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NOW READING Celebrity Manicurist Deborah Lippmann Shares Her At-Home Mani Secrets
July 2, 2020

Celebrity Manicurist Deborah Lippmann Shares Her At-Home Mani Secrets

Struggling to get salon-fresh nails at home? Deborah Lippmann to the rescue!


If you’re having a challenging time managing your nails at home, you’re not alone. One of the many things COVID-19 has taught us is mistake-proof, DIY manicures are tricky.  In addition to struggling with dexterity, I always find that my manis look streaky. And, those pesky bubbles that inexplicably pop up often end up ruining my freshly shined tips with an unsightly texture. 



Profile photo of cute lady made correction finger nails applying red color, polish blowing helping dry wear casual clothes sitting cozy sofa apartment indoors
Celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann suggests starting with polish remover for both cleansing and prepping (istock/diagreez)



celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann profile photo smiling
Deborah Lippmann, celebrity manicurist and luxury nail color and treatment visionaire who has worked with everyone from Beyonce and Lady Gaga to Penelope Cruz and Reese Witherspoon


Fortunately, Deborah Lippmann, the celebrity manicurist and luxury nail color and treatment visionaire who has worked with everyone from Beyonce and Lady Gaga to Penelope Cruz and Reese Witherspoon, reveals some of her most coveted tips for flawless at-home manicures with Beautytap. Who knows, her tips might turn you into such a pro you’ll no longer miss those nail salon visits. 


Prep Your Nails

The Essentials: 


  • For cleansing and prepping: Nail polish remover 
  • For exfoliating and shaping: Nail file, nail buffer 
  • For perfecting cuticles: Cuticle remover, cuticle oil, cuticle pusher


First off, don’t skimp on nail prep. It’s everyone’s favorite part of a visit to a nail salon, and yet we tend to overlook clipping, filling and exfoliating when we’re home. 


Lippmann suggests starting with polish remover for both cleansing and prepping. If your nails are already polished, soak a cotton pad in remover, place it on your nail and allow it to soak in for a few seconds before gently rubbing off the polish. This method is much healthier for your nails. Now, you’re ready to file and shape. In addition to a nail file, it’s best to invest in a buffer to remove any unwanted texture.


If you’re concerned about safety and cleanliness, especially during the time of a pandemic, Lippmann posted a video on Instagram where she walks Martha Stewart through doing her nails alongside Dr. Dhavel Bhanusali, M.D., who makes sure that they’re doing everything with safety in mind.  




Once you’ve shaped your nails to your liking, you’re ready to take on your cuticles. 


“Cuticle care is similar to exfoliating,” says Lippmann. “You have to get the dead cuticle off the nail plate and you want to push that cuticle back towards the knuckle.”




To do this effectively, Lippmann has designed a cuticle remover — which is available in the most convenient little pen. If you use a cuticle remover, you can gently buff the dead cuticle skin away. If you don’t have that in your nail arsenal just yet, start by pushing the dead cuticle back as gently as possible. Lippmann actually makes her own cuticle pusher, however you can also easily find some of these little wooden ones. Then, delicately trim off the dead cuticle using clippers. 


Now it’s time for the oil, which Lippmann also makes in a pen form that’s ideal for slipping in your purse to have on-hand while out and about or traveling. For a super salon-like experience, leave the oil around your cuticle while you apply an exfoliating hand wash. Rinse it all off and get ready for some color. 


Preventing bubbles: 


I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: bubbles are my arch nemesis. To prevent their unwelcome appearance, Lippmann has some tips. 


“Roll the polish between the palms of your hands instead of shaking it to avoid air bubbles,” says Lippmann. “And, be sure to wait a full two minutes in between coats to allow each nail to dry properly.”


And there you have it. It turns out that bubbles are a result of overly thick layers of polish that haven’t been given the time to properly dry.


How to apply nail color: 


While I’ve been known to skimp on either a base or a top coat, according to Lippmann, these are absolute necessities. “I always suggest applying a base coat, two coats of color, and finishing with a top coat,” she says. 




For her biggest tip, Lippmann says “it’s important to keep in mind that you only need a few strokes of nail polish to completely cover the nail.”




According to Lippmann, this will ensure that your manicure lasts as long as possible. Finish off with a top coat for added shine and to help prevent chipping. 


Finally, we asked Lippmann which colors she’s loving for summer. Her answers? Blue Blue Ocean, Skin Deep and It’s Raining Men.


Beauty Advisors (aestheticians, makeup artists, facialists, and beauty professionals) recommend keeping your hands healthy along with your beautiful new nails with Benamor’s hand creams from Portugal. 

Benamor hand cream picture
Benamor Hand Set

This helped a lot! One benefit about being home is trying to perfect my self-manicure tips. (My mom was really good at doing it when she was my age.) I'm glad I get to try some of my crazier colors now.


Verified Expert

I still have to perfect that 3 strokes and done with a nail in seconds trick! I've been getting more into doing my nails at home since I got some fun stamping sheets. These are great tips that I'll be passing on to others!


Verified Expert

Love this video and article on the perfect DIY-mani! Great tips especially for this time when our nail salons are closed. Check out Miss Deborah's advice on layering polish. Remember, you're never fully dressed without a good set of nails!


Verified Expert

I love how Deborah Lippmann really popularized the professional at-home mani! The products are beautiful and free of certain harmful toxins which I always appreciate!


Verified Expert

As much as I know about nail care, I always get lazy when doing my own nails and skip the nail prep half of the time. I can always tell the difference between proper nail prep and no nail prep. Thank you for this article- a great reminder.


Verified Expert

Cuticle oil changes everything. It has been a part of my nail care routine for many years. Drinking plenty of water also helps keep my nails strong and bright.


Verified Expert

CANNOT tell you how hard it was to get my nails back to some sort of strength after quarantine acrylics came off. I was going through a huge family change and more and my nails took a beating because I couldn't get them done. Hangnails, split nails, peeling nails dry cuticles you name it I had it. Cuticle oil saved my butt and by butt I mean nails. I used this nail polish ( i think it's called pink strength) and when I ran out of that my nails were still dry and weak but not as... Read more


Verified Expert

I just saw this article and I have to look for one of my favorite Deborah Lippmann nail color in my collection :-)


Verified Expert

I'm currently doing my nails ATM and this definitely helps! The cuticle part is the hardest part I think, but when you get used to it's not that hard 😀


Verified Expert

I have been doing my nails at home for the LONGEST time and I love this article! It perfect for anyone who wants to save money and doesnt have the time to go to the salon