Nicole Gibbons—the Founder and CEO of Clare Paint—Is Here to Add Some Color to Your Life
The color expert shares her journey to success and a few of her everyday essentials, too.
When Nicole Gibbons launched her eco-friendly, direct-to-consumer paint line Clare in 2018, her goal was to seriously shake things up. "I wanted to make the process fun and delightful," says the interior designer and former fashion publicist, whose shade names quickly set the tone: Prince is a deep, velvety purple honoring the pop deity; Rosé Season is a warm, luminous pink; and Vacay captures the Caribbean at dusk.
Clare.com is also a breeze to use: It presents 58 well-curated zero-VOC hues ("You don't need three thousand options, just the best ones," she says); a Color Genius feature that makes recommendations after asking you all the right questions (How much natural light does your room have? Which three words best describe the vibe you're going for?); removable peel-and-stick samples you can order; and every tool you need for the job.
The only thing customers should supply is a dash of courage. "Don't be afraid of color—it's the best way to make a dramatic impact," says Gibbons, whose wardrobe mingles vivid solids with classic shirts and jeans. "Step outside of your comfort zone. Generally people are much happier when they do." One way to practice this motto? Pair unexpected details in all areas of your life, notes Gibbon—including your home palette and wardrobe. "Mixing is much more interesting than matching. Whether it's metals (who says you can't pair brass with nickel?), colors (try complementary—aka opposite—shades on the color wheel), or patterns (play with different sizes), just go for it!"
"Grayish is a soft, saturated gray with a hint of green. Penthouse, a warm, airy greige, is our best-selling neutral. And Pop gives me Palm Beach vibes. The number-one thing to understand before painting is the light in your space and the direction it's coming from. Always sample, and look at swatches at different times of the day."
Shop Now: Clare Paint in Grayish, Penthouse, and Pop, $54 a gallon, clare.com.
"This is part of my uniform: It's long and kind of big, and looks cool."
Shop Now: Gap Icon Denim Jacket, $70, gap.com.
Year-Round Nail Polish
"It's bright, but muted enough that I can wear it year-round."
Shop Now: Essie Nail Polish in At the Helm, $7.75, amazon.com.
"I love a good buttoned shirt, and this one is so comfortable. I have it in white, too."
Shop Now: Grayson Hero Washed-Cotton Shirt in French Blue, $138, grayson.com.
"My skin has started clearing up since I began using this."
Shop Now: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, $30, nordstrom.com.
"It's luxe and soft, and the perfect shade."
Shop Now: St. Frank Baby Alpaca Throw in Soft Pink, $225, stfrank.com.
"They add a fun burst of color to jeans and a white tee or a black outfit."
Shop Now: Rothy's The Point Flats in Flame, $145, rothys.com.
"If I find a pair I like, I buy multiple. I have these in four colors. I joke that I haven't been wearing a lot of 'hard pants' these days. But when I do, it's a pair of jeans."
Shop Now: Levi's 711 Skinny Women's Jeans in Soft Black, $70, levi.com.
"These will never go out of style. I love their low profile when stacked."
Shop Now: Aaron Probyn Hue Dinner Plates in White, $6 each, crateandbarrel.com.
"I fill a vase with these in spring, and go for dahlias in fall."
"A swipe makes my eyes look bigger and brighter."
Shop Now: Maybelline Define-A-Lash Mascara, $9, ulta.com.