1. Clean Your Nails with Polish Remover and Buff Them to Get Started
The first thing you need to do is to remove any old polish on your nails so you have a clean slate for your French manicure. Use a cotton ball to get the job done and be sure to get all along the sides of your nails and down into the cuticles. Once that’s done, rinse your nails and buff them so that there isn’t anything in the way of the polish.
2. Use a Nail File to Create the Shape You Want
The slightly rounded, slightly square (squoval, if you will) of salon nails is super easy to recreate at home. Use your file to gently create the shape you want, going in one direction only to prevent damage to your fingernails. Try to get the nails as symmetrical and even as possible for a more sophisticated French manicure.
3. Start with a Clear Base Coat
A base coat of clear polish allows your French manicure to really shine and helps create a barrier between the heavier polishes and your nails. Swipe on a thin coat of clear and allow it dry completely before continuing with the remaining steps of the French manicure.
4. Now for the Fun – Add the White Tips
If you have a steady hand, you can easily add the white ends to your French manicure freehand. I’m not that good so I need a little bit of help. You can get the perfect outline using paper reinforcers (you know, those little white circles for torn notebook paper holes) or plain old Scotch tape. Place either where you want the white to stop and then down toward your cuticle. Brush on two coats of white polish, allowing each to dry completely before moving on.
5. Cover the Manicure with Another Coat of Clear for a Shiny Finish
Once the white has dried, swipe on a clear top coat. That gives you that shiny, elegant look that you see in salons. Make sure you allow it to dry totally before trying to do anything so that you don’t smudge your French manicure. Now is the time to put your feet up, read a magazine and sip a mai tai.
6. Try Some Fun Embellishments if You Want Something Unique
If you want a French manicure like no other, consider some variations to the look. Instead of white, try a fun color like turquoise or pink. Add tiny rhinestones along the edge before your clear top coat. Try a shimmery or glittery white color or a shiny top coat instead of plain clear. Use your imagination and experiment to find a look you love.
7. Touch up the Tips as Needed to Keep Your Manicure Fresh
There’s no reason why you have to start from scratch just because you have a bit of fading or a ding on one nail. Just buff it down a bit, reapply the white and top the whole thing with another coat of clear. This can help your French manicure last for a week or even longer. Do you love having a French manicure? Will you try it at home now?