After almost two decades in the business, it’s safe to say that Deborah Lippmann knows more than a thing or two about nails. From her early days at Frédéric Fekkai to working with the famous faces—or rather hands—at New York Fashion Week and beyond, the celebrity manicurist and entrepreneur has done it all. Oh, and did we mention that all of her polishes are vegan and free of harsh chemicals? We sat down backstage with the lady herself to learn her secrets to a fabulous manicure.
1. Test Your Metal
Lippmann suggests changing up your go-to hue with metallics. One of the shades from her Fall 2017 Star Power collection, WOW, taps into the chrome trend by creating a liquid silver look that is somehow both matte and polished at the same time. It’s the perfect way to add a chic finish to any outfit.

2. It’s All About That Base
For some, nothing beats a classic red polish. One of the risks of using darker colors is that you can end up staining your nails. To prevent this, Deborah encourages everyone to apply a base coat before color—always. “Not only does this help your nail remain healthy, it also ensures that your polish stays on for longer and preserves the integrity of the pigment.” For people who are still prone to staining even with a base coat, she suggests using something a little more dense. The nail mogul’s aptly named All About That Base essentially acts as a CC cream for your nails, concealing and correcting any flaws for a smooth finish.

3. Change It Up
When asked about trends this season, Lippmann replies, “I think we’re craving different finishes. We don’t want to wear cream all the time or glitter all the time. People want to change things up, even to the point of different colors on each nail.” She adds that it’s also a great entry point to nail art. If people aren’t comfortable doing lots of different designs and patterns, they can just use a variety of colors. It offers the same freedom of expression, just in a more accessible way.

4. There’s The Rub
To prep skin for the cooler months, Lippmann says, “think about your hand regimen the same way you do your face.” Using a hand scrub once or twice a week does wonders to renew the skin. Not only does it exfoliate away dead skin cells and clear pores, but hands are also left looking brighter and feeling softer and smoother than ever before.

5. Water Works
For Lippmann, moisturizing goes hand-in-hand with exfoliation. “I always say, ‘would you ever wash your face and then walk away without putting lotion on?’ Particularly in drier weather, it is so important to hydrate your skin and body by constantly applying moisturizer and drinking lots of water throughout the day. A good hand and cuticle cream is vital to healthy hands and nails, and it’s usually the one thing that people forget to do the most.”

Finally, we couldn’t leave the Queen of Nails without asking what her favorite shade of polish is. Lippmann looks down at her hands, currently painted with Waking Up In Vegas, a creamy grey-beige also from the Star Power collection, and says with a laugh, “Whatever color I have on.”deborah lippman

Shop The Story