The Lippmann Collection Nail Studio: A Manicure and Pedicure in Paradise

Published in: Beauty Tips, Nails, News


I did a little post-birthday beauty indulging yesterday at the new Nordstrom store (only three months old) in Oahu’s massive Ala Moana shopping center. Visitors to Oahu often miss or skip Ala Moana, but it’s really quite impressive as malls go.


Beyond the beautiful layout, with open-air sections, koi ponds and indoor palm grottos, Ala Moana is a retail paradise. It houses more than 260 stores and restaurants (making it one of the largest malls in America) and includes a great mix of ultra-high end, Rodeo Drive-esque stores like Chanel, Prada and Tiffany; consumer-friendly shops like Old Navy, Gap, Sephora (aka, home away from home); and larger department stores like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

Before coming out to Hawaii, I was told by a friend that the new Oahu Nordstrom store was the only one in the United States with a Lippmann Collection Nail Studio. Uh … when I heard that, I booked a manicure and pedicure with a quickness only known to animals in heat and hopelessly addicted beauty junkies.


Lippmann polishes, designed by celebrity nail manicurist Deborah Lippmann, are recognized for their durability and color. With Nordstrom’s help, Lippmann created the Lippmann Collection Nail Studio (referred to as The Lippmann Nail Bar by the Nordie’s staff). She got her start after makeup guru Bobbi Brown discovered her polishes, which are known as much for their fun names (Lippmann is also an accomplished jazz singer and names her polish colors after song titles like Tiny Dancer) as they are for their strength and quality.

Since Lippmann began in the business by catering to on-the-go starlets, several of her nail treatment products can be used quickly and without water. The studio is also known for its waterless manicure.

While I had “some work done” at the nail bar, Aimee (pronounced eye-me), the store’s Lippmann counter manager and manicurist, filled me in on the philosophy behind the Lippmann services.

A Lippmann manicure is less painful than a typical mani/pedi treatment. Cuticles aren’t cut, hands and toes are soaked in large bowls of warm water rather than spa tubs with jets, and the nails are only filed in one direction to prevent breakage. It’s more of a holistic approach to nail care. A Lippmann manicure focuses on improving the health of your nails over time. During a mani/pedi, the nail technician asks you about your personal nail care habits and will also recommend treatments and techniques that you can apply at home.

Six Degrees of Mariah Carey

The singer is currently on Oahu to shoot a new video. The first thing Aimee said when I sat down for my manicure was that she was currently on-call to do Mariah’s nails and might have to leave at any second. Consequently, all I could think of during my manicure was, “I’m with Mariah Carey’s manicurist, holy frickin’ crap!”


The Lippmann Nail Bar offers several different nail treatments. I really wanted to indulge myself, so I went for the Star Treatment Manicure and Pedicure, which includes an exfoliating scrub, as well as a hand-and-foot massage.

Partial menu of services…

Star Treatment Manicure ($40)
Nail and cuticle care, scrub with heated mitts, hand massage, polish (55 minutes)

Star Treatment Pedicure ($60)
Nail and cuticle care, foot soak, exfoliation of callused skin, exfoliating scrub to knee (oy! I’m so glad I shaved my legs), foot massage, polish (60 minutes)

Studio Manicure ($30)
Nail and cuticle care, hand massage, polish (50 minutes)

Studio Pedicure ($50)
Nail and cuticle care, exoliation of calloused skin, foot massage, polish (50 minutes)

Aimee helped me pick out shades for my hands (Tiny Dancer, a pale pink) and my toes (It’s Delovely, a bright coral) and described several of Lippmann’s famous nail treatments.


I really enjoyed both the manicure and the pedicure, but the pedicure took the cake. You’re treated like queen for a day, reclining in a comfortable, squishy chair while your toes get pampered and painted.


A few of the Lippmann Collection products used during the manicure and pedicure…

Cuticle Treatment ($18) – A natural jojoba and vitamin E cuticle oil used to soften cuticles, and, Aimee says, it also works to soften and moisturize dry heels.

Cuticle Remover ($17) – One of the on-the-go Lippmann Collection products designed to be used without water to remove debris around the cuticle area.

Ridge Filler ($16) – A clear base coat used to provide nails with a smooth base for polish. Aimee swears by this and says it helps to extend the life of your nail polish.

Rich Girl Hand Cream SPF 25 ($24) – A thick hand cream made with shea butter, avocado and jojoba oil. In addition to containing SPF 25, the cream also contains anti-fade botanicals to fight age spots on the hands.

Addicted to Speed Ultra Quick Dry Topcoat ($20) – This clear top coat dries the upper layers of polish in just two minutes. You’ll still have to be careful with your nails for at least an hour after polishing them for the middle and lower layers to dry.

Tiny Dancer Nail Color ($15) – A soft, sheer pink with subtle sparkle that’s great for a fun, yet natural look. Aimee used this on my hands.

