to solve a personal need and fill a big whitespace in the market. eCommerce was disrupting retail, yet it was so hard to buy beauty products online. There wasn’t any nail company that was addressing the needs of the modern consumer living in an increasingly digital world. I created Live Love Polish as a destination to buy nail polish online, and embedded my personal values in the business–such as being cruelty-free and free from harmful chemicals found in nail polish. The business soon took off, so it turns out we had identified quite a popular need in the market!

What were some of the challenges you faced as a female founder? How did you overcome them?

Before I was recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, I wasn’t always taken seriously (especially as a woman working in the beauty industry). I’ve dealt with this by setting clear standards and drawing clear boundaries. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone who undermines me due to my gender. I can’t always control how others choose to perceive me, but I can control who I do business with. The ability to be openminded and non-judgmental is a key cultural tenant at Live Love Polish, and a standard I hold everyone up to, whether it’s employees or potential investors.

“I can’t always control how others choose to perceive me, but I can control who I do business with.”

Michelle LIn

What was your biggest achievement, the one you are most proud of?

The fact that we’ve been able to grow Live Love Polish to its level of success without ever taking on any outside funding. 

photo via @livelovepolish/Instagram

What do you do to unwind?

Painting my nails of course. I also love weightlifting! 

What’s your approach to beauty and wellness?

Whether it’s skincare, fitness, or supplements, I try not to overcomplicate my routines, because then they get harder to maintain. Simple routines are easy to turn into habits. Habits are much more sustainable, and allow you to maintain results in the long-term.

Any beauty secrets you want to share?

Always wear a top coat over your nail polish! It will extend wear time significantly.

photo via @livelovepolish/Instagram

Best skincare advice you’ve ever received?

Using an oil-based remover to remove waterproof makeup. They are much more effective than regular cleansers I’ve tried, and make such a difference!

Who is your biggest personal/professional inspiration and why?

My team. We hire people with diverse viewpoints and unique strengths to bring to the table. There’s something new to learn from them every day.

What are your goals for this next year, both for yourself and your business?

We have ambitious business goals for 2020 that I can’t announce yet! Personally, I would like to visit Greece or Portugal, and spend more time around nature.

Read more interviews with our favorite Boss Babes here!

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