How to do a French Manicure, Best French Manicure Kits and Different Styles

 If you are looking for a traditional and very clean looking treatment for your nails then getting a french manicure is very much recommended. The most classic type of french manicure treatment has a flesh or clear colored tone to the body of the nail that is crowned with a bright white tip.

There is probably no other look when it comes to nails that says, “well groomed” like a french manicure.  Employers generally prefer tasteful French manicures to other types of nail treatments so keep that in mind the next time you go for a job interview.

Having a French manicure done is one of the most glamorous looks for your nails. It is clean and elegant all in one.

The french manicure looks great on any length of nail but it looks especially nice on short nails. Unlike bright red polish this type of manicure lengthens rather than shortens the look of the fingers. However it is possible to paint the white tips on the nails in a way that makes your nail look chunkier than it actually is.

Can I French Manicure at Home?

French manicures are probably best left to professionals if you dont have a steady hand –  all you have to do to get one is book a nail treatment in a hair salon or beauty salon. Almost every salon professional on earth is familiar with this way of doing your nails.

The procedure is very simple.  Your nails are filed and shaped and then the tips are painted white using nail guides. These guides are like sticker placed on the beds of your nails. The stickers are then removed and pink or flesh colored nail polish is then applied.

Usually a topcoat of varnish is also applied to protect the nails. A really good french manicure should last you at least a couple of weeks depending on how rough you are with your hands.  If you type a lot for instance you risk damaging the nails more.

If you do want to try doing it yourself, keep reading on!

French Manicure Tips

It is not easy doing your first french manicure at home so here are some general nail care tips and french manicure tips to make sure you do a good job

For best results it is advised to have some length to your nails otherwise it can be difficult to keep the paint away from the skin at the tip of your fingers.

So no nail biting!

Keep Instruments Clean

Do not share your manicure instruments with other people. This is a good way to spread infection.  Perhaps one of the wisest of French manicure tips that you can be given is to be told to sterilize your instruments thoroughly before using them. Soaking them in alcohol easily does this. You can also sterilize them by putting them in the dishwasher or sterilizing before use.

Exfoliate and Moisturize

You should also exfoliate your nails and hands thoroughly before you do any type of nail treatment. If you moisturize your hands before hand also be sure to rinse them well or make sure the oil is absorbed. If there is oil sitting on your nails it can prevent the nail polish from being applied properly.

File and Shape

Be sure to file your nails and shape them before you do the French Manicure . If they are brittle or tend to split, tend to file them flat across the top with smooth, rounded edges. One of the classic general nail tips that most manucurists have to offer is to file your nails in one direction and avoid sawing the nails by going in a back and forth motion as that can damage the nail plate.

Use a Good Ridge Filler

If your nails have a lot of ridges be sure to use ridge filler. This pre nail treatment makes the nail polish easier to apply.

Buff the nails

Buffing your nails to a natural gloss before applying nail varnish or painting on the tips also goes a long way towards making this whole process easier and more attractive in the end.

Use the Full Kit!

Finally don’t be afraid to use the sticky tape or nail guides that come with most manicure sets. Doing French manicures freehand does not usually work very well unless you have a very steady hand a skilled eye.

Another great tip is to keep your nail polish in the fridge, this keeps it in great condition and prevents it from becoming too thick and difficult to apply.

Steps to the Perfect French Manicure:

  • Ensure your nails are free from any old nail polish by using a cotton ball and nail varnish remover.
  • Soak you hands in warm water and then using the little wooden sticks you get with a manicure set, push back your cuticles.
  • File your nails to the length you want them making sure that they feel smooth.
  • Carefully paint the tips of you nails with the white varnish.
  • Once the white tips are completely dry paint your entire nail with the nude colour.
  • Again wait till nails are completely dry and then apply a clear top coat to help protect your manicure last longer.

toes-and-hand-nail-polishedThat’s basically how you do a French manicure. You can also do your toe nails with the same steps to have the complete manicured look.

If you find your nail tips hard to do there are nail guides you can get that help you paint a nice clean tip. You normally get them with any standard French manicure kit or you can buy them separately.

So now you know exactly what to do, you can start getting some practice in.

Eventually, creating the perfect manicure will come second nature to you. The best time to do your nails is in the evening time or any time where you have loads of time to let them dry adequately before having to do anything.

The Best French Manicure Sets

You can buy a french manicure set or you can put one together yourself. Putting together your own french manicure kit can be a little cheaper than buying one that has been created for you plus you can choose your own color of nail polish that way. Sometimes though French manicure sets do go on sale in department stores, which is worth as buying the nail guides can get expensive.  Usually though you are just paying for something unnecessary like a bag for the manicure kit to go into.

