DIY French Manicure – Simple Step By Step Tutorial

November 12, 2017

French Manicure is my favorite nail look. It is so elegant and fits to almost any kind of outfit. It has been my go-to look since I was a teenager and I keep returning to it (my husband adores it too!). Since getting french manicure done by a professional can be a bit expensive longterm, I taught myself how to create the look using drugstore products (the nail polish I used is from Maybelline, but I think any nail polish will do as long as you have the right colors).

Here is my DIY French Manicure technique, explained step by step:

You will need

  • White nail polish
  • Clear pink nail polish
  • Clear top coat
  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton swabs
My nails before any nail polish application and the nail polish I used.

Step 1: Messy white tips

Apply the white nail polish to the tips of your nails. Cover up the free edge of your nail, plus around a third of the nail body.  If you have short nails, don’t worry – it can still work. Just cover half of your nails in this step. If the white nail polish is still somewhat transparent in some places, add a second coat. Don’t worry if it’s messy at this point – it always is for me. We’ll fix it in the next step.

Step 2: Cleaning up the mess

Grab a cotton swab and dip it in some nail polish remover. Swipe the soaked cotton swab gently across the excess nail polish, slowly working your way towards the tips until you have a white stripe that covers just slightly more than the free edge of your nail. It looks most natural if you give the stripe a bit of a rounded shape – similar to a crescent moon. In case of short nails, leave a stripe that covers around one fourth of your nail.

The result for this step should look something like this. Take your time and don’t try to achieve perfection  – small mistakes will not be visible unless you really study your nails up close!

Step 3: Clear pink

Apply a coat of clear pink nail polish. If you like the white tips to be a bit more subtle (as I do), you might want to apply several coats.

Step 4: Clear top coat

As the last step, apply a clear top coat to seal your creation.

Now the whole thing just needs to dry and you can go about your day as ususal – but with super elegant nails (I think so many boring things like washing the dishes or typing on your keyboard become instantly better with beautiful nails)!

Voila – this is the end result:

If you still have a bit of excess nail polish left around your nails after you are done, don’t worry! Any nail polish that is not on your actual nails will usually fall off over night. My manicure always looks the most perfect and super neat the day after application.

Here are my nails two days after I painted them for this tutorial:

DIY French Manicure - Simple Step By Step Tutorial

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