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Emmys Beauty: We Love Lena Dunham's Magenta Nails

Celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann spills the deets on the digits that accompanied the tutu seen round the world
Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff
AP Images

Lena Dunham, the nominated star and creator of HBO's Girls, may have been, uh, a little out there with her Emmys ensemble, showing up in a glorified tutu by Giambattista Valli. As for her metallic magenta manicure, it was nothing but pretty.

"Lena wanted her team of artists to just be creative," says celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann, who created her girly nail look. "She kind of gave us free rein to do what we wanted." The choice of nail shade — Deborah Lippmann's 12th Street Rag — sprouted from Dunham's blouse and skirt. "She’s young and free so I didn't think her nails really had to match the gown. We actually looked for a pink that wasn't in the ombre of the skirt. So it was 100 percent inspired by the gown, but it’s a tone that wasn’t in there."

The chrome-like sheen of the nail color’s finish, meanwhile, plays off the soft, silky sheen of her blouse. "It's inspired by '40s glam, it’s luxe without being glittery. And we didn’t want a cream or a glitter," says Lippmann.

The manicurist prepped the newly blonde star by shaping her nails with her Smooth Operator buffer, exfoliating with Cuticle Remover, and hydrating with Rich Girl SPF 25 Hand Cream and Cuticle Oil. "Lena has a really nice length nail bed, so she wears color well. Hers is the perfect length for this kind of luxe chrome finish," explains Lippmann, who used her own Ridge Filler Base Coat before applying two coats of 12th Street Rag — to both her fingernails and toenails — and finished with Gel Lab Top Coat.

After she finished working on Dunham, Lippmann says she was "so excited when I looked up and saw the red lip. I'm a big fan of red and pink — it’s really modern, strong and sexy."

Photos courtesy of Autumn de Wilde

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