It’s Delovely ($15) – A bright pink coral matte (you know how I am about pink) that’s fun for both toes and hands.

After the mani/pedi my nails looked healthier and felt better than they have in ages. The skin on my hands and feet felt softer, and I was relaxed and happy. It was a wonderful experience that I recommend to any woman planning a trip out to Oahu.

The Lippmann Nail Bar is located on the second floor of the Nordstrom Ala Moana store. Call (808) 953-6100 to make an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome. Surf on over to to check out the many colors available.


Today, I’m putting the durability of my new Lippmann manicure to the test! I’m heading back to the North Shore to get in some snorkeling before tackling my next beauty adventure. Shark’s Cove is an amazing protected reef located near the town of Haleiwa. Despite the name, it’s a safe and easy snorkeling spot (it’s also free, unlike the more famous Hanauma Bay) and a favorite among tourists and locals alike. Just 10 feet off shore, in calm, tranquil water, you can swim with huge schools of colorful fish. I wonder what they’ll think of my nails. ๐Ÿ™‚


Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


For more fun beauty bits, sign up to receive my updates by email. ๐Ÿ™‚


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So far, 56 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Shefali says:

    Sounds like you are having a great time Karen!!!

  2. kris says:

    Oh, I think I’m going to order some of the lipmann polishes today. I need to treat myself!

    Thanks K =)

  3. Karen!! Wayy to go girl.. I am dying for one of those pampering mani and pedis!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    iรขโ„ขยฅmakeups last blog post..Preliminary Information on "Manish Arora for M.A.C Cosmetics"

  4. Susanne says:

    Thanks! It reminds me I have to make a new date for manicure again ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love these treatments.

  5. Aleks says:

    Hey Karen! Seems like we’re both enjoying ourselves! You’re in Hawaii and I’m back in Stockholm. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was able to stay here during our family friends are holidaying in Thailand (until June 24). I am here with a friend and so far it’s been a blast! They have Laura Mercier, Essie and whatnot here, yay! ๐Ÿ˜€ Just wanted to wish you a wonderful time & talk to you later!

    PS. I’ve never had a pedicure in my life but after all this walking in the heat, I think I’m gonna need one soon.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Glosslizard says:

    That looks so relaxing! Good for you! I love Delovely, and I bet the fish will love your nails! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Karen B says:

    Sounds amazing! I’m so getting myself pampered once I get my exam results…

    Karen Bs last blog post..Icons: Spain NT match vs Russia

  8. Dao says:

    amazing! I like the toe nail color, it’s delovely indeed! Btw, what’s the name of the flower you held?

  9. Joey says:

    I’m so glad you’re having fun in Hawaii. I’m so jealous ): I’m stuck studying for finals at the CSUF library, lol. I hope snorkeling is as great as it sounds! (:

  10. Rizza says:

    Hi Karen!

    What a relaxing day you had! I will definitely check out the nail bar the next time i visit Oahu.

    What camera do you use by the way? Your pictures come out so clear and beautiful.

  11. Lehea says:

    OMG! I’m going to a wedding while I’m there in August, so I gotta try this mani/pedi. I’ll ask for Aimee. ๐Ÿ˜›

  12. Marisol says:

    Sounds like you are having a blast Karen. I am so happy for you!

    Marisols last blog post..Oh yeah I forgot…

  13. Meaghan says:

    Sounds wonderful!!! I am in need of a little spa treatment… Did you happen to visit Nordies today for the Cool Heat release? I got my little box of goodies today and the shades are amazing!!!

    Meaghans last blog post..MAC’s Cool Heat Collection

  14. Lehea says:

    Oh yeah! Just wondering if you purchased any of the products that were used in your mani/pedi?

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Shefali,

    I’m having a lot of fun. ๐Ÿ™‚ How’s your week been?

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Kris,

    You’re welcome! What colors are you going to get?

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Iheartmakeup,

    You should totally splurge; maybe when you’re done with some tests or finals? It’s a good thing to look forward to!

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Susanne,

    You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚ They are fun to do, and a nice way to relax. I like ’em when they are kinda spa like. How ’bout you?

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Aleks,

    Oh fun! Glad to hear that you are having a good time. Have you picked up any good makeup? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope so.

    How hot is it there? And yes, you need to get a pedicure ASAP!

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Awww, I hope you get one soon!

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I think they did. ๐Ÿ™‚ I kinda hoped that the coral shade would get some fish to nibble on my toes but alas, no.

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Yah girl! Let’s hope that you’ll be getting your pampering to reward yourself for your great exam results.

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    Thanks much, homie! That’s a plumeria. There’s a huge tree in front of my in-law’s house and the flowers are all over the grass and the sidewalk. Do you like it? It’s pretty, huh?

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Joey,

    Snorkeling was a blast. I had a lot of fun and saw some cool fish (one was as long as my leg, no joke!). Good luck studying and extra good luck on your tests! When will you be done?

