Beauty & Fashion

DIY French Manicure

Manicures have been around for thousands of years. Some claim that the French Manicure was indeed created in France (Paris) for the fashionistas of the 1930’s. Others speculate the word “French” was added because it makes anything seem stylish and chic. The white-tipped look with a pink or nude overlay seems to be an everlasting trend when one wishes to look effortlessly naturally put together.

Here is a simple DIY French Manicure tutorial:

The nail enamels I use are 601 (white), 603 (pearly pale pink with silver shimmer as base coat) and a top coat, all from Inglot Cosmetics. About four years ago, this company began to develop the formula for this O2M ‘breathable’ nail enamel which uses a polymer similar to that in the newest generation of contact lenses. It is believed that wearing polish all the time will make the nails brittle and prone to breakage as it creates an impermeable layer that keeps nails from getting the water and oxygen they need to stay in top form. This polish is designed to allow molecules of water and oxygen to slip through the polish and down to the nail, thereby supposedly improving the health of the nail and nail bed.

So let’s begin.

Step 1: Start with a clean canvas. Soak your hands in warm water, followed by scrubbing and exfoliating your hands. Care for your cuticles by rubbing cuticle oil on them, followed by pushing them back with an orangewood stick and cleaning the dirt from under the nails. Lastly, grab a vitamin-rich moisturiser and slather it on. Before moving on to step 2, swipe the nail beds with non-acetone polish remover to remove any oil and moisturiser.

Step 2: Clip your nails (optional) to the desired length. When it comes to a French Manicure, the longer they are – the better. If you clip them too short, you won’t be able to shape the nail.

 Step 3: Shape your nails using a file. You could create almond, oval or squoval nails by holding the file to the parallel side of the nail and softening the corners to create the desired shape. I use a 3-way nail file which is a convenient nail care tool with different surfaces designed to shape the free edge, smooth the surface and buff the natural nail to a glossy shine.

Step 4: Paint on a sheer layer of nude or pink polish as your base coat and let the polish dry for a couple of minutes. It is recommended that you to repeat this step with a second coat of polish.

Once your manicure’s base is dry, it is time for the white to meet the pink or nude and create the perfect smile line!

Step 5: Applying the tip freehand will require practice and patience. Swipe the white polish from one side of your nail to the other in a continuous stroke, covering just the tip of the nails. Or better yet, keep your brush still and rotate your finger slowly, gliding the brush along your nail. Let the polish dry completely.

Step 5 (cont.): To apply the tip with nail guides, place the nail guides on the nail to snag the perfect white tip pain-free. With the white polish, brush colour onto the tip of your nails, as if you were creating an upside down smiley or a sad face. Once the polish is dry, remove the nail guides.

Step 6: Use a small brush or a pointed cotton swab dipped into nail polish remover and with a circular motion, ‘erase’ the excess polish on the sides and insides of your nails with precision. Make sure the ‘smile lines’ curve slightly to avoid making your fingers look stubby.

Step 7: Paint the full length of your nail using the top coat and allow ’em to dry completely. I recommend two layers of top coats. To improve the longevity of your manicure, apply a top coat at least once a day.

Voilà, you have completed your very own French Manicure!

a side by side comparison of a manicure done at the Glam Salon (left) and a manicure done at the comfort of my own home.

P.S This procedure is best performed when no other pressing errands or tasks will get in the way. After painting your nails, let the polish dry completely before you engage your hands elsewhere.

Images ©  Eama Binth Musa 2017

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    April 25, 2020 at 01:56


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