French manicures are the go-to way to achieve a classic, elegant look for any special occasion. They can be a little fiddly to do at home, but with these tips, you’ll have your nails looking pristine in no time. Here’s how to get a gorgeous French manicure without a trip to the salon.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
For best results, you’ll need:
Nail polish remover
An orangewood stick
Some nail scissors
A clear base coat
A clear or sheer pink gel nail polish and UV lamp
White nail polish or ready-made French tips
A clear top coat
To make things much easier, get our Deluxe French Manicure starter kit. It has everything you need to create 10 gorgeous manicures at home, saving you multiple trips to the salon.
PREPARING YOUR NAILS
Before you start, make sure your nails are primed and ready. Take all traces of your old nail polish off using nail polish remover. Then wash your hands thoroughly, to make sure all traces of oil are gone. This will make the nail polish stick to your nails more easily, and will ensure a longer lasting wear.
We also recommend using a cleanser for an even better finish. Try Sensationail Gel Cleanser and Wipes.
Cut your nails into the desired shape. You’ll want to make sure your nails are not too short, as you’ll need enough length to add the white tips.
Next, use a nail buffer to very gently buff the surface of your natural nail. Avoid using a coarse file, or buffing too hard, or it could damage your nail. Then, using an orangewood stick, gently push back your cuticles.
APPLYING THE NAIL POLISH
Start by applying a clear base coat and cure under a UV lamp for 30 seconds. This will ensure an even coverage and a longer-lasting result. Then choose your main polish. For best results, go for either a very sheer pink or a clear polish. Apply two coats to the whole nail, curing under the UV lamp after each coat.
APPLYING THE TIPS
Now you want to create a white tip for each nail. This should cover the part of the nail that extends beyond the nail bed. You can either paint your tips or apply ready-made French Manicure tips.
Painting your own tips can be a little tricky, but you can create a DIY stencil using masking tape. Cut out an arch-shaped piece of tape and place it on your nail, leaving the tips exposed. The apply the white nail polish to the tips and leave to air dry before removing the tape. Then fully dry using a UV lamp. Don’t use anything other than masking tape or you’ll take off the top layer of your nail polish.
If you’re using ready-made French manicure tips, choose the appropriate size and very carefully place the tip onto the nail. Use a buffer to file down to the perfect size.
Finish by applying two layers of top coat to the whole nail, curing under the UV lamp between coats. And that’s it, you have the perfect French manicure for a fraction of the cost!