How to perfect the classic French Manicure
The French manicure has always been a popular nail look, whether it is with traditional white tips or a more modern, playful pop of colour. The French mani continues to come back around in the cycle of nail trends due to its minimalist yet chic finish. The main focal point of the French manicure is the crisp line of polish at the tip of the nail, and it is this fine detail that deters a lot of French mani lovers from trying this look at home. Now, our in-house Nail Expert, Lynn Gray, is on hand to offer her guidance and tips on how to create the perfect those crisp lines, and how to create the French manicure at home.
The first tip Lynn suggests is to ‘take your time’ saying “rushing the process will only cause you to lose patience. Have nail varnish remover and a cue tip to hand and work one nail at a time to ensure you’re happy with each nail before moving on to the next. Practice also helps so the more you do it, the better you’ll be at knowing the right shape for your nail.
“Make sure the colour you’re using for the tip is the correct consistency and not too thick. Thick polish is easier to smudge and will make it harder to create those crisp lines you want. If your desired polish is a little on the thick side, use the Mavala thinner to help revitalise the polish back to a liquid form”
“Use a thin paintbrush to get that perfect smile line at the tip of the nail. If your nails are long enough, just copy the natural guide of the free edge. People with more square nails tend to go for a straight line across the tip of the nail, but if yours are more squoval then curve round and follow the shape of your nail right to the skin. By using a thin brush to get the guideline, you can easily use a cue tip and make changes if you’re unhappy with the shape you have.”
Once you’re happy with the lines you’ve created, you can go in and fill in the area between the tip of the nail and the line. To get the full opacity, use the nail polish brush that comes with the polish to paint the line in one motion, with the edge of the brush hugged tight to the line. This will keep it neat and consistent. Work from one side following the curve of the free edge right to the other side in one motion. It is best not to overwork this step, as the more times you go over it, the more room there is for error.”
“Make sure the polish is completely dry before applying topcoat. If nail polish is still slightly wet, the topcoat can drag tiny streaks across the nail ruining the precise lines you’ve created for the free edge, so be patient when it comes to drying time.”
When it comes to French mani colours, using pastel shades or bright pops of colour on the tips work if you’re looking for something playful. If you want something more traditional, Mavala has a selection of French manicure kits that offer the perfect colour combos to suit your skin tone.
Each set is £14.90 and available from John Lewis