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Picture of Do-it-yourself French Manicure
Like so many other girls, I have the need to feel pampered and to look especially nice on certain occasions. One way to gain that classic, elegant look a a french manicure.

There are many types of French Manicures, just Google and you will come up with many different styles. One thing remains the same though, a thin stripe usually near the end of the tip.

And as I'm sure most girls will agree, although it is great to sit back and relax while someone else does your nails, we don't always have the time to schedule an appointment or even the money to pay for said appointment.

So after careful watching of how the pros do it, and a lot a practice, I present the Do-it-yourself French Manicure.
 
 
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Step 1: Matierials

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You will need the following:

- Nail file
- Nail polish, Color A, for the tip (I will be using white)
- Nail polish, Color B, for the rest of the nail (usually a nude or slightly pink color, I will be using clear because other colors make my skin look as if I am ill)
- Clear nail polish for the top coat
- Nail guides, or tapes (can be found in any drug store or supermarket, just look in the pharmacy section near the nail polish)
- Nail polish remover (for mess ups)
- small brush (for those who dare to go free-hand, I use an old eye makeup brush, not used of course)
- patience

Step 2: Prep

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First and foremost wash your hands, giving yourself a gentle massage if desired, this will help you relax and get more of that spa feel.

Remove any nail polish already on your hands, this will give you a clean work surface.

Trim and file your nails. For a natural look, the side of your nails, as well as the tip of your nail should be straight, with a gentle curve connecting the two. Almost as if you were mirroring your cuticle line.

Wash your hands again to get rid of any residue left by filing your nails.

Step 3: The tip: Using a guide

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There are two ways to apply the tip to your French manicure. Using a guide, or Free-hand. I will describe both.

Using guides:

One at a time, apply a guide to each finger, just below where your nail goes from white to natural. Make sure you press it down firmly since we don't want the tip color to get on the rest of the nail. It may be easier to do one hand at a time.

Taking color A, paint over the area making sure to paint up to the guide. It might be helpful to paint from one side of your nail to the other.

Repeat for each nail and let dry completely before removing the guides.

Skip to step 5.

Step 4: The tip: free hand

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To apply the tip freehand will take patience.

Using color A, swipe from one side of your nail to the other in a continuous stroke, covering just the tip of the nail. Repeat for each nail and let dry completely.

Dip a small brush into nail polish remover, and slowly, using a circular motion, take away the paint on the inside of the nail, leaving your "smile line". Make sure this line curves slightly and is not to think to avoid making your fingers look stubby.

Allow to dry.

Step 5: Finish

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Using color B, paint the full length of your nail. Allow to dry completely. Repeat as wanted for desired effect. 1-2 coats should do it.

Once dry, apply a top coat to the entire nail, allowing to dry completely. I recommend two top coats.

And voila, you have beautiful nails!

To improve the longevity of your manicure, apply a top coat at least once a day.

Hi, tnx for your instructable! Maybe you can help me with something: I have nice nails, clean them daily, but... I think the 'white' of my fingernails always looks a bit grey. Do you know how I can whiten them naturally? I tried baking soda, but not satisfied with the results yet. Any ideas?

PeterN18 months ago

Thank you! I always wanted to know how since I always see it used with white nail polish and I just got white nail polish!