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Rizza,

    I am using my travel camera on this trip – it’s an ancient Canon Digital Elph.

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Lehea,

    You will love the reclining chairs during the pedi, woo hoo! Who is getting married in August? Are ya in the wedding?

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    It’s been a lot of fun so far. ๐Ÿ™‚ How has your day been?

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Meaghan,

    Nope, I was there yesterday. I went snorkeling today… gotta take advantage of the warm water! Hope you’re having fun with your loot.

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Lehea,

    I ended up getting the Cuticle Oil and the Top Coat. I figured I should get some stuff to use to keep it looking nice while I’m here, and then get all the other stuff I wanted when I get home (that ridge filling base coat is next).

  30. Lehea says:

    Sweet! I was actually invited by a friend of mine. Her brother is getting married. The weather over here has been great these past few days. I seriously can’t wait until I’m on vacation!

  31. Shefali says:

    My week has been random…it started out ok until I got sick today. I stayed home from work to rest and wouldn’t you know it? Daycare called and said my son had a temperature and has to come home. So I had to pick him up early. Thank goodness my hubs came home early from work so he was able to take care of my little guy while I slept in the afternoon. Crazy next couple of days though – hubs is going to SLC, Utah for work so it’s the two sickies staying behind. I don’t know how I’m going to manage…I’m so tired! BUT…reprieve on Saturday – I’m seeing SATC with one of my best friends. We’re dressing up and doing the whole lunch/girlie thing. No cosmos cuz she preggers…but will be fun nonetheless!

  32. lindsay says:

    i think i’m gonna make an appointment very soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Fie says:

    Ah I wouldn’t mind a medipedi right now. Haha I wonder if I can sneak into the next flight to Oahu from Malaysia…I wonder if there’s even a flight to there D:

  34. Misti says:

    Can I just say that your first picture, holding the plumeria, made me almost cry with nostalgia?

    I spent a total of 8 months in Hawaii during college (my dad was stationed there) and in my ideal world, my husband and I would retire there.

    We spent the summer after our senior year of High School (a year we spent apart) just roaming the island (his dad was also stationed there) and falling deeper in love…I have such a sacred place in my heart for Hawaii and the plumeria, by far, is my favorite blossom.

    More pictures, please! From a ‘home’-sick girl stuck in Texas!

  35. Amanda says:

    that sounds devine Karen! and I love coral ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Megan says:

    Seriously Karen…Every day I read MABB…every day I wish I was in Hawaii. The mani/pedi sound fabulous! And it sounds like you’re having a blast!!!

  37. Baby Girl says:

    Too cool! Now I want a mani/pedi. I love getting a treatment from someone who works with a celebrity. You really feel like you’re getting the best for your $. When J Lo was part of Bennifer and here in Philly, my brow waxer was on call for her.

    Baby Girls last blog post..My Caffeine Conundrum

  38. Daya says:

    What cute toes! The color looks similar to an OPI shade I’ve used before. I went to Ala Moana at least twice when we were on the island. Thanks for the tip on the nail bar!

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Lehea,

    You’ll have so much fun when you’re here. In August the water will be so warm… just like bathwater! Ahhh!

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Shefali,

    Oh no! I hope you and your little one feel better soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope that you get well before your date with the girls on Saturday.

    Get as much rest as you can, girlie. Take care of yourself!

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    Yah, girl! It’s a very fun indulgence. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe you can do it before a party! That way your nails will be lookin’ fierce.

  42. Karen says:

    Hi Fie,

    LOL, I wanna sneak flights to Italy and Greece and um, all over the world. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’d let ya in my carry on if I could!

  43. Karen says:

    Hi Misti,

    Your story made me a lil’ teary! I am such a softy and it sounds like that summer was really magical for you both. What a wonderful, special place to fall in love.

    I’m sending you big aloha from Oahu, girl!

  44. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    You inspired me! That’s why I chose that shade. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    It was fab, and the best one I’ve had in a long time. Can I just say one of my favorite parts was when she used the cheese grater thingy on my feet? Holy crap they’re soft now!

  46. Karen says:

    Hi Baby Girl,

    Oh that’s hot! You know J.Lo has some of the best brows, too!

    I have a friend out in Philly for school. I’ve never been, though. Do you like living out there?

  47. Karen says:

    Hi Daya,

    I could spend days at Ala Moana. ๐Ÿ™‚ When did you visit Oahu? Are you planning on coming back? I hope so!

  48. Lydia says:

    oOOooo it looks like your having fun!

    Lydias last blog post..The Glamazon Look: Fashion

  49. Kate says:

    They have a Lippmann Collection Nail Studio at the Nordstrom in Tacoma, Wash., now. I am SO grateful for the details of the services on your blog. No one was at the counter when I walked by today, but I picked up a flyer. There were no descriptions just prices.

    Your photos and details definitely make me want to go back and get a pedicure!!!

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