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Sunday, May 15, 2011

DIY: French Manicures

When I was in 7th grade I ordered a French manicure kit from Avon. I was already known amongst my friends as the nail polish expert, so needless to say when I showed up at school sporting not only a French manicure, but one I'd done myself, I became the nail queen. It was love ever since. Some may say that the French manicure has fallen out of fashion, but I still think it holds its own. It is a classic after all, and it really is easy to achieve with a little patience. 

For my French manicure I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On for my tips, Eyeko Petite Polish as my pink, and Essie To Dry For topcoat. I went for a traditional French manicure with a crisp white and a sheer pink base, but you can change it up about a million different ways by changing the base colour to a beige-y nude or shimmery sheer. It's really up to you. 

1) Yves Rocher French Manicure Guides
2) Orly White Tip Guides
3) Essence French Manicure Tip Guides

I was too lazy to root through my nail stuff bucket to use guides, but they are an excellent way to get your mani started. They are stickers that go along your nail line and stop the white polish from going over the line. Alternatively, if you have a steady hand you can paint free hand by following the natural curve of your nail line. I suggest going just a bit over the natural line, as this will make your manicure last a bit longer once your nails start to grow out. Nail guides can sometimes be tricky to find, but check the nail polish aisle in your favourite store, they are usually found with the treatments and tools.

5) Sephora Collection French Tips & Toes Manicure Pen

The first step (after your guides, if you decide to use them) is your white polish. I'm fond of white, but you can also use off whites, creams or light nudes, it really is up to you. Using the white polish apply a THIN layer along your tips. It is important to keep the polish thin or it will end up looking globby and messy in the end. Not to mention it will take forever to dry and end up getting stuck on your  nail guides and then tear leaving you with messy white tips. Not a good look. Once the first coat is dry, inspect to see if you think you need a second. Chances are you won't, but if you do follow up with another thin coat and let it dry completely. Remove your guides.

2) Eyeko Petite Polish
5) Zoya Bailey

After you've got the hard part finished (the tips, and it really isn't that hard) you can move on to the pink. Again, I prefer pink and it is the most traditional shade, you can change it up and use a sheer nude, shimmer or sheer tint of your favourite colour if you like, just make sure that whichever shade you choose is sheer so you can still see the white tips you applied. Apply a thin coat of your desired polish and let it dry. You can follow up with a second coat if you think your tips look to harsh or you can move on to the next step: a good coat or two of your favourite top coat.

1)Bourjois Paris French Manicure Kit
2) China Glaze Love Story French Manicure Kit
3) Orly French Nouveau Manicure Kit
4) Essie  French Manicure Kit

If you are completely new to French manicures and don't want to have to go searching for the perfect white and pink, pre-designed kits can be the perfect choice. They usually come with everything you need (even nail guides) to achieve the perfect manicure. 
What do you think of French manicures? Do you do your own? What are your favourite shades to use?


  1. I agree i think that french manicures never go out of style, they always look classy and elegant. I love to paint my nails ALL different colors but i always tend to do a french mani every few times i change my nail color.
    Another place to fing the mani guides is Ebay, shipping may take a little longer but you can find a pack of over 100 guides for about $2 (with shipping) can't beat that!

  2. I love French manicures! They go with everything! I just can't do the application by myself. I'm so clumsy!

  3. @mysweetie924
    Oh ebay! I never think to check there. You're just too smart :D

    I agree as well, can't mess with a classic.

    @Vintage Makeup

    I bet you could! It just takes a bit of practice, but guides make it super easy.

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  5. brinkka2011 says: wonderful points altogether, you just gained a new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?

  6. you can also use paper-hole reinforcements as tip guides. You can pick them up at anywhere that sells stationary and they serve as awesome guides for other designs too!!!


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