The Perfect French Manicure

There are few nail styles as classic as a french manicure. Not only are they an easy, neutral, and elegant choice for those who can’t or don’t want to wear bolder colors, they are a steadfast classic. The classic French manicure may not be as popular as it once was, but it’s kept its reputation, and today we’ll walk you through some tips and tricks on how to get the look with ease.

Kala Bastion of Sophisticuts Salon and Day Spa in Princeton, Ill., gives some quick tips on how to make a French manicure run quicker and smoother, and have a better-looking finish.

“The French manicure — it’s the workhorse of the nail salon. The bread and butter. And with so many clients requesting this classy look, techs have had time to practice, hone, and perfect their procedures. Kala Bastion of Sophisticuts Salon and Day Spa in Princeton, Ill., gives some quick tips on how to make this service run quicker and smoother, and have a better-looking finish.”

  1. I let my base coat dry before applying a base color, such as pink or peach, and then I let that base color dry completely as well. This makes for a much quicker drying time when I eventually add the white.
  2. Only use one coat of base color (unless requested by the client) instead of the usual two. This speeds up the drying time and gives a fresh, clean, and natural look.
  3. After applying the white to the tips of the nails, wait to apply your top coat. If you do this too soon without allowing time for your white to set, you will swirl the white in with the top coat and the rest of your work. You’ll end up with a marble-looking French and will have to start over.
  4. Using a UV top coat helps keep whites from yellowing and helps them look their brightest.

A good technique for polishing a French manicure on toes

Jill Wright, the owner of Jill Wright’s Spa for Nails in Bowling Green, Ky, shares her techniques “I do French manicures different than most techs and it’s just something I’ve done since beauty school. Instead of swiping the polish from one side of the nail to the other, I brush it on from the smile line down to the free edge. I start the first stroke at the smile line in the center of the nail. Then I gradually stroke the polish in the same manner to the left sidewall. Then I repeat this process over to the right sidewall. I do the base coat first, then the soft light color, then the white smile line, followed by the top coat. Afterwards I clean up the polish off the skin by dipping an orangewood stick into acetone (no cotton on the end of the orangewood stick since it tends to get fuzzies on the polish).”

Images: Pinterest & Essie