The perfect french mani, every time.
I’m a huge DIY kinda girl, and I rarely go to the salon to get my nails done. Actually, I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve gone to a salon to get my nails done. You would never guess this because I almost ALWAYS have some kind of design on my nails whether it be something wild and crazy or the classic french manicure. One nail polish style that I always get questions about is my french manicure because it looks like I’m wearing fake nails, but I’m not! I just have a really great trick to make your nails look flawless every time you attempt a french mani.
Ready? My secret is using a band aid as a guide for my nail polish. Yep, you read that correctly. Who knew a band aid was responsible for the nails above? I swear, it works.
I know you can get those white strip stickers from the drugstore which kind of do the same thing, they usually come in the french manicure kits. Those really never worked for me because they don’t stay in place like a band aid does. Another advantage of using a band aid is the shape. Normally, when you’re painting a french manicure, you follow an oval pattern to outline the white part of your nails. The white strip stickers are just too stiff for that, in my opinion.
If you want to see my secret to a perfect french manicure, keep reading!
What you’ll need:
1. Cuticle Remover Gel or Cream
2. Cuticle Clippers or Scissors
3. Two or Three Clear Band Aids
4. White Nail Polish
5. Clear Nail Polish
6. Nail File
So, once you have everything you need – let’s get started! First, you’re going to want to prepare your nails for polish. Grooming is KEY if you want a flawless manicure.
Step 1: You’re going to want to file your nails down into a square shape. If you prefer round, do round. I personally prefer square, it gives the manicure a sharper finish. File both the top and the sides until you’re happy with your square shape.
Step 2: Apply cuticle gel or cream to the cuticle area. Let it sit for about 40 seconds until the cuticles are visibly moist. Note: Some claim that the cuticles shouldn’t be trimmed. Again, I personally think any manicure requires the cuticles to either be pushed back or trimmed. It just gives a cleaner finish in the end. If you have sensitive cuticles or would rather prefer to keep yours in place, ignore this step as well as step 3.
Step 3: Once you’ve let the cuticle gel sit, remove it with a damp cotton ball or warm towel. You will want it to be a little damp to wipe away the excess dead skin cells from your cuticles. Once you’ve done this, trim any excess loose cuticle that is left over with your cuticle clippers or scissors. I’ve said cuticle 5 times now. Okay, one more: CUTICLE.
Now that we’ve gotten prep out of the way, time for the fun part.
Step 1: Place the oval shaped, sticky end of the band aid below the natural line of where your nail begins. I like to place mine slightly below if my nails aren’t as grown out, as seen above. This helps to fake the length of your nail a little, and I find it makes them look more square.
Step 2: Once the band aid is tightly pressed in place, apply 1 coat of white nail polish to your tips. It’s okay if you get the nail polish on the band aid, because you will remove it. Once the first coat is dry, apply another coat.
Step 3: Allow the second coat of white nail polish to slightly dry, and gently remove the band aid. You want the nail polish to still be a little wet in case your french tip isn’t perfectly straight. If the polish is still wet, you can manipulate it a little. When you remove it, you want to slowly pull it off from the right side of the nail to the left. You will now get a solid, clean, white tip.
Note: IF for some reason it is not perfectly solid because you didn’t align the band aid properly, you can use your thumb nail on the opposite hand to manipulate the polish by pushing it back as needed until perfectly straight.
Step 4: Apply 2 – 3 coats of top coat, let dry, and you’ve got a perfect french mani!