MY GOAL IS TO EXPAND INTO A CUTTING-EDGE, FULL COSMETICS COMPANY. I WANT TO DOMINATE.

Two years ago, Dineh Mohajer, 24, was a premed student memorizing hydrocarbon chains and looking forward to a lazy summer of shopping and hanging with friends. Today she runs Hard Candy, a company she started on a whim after mixing pale blue nail polish in her bathroom to match a pair of sandals. Last year's sales: $10 million. This year's projection: $25 million. "Someone asked, 'Why do you make nail polish for young girls with colors called Pimp and Porno?'" she recalls. "I thought, 'O.K. You're taking yourself wa-a-ay too seriously.' Like, pimp is slang for cool. As in 'Oh, my...

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