Meet The Nail Artist Extraordinaire Behind Dua Lipa’s Maximalist Manicures


You’d be forgiven for thinking that Dua Lipa is a fan of a low-key nail look after seeing the subtly ’90s nude manicure (Bio Sculpture’s gel formula in Heart and Soul, if you’re wondering) she sports in British Vogue’s February issue. The truth is that Dua is a nail chameleon and oscillates between all manner of designs on her nails, courtesy of her manicurist Michelle Humphrey. “Usually Dua has a look that she fancies and she’ll pull images,” Humphrey explains over Zoom. “And then we’ll either do that, or sometimes I’ll add something or take something out, then it becomes its own thing.”

From glitter-loaded tips for Dua’s recent Studio 2054 performance, to crystals for an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show or music video-ready orange floral patterns, the duo’s creative trademark is nails that are pure joy to look at. “I love [nail] appointments with individuals like Dua or actresses and other personalities – something where they want a look. It’s so nice and rewarding when you can be creative,” says Humphrey. “There’s a transformation, and you can see a real before and after. A manicure is always a transformation anyway – nails will be cleaner, tidier and neater – but when you put some boujis glitter on it and make it fun, that’s what it’s all about.”

Other than Dua, who she sees every one to two weeks whenever schedules allow (“It can be a midnight manicure sometimes!”), Humphrey’s fun designs (and the more simple ones) have appeared on the nails of everyone from Adele to Lily Allen, Naomie Harris to Cate Blanchett, and she’s also a regular on editorial shoots. How does she come up with ideas? “I’ve always been very artistic – something will pop into my head, I will visually see it in my brain, and then I play with it,” she says of her process. “Sometimes I’m inspired by a product, brand or trend, or sometimes it will be something on Instagram that looks fun. I always like to put an original spin on things, though.” Either way, she says, nails are all about expressing your personal self – find inspiration from where you can: “It’s free and easy!”

This story originally appeared in British Vogue.

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