Hey guys! A friend of mine was telling me how much she enjoyed my blog the other day and was saying how she struggled to do a french manicure on herself. It's something that is really simple and easy to do at home yourself! I think it's something for any age and makes your hands just 'pop'. We have a wedding coming up soon so I have been doing my mum's nails for her (she never wears nail polish so I've started early to get her used to it) so she'll be my model for today.
what you will need . . .
- nail varnish remover
- nail file and buffer
- cuticle oil (optional)
- a base coat (your choice, not necessary)
- a pink coloured polish
- a white or cream coloured polish
- a top coat
- cotton wool buds
*links at the end of the blog for the products I used
These are the polishes I've chosen to use, all nails inc:
- elizabeth street - pink colour
- floral street - white colour
- a&e advanced treatment - used as a base coat
- kensington topcoat caviar - fast drying top coat
Start off with clean nails (no polish). You are now going to file your nails into the shape you want them, I personally like a square shape, but my mum likes hers round.
step two (optional)
The bottom part of your nail where it starts to come out from the skin if you look closely has a bit of skin I suppose you could call it on the bottom of the actual nail, this is your cuticle. With the cuticle oil you want to go along each nail painting it horizontally along the nail bed over the cuticles. Leave them for about 3-5minutes to let the oil sink in then using either a cuticle remover or your own nail push them back, don't push too hard or too much, this is not meant to hurt!
There are many different cuticle oils you can buy on the market, the two I have are Gok Wan's and a make called Solar. You can use what ever one you can get or prefer, there is no right or wrong.
Again this is optional, however I think it's always good to apply a basecoat as it can protect your nails. You need to make sure using a paper towel for example that the nails are clean again and oil free. Then apply a basecoat over the nails and wait till they dry.
Mum's nails with the basecoat.
I used the nails inc a&e advanced treatment as a basecoat as mum was saying her nails needed a bit of tlc.
Time for the iconic white tip. This is the part most people think they cannot do or dread to do, but I'm going to show you you don't need to be perfect at it or have a steady hand.
Starting at the top left and going in a clockwise direction you can see how you sweep the brush in a 'u' shape along the top of the nail, if possible following the shape of the nail. If your 'u' shape isn't perfect don't worry, in the next step I will show you how to correct and perfect it.
Make sure your white tip is completely dry! Now you are going to take your cotton wool bud and dip it into the nail varnish remover (sometimes it's easier if you pour a wee bit into the lid). You are going to use the cotton wool bud to tidy up your nail, you can go around the edge and remove any polish you have got on your skin. You also use it in a sweeping movement to tidy the 'u' shape of your white tip. Don't be worried to reapply the nail varnish remover and if you take off too much you can always reapply the white or touch it up.
Starting at the top left and going in a clockwise direction you can see how this is done and in the bottom left hand corner the finished nail.
Once you are happy with your white tips and again they are completely dry you are going to paint over a coat of your pink polish. You don't want anything too heavy or too pink so you can't see the white tip.
I've chosen nails inc elizabeth street.
This is it on the nails and as you can see it's not too pink, just looking quite natural.
This is the final step and I'm sure you've guessed it, time for the top coat. Once the top coat had dried I also applied some cuticle oil again to my mum's nails to leave them in a good condition.
Well that's how to do a french manicure yourself, simple and easy. The key thing to remember is ensuring your nails are completely dry after each step! If they aren't the next step you do will take ages to set and dry and in the end will smudge, something you don't want after all the effort you have put into them.
Links to the polishes used in this tutorial . . .
- Kensington caviar top and base coat http://www.nailsinc.com/nailpolish/kensington-caviar-top-base-coat-duo/822/ (these can be bought separately)
- elizabeth street http://www.nailsinc.com/nailpolish/elizabeth-street-polish/344/ (also available in a mini polish http://www.nailsinc.com/nailpolish/elizabeth-street-mini-polish/940/ )
- floral street http://www.nailsinc.com/nailpolish/floral-street-polish/411/
- a&e advanced treatment (this comes in a set) http://www.nailsinc.com/nailpolish/very-dry-and-damaged-nails-treatment-pack/199/
* nails inc also have a french manicure collection http://www.nailsinc.com/nailpolish/french-manicure-collection/296/ Although you can chose any make of polish as long as you have a pink and white colour for the french manicure
Once you've mastered the french manicure why not try other designs like the one below. However you will need to paint on the base colour first and then do the tip with a steady hand, using the cotton wool bud to tidy up the 'u' shape will not work for this design.
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