Hollywood stylists once favoured the French manicure as it provided a groomed look that suited any ensemble. French manicures have since become a world-renowned nail treatment, ideal for any occasion.
Characterised by an oval shaped nail, buff or pale translucent pink base, and whitened tip, the French manicure creates a natural, classy, feminine, and healthy-look. Manicure products are available from a range of places including nail salons and beauty salons.
The classic French manicure appears deceptively simple, however the whitening of the tip requires practice, patience, and a steady-hand, and is much easier performed by a manicurist. While it is possible to achieve this classic look on your own, having your first treatment performed by a professional will allow you to follow their example with confidence, at home. When visiting a salon, expect the esthetician to strengthen and condition your nails prior to painting them. You may also receive a hand massage for added pampering. The manicurist will then either simply paint the nails, or may offer to apply fake tips. When considering fake tips, bear in mind that you may need to make several repeat visits to the salon to have the tips "refilled" after nails have noticeably grown.
If you have the patience, and believe that it is worth the effort to save yourself the money by performing a French manicure at home, you will need to gather the following items.
- Cotton wool
- Cotton buds
- Nail polish remover
- Hand moisturizer
- Bowl of warm water
- Cuticle pusher
- Emery board
- Nail buffer
- Translucent beige/pink nail polish
- Bottom coat
- White pencil crayon
- Remove all traces of nail polish with cotton wool soaked in polish remover.
- Using an emery board shape nails into gentle ovals.
- Buff the surface of nails to remove any ridges. (Avoid this step if you have overly thin nails).
- Soak hands in a bowl of warm water until the skin begins to prune.
- Dry hands thoroughly with a towel and follow with a moisturizer. Gently push cuticles back with a cuticle pusher.
- Whiten tips by applying the white pencil to the underneath portion of nail tips.
- Apply a thin layer of base polish and allow to dry.
- Apply the colour using three strokes, beginning with the middle. Allow colour to dry. Should you accidentally apply polish to an unwanted area, remove with a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover.
- Finish with a topcoat. To prevent smudging, allow nail polish to set for at least an hour, prior to doing any activities involving your hands. If you would like to lengthen the life of your new look, paint a new topcoat every night.
To ease the process of painting your nails, you may purchase one of the kits available at your nearest salon or chemist. Each nailcare kit should contain three different nail polishes, in a range of hues, and possibly a nail guide. By placing a sticky nail guide on each individual nail, you will ensure that any unwanted polish spills outside the tip of the nail, rather than creating an unsightly mess on the rest of the finger or nail.