How To Give Yourself a French Manicure

Looking for a versatile manicure job that you can wear from the office to after-work drinks?  Why not get a French manicure? This popular look did not actually originate from the French; rather, Jeff Pink, founder and CEO of ORLY nail polish, invented it. He created the look in 1975 when movie and TV directors wanted a simple and versatile nail style to complement their actresses' numerous wardrobe changes. He had the stars' stylists paint their nails with a sheer coat and a white tip, and the celebrities went crazy over it!  Truly, the most elegant and universal nail look is a natural look, and this is what the French manicure is all about. Read on to find out how to give yourself a French Manicure.

You will need the following:

  1. Nail file
  2. Nail buffer
  3. Cuticle pusher
  4. Cuticle softener or warm water
  5. A base coat
  6. A thick white nail polish for the tips
  7. A top coat

The last three polishes can be bought as part of a French Manicure set, which includes half-moon guides for the tips. Depending on where you buy your nail polish, each will cost you around $5 to $9. Although you can get away with using drugstore nail polish, it's not as easy to hide imperfections when you do a French manicure.

  • Prepare your nails. Before you go around painting your nails, you have to prep them first! Soak your fingernails in cuticle softener or warm water, and then use the cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles. Dry your hands and file your nails with a nail file to make sure your tips are perfectly oval-shaped. Shine them up with a nail buffer to make the nail polish glide smoothly and to give your nails a glass-like finish.
  • Apply the base coat. The base coat gives your nails a sheer, shiny surface for the nail polish to glide on to. Good base coats also have vitamins that help strengthen your nails. Paint your nails with the base coat and let dry.
  • Paint your tips white. Now this is where it gets a little tricky. Paint from one side of your nail and work your way across. It might take several tries before you get it right, and you can always use nail polish remover and do that particular nail from the start. One tip that might make this easier to do is to concentrate on the white line that meets the pink part of your nail. Try following this as much as possible. You can also paint right under where the nail growth starts; that way, your nails will still be in great shape after a week of growth. Let the white tips dry and repair any uneven polish on the tips.
  • Apply the top coat. Once the tips are dry, apply the top coat to keep your nail polish chip-free and give your nails a shiny finishing touch.


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