Step by Step Guide for a French Manicure

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Step by Step Guide for a French Manicure

Going to a Long Island Nail Salon will give you a perfect nail finish every time. However, you can’t always get to the salon for one reason or another. So you can do a French Manicure yourself, by following some simple steps.


1. Prep
Prep your nails by removing all of your old nail polish, even if it’s clear. Be sure to remove all traces from the corners and cracks since the base colour for the classic French manicure is sheer pink.


Note: If you have acrylic extensions on, remember to use an appropriate polish remover and don’t let it soak in for too long.

2. Trim
Start by trimming your nails to the desired length making sure they’re all even. French manicures look more beautiful with longer nails, remember, you don’t want to trim them too close to your fingertips.

Use a nail clipper to trim any uneven spots and always check to make sure they’re all the same length.

3. Shape

Figure out the type of shape you’d like either rounded or squares. Use a nail file to finish shaping your nails so that they each have a smooth edge.


4. Soak
If you really want to re-create that spa experience at home, dip your hands in a bowl of warm water or whole milk and let them soak for a minute or two then dry your hands with a towel. This softens your cuticles and prepares them for the next step.


5. Clean
Gently push your cuticles back with a metal cuticle pusher or an orange stick. Clip off any hangnails and dead skin with a cuticle cutter or small nail scissors. Use the opposite end of the cuticle pusher or orange stick to remove any dirt and grime from underneath your nails.


6. Buff
Before applying your first coat of polish, buff the surface of your nails to prepare them for your nail polish.


7. Massage 

Massage cuticle oil into your nails to moisturize before putting a few drops of rubbing alcohol on your nails. Make sure to not put too much rubbing alcohol as this will make your nails turn brittle.


8. Base
Start by painting a thin layer of sheer pink or beige and let them dry for a couple of minutes. Paint from the cuticle to the tip with the brush angled forward. Remember to fill the entire nail using smooth, even strokes. For gel nails, cure them under the LED light for no longer than 45 seconds. Repeat this step with a second coat before moving on.

9. Nail guides
Nail guides are a perfect way to snag that perfect mess free french tip. Place the nail guides close to the tip of the finger and attach them evenly on to each nail. Other alternatives include magic tape, which can be easily bought in any stationery store and cut into crescent shapes.  If you don’t have stickers, don’t despair – you’ll still get a good result working freehand.

10. Tip
With steady hands, lightly brush the white nail polish onto the tip of your nails. The white nail polish should stop right at the tip of your finger or where the whites of your nails stop. Let the polish dry completely and repeat this step with a second coat if you wish. To clean up any messes or reshape the area, a nail polish pen or a Q-tip dipped in a little bit of nail polish remover works perfect.

Tip: For a square look, paint a straight line across and for a more rounded effect, simply follow the curve of the natural nail from corner to corner.

11. Top Coat
Once your tips are completely dry, carefully remove the guides and apply an even layer of clear nail polish as the top coat. Using a top coat not only protects your freshly painted nails but also help your manicure last longer.


12. Moisturize
Brush on a layer of cuticle oil on the edges of your nails before moisturising your hands. This helps keep your hands from drying while the oil protect the polish as it dries. Now you’re ready to relax and let your nail dry thoroughly before attempting to do anything with your hands. Remember, impatience will only result in scratches and smudges on your freshly done manicure.

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