Cuticle Remover: The Secret to Model-Perfect Manicures

Deborah Lippmann, Cuticle RemoverReaders, my nails have been a wreck for weeks. It’s basically Deborah Lippmann’s fault: I haven’t been able to forget her admonition not to push back my cuticles with my thumbnail. So I developed a small but insidious vicious cycle: I couldn’t paint my nails until I pushed back my cuticles, but I couldn’t push back my cuticles until I had cuticle remover.

Well I finally broke the cycle, with Deborah Lippmann’s cuticle remover and an orange stick (an inexpensive tool, but you’ll have to purchase it separately). If you haven’t yet tried this for yourself, you will be amazed. If you’ve ever wondered how some nail bloggers have such immaculate fingers (and I do), I think this is the answer. My cuticles are so smooth and perfect! There’s no crud on the surface of my nail!

The process is ridiculously simple. With a brush or a dropper, apply cuticle remover to the U of skin that touches your nail. Then steady your hand on a table (or your knee).  I prefer the flat, angled end of an orange stick, and I gently push back, moving the tool in tiny circles (the motion prevents me from stabbing myself in the cuticles). You might also want to have a paper towel or napkin nearby, to wipe the crud off your orange stick as you go.

Yes, I believe I’m ready for my closeup.

Deborah Lippmann’s cuticle remover is $20 (available with free shipping from Nordstrom.comicon or NeimanMarcus.comicon, use code MAYFS). Orange sticks cost around 20 cents apiece if you’re buying five or twenty… you can get them for as little as 2 cents apiece if you’re buying a few hundred.

I know there are other cuticle removers out there (though four reviews on say this one is the best). Which brands have you tried? Whose do you like best? (Also: How much is it? Where do you buy it?)

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8 Responses to “Cuticle Remover: The Secret to Model-Perfect Manicures”

  • They really do look fabulous! Clean cuticles are a must, but give yourself some credit- the length & shape are great too! I wonder what the difference is between the Lippmann remover and the cheapie pink stuff I get at Sally’s- any chance you can post an ingredient list? :)

  • KarlaSugar says:

    Of course! There are so few ingredients I had trouble locating them on the box: water, potassium hydroxide, lanolin oil, carrageenan.

  • LiliVonSchtupp says:

    Wow, I may stop using my cuticle nippers, your fingers look so nice!

    Sally Hansen makes a green gel remover in a tube, used it for years. About $5 for one ounce at drugstores.

  • Alexandra RC says:

    I use Orly Cutique but I want to give this a tey, especially after seeibg your pictures, do you know if Deborah Lippmann is doing a gift with purchase for Neiman Marcus Camp Gorgeous this year?

  • Kat says:

    Blue Cross cuticle remover, works like a charm. You can get it on Amazon for like $10, including shipping, for 32 oz. Yes, 32 oz!! I’ll never get through the bottle in a lifetime.

  • Lindsay says:

    Too funny! I bought my first cuticle remover TODAY. No joke. Got the aloe Sally Hansen for $4. My nails look amazing. I’m hooked too. Polish swatches, here I come! xo

  • Rachel says:

    Sally Hansen’s gel remover works really well for me.

  • Andrea says:

    When you say “stab yourself in the cuticle” I think you are referring to the eponichyum. The cuticle is the dead skin which lives all over the nail plate, the eponichyum is the band of living tissue around the finger.

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