French Manicures are a timeless classic when it comes to nails designs. They look sophisticated and are easy to perform once you know how to. The look is very classy and is simple nail art on short nails, long, whether you have an oval, square or rounded shape to your nails. It is easy to see why they are the most requested look at nail salons. These basic nail designs will never go out of fashion and is a good alternative for those who like mellow nail art.
The origin of French Manicures is difficult to place. Some believe it was created in Paris in the 1930s and other sources say it was created in the US and given the name “French” to sound exotic. It remains a mystery.
What is French Manicure?
It is also referred to as French Nails. It is where the nails are given a nude or pink base coat and a contrasting white tip over the natural white tips of the nail bed. The results are a very understated look that is timeless and will go with any outfit you wear. The youtube French nails video at the bottom of the page will provide you with a French nails tutorial and I will provide you with step by step instructions for your DIY French Manicure.
Colored French tip nails, red French tip nails, blue French nails, black French nails and pink French tip nails are all easy French nails designs you can do at home. They do not differ in application from the regular variety but still require a steady hand to apply the strip of color along the whites of your nails.
American French Manicure Vs French Manicure
The difference between these manicures is that the American variety use more of a natural color for the base of the nail rather than a light pink.
Here is your nail art equipment list to apply your cute French tip nail designs;
- Cotton wool
- Nail polish remover
- Small bowl of warm water
- Hand towel
- Hand cream or moisturiser
- Cotton tipped applicators or q-tips
- Kitchen towel
- Manicure set containing cuticle stick, nail buffer, emery board, nail clippers and scissors
- Clear base coat of nail polish
- Top coat of nail polish
- French Manicure set or buy the following separately
- Nude color nail polish
- Opaque white color for tips of nails or whichever color you decide to paint them
How to French Manicure at Home?
To get started you need to prepare your nails in a well ventilated room and give yourself plenty of time so you can relax and not complete a rushed job. I always like to place a hand towel on the surface I will be using so as not to drip nail polish or remover and ruin a good table!
- Remove any nail polish from your nail beds with cotton balls soaked in nail polish remover. Dependent on the type of nail polish you have been using with determine whether you use an acetone or a non-acetone based remover.
- Cut and file your nails to your desired shape with a fine grade emery board. Remember to only file in the one direction as filing back and forth can weaken the nails.
- Buff your nails.
- Soak your hands in some warm water to soften your cuticles.
- Dry your hands with the kitchen towel.
- Push back your cuticles with the cuticle stick.
- Moisturise your hands and if your skin is really dry, wrap your hands in a warm towel so the moisturiser soaks in.
- Use a cotton applicator tip soaked in nail polish remover to remove any remnants of moisturiser from your nail bed.
- Once you are sure your nails are dry and clean you can apply your clear base coat.
- Allow time for your base coat to dry, if you don’t have much time consider using a nail dryer.
- Once the base coat has dried, apply your white tips or your colored French tips.
- For square French tip nails – paint a straight line across the top of your nails.
- For rounded tips – follow the natural curve of your nail.
- For an accentuated curved tip – paint from the corners of your nail to the centre making an arc.
- Once the tips are dry, paint over the entire nail with a sheer pink coat.
- Finish off the look with a top coat to protect your nails from chipping.
French Nail Art Ideas and Tips
Cute French tip nail designs can be achieved by combining different nail art designs with this classic look. It is possible to create easy French manicure designs by using stamping nail art over the nail or apply a freehand nail design with nail art pens. Applying different colored French manicures is a way to ensure your nails designs look modern and fun.
If you don’t have a steady hand you can brush outwards with small brush strokes instead of trying to paint across the nail, this is usually easier. Or buy a French Manicure set with guides for painting the tips. The Sally Hansen French manicure kit is good value for money and easy to use.
Applying a top coat to your nails every couple of days, will ensure your nails designs stays on your nails. You can always make touch ups to your nails by using a nail art pen. Even with a limited nail art supplies kit it is possible to create a beautiful French manicure.
I’ve written a post with instructions and a youtube tutorial on how to do Black on Black French nails.
Shellac French polish nails are a good way to ensure your manicure will last for weeks on end.
This French manicure at home video shows you how you can create cute French nails with stamping nail art.
If you are looking to buy some nail art tools and products to complete your French Manicure, take a look at some of the specials at Amazon at the moment.