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How to Do a French Manicure at Home

How to Do a French Manicure at Home

A French manicure is a classic and timeless look that will never go out of style. It's sophisticated, chic, and easy to achieve at home with the right tools and techniques. The French manicure as we know it was originally developed in the US but it’s become popular worldwide. With french tips, you can easily switch up your nail colour and make an impressive statement that never goes out of style. Whether you have short nails or long nails, french tips can be done to add a polished finish to any look. 

Before You Begin - What You’ll Need

Before we dive straight into how you do it, here's the equipment you will need: Cuticle sticks, cotton balls, and cotton swabs will help you keep your nails clean. A nail file and buffer will help you maintain the shape of your nails. Cuticle oil will help keep your nails hydrated so the manicure lasts longer. A basecoat will ensure you have even coverage and help the other products stick to your nails.

To get the curved line on your nails that is part of a French manicure, you can use nail tape or a silicone nail stamper.

Nail file


Next, make sure the space where you are going to do the French Manicure is suitable. If you are using nail tape or a stamper, make sure the surface is clean and dry. If you are using a brush, it's important that your hands don't move as much so you can get an even line.

Step-by-Step: How to Do a French Manicure

Prepare your hands

Firstly, prepare your hands by making sure they are clean, and then make sure any old nail polish has been removed. This step is essential because any old nail polish left on can interfere with the french tip process.

Shape your nails

The second step is all about shape. Trim your nails to the desired shape (rounded or squared off) and then use a nail file to smooth out any rough edges. 

Push your cuticles back

Now you should push your cuticles back with a cuticle stick. This can help make your French tip look more sleek and professional because your nails will look longer. To do this, start by soaking your nails in warm water for 5-10 minutes. If you have a cuticle pusher then you can use it to gently push back your cuticles, then add some cuticle oil. A word of warning here; never trim cuticles, this can lead to infections and, potentially deformities on the nail. 

Buff your nails

Next, you should buff your nails. Focus on the cuticle area of each nail using a high-grit buffer. This will help remove any ridges and give the french tip a more polished look. A high-grit buffer is preferable as it won’t damage the nail by stripping away layers of your nail. 

Apply the basecoat

Now it's time to start applying the basecoat. Always start with a basecoat as this will help the french tip and the nail polish adhere better. Make sure to cover all of your nails in a thin, even layer by painting the basecoat from the cuticle to the tip using careful, small strokes. 

Paint the tip of the nail

The next step is to start painting the tip of the nail. Use tape if needed. Rest your hand on a flat surface and paint a white strip across the tips of your nails from one side of each nail to the other. Wait another two minutes for the white polish to dry.

Paint the rest of the nail pink

For a French mani, use a soft, pastel pink colour or cream-coloured polish. Put the polish on your nails. Let it dry for two minutes before doing anything else. If you want to try something different from the classic French mani, you could choose a colour that isn't pink or cream. You could go with red, purple, blue, green, or any other colour you like. Use white nail polish or another contrasting colour for the tips of your nails.

Apply a protective topcoat

Apply a thin layer of topcoat polish over your nails from root to tip. A good top coat protects the look of your freshly painted nails and helps the manicure last longer. Once the top coat is finished, wait for your nails to dry. You can use a UV nail lamp to dry your nails in just a few minutes. Before applying the topcoat, clean up the stray polish on the sides of your nails with a cotton pad or cotton bud soaked in nail polish remover.

There you have it, here's how you can for a French Manicure at home. So, what else do you need to know? Here are some of the questions we often get asked. 

How to Make a French Manicure Last Longer

Choose a high-quality nail polish

Make sure you use a high-quality nail polish that’s been specifically designed for french manicures. This will help the colour last longer. You should also try to keep your nails dry as much as possible and avoid putting them in water or exposing them to other harsh chemicals.



Avoid doing anything that will chip your french manicure

Avoid anything that can cause your French mani to chip like using your nails as tools. You should also regularly apply a topcoat to help your french manicure last longer and look more polished. 

Are There Different Types of French Manicure?

Yes! There are many different types of french manicures, from classic french manicures to glitter french tips and even french ombré looks. The french tip is a very versatile look and you can experiment with different colours, textures, and shapes to make your french manicure unique.

You can also have a reverse french manicure. A reverse french manicure is a unique and stylish twist on the traditional french manicure. Instead of painting your nail tip white, the reverse french manicure involves painting the entire nail white and then creating a small accent triangle at the base of the nail. The reverse french manicure can be created using either regular nail polish or gel polish (Hema-Free gel polish is available here), and it is a relatively simple design to execute. Whether you are looking to add a touch of uniqueness to your classic french manicure or simply want to try something new, the reverse french manicure is definitely worth considering.

Can You Have a French Manicure on Short Nails?

You certainly can, yes. Many people think that french tips are only suitable for long nails but this isn't true. You can easily have french tips with short nails, just make sure that you use french tips that are thin and short enough to match the size of your nails. You can also choose a french mani look that isn't too difficult to put together. So don’t be afraid to give it a try.

With the right preparation and high-quality products, you can easily do your own french manicure at home. With a few simple steps and some practice, you will be able to create stunning french tips on both long and short nails.