Make Your Own French manicure Set

It is easy to get that natural, clean look for your fingernails. To put together your own manicure set all you need is opaque or nude nail polish, the basic manicure tools , nail guides and white nail color.

Step one to doing this properly is to get two nail colors. The classic choice is bright white with a sheer or pastel.  However you can use a bright color and even reverse the colors so the bright color is on the tip and the body of the nail is painted white.

You should push back your nail cuticles as well as buff and shape the nail bed and tips. You should then apply the nail guides, which are like sticky pieces of tape to use as a guide for painting your nails. Make sure the tip of the nail is painted white or whatever color you have selected.

Once your nail appears to have dried you can remove the guides and then paint the rest of the nails with your sheer or opaque color. It is easiest of course to simply choose a sheer color and paint over the entire look.

If you are not sure how to do this it might be a good idea to get it done professionally so you get a lesson in how to do it before you buy a french manicure kit.

How to Do a French Pedicure

If you want to know how to do a french pedicure there are plenty of videos on youtube out there that can show you how to do it. It is not difficult especially if you also have a pedicure set. A professional nail stylist in a salon might also be willing to give you a french pedicure lesson as well.  Simply booking an appointment and taking note of how it is done is the easiest way to learn.

In essence doing a french pedicure is the same as a French manicure only you do it to your toes. It does require a steady hand.  This is because a french pedicure is sometimes done freehand and you are manually painting white tips on your nails. It is easier to do your toes than your nails as you do not have to use your non-dominant hand at any point.

The process is very simple. You place the guides from your pedicure set on your nails that leave the desired shape of the nail tip blank. You then paint the tip of the nail a bright white. You remove the guides and then paint over whole nail with a sheer gloss or pale color. Sometimes this is coated over with yet another layer of sheer varnish to keep the french pedicure from chipping.

If you are not doing a classic french pedicure then you need to be a bit more exacting when you apply the guides. These more modern and gimmicky styles of manicures are bright in color so if there is any mistakes made such as seeping under the sticky guides while you are painting then your manicure will look crooked.  The pale French kind is the easiest one to do at home with your pedicure set but you might want to leave the vividly colored one (sometimes called a reverse French manicure) to a professional.

The Reverse French Manicure

If you are thinking of boasting fingernails that are extremely glamorous and very fashionable then consider getting a reverse French manicure. To refresh your memory, the classic French manicure consists of a flesh or pink colored nail bed that is tipped with white.

In the case of the classic reverse French manicure the nail bed is white and the tips are painted a color. Usually the color is more outrageous than the pinks and flesh tones associated with the classic French manicure. Blues and bright reds are quite popular when it comes to getting this type of flashy nail treatment. Basically you can think of the traditional reverse French manicure as being a solarized version of the traditional ordinary French manicure.

There is also a second type of reverse French manicure, which takes the whole idea even further. With this type, which was seen one lot of runways for Fall 2008, the moons of the nails are painted bright white and the rest of the nail is painted a vivid color like black, bright blue or dark red. Once again pastels do not really enter the picture here.

There is even yet another variation of the French manicure, which is seen on the street as part of popular culture and also on runways. In this version the moons of the nails are painted bright white and so are the tips. The body of the nail is then painted whatever color the person desires.

The colors for Reverse French manicure treatments are also more vivid then you would expect. Solid primary colors look best. The most fashionable color is black but many women have been wearing both versions of the reverse French manicure in chocolate brown. This follows along with the general trend in fashion that brown is the “new black.”

French Manicure Nail Designs

French manicure nail designs are becoming more artistic and creative than ever. This is because manicurists can now use a manicure pen to create unique designs.

You can do designs on your own nails but often these are not strong enough to be a good canvas for french manicure nail designs. The manicure pen needs a smooth glossy surface to draw on so most people have fake nails put on or UV gel nail extensions.  Fake nails are easier for the manicure artist to work on and do bold unusual designs on. If the nails are natural the designs will be more subtle in nature.

To create a French manicure, the manicurist uses a white polish to just paint the free edge of the nail creating a nicely curving smile line to best enhance your natural nail shape. You can also coat this with sheer pink enamel, either before or after you have created your French white tip, depending on the look you want to achieve.

The most popular designs are paisleys and simple flowers. A single rhinestone surrounded by the petals of a hand painted flower can be quite stunning.  French manicure nail designs can also be created using fiberglass extensions or embedding media. However most embedding media such as bullion beads, glitters and acrylic shapes need to be applied by a professional manicurist because they are so tiny and finicky to work with.  A popular type of manicure lately is to embed tiny dried flowers directly in the acrylic bed of the fake nail that has a French manicure.

Sometimes you can also find a manicurist that is just a great artist. This type of manicurist can create the greatest designs with just a manicure pen. However these types of artists are few and far between and you might consider some of these works too tacky to wear.

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